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Nov
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11.9.13 … Some Buckhead history and some perspective on “American Nations” … So is Buckhead typical of the Deep South?

Buckhead, history, Atlanta: I have most of this, but it is nice to read it condensed in one place.  And I was just trying to remember how to spell “Eretus” Rivers yesterday  (as in E. Rivers Elementary School, the public elementary school that is located  and most associated with Buckhead). 

The purchase of 400 acres along the road connecting “Buckhead” with Hardy Pace’s ferry by a prominent Atlanta businessman in 1903 proved to be the seminal moment in the evolution of Buckhead.

Here to fore, the area — and that is the best way to describe it at that time — was mostly owned by a few pioneering families who scratched a pretty impressive living out of dense forest and farmland.

But the land offered something beyond agriculture, something rare during the summer months when the dust and dirt of the bustling downtown combined with the oppressive heat to make life in Atlanta a bit of a challenge. The tall trees and a general lack of development meant it was substantially cooler and more tolerable. Those who had the means made their way out to the Chattahoochee River on the weekends, which gave rise to communities like Vinings.

Like a burning star creates a solar system around it, so, too, did Maddox’s presence in Buckhead create a gravitational pull. His prominent friends would soon follow, people like William H. Kiser, who created a fortune as a dry-goods wholesaler and built the impressive Knollwood nearby. Designed by Philip Trammel Shutze, the English Georgian-style home set atop a knoll was visible for many years from Paces Ferry Road. Among the others were attorney Morris Brandon, politician and former Florida Attorney General William Bailey Lamar, banker John Grant and James W. Morrow, who owned Morrow Transfer and Storage. All built magnificent summer estates where they, too, could escape downtown Atlanta and entertain their prominent friends and acquaintances.

Developer Charles Black purchased the remainder of the Dickey estate in 1911 to create Tuxedo Park. With enormous land lots the neighborhood consisted of homes of comparable size and style to those already in area. Across West Paces Ferry Road, Eretus Rivers and his business partners acquired nearly 400 acres from the estate of Wesley Collier in 1906 and in 1911 developed Peachtree Heights West. Over the course of the next few years, additional subdivisions developed around this area, which is remarkable given the continuity of the styles.

Thus Buckhead became the destination neighborhood, rising above the former trendy enclaves of Druid Hills and Inman Park in drawing the city’s politically and socially connected families.

via Neighbor Newspapers – Column Transaction gave rise to Buckhead we know.

Up in Arms, Colin Woodard,  American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, history, sociology,  anthropology: This article is one of the most fascinating I have read in years and it pulls together history, sociology and anthropology.

Up in Arms

THE BATTLE LINES OF TODAY’S DEBATES OVER GUN CONTROL, STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS, AND OTHER VIOLENCE-RELATED ISSUES WERE DRAWN CENTURIES AGO BY AMERICA’S EARLY SETTLERS

Among the eleven regional cultures, there are two superpowers, nations with the identity, mission, and numbers to shape continental debate: Yankeedom and Deep South. For more than two hundred years, they’ve fought for control of the federal government and, in a sense, the nation’s soul. Over the decades, Deep South has become strongly allied with Greater Appalachia and Tidewater, and more tenuously with the Far West. Their combined agenda—to slash taxes, regulations, social services, and federal powers—is opposed by a Yankee-led bloc that includes New Netherland and the Left Coast. Other nations, especially the Midlands and El Norte, often hold the swing vote, whether in a presidential election or a congressional battle over health care reform. Those swing nations stand to play a decisive role on violence-related issues as well.

For now, the country will remain split on how best to make its citizens safer, with Deep South and its allies bent on deterrence through armament and the threat of capital punishment, and Yankeedom and its allies determined to bring peace through constraints such as gun control. The deadlock will persist until one of these camps modifies its message and policy platform to draw in the swing nations. Only then can that camp seize full control over the levers of federal power—the White House, the House, and a filibuster-proof Senate majority—to force its will on the opposing nations. Until then, expect continuing frustration and division.

GREATER APPALACHIA. Founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Appalachia has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom. It was with the Union in the Civil War. Since Reconstruction, and especially since the upheavals of the 1960s, it has joined with Deep South to counter federal overrides of local preference.

DEEP SOUTH. Established by English slave lords from Barbados, Deep South was meant as a West Indies–style slave society. This nation offered a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer regulations.

If you understand the United States as a patchwork of separate nations, each with its own origins and prevailing values, you would hardly expect attitudes toward violence to be uniformly distributed. You would instead be prepared to discover that some parts of the country experience more violence, have a greater tolerance for violent solutions to conflict, and are more protective of the instruments of violence than other parts of the country. That is exactly what the data on violence reveal about the modern United States.

With such sharp regional differences, the idea that the United States would ever reach consensus on any issue having to do with violence seems far-fetched. The cultural gulf between Appalachia and Yankeedom, Deep South and New Netherland is simply too large. But it’s conceivable that some new alliance could form to tip the balance.

Among the eleven regional cultures, there are two superpowers, nations with the identity, mission, and numbers to shape continental debate: Yankeedom and Deep South. For more than two hundred years, they’ve fought for control of the federal government and, in a sense, the nation’s soul. Over the decades, Deep South has become strongly allied with Greater Appalachia and Tidewater, and more tenuously with the Far West. Their combined agenda—to slash taxes, regulations, social services, and federal powers—is opposed by a Yankee-led bloc that includes New Netherland and the Left Coast. Other nations, especially the Midlands and El Norte, often hold the swing vote, whether in a presidential election or a congressional battle over health care reform. Those swing nations stand to play a decisive role on violence-related issues as well.

For now, the country will remain split on how best to make its citizens safer, with Deep South and its allies bent on deterrence through armament and the threat of capital punishment, and Yankeedom and its allies determined to bring peace through constraints such as gun control. The deadlock will persist until one of these camps modifies its message and policy platform to draw in the swing nations. Only then can that camp seize full control over the levers of federal power—the White House, the House, and a filibuster-proof Senate majority—to force its will on the opposing nations. Until then, expect continuing frustration and division.

via Tufts Magazine / fall 2013.

 

1 Response to “11.9.13 … Some Buckhead history and some perspective on “American Nations” … So is Buckhead typical of the Deep South?”



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