1^ will’nVIEWSn'”;i , ((IIu.n( li, f (“” HitnI, / ‘It””” ‘u,nli’aiu,. y,. Hi”nThe Celtic Heritage of the Old SouthnSoutherners are not like other Americans. Significantncultural differences have always separated them fromnthe North. Even today cultural variations between Southernnblack and white people are fewer than those between whitenSoutherners and white Northerners. In other words, thenpopulation of the United States is more divided culturallynalong regional lines than along racial lines, and studiesnindicate that cultural diversity between Southerners andnNortherners is greater than that between manual andnnonmanual workers, city dwellers and country people,nProtestants and Catholics, and males and females. Furthermore,nsuch cultural disharmony has divided the South fromnthe North for more than three hundred years.nFundamental and lasting divisions between Southernersnand Northerners appeared during the colonial period, whennmigrants from the Celtic regions of the British Isles —nScotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Englishnuplands — planted their traditional ways in the Old South.nGrady McWhiney is the author of Cracker Culturen(University of Alabama Press), from which this article isnadapted.n12/CHRONICLESnby Grady McWhineynnnFrom this solid 18th-century base in the Southernnbackcountry, Celts and their descendants swept westwardndecade after decade throughout the antebellum period untilnthey had established themselves and their anti-Englishnvalues and customs across the South. By the end of thenantebellum period, people of Celtic heritage far outnumberednthe combined total of all other white Southerners, andntheir traditional culture dominated the region. The antebellumnNorth, on the other hand, was settied and influencednprincipally by people who had migrated from the Englishnlowlands. Cultural differences between Northerners andnSoutherners shaped the course of antebellum Americannhistory and ultimately exploded into the War for SouthernnIndependence, a conflict that was not as much brothernagainst brother as culture against culture.nNeither the North nor the South, of course, was completelynhomogeneous in culture. Not every Yankee habit orntrait was English, any more than every Rebel habit or traitnwas Celtic. Slaves, certain planters, and some townsfolk andnprofessional people claimed no Celtic heritage, but thenoverwhelming majority of Southerners adopted Celtic traditions,njust as most Northerners practiced English ways.n