A couple of questions about the South / History

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I've been reading a bit lately about some issues that have been "hot" in the South recently (the flag debate in SC, for example), and I've come across references to a couple of things that I am not entirely clear about:

What were the "Jim Crow" laws?

What is the root of the phrase Mason-Dixon line? Were there 2 guys called Mason and Dixon? And why did they have a line on a map named after them?

I realize I might seem shockingly ignorant about important aspects of American history, but we don't get taught that subject up here very much (not much Canadian history taught here either....but that's another rant [g] ).

Thanks in advance for the erudite answers that are to follow.

-- Johnny Canuck (j_canuck@hotmail.com), July 12, 2000



"Jim Crow" covers both laws and customs. It was the basis for the "separate but equal" theory of race relations. Usually, it boiled down to "separate but unequal." Drinking fountains and public restrooms marked "white" and "colored" are the first thing that come to mind. There's more information at http://www.africana.com/tt_0 26.htm, if you're so interested.

The Mason-Dixon Line was named after the two guys who surveyed it (oddly enough, their names were Mason and Dixon). Formally, it was the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, but became more well-known during The War of Northern Aggression (known to some as the Civil War) as the boundary between the "free" states of the north and the "slave" states of the south.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 12, 2000.


Don't apologise for your "ignorance". Most Americans know next to nothing about Canada - or the rest of the world for that matter. We have become an insular, paranoid nation that fears all things foreign - including Canadians.

For example, I'm sure all Canadians can answer the following:

Who is the President of the United states?

How many Americans can answer:

Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?

I have lived and worked in Canada and I am always ashamed at my fellow countrymen who know nothing about our largest trading partner and closest friend...

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), July 12, 2000.

"The War of Northern Aggression"

Now that's funny. And some here think the debunkers can't get over Y2K! There's still some that can't get over the South losing the Civil War.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), July 12, 2000.

Very well-said, Pro. My sentiments exactly.

(Psst: It's Jean Chretien, though if I tried to pronounce it, I'd butcher it beyond recognition.)

Johnny, I wouldn't worry too much about not being taught much of American history in Canada; we don't really get much of it here either. What we *do* get is, shall we say, slanted. Like you said, "...but that's another rant [g]".

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), July 12, 2000.

...There's still some that can't get over the South losing the Civil War.

Around where some of my relatives live, there are several people who are still waiting for General Lee (the man, not the car) to mount a counteroffensive (after having lulled those damn Yankees into a false sense of security). Of course, several of them also form very close attachments to their cows, too.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 12, 2000.

LOL! "I'm Here..."

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), July 12, 2000.

I'm Here

Thanks for the answer and the link. I hadn't appreciated that the term Jim Crow came from a character in a minstrel show.

Y2K Pro

Thanks for the sentiments. It is a reality that Canadians will always have to know more about the US than vice versa. When your neighbour is as big and powerful as the US is, then you can't help but take notice. In contrast Canada and things Canadian have very little impact on the day-to-day lives of most Americans.

Oh, if you guys want INVAR to be PM of Canada does that mean that we can make Bruce Beach the President of the US? (smile)



-- Johnny Canuck (j_canuck@hotmail.com), July 13, 2000.

Didn't Pro used to have a Canadian ISP?

Opps. Not supposed to know that.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), July 13, 2000.

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