Life Style and Culture in the Northeast Region
In short, lifestyle is the combination of specific interests, mindset, opinions, behaviors, activities & behavioral emphasis of an individual, group, cultural orientation, or of a nation as a whole. Let’s study the creation, development, and promotion of specific lifestyles of the people of the Northeast region.
The first and foremost influence upon the lifestyle and culture of the Northeast Region of the United States was received from the first European emigrants who landed and founded James Town as the first colony to settle there in present-day Virginia and then in New England, present-day Massachusetts. These landed emigrants were primarily non-conformists or Pilgrims and those, called Puritans, belonging to England, who were seeking religious freedom from the relatively strict religious environment of traditional Europe. They had and still influence the lifestyle of the Northeast.
Being at the pivotal geographical location of the United States, the Northeast Region occupies the position of the richest region of the nation. Though it is smaller in overall size of population and area, it has the highest per capita income of $43,682, almost 10% higher than that of the nation. New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania rank in the top ten states in population. This is one of the reasons that the overwhelming majority of the country and the World rush to adopt the lifestyle, adopted by New Yorkers and that of the Northeast Region.
The Northeast region is leading the nation in lifestyle stimulation while the rest of the regions are simply endorsing the excellence of choice of the Northeast. Let’s study the factors, affecting the lifestyle promotion of the Northeast and its upshots upon the rest of the Nation.
10 Factors Affecting the Overall Lifestyle in the Northeast Region
Though numerous elements are treated as the primary cause of lifestyle and its change, which require a lot of discussions and descriptions, some of the most important ones are:
- Impact of Climate or Weather on Lifestyle
- Influence of Culture Heritage
- Religious Background
- Ethnicity and Racial Impacts
- Cuisine & Eating Habits
- Urban and Suburban Populous
- Economy and Financial Conditions
- Role of Politics in Life Style Change
- Historical Democratic Background
- Spread of Education in Northeast Region
Detailed discussion and exploration will require prolonged chapters. So let’s have a short analysis of the effects of different factors affecting the lifestyle and its change in the Northeast Region.
1. Impact of Climate or Weather on Lifestyle
Factors of climate or weather are the natural promotors of lifestyle. Almost all the elements of climate play their natural role, silently, for the promotion of different lifestyles for the different areas having different environments.
The climate of the region has a deep impact on the lifestyle of any region, city, or nation. Climate includes the hot or cold temperature, frequency of precipitation, or rising sea levels. All these elements influence our health conditions by affecting the kind or quality of the food, available in the region for the population to eat & consume, the purity & quality of the drinking water, and the air – its quality, purity & refinement.
All these human-made factors affect the lifestyle, i.e. housing styles, clothing/fashion, eating/drinking habits, nutrition, and food products available as food, transportation in different weather and health conditions.
As the Northeast Region is transforming, rapidly, into a service-oriented economy from the old industry-based economy, its climate is becoming purer and cleaner, day by day. This is due to getting rid of industrial pollution and starting a neat and clean services economy.
Rainfall in the Northeastern states spreads in a wide range of climates, i.e. over 100 inches per annum in upstate New York to 32 inches in the coastal areas of Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. On the other hand, northern New England, the parts of New York State, north of the Mohawk River, and highlands in the Appalachian range of mountains have warm & humid summers while snowy, rather bitterly cold winters are widespread. Such varied climatic conditions promote housing designs, clothing trends, eating habits, transportation styles, gaming facilities, educational facilities, and so on.
2. Influence of Culture Heritage
Culture plays the most important part in the development and promotion of lifestyle in any specified area and environment. The three aforementioned aspects of cultural heritage play the most important part in the development and modification of lifestyle for an area or region:
- Religious background
- Ethnicity and racial impacts
- Cuisine and eating habits
Let’s have a little detailed discussion about what role each religion, ethnicity, and cuisine, plays for the concerned lifestyle.
