Many of the social customs and differences among cultures have a unique history. A major factor in citizen ideologies in the different states comes from the peoples' heritage .
Ever notice how somber and soft-spoken the senator from South Dakota, Tom Daschle (D) is? Other than the fact that he is a masterful politician and well-trained in the art of being a politician, a significant portion of his office-holding power comes from the good people of South Dakota's Native American population who value holding one's tongue and chosing words very carefully and thoughtfully, which is a value that some say permeates through the culture of South Dakota.
Many people throughout the Intermountain west have a Basque heritage; Boise, Idaho boasts one the largest modern Basque communities in the world. But particularly in Wyoming, people have a Basque heritage from more than one hundred years ago when Basques began immigrating to the United States. Those ealy immigrants who came from the Pyrenees mountains in their native Europe came to work as sheep-herders and ranch-hands. In their old native lands, there was much emphasis on nobility; but as wage laborers when they arrived, they began the tradition of referring to everyone Basque as a fellow "nobleman". This idea continues to influence the culture in Wyoming and their emphasis on equality. http://www.travel-to-wyoming.com/buffalo/basque_traditions.htm
Much could also be said about the cultural and historical factors that played upon the national stage and were targeted in the West, resulting in Wyoming becoming the first state to allow the vote for women.http://w3.trib.com/~ccurley/fsp/wyoming/history.html#AEN323
The Amish sect, among many others, has autonomous, self-sufficient communities and communities in all of our candidate states. They have demonstrated a determination to live their religion despite being the subject of tremendous persecution for their beliefs, particularly by much government intervention. Most notably, they have attained many concessions from the government, such as opting- out of social security from the federal government, they do most of this through peaceful non-cooperation despite the fact that most of them are very apolitical and do not even vote.http://www.hrwf.net/newhrwf/html/usa2000.html#Criticsslamnewreligious
Throughout many parts of the West, Mormon settlers helped establish communities. much of the southern part of the state of Idaho was settled by Mormon settlers who originally were part of a proposed â€˜territory of Deseretâ€™ comprising a large area from Wyoming to California. Congress later accepted the proposed territory as present day Utah, whose politics were largely shaped by a struggle to achieve statehood from the federal government who, under Republican leadership, tried at every turn to destroy the will of the Mormon people in Utah, such as when U.S. President James Buchanan sent an army of federal troops to â€œrestore order and forcibly install a governor to replace Brigham Youngâ€ when the Saints tried to build their temple in Salt Lake City.
This was done only a short time before the civil war, effectively dispatching the largest peace-time military effort to ever be sent to squash a civil rebellion, and thus dangerously depleting Union troops. Congress spent much time writing laws to supress the Mormons, The 1882 Edmunds act was an amendment to strengthen the Anti-Bigamy Law of 1862, "it declared polygamy a felony, with penalty on conviction. The law disfranchised polygamists and declared them ineligible for public office. Polygamists, whether in practice or merely in belief, were disqualified for jury service. All registration and elective offices in Utah Territory were declared vacant and a board of five members, known as the Utah Commission, was to be appointed by the president to assume temporarily all duties pertaining to elections. The board would issue certificates of election to those eligible for that office and those lawfully elected. The Edmunds Act gave to the Utah Commission power to deprive citizens of their civil rights without a trial, which is not found in any other such federal legislation of this country or in its jurisprudence, according to Larson in "The Americanization of Utah for Statehood". (Larson, pp. 95-96.) " From the website, A Chronology of Federal Legislation On Polygamy
The most notable characteristics of the Mormon people throughout their history have been the issue of polygamy and the building of Zion, which was only ever a voluntary â€˜utopia-likeâ€™ society where there were to be a people â€œof one heart, one mind, dwelling in righteousness with no poor among them.â€ It is interesting to note that many families who remained polygamous in Utah escaped to other adjoining states for refuge when Utah became a state and the Mormon (Latter-day Saint) people officially gave-up the practice. Unlike the previously mentioned Amish groups, Mormons today actively embrace living in the modern world, sending out tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world every year and enjoying modern conveniences, saying that modern technology is a gift from God through inspired minds in the exercise of freedom (Many modern-day prophetical â€œrevelationsâ€ give praise to the U.S. Constitution). Mormons also actively embrace politics and even though they comprise less than 15% of the population in Idaho, they comprise a sizeably larger number of political leaders in Idaho, interestingly though, despite the supreme Mormon doctrine of â€œagencyâ€, or freedom of choice, the majority of most Mormons today are swayed by the religious- right members of the Republican party.Â Â Â Â Â Â http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/bljohnsonarmy.htmhttp://www.religiousfreedom.com/Conference/http://www.xmission.com/~plporter/lds/chron.htm