Appalachia
Overview
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States
Eastern United States
The Eastern United States, the American East, or simply the East is traditionally defined as the states east of the Mississippi River. The first two tiers of states west of the Mississippi have traditionally been considered part of the West, but can be included in the East today; usually in...

 that stretches from the Southern Tier
Southern Tier
The Southern Tier is a geographical term that refers to the counties of New York State west of the Catskill Mountains along the northern border of Pennsylvania. It is a loosely defined term that generally includes the counties that border Pennsylvania west of Delaware County inclusive...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 state to northern Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. While the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 stretch from Belle Isle
Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Belle Isle is an uninhabited island just off the coast of Labrador and north of Newfoundland at the Atlantic entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle which takes its name...

 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to Cheaha Mountain
Cheaha Mountain
Cheaha Mountain , often called Mount Cheaha, is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is located a few miles north-west of the town of Delta in scenic Cheaha State Park, which contains a lodge, restaurant, and other amenities....

 in the U.S. state of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range. As of 2005, the region was home to approximately 23 million people.

Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants.
Encyclopedia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States
Eastern United States
The Eastern United States, the American East, or simply the East is traditionally defined as the states east of the Mississippi River. The first two tiers of states west of the Mississippi have traditionally been considered part of the West, but can be included in the East today; usually in...

 that stretches from the Southern Tier
Southern Tier
The Southern Tier is a geographical term that refers to the counties of New York State west of the Catskill Mountains along the northern border of Pennsylvania. It is a loosely defined term that generally includes the counties that border Pennsylvania west of Delaware County inclusive...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 state to northern Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. While the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 stretch from Belle Isle
Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Belle Isle is an uninhabited island just off the coast of Labrador and north of Newfoundland at the Atlantic entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle which takes its name...

 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to Cheaha Mountain
Cheaha Mountain
Cheaha Mountain , often called Mount Cheaha, is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is located a few miles north-west of the town of Delta in scenic Cheaha State Park, which contains a lodge, restaurant, and other amenities....

 in the U.S. state of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range. As of 2005, the region was home to approximately 23 million people.

Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants. Early 20th-century writers focused on sensationalistic aspects of the region's culture, such as moonshining and clan feuding, and often portrayed the region's inhabitants as uneducated and prone to impulsive acts of violence. Sociological studies in the 1960s and 1970s helped to re-examine and dispel these stereotypes, although popular media continue to perpetuate the image of Appalachia as a culturally backward region into the 21st century.

While endowed with abundant natural resources, Appalachia has long been associated with and struggled with poverty. In the early 20th century, large-scale logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 and coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 firms brought wage-paying jobs and modern amenities to Appalachia, but by the 1960s the region had failed to capitalize on any long-term benefits from these two industries. Beginning in the 1930s, the federal government sought to alleviate poverty in the Appalachian region with a series of New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 initiatives, such as the construction of dams to provide cheap electricity and the implementation of better farming practices. In 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life...

 was created to further alleviate poverty in the region, mainly by diversifying the region's economy and helping to provide better health care and educational opportunities to the region's inhabitants. By 1990, Appalachia had largely joined the economic mainstream, but still lagged behind the rest of the nation in most economic indicators.

Defining the Appalachian region

Since Appalachia lacks definite physiographical or topographical boundaries, there has been some disagreement over what exactly the region encompasses. The most commonly used modern definition of Appalachia is the one initially defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 and expanded over subsequent decades. The region defined by the Commission currently includes 420 counties and eight independent cities in 13 states, including all of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, 14 counties in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, 52 in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, 32 in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, 3 in Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, 54 in Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, 25 counties and 8 cities in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, 29 in North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, 52 in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, 6 in South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, 37 in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, 37 in Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, and 24 in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

. When the Commission was established, counties were added based on economic need, however, rather than any cultural parameters.

The first major attempt to map Appalachia as a distinctive cultural region came in the 1890s with the efforts of Berea College
Berea College
Berea College is a liberal arts work college in Berea, Kentucky , founded in 1855. Current full-time enrollment is 1,514 students...

 president William Goodell Frost, whose "Appalachian America" included 194 counties in eight states. In 1921, John C. Campbell published The Southern Highlander and His Homeland in which he modified Frost's map to include 254 counties in 9 states. A landmark survey of the region in the following decade by the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 defined the region as consisting of 206 counties in 6 states. In 1984, Karl Raitz and Richard Ulack expanded the ARC's definition to include 445 counties in 13 states, although they removed all counties in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and added two in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. Historian John Alexander Williams, in his 2002 book Appalachia: A History, distinguished between a "core" Appalachian region consisting of 164 counties in West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and a greater region defined by the ARC.

Etymology and pronunciation

While exploring inland along the northern coast of Florida in 1528, the members of the Narváez expedition
Narváez expedition
The Narváez expedition was a Spanish attempt during the years 1527–1528 to colonize Spanish Florida. It was led by Pánfilo de Narváez, who was to rule as adelantado....

, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was a Spanish explorer of the New World, one of four survivors of the Narváez expedition...

, found a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee is the capital of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Leon County, and is the 128th largest city in the United States. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2010, the population recorded by...

, whose name they transcribed as Apalchen or Apalachen (apaˈlatʃen). The name was soon altered by the Spanish to Apalachee
Apalachee
The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle, and now live primarily in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Their historical territory was known to the Spanish colonists as the Apalachee Province...

 and used as a name for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Pánfilo de Narváez
Pánfilo de Narváez
Pánfilo de Narváez was a Spanish conqueror and soldier in the Americas. He is most remembered as the leader of two expeditions, one to Mexico in 1520 to oppose Hernán Cortés, and the disastrous Narváez expedition to Florida in 1527....

's expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528 and applied the name. Now spelled "Appalachian", it is the fourth oldest surviving European place-name in the U.S. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves. The first cartographic appearance of Apalchen is on Diego Gutiérrez'
Diego Gutiérrez (cartographer)
Diego Gutiérrez was a Spanish cosmographer and cartographer of the Casa de la Contratación. He was given this post by royal appointment on October 22, 1554, after the death of his father Dylanger in January 1554, and worked on the Padrón Real....

 map of 1562; the first use for the mountain range is the map of Jacques le Moyne de Morgues in 1565.

The name was not commonly used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century. A competing and often more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains
Allegheny Mountains
The Allegheny Mountain Range , also spelled Alleghany, Allegany and, informally, the Alleghenies, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the eastern United States and Canada...

", "Alleghenies", and even "Alleghania." In the early 19th century, Washington Irving
Washington Irving
Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works...

 proposed renaming the United States either Appalachia or Alleghania.

In northern U.S. dialects, the mountains are pronounced æ or æ. The cultural region of Appalachia is pronounced /æpəˈleɪʃ(i)ə/, also /æpəˈleɪtʃ(i)ə/, all with a third syllable like "lay". In southern U.S. dialects, the mountains are called the æ, and the cultural region of Appalachia is pronounced /ˈæpəˈlætʃ(i)ə/, both with a third syllable like the "la" in "latch". This pronunciation is favored in the "core" region in central and southern parts of the Appalachian range. The occasional use of the "sh" sound for the "ch" in the last syllable in northern dialects was popularized by Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

 organizations in New England in the early 20th century.

Early history

Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 hunter-gatherers first arrived in what is now Appalachia over 12,000 years ago. Several Archaic period (8000-1000 B.C.) archaeological sites have been identified in the region, such as the St. Albans
St. Albans, West Virginia
St. Albans is a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States, at the confluence of the Kanawha and Coal Rivers. The population was 11,044 at the 2010 census.St. Albans was laid out in 1816...

 site in West Virginia and the Icehouse Bottom site in Tennessee. In the 16th century, the de Soto and Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo (explorer)
Juan Pardo was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was active in the later half of the sixteenth century. He led a Spanish expedition through what is now North and South Carolina and into eastern Tennessee. He established Fort San Felipe, South Carolina , and the village of Santa Elena on...

 expeditions explored the mountains of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, and encountered complex agrarian societies populated by Muskogean-speaking inhabitants. De Soto indicated that much of the region west of the mountains was part of the domain of Coosa
Coosa chiefdom
The Coosa chiefdom was a powerful Native American paramount chiefdom near what are now Gordon and Murray counties in Georgia, in the United States. It was inhabited from about 1400 until about 1600, and dominated several smaller chiefdoms...

, a paramount chief
Paramount chief
A paramount chief is the highest-level traditional chief or political leader in a regional or local polity or country typically administered politically with a chief-based system. This definition is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple...

dom centered around a village complex in northern Georgia. By the time English explorers arrived in Appalachia in the late 17th century, the central part of the region was controlled by Algonquian
Algonquian peoples
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...

 tribes (namely the Shawnee
Shawnee
The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...

) and the southern part of the region was controlled by the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

.

European migration into Appalachia began in the 18th century. As lands in eastern Pennsylvania and the tidewater areas of Virginia and the Carolinas filled up, immigrants began pushing further and further westward into the Appalachian Mountains. A relatively large proportion of the early backcountry immigrants were Ulster Scots— later known as "Scotch-Irish"— who were seeking cheaper land and freedom from Quaker
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 leaders, many of whom considered the Scotch-Irish "savages." Others included Germans from the Palatinate region and English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 settlers from the Anglo-Scottish border
Anglo-Scottish border
The Anglo-Scottish border is the official border and mark of entry between Scotland and England. It runs for 154 km between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border...

 country. Between 1730 and 1763, immigrants trickled into western Pennsylvania, northwestern Virginia, and western Maryland. Thomas Walker's
Thomas Walker (explorer)
Dr. Thomas Walker was a physician and explorer from Virginia who led an expedition to what is now the region beyond the Allegheny Mountains area of British North America in the mid-18th century...

 discovery of Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap is a pass through the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Cumberland Water Gap, at the juncture of the U.S. states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia...

 in 1750 and the end of the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 in 1763 lured settlers deeper into the mountains, namely to upper east Tennessee, northwestern North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and central Kentucky. Between 1790 and 1840, a series of treaties with the Cherokee and other Native American tribes opened up lands in north Georgia, northeast Alabama, the Tennessee Valley
Tennessee Valley
The Tennessee Valley is the drainage basin of the Tennessee River and is largely within the U.S. state of Tennessee. It stretches from southwest Kentucky to northwest Georgia and from northeast Mississippi to the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina...

