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Transforming The Appalachian Countryside

Author: Ronald L. Lewis
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807862975
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In 1880, ancient-growth forest still covered two-thirds of West Virginia, but by the 1920s lumbermen had denuded the entire region. Ronald Lewis explores the transformation in these mountain counties precipitated by deforestation. As the only state that lies entirely within the Appalachian region, West Virginia provides an ideal site for studying the broader social impact of deforestation in Appalachia, the South, and the eastern United States. Most of West Virginia was still dominated by a backcountry economy when the industrial transition began. In short order, however, railroads linked remote mountain settlements directly to national markets, hauling away forest products and returning with manufactured goods and modern ideas. Workers from the countryside and abroad swelled new mill towns, and merchants ventured into the mountains to fulfill the needs of the growing population. To protect their massive investments, capitalists increasingly extended control over the state's legal and political systems. Eventually, though, even ardent supporters of industrialization had reason to contemplate the consequences of unregulated exploitation. Once the timber was gone, the mills closed and the railroads pulled up their tracks, leaving behind an environmental disaster and a new class of marginalized rural poor to confront the worst depression in American history.

Transnational West Virginia

Author: Ken Fones-Wolf
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780937058763
Size: 25.17 MB
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This collection of essays by twelve distinguished scholars illustrates the rich ethnic diversity in the Mountain State.

Mountain Masters

Author: John C. Inscoe
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 9780870499333
Size: 13.35 MB
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"Antebellum Southern Appalachia has long been seen as a classless and essentially slaveless region - one so alienated and isolated from other parts of the South that, with the onset of the Civil War, highlanders opposed both secession and Confederate war efforts. In a multifaceted challenge to these basic assumptions about Appalachian society in the mid-nineteenth century, John Inscoe reveals new variations on the diverse motives and rationales that drove Southerners, particularly in the Upper South, out of the Union." "Mountain Masters vividly portrays the wealth, family connections, commercial activities, and governmental power of the slaveholding elite that controlled the social, economic, and political development of western North Carolina. In examining the role played by slavery in shaping the political consciousness of mountain residents, the book also provides fresh insights into the nature of southern class interaction, community structure, and master-slave relationships."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Moonshiners And Prohibitionists

Author: Bruce E. Stewart
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813130174
Size: 74.84 MB
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Homemade liquor has played a prominent role in the Appalachian economy for nearly two centuries. The region endured profound transformations during the extreme prohibition movements of the nineteenth century, when the manufacturing and sale of alcohol -- an integral part of daily life for many Appalachians -- was banned. In Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia, Bruce E. Stewart chronicles the social tensions that accompanied the region's early transition from a rural to an urban-industrial economy. Stewart analyzes the dynamic relationship of the bootleggers and opponents of liquor sales in western North Carolina, as well as conflict driven by social and economic development that manifested in political discord. Stewart also explores the life of the moonshiner and the many myths that developed around hillbilly stereotypes. A welcome addition to the New Directions in Southern History series, Moonshiners and Prohibitionists addresses major economic, social, and cultural questions that are essential to the understanding of Appalachian history.

Southern Migrants Northern Exiles

Author: Chad Berry
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252068416
Size: 49.92 MB
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One of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history, the great white migration left its mark on virtually every family in every southern upland and flatland town. In this extraordinary record of ordinary lives, dozens of white southern migrants describe their experiences in the northern ""wilderness"" and their irradicable attachments to family and community in the South. Southern out-migration drew millions of southern workers to the steel mills, automobile factories, and even agricultural fields and orchards of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Through vivid oral histories, Chad Berry explores the conflict between migrants' economic success and their ""spiritual exile"" in the North. He documents the tension between factory owners who welcomed cheap, naive southern laborers and local ""native"" workers who greeted migrants with suspicion and hostility. He examines the phenomenon of ""shuttle migration,"" in which migrants came north to work during the winter and returned home to plant spring crops on their southern farms. He also explores the impact of southern traditions - especially the southern evangelical church and ""hillbilly"" music - brought north by migrants.Berry argues that in spite of being scorned by midwesterners for violence, fecundity, intoxication, laziness, and squalor, the vast majority of southern whites who moved to the Midwest found the economic prosperity they were seeking. By allowing southern migrants to assess their own experiences and tell their own stories, Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles refutes persistent stereotypes about migrants' clannishness, life-style, work ethic, and success in the North.