3. Religious Background
As the early immigrants to the New World were predominantly Catholics of European origin, the majority of them were Catholic. Being the early settlers, they settled in half of the states in the Northeast as the majority of them migrated during the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries. As the majority of them migrated from Ireland, Italy, Quebec, and other Catholic-majority regions, they brought with them the typical lifestyle of their previous religious background.
Like Catholics, the Northeast Region is home to a large number of Jews as well with the largest concentration and percentage of population in the United States. Similarly, the region has the highest number of Hindus and Sikhs, outside India. This is because the Northeast has more people of Indian descent than any other part of the country and in the world outside India.
The region is also home to one of the largest populations of Muslims and Buddhists in the United States. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians are also habitants here as they are Eastern European in origin.
While this religious spectrum has melted into this Northeast Region as the beautiful amalgamation of the American Nation. This is why; the Northeast region is called the great melting pot of the lifestyle where every nation or religious community that landed in the New World of the United States and merged into it, is still retains its distinct lifestyle.
This is the reason that the Northeast Region has the most distinct and unique lifestyle, which is not found anywhere in all the corners of the Globe.
4. Ethnicity and Racial Impacts
From Year 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island in New York Harbor was America’s largest and most active immigration point where over 12 million immigrants were welcomed and processed. It was also called the melting point for the United States whereas the whole of the United States was termed as the melting pot for the new immigrants from Europe.
The Northeast region worked as the melting point for a large number of diverse ethnicities. As in the past, almost all the Italians, Irish, Africans, Hispanics, and Asians, who landed on the New World of Hope, have still the highest concentration of all the landed ethnicities in the Northeast Region.
The three largest cities of the Northeast – New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston – still have the highest concentration of African Americans, Italians, Irish, and Puerto Ricans. This is why; the Northeast Region provides the natural display of true lifestyle, which presents the grand amalgamation of all the landed immigrants.
Though the above-mentioned ethnic groups and nationalities melted in the melting pot of America despite decades or even centuries having passed, they retained many distinct identities of their previous cultural and national identities. And they are still reluctant to get rid of their unique identities.
Different ethnic entities have a great impact on the promotion of the Northeast Region called; ‘Melting Pot’. This merger of different ethnicities has the largest share of the cake of the new lifestyle of the Northeast and the overall United States.
5. Cuisine & Eating Habits
Due to availability of the vast quantities of fishing and other sea foods, most popular among frequent sea travelers, the Northeast has relied mostly upon these types of foods since colonial times. Seafood has produced a major source of economic strength for the region. This is why; the intensely developed seafood sector has promoted some of the most famous dishes in the World. This is the seafood lifestyle that has played a major part in the economic integration among the different ethnic identities.
Taste blending, as a part of lifestyle, has played a major part in the merger of large immigrant populations into one nation.
6. Urban and Suburban Populous
Since the inception of the history of the Northeast Region, the immigrants have settled in urban and suburban areas. This settlement was either opted by themselves due to their background in the original areas from where they migrated or was done due to the availability of jobs in the new areas of settlement. In those times, jobs were available in the following three fields; farming, sea-based jobs, or industries. Farming and sea-related jobs were either in the rural or semi-rural areas but the industries were specifically in the urbanized locations. The difference in lifestyle between the rural and urban inhabitants is still felt even today.
The bifurcation of the population was not permanent as the development of the West Coast and the South opened the inland migration toward the West and South. This internal shifting of the population miraculously transformed the lifestyle of the Northeast to other regions of the United States.
The depopulation of the cities of the Northeast, such as Yonkers, Utica, Buffalo, Syracuse, even parts of New York City in New York State, Newark in New Jersey, Lowell in Massachusetts, Hartford & Bridgeport in Connecticut and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, happened due to the conversion of industrialized cities to the service-oriented economical cities and completely changed the lifestyle of these cities.
Due to the lack of working manpower in the cities, a major change of lifestyle was noted in the rural and suburban areas where a great part of the inhabitants shifted to the urbanized areas.
