Sunday, September 11, 2016

Why does the US seem so small?

Just heard the phrase “the vastness of our land” applied to Canada. Which made me wonder, Why does the USA seem so small?

Short answer: The USA is a patchwork of different cultures. Driving though the USA feels like driving through different countries. Michigan just doesn’t feel the same as Arkansas. Texas is its own place, and then some (they are the politest drivers anywhere, by the way). But driving across Canada, at least from Ontario west, I feel that every place is Canada. One reason, I think, is that the language varies very little from east to west, while in the USA the language varies in all directions. So we don’t hear the differences that a traveller across the USA hears.

Why are the regions of the USA so different, while those of Canada are not? Short answer: settlement patterns, and political and economic history. But to expand on that would take more space (and more detailed knowledge) than I have.

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