As we have noted, Americanism is primarily an ideology rather than an ethno-cultural identity. Like all ideologies it is based upon abstraction. Southern scholar Richard Weaver noted in The Southern Tradition at Bay:
All studies of American civilization must recognize the strong polarity existing since early times between North and South. The government of the United States was founded on abstract proposition: the facts of varying topography, climate, and race made regional development inevitable; the regions arriving at their own interpretations of the propositions produced, on the political level, sectionalism.