7. Economy and Financial Conditions
Till World War II, the economy of the Northeast region was industry-based. However, the second half of the twentieth century witnessed the relocation of the industry from the Northeast to the West Coast/Southern Regions. The lower wage levels, availability of vast land resources, low-cost fuel, and low taxation caused many industrialists to move their industrial setup to the new industrial zones on the West Coast and Southern regions. However, after the relocation of the heavy industries to the West Coast / South, the industrial vacuum in the urban Northeast, particularly New England, was partly filled by the microelectronics, computer, and biotechnology-based industries.
Being less dependent upon the service sector for the intense and highly trained labor, financial, technical, tourism-based, educational, and medical-related labor is desired for the service sector. This is why; the Northeast is attracting skilled workers related to the said sectors from all around the World.
This is the reason that the lifestyle of the Northeast Region is rapidly changing with the arrival of the new workforce from all corners of the World.
8. Role of Politics in Life Style Change
Though known for political liberalism, all the states of the Northeast Region voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats in the 2020 Presidential Elections. Even the voters of Pennsylvania who are treated as the most democracy lovers and who are not pet voters of either Republicans or Democrats, also voted for the Democrat Presidential candidate, Joe Biden.
Let’s have an analysis of the role of politics in lifestyle change.
9. Historical Democratic Background
Traditionally, the Northeast Region was a Republican stronghold but between the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the Republicans were treated as the economic and social liberals. They used to advocate open markets and the concept of free labor, i.e. they had the right to sell their labor in exchange for wages – opposing the labor unions and slavery. But, the major cities were under the influence of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the population of the major cities of the Northeast was pushed upward during the period between the 1970s and World War 11. During this period, the Democrats, successfully, won the support of the incoming immigrants.
During this period, the population of the Northeast was basically, industrial oriented. But, the slow in-state migration had been started which caused the shifting of industrial labor to the West Coast and Southern Regions. During the same period, the rural and the suburbanized population traits had started to change toward the urbanized population. The conversion of the industrial economy to the service-oriented one changed lifestyle from the suburban to the urban. Thus the total change of the culture also happened; from dress & clothing, eating habits, residential facilities, and so on – everything related to lifestyle started to change with time.
10. Spread of Education in Northeast Region
The great waves of change in the lifestyle of the Northeast Region, overall United States, and even the whole the World, spread from more than 1500 colleges, universities, professional schools, seminaries, and other academic institutions, located throughout the Northeast region. The educational impact of the Northeast has changed the educational culture of whole the United States. Even the waves of change are reaching almost all the countries of the World.
This impact is so deep that its influence is expected to be felt for decades. The life of students, their colleagues, and the organizations they serve, and even the countries/nations they belong to and live in the world is changing to a great extent. This is the strongest type of lifestyle change, felt in the history of human beings.
The lifestyle change spread with education is particularly influencing the state-of-the-art technological fields. This change is felt mostly in the fields of software, artificial intelligence, and other computer-related fields. Not a single field of life is there, which is not influenced by education, particularly the software-related fields.
And the whole revolution is spreading from the educational institutions of the United States, particularly from the educational institutions of the Northeast.
This lifestyle change is that change upon which the Northeast Region must feel proud.
In the presence of many critical factions, changing the lifestyle of the whole region, the Northeast Region is presenting a unique lifestyle that is a little different from the rest of the other regions of the United States. But three of many unique and specifically important factions are the conversion of the industrial economic region to the service-oriented one, the transformation of the suburban population to the urbanized one, and the spread of education. All these factors along with other factors, played the role of setting the most prevalent lifestyle not only in the United States but also around the Globe.
Particularly the qualified and trained workforce took the pet lifestyle, called the ‘American lifestyle’ from the Northeast and particularly from the New England area to almost all the countries, nations, and corners of the Globe. And this is called American Culture. While the World looks to be in the grip of the American culture, thanks to the ‘Northeast Region’.