The American South, culturally the most distinct region of the United States and once an independent nation, has the population and the economy strong enough to form one of the most powerful nations on Earth. A Southern nation composed of only the eleven states of the former Confederate States of America, (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia), would have eight million people, the thirteenth most populous in the world. It would have more people than France or Britain, and almost as many as Germany. In economic power, a Southern nation composed of the above eleven states would have the third largest gross domestic product (2000 figures), after the remainder of the United States and Japan.
A Southern nation could be larger or smaller than the above eleven states. The Census Bureau defines the South as the former Confederate States, plus Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, with the District of Columbia thrown in. Politically, however, the South is best defined as the eleven Confederate States, plus Kentucky and Oklahoma. This is the South as defined by the Congressional Quarterly. The Census Bureau and Congressional Quarterly definitions each have the largest population and gross domestic product of the four major US regions. Even the eleven state old Confederate South has more people than any other major US region, and a gross domestic product larger than those of the Midwest and West and essentially equal to that of the Northeast. (Though Missouri is left out of the accounts herein, we recognise it as part of the South.
A Southern nation composed of ten of the historical Confederate states, all except Texas, which is unique in a number of ways, would have 56 million people (about the size of France, Italy, and the United Kingdom), and the sixth largest gross domestic product of the nations on Earth. Without Florida also, a state with many Northern migrants, a nine state South would retain 43 million people and have a gross domestic product not much less than that of the United Kingdom.
The five states of the Deep South, (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina), alone have 22 million people, not far below that of Canada and 4 million more than Australia. The gross domestic product roughly equals those of Canada, Brazil, and Spain.
Congressional votes over the past four decades demonstrate how much more attuned to the conservative values of Southerners an independent Southern nation would be. On a number of key votes, reflecting a wide range of policy issues, the Southern Senators, Representatives, or both in the US Congress have cast majorities contrary to the votes of the US Congress as a whole. On immigration, school prayer, abortion, busing, marriage, balanced budgets, size of government, taxation, and Supreme Court appointees, to name some of the issues, public policy during the past thirty years would have been decidedly different if the South had been an independent nation. These policy changes would produce a significantly different country, more in keeping with the desires and the cultural lifestyles of a majority of Southerners.
These votes cover social, economic, governmental, and foreign affairs policies. For purposes of this inquiry, the South is the Congressional Quarterly South of the eleven states of the historic Confederate States of America plus Kentucky and Oklahoma. Politically these states form the Southern region of the United States.
Citation: The Grey Book – Blueprint for Southern Independence (2004)