, the Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

 regions, and the highlands along what is now the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The last of these treaties culminated in the removal of the bulk of the Cherokee population from the region via the Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

 in 1838.

The Appalachian frontier

Appalachian frontiersmen have long been romanticized for their ruggedness and self-sufficiency. A typical depiction of an Appalachian pioneer involves a hunter wearing a coonskin cap
Coonskin cap
A coonskin cap is a hat fashioned from the skin and fur of a raccoon. The original coonskin cap consisted of the entire skin of the raccoon including its head and tail...

 and buckskin clothing, and sporting a long rifle and shoulder-strapped powder horn
Powder Horn
Powder Horn may mean:* Powder Horn , the device for carrying gunpowder*Powder Horn , the Venturing training program offered by the Boy Scouts of America...

. Perhaps no single figure symbolizes the Appalachian pioneer more than Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman whose frontier exploits mad']'e him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which was then beyond the western borders of...

 (1734–1820), a long hunter and surveyor instrumental in the early settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee. Like Boone, Appalachian pioneers moved into areas largely separated from "civilization" by high mountain ridges, and had to fend for themselves against the elements. As many of these early settlers were living on Native American lands, attacks from Native American tribes were a continuous threat until the 19th century.

As early as the 18th century, Appalachia (then known simply as the "backcountry") began to distinguish itself from its wealthier lowland and coastal neighbors to the east. Frontiersmen often bickered with lowland and tidewater "elites" over taxes, sometimes to the point of armed revolts such as the Regulator Movement
War of the Regulation
The War of the Regulation was a North Carolina uprising, lasting from approximately 1760 to 1771, in which citizens took up arms against corrupt colonial officials...

 (1767–1771) in North Carolina. In 1778, at the height of the American Revolution
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, backwoodsmen from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and what is now Kentucky took part in George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war...

's Illinois campaign. Two years later, a group of Appalachian frontiersmen known as the Overmountain Men
Overmountain Men
The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War. While they were present at multiple engagements in the war's southern campaign, they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings...

 routed British forces at the Battle of Kings Mountain
Battle of Kings Mountain
The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle between the Patriot and Loyalist militias in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War...

 after rejecting a call by the British to disarm. After the war, residents throughout the Appalachian backcountry— especially the Monongahela
Monongahela River
The Monongahela River is a river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States...

 region in western Pennsylvania and northwestern Virginia— refused to pay a tax placed on whiskey by the new American government, leading to what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion
Whiskey Rebellion
The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States in the 1790s, during the presidency of George Washington. Farmers who sold their corn in the form of whiskey had to pay a new tax which they strongly resented...

.

Early 19th century

In the early 19th century, the rift between the yeoman
Yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

 farmers of Appalachia and their wealthier lowland counterparts continued to grow, especially as the latter dominated most state legislatures. People in Appalachia began to feel slighted over what they considered unfair taxation methods and lack of state funding for improvements (especially for roads). In the northern half of the region, the lowland "elites" consisted largely of industrial and business interests, whereas in the parts of the region south of the Mason–Dixon Line, the lowland elites consisted of large-scale land-owning planters. The Whig Party
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

, formed in the 1830s, drew widespread support from disaffected Appalachians.

Tensions between the mountain counties and state governments sometimes reached the point of mountain counties threatening to break off and form separate states. In 1832, bickering between western Virginia and eastern Virginia over the state's constitution led to calls on both sides for the state's separation into two states. In 1841, Tennessee state senator (and later U.S. president) Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 introduced legislation in Tennessee's state senate calling for the creation of a separate state in East Tennessee. The proposed state would have been known as "Frankland" and would have invited like-minded mountain counties in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama to join it.

The U.S. Civil War

By 1860, the Whig Party had disintegrated. Sentiments in northern Appalachia had shifted to the pro-abolitionist Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. In southern Appalachia, abolitionists still constituted a radical minority, although several smaller opposition parties (most of which were both pro-Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 and pro-slavery) were formed to oppose the planter-dominated Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the American South. In the 19th century, they were the definitive pro-slavery wing of the party, opposed to both the anti-slavery Republicans and the more liberal Northern Democrats.Eventually "Redemption" was finalized in...

. As states in the southern United States moved toward secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

, a majority of Southern Appalachians still supported the Union. In 1861, a Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 newspaper identified 161 counties in Southern Appalachia—which the paper called "Alleghenia"—where Union support remained strong, and which might provide crucial support for the defeat of the Confederacy. However, many of these Unionists—especially in the mountain areas of North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama—were "conditional" Unionists in that they opposed secession, but also opposed violence to prevent secession, and thus when their respective state legislatures voted to secede, their support shifted to the Confederacy. Kentucky sought to remain neutral at the outset of the conflict, opting not to supply troops to either side. After Virginia voted to secede, several mountain counties in northwestern Virginia rejected the ordinance and with the help of the Union army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 established a separate state, admitted to the Union as West Virginia in 1863. However, half the counties included in the new state, comprising two-thirds of its territory, were secessionist and pro-Confederate. This caused great difficulty for the new Unionist state government in Wheeling
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, both during and after the war. A similar effort
East Tennessee Convention of 1861
The East Tennessee Convention consisted of a series of meetings held in 1861 on the eve of the American Civil War in which 29 counties in East Tennessee and one county in Middle Tennessee denounced secessionist activities within the state of Tennessee and resolved to break away and form an...

 occurred in East Tennessee, but the initiative failed after Tennessee's governor ordered the Confederate army to occupy the region, forcing East Tennessee's Unionists to flee to the north or go into hiding.

Both central and southern Appalachia suffered tremendous violence and turmoil during the U.S. Civil War. While there were two major theaters of operation in the region— namely the Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is both a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians , to the north by the Potomac River...

 of Virginia (and present-day West Virginia) and the Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

 area along the Tennessee-Georgia border— much of the violence was caused by bushwhacker
Bushwhacker
Bushwhacking was a form of guerrilla warfare common during the American Revolutionary War, American Civil War and other conflicts in which there are large areas of contested land and few Governmental Resources to control these tracts...

s and guerrilla war. Large numbers of livestock were killed (grazing was an important part of Appalachia's economy), and numerous farms were destroyed, pillaged, or neglected. The actions of both Union and Confederate armies left many inhabitants in the region resentful of government authority and suspicious of outsiders for decades after the war.

Economic boom

After the war, northern parts of Appalachia experienced an economic boom, while economies in the southern parts of the region stagnated, especially as Southern Democrats regained control of their respective state legislatures at the end of Reconstruction. Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas in western Pennsylvania grew into one of the nation's major industrial centers, especially regarding iron and steel production. By 1900, the Chattanooga area and north Georgia and northern Alabama had experienced similar changes due to manufacturing booms in Atlanta and Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

 at the edge of the Appalachian region. Railroad construction between the 1880s and early 20th century gave the greater nation access to the vast coalfields in central Appalachia, making the economy in that part of the region practically synonymous with coal mining. As the nationwide demand for timber skyrocketed, lumber firms turned to the virgin forests of southern Appalachia, using sawmill and logging railroad innovations to reach remote timber stands. The Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities, Tennessee
In Tennessee and Virginia the name "Tri-Cities" refers to the region comprising the cities of Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol and the surrounding smaller towns and communities in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia...

 area of Tennessee and Virginia and the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia became major petrochemical production centers.

Stereotypes

The late 19th and early 20th centuries also saw the development of various regional stereotypes. Attempts by President Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States . As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction and the United States' entry into the Second Industrial Revolution...

 to enforce the whiskey tax in the late 1870s led to an explosion in violence between Appalachian "moonshine
Moonshine
Moonshine is an illegally produced distilled beverage...

rs" and federal "revenuers" that lasted through the Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

 period in the 1920s. The breakdown of authority and law enforcement during the Civil War may have contributed to an increase in clan feuding, which by the 1880s was reported to be a problem across most of Kentucky's Cumberland region as well as Carter County
Carter County, Tennessee
Carter County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010, the population was 57,424. Its county seat is Elizabethton.Carter County is part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined...

 in Tennessee, Carroll County
Carroll County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 29,245 people, 12,186 households, and 8,786 families residing in the county. The population density was 61 people per square mile . There were 14,680 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile...

 in Virginia, and Mingo
Mingo County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,253 people, 11,303 households, and 8,217 families residing in the county. The population density was 67 people per square mile . There were 12,898 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile...

 and Logan
Logan County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,710 people, 14,880 households, and 10,936 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 people per square mile . There were 16,807 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile...

 counties in West Virginia. Regional writers from this period such as Mary Noailles Murfree
Mary Noailles Murfree
Mary Noailles Murfree was an American fiction writer of novels and short stories who wrote under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock...

 and Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart was an American travel writer and librarian, best known as the author of Our Southern Highlanders, about his life in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.-Biography:...

 liked to focus on such sensational aspects of mountain culture, leading readers outside the region to believe they were more widespread than in reality. In an 1899 article in The Atlantic, Berea president William G. Frost attempted to redefine the inhabitants of Appalachia as "noble mountaineers"—relics of the nation's pioneer period whose isolation had left them unaffected by modern times.

Feuds

Appalachia, and especially Kentucky, became internationally known for its violent feud
Feud
A feud , referred to in more extreme cases as a blood feud, vendetta, faida, or private war, is a long-running argument or fight between parties—often groups of people, especially families or clans. Feuds begin because one party perceives itself to have been attacked, insulted or wronged by another...

s, especially in the remote mountain districts. They pitted the men in extended clans against each other for decades, often using assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 and arson
Arson
Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

 as weapons, along with ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

es, gunfights, and pre-arranged shootout
Shootout
A shootout is a gun battle between armed groups. A shootout often, but not necessarily, pits law enforcement against criminal elements; it could also involve two groups outside of law enforcement, such as rival gangs. A shootout in a military context A shootout is a gun battle between armed groups....

s. Some of the feuds were continuations of violent local Civil War episodes. Journalists often wrote about the violence, using stereotypes that "city folks" had developed about Appalachia; they interpreted the feuds as the inevitable product of profound ignorance, poverty, and isolation, and perhaps even interbreeding. In reality, the leading participants were typically well-to-do local elites with networks of clients who were fighting for local political power.