The Industrialist And The Mountaineer

Author: Ronald L. Lewis
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781943665518
Size: 49.53 MB
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In 1897 a small landholder named Robert Eastham shot and killed timber magnate Frank Thompson in Tucker County, West Virginia, leading to a sensational trial that highlighted a clash between local traditions and modernizing forces. Ronald L. Lewis's book uses this largely forgotten episode as a window into contests over political, environmental, and legal change in turn-of-the-century Appalachia. The Eastham-Thompson feud pitted a former Confederate against a member of the new business elite who was, as a northern Republican, his cultural and political opposite. For Lewis, their clash was one flashpoint in a larger phenomenon central to US history in the second half of the nineteenth century: the often violent imposition of new commercial and legal regimes over holdout areas stretching from Appalachia to the trans-Missouri West. Taking a ground-level view of these so-called "wars of incorporation," Lewis's powerful microhistory shows just how strongly local communities guarded traditional relationships to natural resources. Modernizers sought to convict Eastham of murder, but juries drawn from the traditionalist population refused to comply. Although the resisters won the courtroom battle, the modernizers eventually won the war for control of the state's timber frontier.

Appalachia On Our Mind

Author: Henry D. Shapiro
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469617242
Size: 58.46 MB
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Appalachia on Our Mind is not a history of Appalachia. It is rather a history of the American idea of Appalachia. The author argues that the emergence of this idea has little to do with the realities of mountain life but was the result of a need to reconcile the "otherness" of Appalachia, as decribed by local-color writers, tourists, and home missionaries, with assumptions about the nature of America and American civilization. Between 1870 and 1900, it became clear that the existence of the "strange land and peculiar people" of the southern mountains challenged dominant notions about the basic homogeneity of the American people and the progress of the United States toward achiving a uniform national civilization. Some people attempted to explain Appalachian otherness as normal and natural -- no exception to the rule of progress. Others attempted the practical integration of Appalachia into America through philanthropic work. In the twentieth century, however, still other people began questioning their assumptions about the characteristics of American civilization itself, ultimately defining Appalachia as a region in a nation of regions and the mountaineers as a people in a nation of peoples. In his skillful examination of the "invention" of the idea of Appalachia and its impact on American thought and action during the early twentieth century, Mr. Shapiro analyzes the following: the "discovery" of Appalachia as a field for fiction by the local-color writers and as a field for benevolent work by the home missionaries of the northern Protestant churches; the emergence of the "problem" of Appalachia and attempts to solve it through explanation and social action; the articulation of a regionalist definition of Appalachia and the establishment of instituions that reinforced that definition; the impact of that regionalistic definition of Appalachia on the conduct of systematic benevolence, expecially in the context of the debate over child-labor restriction and the transformation of philanthropy into community work; and the attempt to discover the bases for an indigenous mountain culture in handicrafts, folksong, and folkdance.

Glass Towns

Author: Ken Fones-Wolf
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252073711
Size: 60.67 MB
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Exploring a path not taken in Appalachian economic development--one that might have led away from underdevelopment

Consumers In The Country

Author: Ronald R. Kline
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801862489
Size: 20.87 MB
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From 1900 to 1960, the introduction and development of four so-called urbanizing technologies–the telephone, automobile, radio, and electric light and power–transformed the rural United States. But did these new technologies revolutionize rural life in the ways modernizers predicted? And how exactly–and with what levels of resistance and acceptance–did this change take place? In Consumers in the Country Ronald R. Kline, avoiding the trap of technological determinism, explores the changing relationships among the Country Life professionals, government agencies, sales people, and others who promoted these technologies and the farm families who largely succeeded in adapting them to rural culture.