Surprisingly enough, modern historians have rarely interested themselves in the history of the American South in the period before the South began to become self-consciously and distinctively " Southern"—the decades after 1815. Consequently, the cultural history of Britain’s North American empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has been written almost as if the Southern colonies had never existed. The American culture that emerged during the Colonial and Revolutionary eras has been depicted as having been simply an extension of New England Puritan culture.
However, Professor Davis has recently argued that the South stood apart from the rest of American society during this early period, following its own unique pattern of cultural development. The case for Southern distinctiveness rests_ upon two related premises: first, that the cultural similarities among the five Southern colonies were far more impressive than the differences, an