Modern Appalachia

Logging firms' rapid devastation of the forests of southern Appalachia sparked a movement among conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

s to preserve what remained and allow the land to "heal". In 1911, Congress passed the Weeks Act
Weeks Act
The Weeks Act is a federal law passed by the US Congress on 1 March 1911 in the United States. The law, introduced by Congressman John W. Weeks of Massachusetts, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to "Examine, locate and recommend for purchase ... such lands within the watersheds of navigable...

, giving the federal government authority to create national forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

s and control timber harvesting. Regional writers and business interests led a movement to create national parks in the eastern United States similar to Yosemite
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

 and Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

 in the west, culminating in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

 in Tennessee and North Carolina, Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east...

 in Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles , mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains...

 (connecting the two) in the 1930s. During the same period, New England forester Benton MacKaye
Benton MacKaye
Benton MacKaye was an American forester, planner and conservationist. He was born in Stamford, Connecticut; his father was actor and dramatist Steele MacKaye. After studying forestry at Harvard University , Benton later taught there for several years. He joined a number of Federal bureaus and...

 led the movement to build the 2175 miles (3,500.3 km) Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

, stretching from Georgia to Maine.

By the 1950s, poor farming techniques and the loss of jobs to mechanization
Mechanization
Mechanization or mechanisation is providing human operators with machinery that assists them with the muscular requirements of work or displaces muscular work. In some fields, mechanization includes the use of hand tools...

 in the mining industry had left much of central and southern Appalachia poverty-stricken. The lack of jobs also led to widespread difficulties with outmigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

. Beginning in the 1930s, federal agencies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

 began investing in the Appalachian region. Sociologists such as James Brown and Cratis Williams and authors such as Harry Caudill and Michael Harrington brought attention to the region's plight in the 1960s, prompting Congress to create the Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life...

 in 1965. The commission's efforts helped to stem the tide of outmigration and diversify the region's economies. Although there have been drastic improvements in the region's economic conditions since the commission's founding, the ARC still listed 82 counties as "distressed" in 2010, with nearly half of them (40) in Kentucky.

Ethnic groups

An estimated 90% of Appalachia's earliest European settlers originated from the Anglo-Scottish
Anglo-Scottish border
The Anglo-Scottish border is the official border and mark of entry between Scotland and England. It runs for 154 km between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border...

 border country
Border Country
Border Country is a novel by Raymond Williams. The book was re-published in December 2005 as one of the first group of titles in the Library of Wales series, having been out of print for several years. Written in English, the novel was first published in 1960.It is set in rural South Wales, close...

— namely the English counties of Cumberland
Cumberland
Cumberland is a historic county of North West England, on the border with Scotland, from the 12th century until 1974. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria....

, Westmoreland
Westmoreland
Westmoreland is a historic county in England. It may also refer to:-Places:Australia*Westmoreland County, New South WalesCanada*Westmorland County, New BrunswickJamaica*Westmoreland, Jamaica, a parishNew Zealand...

, Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

, Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, and Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, and the Lowland Scottish counties of Ayrshire
Ayrshire
Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

, Dumfriesshire
Dumfriesshire
Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a registration county of Scotland. The lieutenancy area of Dumfries has similar boundaries.Until 1975 it was a county. Its county town was Dumfries...

, Roxburghshire
Roxburghshire
Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Dumfries to the west, Selkirk to the north-west, and Berwick to the north. To the south-east it borders Cumbria and Northumberland in England.It was named after the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh...

, Berwickshire
Berwickshire
Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed—was lost by Scotland to England in 1482...

, and Wigtownshire
Wigtownshire
Wigtownshire or the County of Wigtown is a registration county in the Southern Uplands of south west Scotland. Until 1975, the county was one of the administrative counties used for local government purposes, and is now administered as part of the council area of Dumfries and Galloway...

. Most of these were from families who had been resettled in the Ulster Plantation in northern Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 in the 17th century, but some came directly from the Anglo-Scottish border region. In America, these people are often grouped under the single name "Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish". While various 20th-century writers tried to associate Appalachia with Scottish highlanders
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

, Highland Scots were a relatively insignificant percentage of the region's early European immigrants.

Germans
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 were a major pioneer group to migrate to Appalachia, settling mainly in the northern part of the region in western Pennsylvania, although some were part of the initial wave of migrants to the southern mountains. In the 19th century, Welsh immigrants
Welsh American
Welsh Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Wales. In the 2008 U.S. Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry, 0.6% of the total U.S. population. This compares with a population of 3 million in Wales. However,...

 were brought into the region for their mining and metallurgical expertise, and by 1900 over 100,000 Welsh immigrants were living in western Pennsylvania alone. Thousands of German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

-speaking Swiss
Swiss American
Swiss Americans are Americans of Swiss descent.There are several ethno-linguistic subgroups among Swiss Americans, including Swiss German-speaking, Swiss French-speaking, and Swiss Italian-speaking....

 migrated to Appalachia in the second half of the 19th century, and their descendants remain in places such as East Bernstadt, Kentucky
East Bernstadt, Kentucky
East Bernstadt is a census-designated place in Laurel County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 774 at the 2000 census.-Geography:East Bernstadt is located at ....

, and Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee
Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee
Gruetli-Laager is a city in Grundy County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 1,813 at the 2010 census. As its name implies, Gruetli-Laager consists of two communities— Gruetli and Laager— incorporated as a single city.-Geography:...

. The coal mining and manufacturing boom in the late-19th and early-20th centuries brought large numbers of Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

s and Eastern Europeans to Appalachia, although most of these families left the region when the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 shattered the economy in the 1930s. African-Americans have been present in the region since the 18th century, and currently make up 8% of the ARC-designated region, mostly concentrated in urban areas and former mining and manufacturing towns. Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, the region's original inhabitants, are only a small percentage of the region's present population, their most notable concentration being the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians , is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States of America, who are descended from Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States while others moved, or were forced to relocate, to the west in the 19th century. The history of the...

 in North Carolina. The Melungeon
Melungeon
Melungeon is a term traditionally applied to one of a number of "tri-racial isolate" groups of the Southeastern United States, mainly in the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia, which includes portions of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and East Kentucky. Tri-racial describes populations...

s, a group of mixed African, European, and Native American ancestry, are scattered across northeastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia.

Religion

The Christian religion
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 has long been one of the most powerful forces in Appalachia. Religion in Appalachia is characterized by a sense of independence and a distrust of religious hierarchies, both rooted in the evangelical tendencies of the region's pioneers, many of whom had been influenced by the "New Light" movement in England. Many of the religions brought from Europe underwent modifications or factioning during the Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870. The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be...

 (especially the holiness movement
Holiness movement
The holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from the Methodist Christian church in the mid 19th century. The movement is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of "Christian perfection" - the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin - and...

) in the early 19th century. A number of 18th and 19th-century religious traditions are still practiced in parts of Appalachia, including natural water (or "creek") baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

, rhythmically chanted preaching, congregational shouting, and foot washing. While most church-goers in Appalachia attend fairly well organized churches affiliated with regional or national bodies, small unaffiliated congregations are not uncommon in rural mountain areas.

Christian Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 is the most dominant religious force in Appalachia, although there is a significant Roman Catholic presence in the northern half of the region and in urban areas. The region's early Lowland and Ulster Scot immigrants brought Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 to Appalachia, eventually organizing into bodies such as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Christian denomination spawned by the Second Great Awakening. In 2007, it had an active membership of less than 50,000 and about 800 congregations, the majority of which are concentrated in the United States...

. English Baptists—most of whom had been influenced by the Separate Baptist
Separate Baptist
The Separate Baptists were an 18th century group of Baptists in the United States, primarily in the South, that grew out of the Great Awakening....

 and Regular Baptist
Regular Baptist
Regular Baptists are a diverse group of Baptists in the United States and Canada. The presence of the modifier "Regular" in their names attests to the strong influence of the early Regular Baptists on the growth of Baptists in North America. Two strains of Baptists emigrated from England to America...

 movements—were also common on the Appalachian frontier, and today are represented in the region by groups such as the Free Will Baptists, the Southern Baptists
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

, Missionary Baptists, and "old-time" groups such as the United Baptist
United Baptist
United Baptist is name of several diverse Baptist groups of Protestant Christianity in the United States and Canada.-History:The name "United Baptist" appears to have arisen from two separate unions of Baptist groups: the union of Regular Baptists and Separate Baptists in Kentucky, Virginia, and...

s and Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptists, also known as Hard Shell Baptists or Anti-Mission Baptists, are conservative, Calvinist Baptists adhering to beliefs that formed out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 1800’s over the appropriateness of mission boards, bible tract societies, and temperance...

s. Circuit rider
Circuit rider (Religious)
Circuit rider is a popular term referring to clergy in the earliest years of the United States who were assigned to travel around specific geographic territories to minister to settlers and organize congregations...

s such as Francis Asbury
Francis Asbury
Bishop Francis Asbury was one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, now The United Methodist Church in the United States...

 helped spread Methodism
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 to Appalachia in the early 19th century, and today 9.2% of the region's population is Methodist, represented by such bodies as the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

, the Free Methodist Church
Free Methodist Church
The Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and has its roots in the Arminian-Wesleyan tradition....

, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, or AME Zion Church, is a historically African-American Christian denomination. It was officially formed in 1821, but operated for a number of years before then....

. Major Pentecostal movements within the region include the Church of God
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee)
The Church of God, with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Pentecostal Christian denomination. With over seven million members in over 170 countries, it is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world...

 (based in Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Cleveland is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 41,285 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bradley County...

) and the Assemblies of God. Scattered Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 colonies exist throughout the region.

Dialect

The Appalachian dialect is a dialect of Midland American English
Midland American English
The Midland dialect of American English was first defined by Hans Kurath as being the dialect spoken in an area centered on Philadelphia and expanding westward to include most of Pennsylvania and part of the Appalachian Mountains...

 known as the Southern Midland dialect, and is spoken primarily in central and southern Appalachia. The Northern Midland dialect is spoken in the northern parts of the region, while Pittsburgh English
Pittsburgh English
Pittsburgh English, popularly known by outsiders as Pittsburghese, is the dialect of American English spoken by many especially older residents of Pittsburgh and parts of surrounding Western Pennsylvania in the United States, a group referred to by locals and others as Yinzers.-Overview:Many of the...

