The U.S. has been divided politically, culturally, socially and materially from the beginning of colonialization by European powers! Our history has been one of continuous “civil war” over which particular set of motives and values would direct our development as a nation.
And these original divisions reflect religious factions: Remember – much early immigration to the Americas was about extreme religious groups, some with extremely “wacky” beliefs, who were not welcome in Europe, and were gladly sent off to a new continent, where they were free to become even more wacky.
Historian Colin Woodard, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, describes 11 “nations” competing within North America. This book ought to be required reading in all U.S. public schools. A particular note: The Mormon Empire is an extension of Yankeedom into the Far West – read this book!
Americans are still trying to live with, and resolve, the consequences of European colonization of the Americas. Today’s “political divisions” are the inevitable result of our history. Does the electoral map of 1860 look familiar? The gray areas were territories at the time: the American Civil War was primarily an “economic battle” over which of the two main competing cultures – industrialized north and agrarian south, would EXPLOIT, CONTROL and PROFIT from the vast, resource-rich territories, as these vast areas would inevitably be “chopped up” into states. Of course the “cultural baggage” of each would go along with the exploitation. Although the North won the economic war, the interior states today are actually aligned with the Old South.
A particular artifact: “Cowboys” – the American Hero model, were refugees (including African Americans) from the South, post-Civil War. Although easterners and foreigners were – and still are – profit-takers and exploiters of western resources, the South won the social and religious war. Notice also that “El Norte” is reasserting it’s former dominance in the southwestern U.S.
And the original inhabitants who are STILL suffering the consequences of Euro-American genocide: