"Hillary Clinton is a museum-quality specimen of a Yankee – self-righteous, ruthless, self-aggrandizing"
~ Clyde Wilson
Being a Yankee is an atittude. If a Brit called me a Yank, then I would assume that simply means "American." It is quite possible to be a northerner and yet not a Yankee. I, for example, was actually born in Hartford, Connecticut. After three years there we moved to Alabama.
The word "Yankee" gained popularity in the early to mid nineteenth century to describe a particular brand of New Englander: arrogant, hypocritical, unfriendly, condescending, intolerant, extremely self-righteous, and believing that he and his were God’s chosen people.
Yankees have never shied away from using the coercive powers of the state to compel others to be remade in their image. That’s why compulsory government schooling originated in New England, as did prohibitionism. It’s also why Stalinism took hold in the North (especially in New York City) in the twentieth century, as did its offshoot, neoconservativism, in more recent times. Indeed, many of the more notorious neoconservatives openly admit that they were Stalinists in their youth and have never fully abandoned those beliefs.
(and I would like to point out that I am NOT a neocon. No self-respecting person who truly loves liberty and libertarianism would refer to themselves as such)
The idea of Yankee moral superiority was carefully crafted almost from the time of the Pilgrims. By 1861, New England Yankees and their Midwestern cousins had concocted the myth of a free, white, and virtuous New England that, by virtue of its moral superiority, had a right to remake all other sections of the U.S. in its own image, creating a Heaven on Earth (i.e., the New England-ization of North America). A corollary of this myth was the notion of the morally corrupt, slave-owning South.
By Yankee I do not mean everybody from north of the Potomac and Ohio. Lots of them have always been good folks. The firemen who died in the World Trade Center on September 11 were Americans. The politicians and TV personalities who stood around telling us what we are to think about it are Yankees. I am using the term historically to designate that peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can be easily recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, lack of congeniality, and penchant for ordering other people around. Puritans long ago abandoned anything that might be good in their religion but have never given up the notion that they are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America, and the world, into the perfection of their own image.
According to standard accounts of American history (i.e., Northern mythology), New Englanders fought the Revolution and founded glorious American freedom as had been planned by the "Puritan Fathers." Southerners, who had always been of questionable character, because of their fanatic devotion to slavery, wickedly rebelled against government of, by, and for the people, were put down by the armies of the Lord, and should be ever grateful for not having been exterminated. (This is clearly the view of the anonymous Union Leaguer from Portland, Maine, who recently sent me a chamber pot labeled "Robert E. Lee’s soup tureen.") And out of their benevolence and devotion to the ideal of freedom, the North struck the chains from the suffering black people. (They should be forever grateful, also. Take a look at the Boston statue with happy blacks adoring the feet of Col. Robert Gould Shaw
When Alpha 1 rants about Southerners committing treason by defending their own states instead of the monolithic superstate that Lincoln violated the Constitution to create, his attitude is remarkably similiar to the above paragraph.
And the quissential Yankee quip
For foreigners, a "yankee" is an American.
For American southerners, a "yankee" is a northerner.
For northerners, a "yankee" is somebody from New England.
For New Englanders, a "yankee" is somebody from Vermont.
For Vermonters, a "yankee" is somebody who eats pie for breakfast."
By the way, ideologically, Bush is rather Yankee himself. I guess the mythical "cowboy from Texas" mentality balances him out, somewhat, but a true Southerner he ain't.
I should point out that Yankees aren't all that bad. My father grew up as a Catholic in East Windsor, CT, and while he doesn't really care about politics and abhors taxes, he is sort of a Connecticut Yankee, I suppose.