 (more commonly known as "Pittsburghese") is strongly influenced by Appalachian dialect. The Southern Appalachian dialect is considered part of the Southern American dialect
Southern American English
Southern American English is a group of dialects of the English language spoken throughout the Southern region of the United States, from Southern and Eastern Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and from the Atlantic coast to most of Texas and Oklahoma.The Southern dialects make...

, although the two are distinguished by the rhotic
Rhotic and non-rhotic accents
English pronunciation can be divided into two main accent groups: a rhotic speaker pronounces a rhotic consonant in words like hard; a non-rhotic speaker does not...

 nature of the Appalachian dialect. Early 20th-century writers believed the Appalachian dialect to be a surviving relic of Old World Scottish or Elizabethan dialects. Recent research suggests, however, that while the dialect has a stronger Scottish influence than other American dialects, most of its distinguishing characteristics are American in origin.

Education

For much of the region's history, education in Appalachia has lagged behind the rest of the nation due in part to struggles with funding from respective state governments and an agrarian-oriented population that often failed to see a practical need for formal education. Early education in the region evolved from teaching Christian morality and learning to read the Bible into small, one-room schoolhouses that convened in months when children were not needed to help with farm work. After the Civil War, mandatory education laws and state assistance helped larger communities begin to establish graded schools and high schools. During the same period, many of the region's institutions of higher education were established or greatly expanded. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, service organizations such as Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi
Pi Beta Phi is an international fraternity for women founded as I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its headquarters are located in Town and Country, Missouri, and there are 134 active chapters and over 330 alumnae organizations across the United States and...

 and various religious organizations established settlement school
Settlement school
Settlement schools are social reform institutions established in rural Appalachia in the early 20th century with the purpose of educating mountain children and improving their isolated rural communities. Settlement schools have played an important role in preserving and promoting the cultural...

s and mission schools in the region's more rural areas.

In the 20th century, national trends began to have more of an effect on education in Appalachia, sometimes clashing with the region's traditional values. The Scopes Trial
Scopes Trial
The Scopes Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and informally known as the Scopes Monkey Trial—was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act which made it unlawful to...

—the nation's most publicized debate over the teaching of the theory of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

—took place in Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton, Tennessee
Dayton is a city in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 6,180 at the 2000 census. The Dayton, TN, Urban Cluster, which includes developed areas adjacent to the city and extends south to Graysville, Tennessee, had 9,050 people in 2000...

 in southern Appalachia in 1925. In spite of consolidation and centralization, schools in Appalachia struggled to keep up with federal and state demands into the 21st century. Since 2001, a number of the region's public schools were threatened with loss of funding due to difficulties fulfilling the demands of No Child Left Behind.

Music

Appalachian music is one of the most well-known manifestations of Appalachian culture. Traditional Appalachian music is derived primarily from the English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 and Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

 tradition and Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 and Scottish fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

 music. African-American blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 musicians played a significant role in developing the instrumental aspects of Appalachian music, most notably with the introduction of the banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

— one of the region's iconic symbols— in the late 18th century. In the years following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, British folklorist Cecil Sharp
Cecil Sharp
Cecil James Sharp was the founding father of the folklore revival in England in the early 20th century, and many of England's traditional dances and music owe their continuing existence to his work in recording and publishing them.-Early life:Sharp was born in Camberwell, London, the eldest son of...

 brought attention to Southern Appalachia when he noted that its inhabitants still sang hundreds of English and Scottish ballads that had been passed down to them from their ancestors. Commercial recordings of Appalachian musicians in the 1920s would have a significant impact on the development of country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

, and old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

. Appalachian music saw a resurgence in popularity during the American folk music revival
American folk music revival
The American folk music revival was a phenomenon in the United States that began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, John Jacob...

 of the 1960s, when musicologists such as Mike Seeger
Mike Seeger
Mike Seeger was an American folk musician and folklorist. He was a distinctive singer and an accomplished musician who played autoharp, banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, guitar, mouth harp, mandolin, dobro, jaw harp, and pan pipes. Seeger, a half-brother of Pete Seeger, produced more than 30 documentary...

, John Cohen, and Ralph Rinzler
Ralph Rinzler
Ralph Rinzler was the co-founder of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall every summer in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a curator for American art, music, and folk culture at the Smithsonian....

 traveled to remote parts of the region in search of musicians unaffected by modern music. Today, dozens of annual music festivals held throughout the region preserve the Appalachian music tradition.

Literature

Early Appalachian literature typically centered on the observations of people from outside the region, such as Henry Timberlake
Henry Timberlake
Henry Timberlake was a colonial Anglo-American officer, journalist, and cartographer. He was born in Virginia in 1730 and died in England...

's Memoirs (1765) and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

's Notes on the State of Virginia
Notes on the State of Virginia
Notes on the State of Virginia was a book written by Thomas Jefferson. He completed the first edition in 1781, and updated and enlarged the book in 1782 and 1783...

(1784), although there are notable exceptions, including Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett
David "Davy" Crockett was a celebrated 19th century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet "King of the Wild Frontier". He represented Tennessee in the U.S...

's A Narrative of the Life of Davy Crockett (1834). Travellers' accounts published in 19th-century magazines gave rise to Appalachian local color, which reached its height with George Washington Harris
George Washington Harris
George Washington Harris was an American humorist best known for his character, "Sut Lovingood," an Appalachian backwoods reveler fond of telling tall tales...

's Sut Lovingood character of the 1860s and native novelists such as Mary Noailles Murfree
Mary Noailles Murfree
Mary Noailles Murfree was an American fiction writer of novels and short stories who wrote under the pen name Charles Egbert Craddock...

. Works such as Rebecca Harding Davis
Rebecca Harding Davis
Rebecca Blaine Harding Davis was an American author and journalist. She is deemed a pioneer of literary realism in American literature. She graduated valedictorian from Washington Female Seminary in Pennsylvania...

's Life in the Iron Mills (1861), Emma Bell Miles
Emma Bell Miles
Emma Bell Miles was a writer, poet, and artist whose works capture the essence of the natural world and the culture of Southern Appalachia.-Early life and education:...

' The Spirit of the Mountains (1905), and Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart
Horace Kephart was an American travel writer and librarian, best known as the author of Our Southern Highlanders, about his life in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.-Biography:...

's Our Southern Highlanders
Our Southern Highlanders
Our Southern Highlanders: A Narrative of Adventure In the Southern Appalachians and a Study of Life Among the Mountaineers is a book written by American author Horace Kephart , first published in 1913 and revised in 1922...

(1913) marked a shift in the region's literature from local color to realism. The transition from an agrarian society to an industrial society and its effects on Appalachia are captured in works such as Olive Tilford Dargan
Olive Tilford Dargan
Olive Tilford Dargan was born on a farm in Kentucky. She was educated at the University of Nashville and Radcliffe College. She taught in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Canada before moving to the southern United States for health reasons. In 1898 she married Pegram Dargan of South Carolina....

's Call Home to the Heart (1932), James Still
James Still
James Still was an American poet, novelist and folklorist. He lived most of his life in a log house along the Dead Mare Branch of Little Carr Creek, Knott County, Kentucky...

's The River of Earth (1940), Harriette Simpson Arnow
Harriette Simpson Arnow
Harriette Arnow was an American novelist, who lived in Kentucky and Michigan. Arnow has been called an expert on the people of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, but she herself loved cities and spent crucial periods of her life in Cincinnati, and Detroit.-Early life and education:She was born...

's The Dollmaker (1954), and Harry Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands
Night Comes to the Cumberlands
Night Comes to the Cumberlands is a book by Harry Caudill that brought attention to poverty in Appalachia and is credited with making the Appalachian area a focus of the United State government's "War on Poverty"...

(1962). In the 1970s and 1980s, the rise of authors like Breece D'J Pancake
Breece D'J Pancake
Breece D'J Pancake was an American author of short fiction. Pancake was a native of West Virginia and published several stories in The Atlantic Monthly during his lifetime...

, Dorothy Allison
Dorothy Allison
Dorothy Allison is an American writer, speaker, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.-Early life:Dorothy E. Allison was born on April 11, 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina to Ruth Gibson Allison, who was fifteen at the time. Ruth was a poor and unmarried mother who worked as a...

, and Lisa Alther
Lisa Alther
Lisa Alther is an American author and novelist. Her first name is pronounced as if it were spelled Liza.-Biography:...

 brought greater literary diversity to the region.

Along with the above-mentioned, some of Appalachia's best known writers include James Agee
James Agee
James Rufus Agee was an American author, journalist, poet, screenwriter and film critic. In the 1940s, he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S...

 (A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family is an autobiographical novel by author James Agee, set in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began writing it in 1948, but it was not quite complete when he died in 1955. It was edited and released posthumously in 1957 by editor David McDowell. Agee's widow and children were left with...

), Anne W. Armstrong
Anne W. Armstrong
Anne Wetzell Armstrong was an American novelist and businesswoman, active primarily in the first half of the 20th century. She is best known for her novel, This Day and Time, an account of life in a rural Appalachian community...

 (This Day and Time), Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays...

 (Hannah Coulter, The Unforeseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky's Red River Gorge, Selected Poems of Wendell Berry), Jesse Stuart
Jesse Stuart
Jesse Hilton Stuart was an American writer who is known for writing short stories, poetry, and novels about Southern Appalachia. Born and raised in Greenup County, Kentucky, Stuart relied heavily on the rural locale of Northeastern Kentucky for his writings. Stuart was named the Poet Laureate of...

 (Taps for Private Tussie, The Thread That Runs So True), Denise Giardina
Denise Giardina
Denise Giardina is a novelist. Her book Storming Heaven was a Discovery Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and received the 1987 W. D. Weatherford Award for the best published work about the Appalachian South. The Unquiet Earth received an American Book Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award...

 (The Unquiet Earth, Storming Heaven), Lee Smith
Lee Smith (author)
Lee Smith is an American fiction author who typically incorporates much of her home roots in the Southeastern United States in her works of literature. She has received many writing awards, such as the O. Henry Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the North...

 (Fair and Tender Ladies, On Agate Hill), Silas House
Silas House
Silas Dwane House is an American writer best known for his novels. He is also a music journalist, environmental activist and columnist...

 (Clay's Quilt, A Parchment of Leaves), Wilma Dykeman
Wilma Dykeman
Wilma Dykeman Stokely was an American writer of fiction and nonfiction whose works chronicled the people and land of Appalachia.-Biography:...

 (The Far Family, The Tall Woman), Maurice Manning (Bucolics, A Companion for Owls), Anne Shelby (Appalachian Studies, We Keep a Store), George Ella Lyon
George Ella Lyon
George Ella Lyon is a Kentucky author who has published in many genres, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels, and articles.-Biography:...

 (Borrowed Children, Don't You Remember?), Pamela Duncan (Moon Women, The Big Beautiful), Chris Offutt
Chris Offutt
Christopher John "Chris" Offutt is an American writer.The son of author Andrew J. Offutt, Chris Offutt grew up in a small former mining community in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky. He quit high school to join the army, but failed the physical...

 (No Heroes, The Good Brother), Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier
Charles Frazier is an award-winning American historical novelist.Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973. He earned an M.A. from Appalachian State University in the mid-1970s, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University...

 (Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain may refer to:* Cold Mountain , by Charles Frazier* Cold Mountain , a film adaptation of the novel by Charles Frazier** Cold Mountain , the soundtrack to the film...

, Thirteen Moons), Sharyn McCrumb
Sharyn McCrumb
Sharyn McCrumb is an American writer whose books celebrate the history and folklore of Appalachia. McCrumb is the winner of numerous literary awards, and the author of the Elizabeth McPherson series, the Ballad series, and the St...

 (The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter), Robert Morgan (Gap Creek), Jim Wayne Miller (The Brier Poems), Gurney Norman
Gurney Norman
Gurney Norman is an American novelist, documentarian, and professor.-Biography:Gurney Norman was born in Grundy, Virginia in 1937...

 (Divine Right's Trip, Kinfolks), Ron Rash
Ron Rash
Ron Rash , an American poet, short story writer and novelist, is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University. Rash was born in Chester, South Carolina, in 1953, grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Gardner-Webb...

 (Serena), Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Elizabeth Madox Roberts was a Kentucky novelist and poet, primarily known for her novels and stories about the Kentucky mountain people, including The Time of Man , The Great Meadow and A Buried Treasure . All of her writings are characterized by her distinct, rhythmic prose...

 ("The Great Meadow, "The Time of Man"), Thomas Wolfe
Thomas Wolfe
Thomas Clayton Wolfe was a major American novelist of the early 20th century.Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing...

 (Look Homeward Angel, You Can't Go Home Again), Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson
Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....

 (The Sea Around Us
The Sea Around Us
The Sea Around Us is a prize-winning 1951 bestseller by Rachel Carson about oceanography, marine biology and the ecosystem within and around the world's oceans and seas. It is the second book Carson wrote, following the well-reviewed but poor-selling Under the Sea Wind , and is the book that...

, Silent Spring
Silent Spring
Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin on 27 September 1962. The book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement....

; Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

), and
Jeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls is a writer and journalist widely known as former gossip columnist for MSNBC.com — and author of The Glass Castle, a memoir of the nomadic family life of her childhood, which stayed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 100 weeks.-Early life and education:Walls was born...

 (The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls. The book recounts her and her siblings' unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents....

).

Appalachian literature crosses with the larger genre of Southern literature
Southern literature
Southern literature is defined as American literature about the Southern United States or by writers from this region...

. Internationally renown writers such as William Faulkner
William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

 and Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and modernist genres. He received the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road...

 have made notable contributions to the American canon with tales set within Appalachia. McCarthy's Suttree
Suttree
Suttree is a semi-autobiographical novel by Cormac McCarthy, published in 1979. Set in 1951 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the novel follows Cornelius Suttree, who has repudiated his former life of privilege to become a fisherman on the Tennessee River. The novel has a fragmented structure with many...

 is an intense vision of the squalidness and brutality of life along the Tennessee River, in the heart of Appalachia. Other novels, including Child of God
Child of God
Child of God is the third novel by American author Cormac McCarthy.Though the novel received critical praise, it was not a financial success. Like its predecessor, Outer Dark, Child of God established McCarthy's interest in using extreme isolation, perversity, and violence to represent normal...

 and The Orchard Keeper
The Orchard Keeper
The Orchard Keeper is the first novel by the American novelist Cormac McCarthy.The novel is set in a small, isolated community in Tennessee, during the inter-war period...

, are set here. Appalachia also serves as the origin point for the kid, the protagonist of McCarthy's Western masterpiece, Blood Meridian. Faulkner's hometown of Oxford, Mississippi is on the borderlands of what is considered Appalachia, but his fictional Yoknapatawpha should be considered part of the region. Almost all of the fiction which earned him the Nobel Prize is set there, including Light in August
Light in August
Light in August is a 1932 novel by the American author William Faulkner.Light in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States. Originally Faulkner planned to call the novel Dark House, which also became the working title for Absalom, Absalom!...

 and Absalom, Absalom.

Folklore

Appalachian folklore has a strong mixture of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an, Native American (especially Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

), and Biblical influences. The Cherokee taught the region's early European pioneers how to plant and cultivate crops such as corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 and squash and how to find edible plants such as ramps. The Cherokee also passed along their knowledge of the medicinal properties of hundreds of native herbs and roots, and how to prepare tonics from such plants. Before the introduction of modern agricultural techniques in the region in the 1930s and 1940s, many Appalchian farmers followed the Biblical tradition of planting by "the signs," such as the phases of the moon, or when certain weather conditions occurred.

Appalachian folk tales are rooted in English, Scottish, and Irish fairy tales, as well as regional heroic figures and events. Jack tales
Jack tales
A collection of English folk tales centering around a character usually named "Jack," Jack tales are also popular in Appalachian folklore.The Jack in these tales is usually a weak character, sometimes a foolish one, but generally a kindly one...

, which tend to revolve around the exploits of a simple-but-dedicated figure named "Jack," are popular at story-telling festivals. Other stories involve wild animals, such as hunting tales. Regional folk heroes such as the railroad worker John Henry
John Henry (folklore)
John Henry is an American folk hero and tall tale. Henry worked as a "steel-driver"—a man tasked with hammering and chiseling rock in the construction of tunnels for railroad tracks. In the legend, John Henry's prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam powered hammer,...

 and frontiersman Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett
David "Davy" Crockett was a celebrated 19th century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet "King of the Wild Frontier". He represented Tennessee in the U.S...

 are examples of real-life figures that evolved into popular folk tale subjects. Murder stories, such as Omie Wise
Omie Wise
Omie Wise or Naomi Wise was an American murder victim, who is remembered by a popular murder ballad about her death.-The song:Omie Wise's death became the subject of a traditional American ballad...

 and John Hardy
John Hardy (song)
"John Hardy" is a traditional American folk song based on the life of a railroad worker in West Virginia. The historical John Hardy killed a man during a craps game, was found guilty of murder in the first degree, and was hanged on January 19, 1894....

, are popular subjects for Appalachian ballads. Ghost stories, or "haint tales" in regional English, are a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition. Ghost stories native to the region include the story of the Greenbrier Ghost
Greenbrier Ghost
The Greenbrier Ghost is the name popularly given to the alleged ghost of a young woman in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States, who was murdered in 1897...

, which is rooted in a Greenbrier County, West Virginia
Greenbrier County, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 34,453 people, 14,571 households, and 9,922 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile . There were 17,644 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile...

 murder.

Urban Appalachians

Urban Appalachians are people from Appalachia who are living in metropolitan areas outside the Appalachian region. In the decades following the Great Depression and World War II, many Appalachian residents moved to industrial cities in the north and west in a migration that became known as the "Hillbilly Highway
Hillbilly Highway
Hillbilly Highway is an American metaphoric term referring to the out-migration of residents of the Appalachian Mountains to industrial cities in northern, midwestern, and western states, primarily in the years following World War II. Many went to major industrial centers such as Detroit,...

". Mechanization of coal mining during the 1950s and 1960s was the major source of unemployment in central Appalachia. Many migration streams covered relatively short distances, with West Virginians moving to Cleveland and other cities in eastern and central Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and eastern Kentuckians moving to Cincinnati and southwest Ohio in search of jobs. More distant cities like Detroit and Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 attracted migrants from many states. Enclaves of Appalachian culture can still be found in some of these communities.

Communications

In the 1940s through the 60s, Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 became a cultural center of the region because it had a clear-channel AM
Amplitude modulation
Amplitude modulation is a technique used in electronic communication, most commonly for transmitting information via a radio carrier wave. AM works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in relation to the information being sent...

 radio station WWVA
WWVA (AM)
WWVA is an AM radio station that broadcasts on a frequency of 1170 kHz with studios in Wheeling, West Virginia, USA, and towers formerly located in St. Clairsville, Ohio, before they were destroyed in an August 2010 storm...

, which could be heard throughout the entirety of eastern USA at night. Although stations such as Pittsburgh's KDKA
KDKA (AM)
KDKA is a radio station licensed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation on November 2, 1920, it is one of the world's first modern radio stations , a distinction that has also been challenged by other stations, although it has claimed to be the first in...

 and KQV were 50 kilowatt clear channels that dated back to the early 1920s (as well as spanning all the east coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

 in signal strength), WWVA prided itself on rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 and farm programming that appealed to a wider audience in the rural region.

Appalachian studies

Appalachia as an academic interest was the product of a critical scholarship that emerged across the disciplines in the 1960s and 1970s. With a renewed interest in issues of power, scholars could not dismiss the social inequity, class conflict, and environmental destruction encountered by America's
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 so-called "hillbillies
Hillbilly
Hillbilly is a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term is frequently considered derogatory, and so is usually offensive to those Americans of...

." Appalachia's emergence in academia is a result of the intersection between social conditions and critical academic interests, and has resulted in the development of many Appalachian studies
Appalachian studies
Appalachian studies is the area studies field concerned with the Appalachian region of the United States.-Scholarship:In 1966, West Virginia University librarian Robert F...

 programs in colleges and universities across the region, as well as in the Appalachian Studies Association
Appalachian Studies Association
The Appalachian Studies Association is an organization of scholars and activists interested in Appalachian studies.According to its web site, “The Appalachian Studies Association was formed in 1977 by a group of scholars, teachers, and regional activists who believed that shared community has...

.

Economy

The economy of Appalachia traditionally rested on agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

, and in the cities, manufacturing. Since the late 20th century, tourism and second home developments have assumed an increasingly major role.

Agriculture

While the climate of the Appalachian region is suitable for agriculture, the region's hilly terrain greatly limits the size of the average farm, a problem exacerbated by population growth in the latter half of the 19th century. Subsistence farming
Subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed their families. The typical subsistence farm has a range of crops and animals needed by the family to eat and clothe themselves during the year. Planting decisions are made with an eye...

 was the backbone of the Appalachian economy throughout much of the 19th century, and while economies in places such as western Pennsylvania, the Great Valley
Great Appalachian Valley
The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. It is a gigantic trough — a chain of valley lowlands — and the central feature of the Appalachian Mountain system...

 of Virginia, and the upper Tennessee Valley in east Tennessee, transitioned to a large-scale farming or manufacturing base around the time of the Civil War, subsistence farming remained an important part of the region's economy until the 1950s. In the early 20th century, Appalachian farmers were struggling to mechanize, and abusive farming practices had over the years left much of the already-limited farmland badly eroded. Various federal entities intervened in the 1930s to restore damaged areas and introduce less-harmful farming techniques. In recent decades, the concept of sustainable agriculture
Sustainable agriculture
Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment...

 has been applied to the region's small farms, with some success. Nevertheless, the number of farms in the Appalachian region continues to dwindle, plunging from 354,748 farms on 47 million acres (190,202.4 km²) in 1969 to 230,050 farms on 35 million acres (141,640.1 km²) in 1997.

Early Appalachian farmers grew both crops introduced from their native Europe (such as sweet potatoes) as well as crops native to North America (such as corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 and squash). Tobacco has long been an important cash crop in Southern Appalachia, especially since the land is ill-suited for cash crops such as cotton. Apples have been grown in the region since the late 18th-century, their cultivation being aided by the presence of thermal belts in the region's mountain valleys. Hogs, which could free range
Free range
thumb|250px|Free-range chickens being fed outdoors.Free range is a term which outside of the United States denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and...

 in the region's abundant forests, were the most popular livestock among early Appalachian farmers. The early settlers also brought cattle and sheep to the region, which they would typically graze in highland meadows known as balds
Appalachian balds
In the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States, balds are mountain summits or crests covered primarily by thick vegetation of native grasses or shrubs occurring in areas where heavy forest growth would be expected....

 during the growing season when bottomlands were needed for crops. Cattle, mainly the Hereford
Hereford (cattle)
Hereford cattle are a beef cattle breed, widely used both in intemperate areas and temperate areas, mainly for meat production.Originally from Herefordshire, England, United Kingdom, more than five million pedigree Hereford Cattle now exist in over 50 countries...

, Angus
Angus cattle
Angus cattle are a breed of cattle much used in beef production. They were developed from cattle native to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland, and are known as Aberdeen Angus in most parts of the world....

, and Charolais
Charolais cattle
Charolais cattle are a beef breed of cattle which originated in Charolais, around Charolles, in France. They are raised for their meat and are known for their composite qualities when crossed with other breeds, most notably Angus and Hereford cattle...

 breeds, are now the region's chief livestock.

Logging

The mountains and valleys of Appalachia once contained what seemed to be an inexhaustible supply of timber. The poor roads, lack of railroads, and general inaccessibility of the region, however, prevented large-scale logging in most of the region throughout much of the 19th century. While logging firms were established in the Carolinas and the Kentucky River valley before the Civil War, most major firms preferred to harvest the more accessible timber stands in the Midwestern and Northeastern parts of the country. By the 1880s, these stands had been exhausted, and a spike in the demand for lumber forced logging firms to seek out the virgin forests of Appalachia. The first major logging ventures in Appalachia transported logs using mule teams or rivers, the latter method sometimes employing splash dam
Splash dam
A splash dam was a temporary wooden dam used to raise the water level in streams to float logs downstream to sawmills. By impounding water and allowing it to be released on the log drive's schedule, these dams allowed many more logs to be brought to market than the natural flow of the creek allowed...

s. In the 1890s, innovations such as the Shay locomotive
Shay locomotive
The Shay locomotive was the most widely used geared steam locomotive. The locomotives were built to the patents of Ephraim Shay, who has been credited with the popularization of the concept of a geared steam locomotive...

, the steam-powered loader, and the steam-powered skidder
Skidder
A skidder is any type of heavy vehicle used in a logging operation for pulling cut trees out of a forest in a process called "skidding", in which the logs are transported from the cutting site to a landing. Here they are loaded onto trucks , and sent to the mill...

 allowed massive harvesting of the most remote forest sections.

Logging in Appalachia reached its peak in the early 20th-century, when firms such as the Ritter Lumber Company cut the virgin forests on an alarming scale, leading to the creation of national forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

s in 1911 and similar state entities to better manage the region's timber resources. Arguably the most successful logging firm in Appalachia was the Georgia Hardwood Lumber Company, established in 1927 and renamed Georgia-Pacific
Georgia-Pacific
Georgia-Pacific LLC is an American pulp and paper company based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. As of Fall 2010, the company employed more than 40,000 people at more...

 in 1948 when it expanded nationally. Although logging in Appalachia declined as the industry shifted focus to the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s, rising overseas demand in the 1980s brought a resurgence in Appalachian logging. In 1987, there were 4,810 lumber firms operating in the region. In the late 1990s, the Appalachian lumber industry was a multi-billion dollar industry, employing 50,000 people in Tennessee, 26,000 in Kentucky, and 12,000 in West Virginia alone.

Coal mining

Coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 is the industry most frequently associated with Appalachia in outsiders' minds, due in part to the fact that the region once produced two-thirds of the nation's coal. At present, however, the mining industry employs just 2% of the Appalachian workforce. The region's vast coalfield covers 63000 square miles (163,169.3 km²) between northern Pennsylvania and central Alabama, mostly along the Cumberland Plateau
Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia . The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the...

 and Allegheny Plateau
Allegheny Plateau
The Allegheny Plateau is a large dissected plateau area in western and central New York, northern and western Pennsylvania, northern and western West Virginia, and eastern Ohio...

 regions. Most mining activity has been concentrated in eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania, with smaller operations in western Maryland
Western Maryland
Western Maryland is the portion of the U.S. state of Maryland that consists of Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. The region is bounded by the Mason-Dixon line to the north, Preston County, West Virginia to the west, and the Potomac River to the south. There is dispute over the...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 and Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

. The Pittsburgh coal seam
Pittsburgh coal seam
The Pittsburgh Coal Seam is the thickest and most extensive coal bed in the Appalachian Basin; hence, it is the most economically important coal beds in the eastern United States. The Upper Pennsylvanian Pittsburgh coal bed of the Monongahela Group is extensive and continuous, extending over...

, which has produced 13 billion tons of coal since the early 19th century, has been called the world's most valuable mineral deposit. There are over 60 major coal seams in West Virginia, and over 80 in eastern Kentucky. Most of the coal mined is bituminous coal
Bituminous coal
Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than Anthracite...

, although significant anthracite deposits exist on the fringe of the region in central Pennsylvania. About two-thirds of Appalachia's coal is produced by underground mining, the rest by surface mining. Mountaintop removal
Mountaintop removal
Mountaintop removal mining is a form of surface mining that requires the removal of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain in order to permit easier access to the coal seams...

, a form of surface mining, is a highly controversial mining practice in central Appalachia due to its negative impacts on the environment.

In the late 19th century, the post-Civil War Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and the expansion of the nation's railroads brought a soaring demand for coal, and mining operations expanded rapidly across Appalachia. Hundreds of thousands of workers poured into the region from across the United States and from overseas, essentially overhauling the cultural makeup of Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. Mining corporations gained considerable influence in state and municipal governments, especially as they often owned the entire towns in which the miners lived. The mining industry was vulnerable to economic downturns, however, and booms and busts were frequent, with major booms occurring during World War I and II, and the worst bust occurring during the Great Depression. The Appalachian mining industry also saw some of the nation's bloodiest labor strife between the 1890s and the 1930s. Mining-related injuries and deaths were not uncommon, and ailments such as black lung disease
Coalworker's pneumoconiosis
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis , colloquially referred to as black lung disease, is caused by long exposure to coal dust. It is a common affliction of coal miners and others who work with coal, similar to both silicosis from inhaling silica dust, and to the long-term effects of tobacco smoking...

 afflicted miners throughout the 20th century. After World War II, innovations in mechanization (such as longwall mining
Longwall mining
Longwall mining is a form of underground coal mining where a long wall of coal is mined in a single slice . The longwall panel is typically 3–4 km long and 250–400 m wide....

) and competition from oil and natural gas led to a decline in the region's mining operations. Environmental restrictions, such as those placed on high-sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 coal in the 1980s, brought further mine closures. While with annual earnings of $55,000, Appalachian miners make more than most other local workers, Appalachian coal mining employed just under 50,000 in 2004.

Coal mining has made a comeback in some regions in the early 21st century as an alternative energy
Alternative energy
Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels....

 source as well as the increased prominence of CONSOL Energy
Consol Energy
Consol Energy is an energy company headquartered in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, suburb of Cecil Township, in the Southpointe complex. It is one of the US's largest coal mining companies, along with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal...

, based in Pittsburgh. The Quecreek Mine Rescue
Quecreek Mine Rescue
The Quecreek Mine Rescue took place in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, when nine miners were trapped underground for over 78 hours, from July 24 to 28, 2002...

 in 2002 and continuing mine subsidence problems in abandoned coal mines in western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania consists of the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. Pittsburgh is the largest city in the region, with a metropolitan area population of about 2.4 million people, and serves as its economic and cultural center. Erie, Altoona, and Johnstown are its...

 and other regions have also been highlighted in recent times.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry in Appalachia is rooted primarily in the ironworks and steelworks of early Pittsburgh and in the textile mills that sprang up in North Carolina's Piedmont
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

 region in the mid-19th century. Factory construction increased greatly after the Civil War, and the region experienced a manufacturing boom between 1890 and 1930. This economic shift led to a mass-migration from small farms and rural areas to large urban centers, causing the populations of cities such as Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Founded in 1786, Knoxville is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, U.S.A., behind Memphis and Nashville, and is the county seat of Knox County. It is the largest city in East Tennessee, and the second-largest city in the Appalachia region...

 and Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a city in and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 11th largest city in North Carolina. The City is home to the United States National Climatic Data Center , which is the world's largest active...

 to swell exponentially. Manufacturing in the region suffered a setback during the Great Depression, but recovered during World War II and peaked in the 1950s and 1960s. However, difficulties paying retiree benefits, environmental struggles, and the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA) in 1994 led to a decline in the region's manufacturing operations. Pittsburgh lost 44% of its factory jobs in the 1980s, and between 1970 and 2001, the number of apparel workers in the Appalachian region decreased from 250,000 to 83,000 and the number of textile workers decreased from 275,000 to 193,000.

U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel
The United States Steel Corporation , more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. The company is the world's tenth largest steel producer ranked by sales...

, founded in Pittsburgh in 1901, was the world's first corporation with more than a billion dollars in initial capitalization. Another Pittsburgh company, ALCOA
Alcoa
Alcoa Inc. is the world's third largest producer of aluminum, behind Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal. From its operational headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa conducts operations in 31 countries...

, helped establish the nation's aluminum industry in the early 20th century, and has had a significant impact on the economies of western Pennsylvania and east Tennessee. Union Carbide
Union Carbide
Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume...

 built the world's first petrochemical
Petrochemical
Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources such as corn or sugar cane....

 plant in Clendenin, West Virginia
Clendenin, West Virginia
Clendenin is a town in Kanawha County, West Virginia along the Elk River. The population was 1,227 at the 2010 census. Clendenin was incorporated in 1904 and named for the Clendenins, an early pioneer family in the Kanawha River Valley. Charleston, WV retains the namesake of George Clendenin's...

 in 1920, and in subsequent years the Kanawha Valley
Kanawha River
The Kanawha River is a tributary of the Ohio River, approximately 97 mi long, in the U.S. state of West Virginia. The largest inland waterway in West Virginia, it has formed a significant industrial region of the state since the middle of the 19th century.It is formed at the town of Gauley...

 became known as the "Chemical Capital of the World." Eastman Chemical, also established in 1920, is Tennessee's largest single employer. Companies such as Champion Fibre and Bowater
Bowater
Bowater was an American pulp and paper company based in Greenville, South Carolina. Bowater had 12 pulp and paper mills in the United States, Canada and South Korea and 13 North American sawmills. It had approximately 10,000 employees...

 established large pulp
Pulp (paper)
Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by chemically or mechanically separating cellulose fibres from wood, fibre crops or waste paper. Wood pulp is the most common raw material in papermaking.-History:...

 operations in Canton, North Carolina
Canton, North Carolina
Canton is the second largest town in Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It is located about west of Asheville, North Carolina and is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is named after the city of Canton, Ohio.- History :...

 and Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
-Law and government:The city of Greenville adopted the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1976.-History:The area was part of the Cherokee Nation's protected grounds after the Treaty of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War. No White man was allowed to enter, though some families...

, respectively, although the former was dogged by battles with environmentalists throughout the 20th century.

Tourism

One of the region's oldest industries, tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 became a more important part of the Appalachian economy in the latter half of the 20th century as mining and manufacturing steadily declined. In 2000-2001, tourism in Appalachia accounted for nearly $30 billion and over 600,000 jobs. The mountain terrain—with its accompanying scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities—provide the region's primary attractions. The region is home to one of the world's most well-known hiking trails (the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

), the nation's most-visited national park (the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

), and the nation's most visited national parkway (the Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles , mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains...

). The craft industry, including the teaching, selling, and display or demonstration of regional crafts, also accounts for an important part of the Appalachian economy, bringing (for example) over $100 million annually to the economy of Western North Carolina and over $80 million to the economy of West Virginia. Important heritage tourism attractions in the region include the Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate
Biltmore House is a Châteauesque-styled mansion near Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. It is the largest privately-owned home in the United States, at and featuring 250 rooms...

 and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians , is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States of America, who are descended from Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States while others moved, or were forced to relocate, to the west in the 19th century. The history of the...

 reservation in North Carolina, Cades Cove
Cades Cove
Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park...

 in Tennessee, and Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. In many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe....

 in West Virginia. Important theme parks include Dollywood
Dollywood
Dollywood is a theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dollywood has 3,000 people on its payroll, making it the largest employer in that community....

 and Ghost Town in the Sky
Ghost Town in the Sky
Ghost Town in the Sky was a Wild West-themed amusement park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA. An unusual aspect of this park is that it is located atop a mountain which can only be accessed by visitors via a chair lift or an inclined funicular railway...

, both on the periphery of the Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains or the...

.

The mineral-rich mountain springs of the Appalachians—which for many years were thought to have health-restoring qualities—were drawing visitors to the region as early as the 18th century with the establishment of resorts at Hot Springs, Virginia
Hot Springs, Virginia
Hot Springs is a census-designated place in Bath County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 738. It is located about 5 miles southwest of Warm Springs on U.S. Route 220. Hot Springs is the site of a number of resorts that make use of the springs.The area is...

 and what is now Hot Springs, North Carolina
Hot Springs, North Carolina
Hot Springs is a town in Madison County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 645 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Hot Springs is located at ....

. Along with the mineral springs, the cool and clear air of the range's high elevations provided an escape for lowland elites, and elaborate hotels—such as The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier is a Forbes four-star and AAA Five Diamond Award winning luxury resort located just outside the town of White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States....

 in West Virginia and the Balsam Mountain Inn
Balsam Mountain Inn
The Balsam Mountain Inn is an historic wooden Neo-Classical and Victorian hotel located at 68 Seven Springs Drive in Balsam, North Carolina, United States. In July, 1982, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places....

 in North Carolina—were built throughout the region's remote valleys and mountain slopes. The end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (which opened up travel opportunities to Europe) and the arrival of the automobile (which changed the nation's vacation habits) led to the demise of all but a few of the region's spa resorts. The establishment of national parks in the 1930s brought an explosion of tourist traffic to the region, but created problems with urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

 in the various host communities. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, states have placed greater focus on sustaining tourism while preserving host communities.

Poverty in Appalachia

Poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 had plagued Appalachia for many years but was not brought to the attention of the rest of the United States until 1960, by US President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, who proceeded to establish the President's Appalachian Regional Commission in 1963. His successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, crystallized Kennedy's efforts in the form of the Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life...

, which passed into law in 1965.

In Appalachia, severe poverty and desolation were paired with the necessity for careful cultural sensitivity. Many Appalachian people feared that the birth of a new modernized Appalachia would lead to a death of their traditional values and heritage. Because of the isolation of the region, Appalachian people had been unable to catch up to the modernization
Modernization
In the social sciences, modernization or modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by...

 that lowlanders have achieved. In the 1960s, many people in Appalachia had a standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 comparable to third world
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

 countries'. The film series "West Virginia", produced during the term of Governor Gaston Caperton
Gaston Caperton
William Gaston Caperton III was the 31st Governor of the U.S. state of West Virginia from 1989 until 1997. He is currently the president of the College Board, which administers the nationally recognized SAT and AP tests. Caperton announced his intention to step down as president of the College...

, makes the point that at least on some level images of poverty were contrived. Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty
War on Poverty
The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent...

" while standing on the front porch of an Inez, Kentucky
Inez, Kentucky
There were 212 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone...

 home whose residents had been suffering from a long ignored problem. The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 stated:
Since the creation of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in 1965, the region has seen dramatic progress. New roads, schools, health care facilities, water and sewer systems, and other improvements have brought a better life to many Appalachian residents. In the 1960s, 219 counties in the 13-state Appalachian Region were considered economically distressed. Now that list has been cut in half, to 82 counties, but these are "hard-core" pockets of poverty, seemingly impervious to all efforts at improving their lot. Martin County, Kentucky
Martin County, Kentucky
Martin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 12,929. Its county seat is Inez. The county is named for Congressman John Preston Martin...

, the site of Johnson’s 1964 speech, is one such county still ranked as "distressed" by the ARC. As of 2000, the per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 in Martin County was $10,650, and 37% of its residents lived below the poverty line.

Like Johnson, President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 brought attention to the remaining areas of poverty in Appalachia. On July 5, 1999, he made a public statement concerning the situation in Tyner, Kentucky
Tyner, Kentucky
Tyner is an unincorporated community in Jackson County, Kentucky, United States.-Notes:...

. Clinton told the enthusiastic crowd:

The region's poverty has been documented often since the early 1960s. John Cohen documents rural lifestyle and culture in The High Lonesome Sound, while photojournalist
Photojournalism
Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism...

 Earl Dotter has been visiting and documenting poverty, healthcare and mining in Appalachia for nearly forty years. Another photojournalist, Shelby Lee Adams
Shelby Lee Adams
Shelby Lee Adams is an American environmental portrait photographer and artist best known for his images of Appalachian family life.-Life and career:...

, has been photographing Appalachian families and lifestyle for decades.

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life...

 (ARC) was created by the U.S. Congress in 1965 to bring poor areas of the 13 U.S. states of the main (southern) range of the Appalachians into the mainstream of the American economy. The commission is a partnership of federal, state, and local governments, and was created to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life in the region. The region as defined by the ARC includes 420 counties, including all of West Virginia; counties in 13 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; and also eight cities in Virginia, where state law makes cities administratively separate from counties. The ARC is a planning, research, advocacy and funding organization; it does not have any governing powers.

The ARC's geographic range of coverage was defined broadly so as to cover as many economically underdeveloped areas as possible; it extends well beyond the area usually thought of as "Appalachia". For instance, parts of Alabama and Mississippi were included in the commission because of problems with unemployment and poverty similar to those in Appalachia proper, and the ARC region extends into Northeastern
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 states, which are never considered part of Appalachia culturally. More recently, the Youngstown, Ohio
Youngstown, Ohio
Youngstown is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Mahoning County; it also extends into Trumbull County. The municipality is situated on the Mahoning River, approximately southeast of Cleveland and northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

, region was declared part of Appalachia by the ARC due to the collapse of the steel industry in the region in the early 1980s and the continuing unemployment problems in the region since
Deindustrialization of Youngstown, Ohio
The deindustrialization of Youngstown, Ohio was the deindustrialization of the city of Youngstown, Ohio and surrounding areas, starting on September 19, 1977 and continuing into the mid 1980s...

, though aside from Columbiana County, Ohio
Columbiana County, Ohio
Columbiana County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of 2010, the population was 107,841. It is named for Christopher Columbus and the county seat is Lisbon....

, the Youngstown DMA isn't traditionally or culturally considered part of the region. The ARC's wide scope also grew out of the "pork barrel"
Pork barrel
Pork barrel is a derogatory term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district...

 phenomenon, as politicians from outside the traditional Appalachia area saw a new way to bring home federal money to their areas.

Transportation


Transportation has been the most challenging and expensive issue in Appalachia since the arrival of the first European settlers in the 18th century. Until major federal intervention in the 1960s, the region's mountainous terrain continuously thwarted attempts at major road construction, leaving large parts of the region virtually isolated and slowing economic growth. Before the Civil War, major cities in the region were connected via wagon roads to lowland areas, and flatboat
Flatboat
Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with (mostlyNOTE: "(parenthesized)" wordings in the quote below are notes added to...

s provided an important means for transporting goods out of the region. By 1900, railroads connected most of the region with the rest of the nation, although the poor roads made travel beyond railroad hubs difficult. When the Appalachian Regional Commission was created in 1965, road construction was considered its most important initiative, and in subsequent decades the commission spent more on road construction than all other projects combined.

The effort to connect Appalachia with the outside world has required numerous civil engineering feats. Millions of tons of rock were removed to build road segments such as Interstate 40
Interstate 40
Interstate 40 is the third-longest major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina...

 through the Pigeon River Gorge at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line and U.S. Route 23 in Letcher County, Kentucky
Letcher County, Kentucky
Letcher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 25,277. Its county seat is Whitesburg. The county is named for Robert P...

. Large tunnels were built through mountain slopes at Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap Tunnel
The Cumberland Gap Tunnel is a tunnel that carries U.S. Route 25E under Cumberland Gap National Historical Park near the intersection of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The east portal of the tunnel is in Tennessee and the west portal is in Kentucky; according to United States Geological Survey...

 to speed up travel along U.S. Route 25E
U.S. Route 25E
U.S. Route 25E is the eastern branch of U.S. Route 25 from Newport, Tennessee, where US 25 splits into US 25E and US 25W, to North Corbin, Kentucky, where the two highways rejoin...

. The New River Gorge Bridge
New River Gorge Bridge
The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge long over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. With an arch long, the New River Gorge Bridge was for many years the world's longest arch bridge; it is now the third...

 in West Virginia, completed in 1977, is the second-longest single-arch bridge in the world. The Blue Ridge Parkway's Linn Cove Viaduct
Linn Cove Viaduct
Linn Cove Viaduct is a 1243-foot concrete segmental bridge which snakes around the slopes of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. It was completed in 1983 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished...

, the construction of which required the assembly of 153 pre-cast segments 4000 feet (1,219.2 m) up the slopes of Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain
Grandfather Mountain is a mountain, a non-profit attraction, and a North Carolina state parknear Linville, North Carolina. At 5,946 feet , it is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway...

, has been designated a historic civil engineering landmark.

Popular culture

  • The motion pictures Coal Miner's Daughter
    Coal Miner's Daughter
    Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 American biographical film which tells the story of country music icon Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek in her Academy Award for Best Actress winning role, Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D'Angelo and Levon Helm, and was directed by Michael Apted.-Background:The film was...

    (based on the life of noted country
    Country music
    Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

     singer Loretta Lynn
    Loretta Lynn
    Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter, author and philanthropist. Born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner father, Lynn married at 13 years old, was a mother soon after, and moved to Washington with her husband, Oliver Lynn. Their marriage was sometimes tumultuous; he...

    ), Where the Lilies Bloom
    Where the Lilies Bloom
    Where the Lilies Bloom is a film adaptation of the novel by the same name, written by Bill Cleaver. The film was made by director William A...

    and Songcatcher
    Songcatcher
    The film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne...

    (see also "Songcatcher" below) attempt an accurate portrayal of life in Appalachia.
  • Songcatcher
    Songcatcher
    The film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne...

    (2000), written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, starring Aiden Quinn and Emmy Rossum, takes place in rural Appalachia in 1907 and features the "lost" ballads of the Scots-Irish brought over in the 19th century and a musicologist's quest to preserve them.
  • The Appalachian town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia
    Big Stone Gap, Virginia
    Big Stone Gap is a town in Wise County, Virginia, United States. The population was 5,643 at the 2010 census.-History:The community was formerly known as "Meneral City" and "Three Forks." The "Big Stone Gap" refers to the valley which has been created on the Appalachia Straight, located between...

    , has been the setting of several best-selling novels, including The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox, Jr.
    John Fox, Jr.
    John Fox, Jr. was an American journalist, novelist, and short story writer.-Biography:Born in Stony Point, Bourbon County, Kentucky, to John William Fox, Sr., and Minerva Worth Carr, Fox studied English at Harvard University. He graduated in 1883 before becoming a reporter in New York City...

     and the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani
    Adriana Trigiani
    Adriana Trigiani is an American novelist, television writer, producer and film director.-Career:Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and attended Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She was a writer for The Cosby Show and its spin-off series A Different World before beginning on...

    .
  • Stranger with a Camera
    Stranger With A Camera
    Stranger With A Camera is a 2000 documentary film by director Elizabeth Barret investigating the circumstances surrounding the 1967 death of Hugh O'Connor. Barret, who was born and raised in the region, explores questions concerning public image and the individual's lack of power to define oneself...

    is a documentary film from Appalshop
    Appalshop
    Appalshop is a media, arts, and education center located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of the southern Appalachian region of the United States....

     about the representation of Appalachian communities by outsiders in film and video.
  • Country Boys
    Country Boys
    Country Boys is a 6-hour documentary film centered on Cody Perkins and Chris Johnson, two teenage boys from David, Floyd County, Kentucky. They attended the , a non-denominational private high school with a mission to serve underprivileged and struggling students.The film covers the 3-year period...

    is a documentary film by David Sutherland showing three years in the lives of two teenagers growing up in eastern Kentucky.
  • Homer Hickam
    Homer Hickam
    Homer Hadley Hickam, Jr. is an American author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer. His autobiographical novel Rocket Boys: A Memoir, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller, is studied in many American and international school systems, and was the basis for the popular film October Sky...

    's book Rocket Boys
    Rocket Boys
    Rocket Boys is the first memoir in a series of three, by Homer Hickam, Jr. It is a story of growing up in a mining town, and a boy's pursuit of amateur rocketry in a coal mining town. It won the in 1998, the year of its release. Today, it is one of the most often picked community/library reads in...

    and its movie adaptation October Sky
    October Sky
    October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes, and who...

    are slightly fictionalized versions of his childhood and teenage years in Coalwood
    Coalwood, West Virginia
    Coalwood is an unincorporated coal mining town in McDowell County, West Virginia, USA. As of the 1990 Census, the population was 900. The coal mine in Coalwood reached its peak in the 1960s and finally shut down production on October 1, 1982...

    , a coal camp in southern West Virginia
    Southern West Virginia
    Southern West Virginia is a culturally and geographically distinct region in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Generally considered the heart of Appalachia, Southern West Virginia is known for its coal mining heritage and southern affinity...

    .
  • The 1972 film Deliverance takes place in southern Appalachia. The film is often held responsible for perpetuating negative stereotypes of the region.
  • The 1987 film Matewan
    Matewan
    Matewan is an American drama film written and directed by John Sayles, illustrating the events of a coal mine-workers' strike and attempt to unionize in 1920 in Matewan, a small town in the hills of West Virginia....

    fictionalizes a real-life clash
    Battle of Matewan
    The Battle of Matewan was a shootout in the town of Matewan, West Virginia in Mingo County on May 19, 1920 between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency....

     between West Virginia coal miners, supported by union organizers, and coal companies in the 1920s. Scenes depicting the town were actually shot in Thurmond, West Virginia
    Thurmond, West Virginia
    Thurmond was incorporated in 1900 and was most likely named for Captain W. D. Thurmond, who settled here in 1844. He served in the Confederate Army and died in 1910 at age 90. Thurmond post office was established in 1888 and discontinued in 1995...

    .
  • Large-format photographer Shelby Lee Adams
    Shelby Lee Adams
    Shelby Lee Adams is an American environmental portrait photographer and artist best known for his images of Appalachian family life.-Life and career:...

    , himself a son of Appalachian emmigrants, has portrayed the Appalachian family life sympathetically in several books.
  • Composer Aaron Copland
    Aaron Copland
    Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers"...

     composed music for a ballet
    Ballet
    Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

     called Appalachian Spring
    Appalachian Spring
    Appalachian Spring is a modern score composed by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite...

    .
  • Composer Frederick Delius
    Frederick Delius
    Frederick Theodore Albert Delius, CH was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family of German extraction, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce...

     wrote a theme and variations entitled Appalachia, and Alan Hovhaness
    Alan Hovhaness
    Alan Hovhaness was an Armenian-American composer.His music is accessible to the lay listener and often evokes a mood of mystery or contemplation...

     wrote a tone poem named To the Appalachian Mountains (Symphony no. 60).
  • Author Catherine Marshall
    Catherine Marshall
    Catherine Wood Marshall was an American author of nonfiction, inspirational, and fiction works. She was the wife of well-known minister Peter Marshall.-Biography:...

     wrote Christy
    Christy (novel)
    Christy is a historical fiction novel by Christian author Catherine Marshall set in the fictional Appalachian village of Cutter Gap, Tennessee, in 1912. The novel was inspired by the story of the journey made by her own mother, Leonora Whitaker, to teach the impoverished children in the...

    , loosely based on her mother's years as a teacher in the Appalachian region. This became the basis of a short-lived television series
    Christy (TV series)
    Christy is an American drama series which aired on CBS from April 1994 to August 1995, for twenty episodes.Christy was based on the novel Christy by Catherine Marshall, the widow of Senate chaplain Peter Marshall...

     of the same name in 1994.
  • The book Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
    Barbara Kingsolver
    Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the former Republic of Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before...

     explores the ecology of the region and how the removal of the predators, wolves and coyotes, has affected the environment.
  • The book Rough Lumber: Stories from Spurlock Creek, by Justine Felix Rutherford, describes growing up in rural West Virginia during the Great Depression
    Great Depression
    The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

    .
  • In The Hunger Games
    The Hunger Games
    The Hunger Games is a first person young-adult science fiction novel written by Suzanne Collins. It was originally published on September 14, 2008, by Scholastic. It is the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. It introduces sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world...

    by Suzanne Collins, a dystopian work of young adult literature, readers are told that District 12 is located in a region that used to be known as Appalachia. The chief occupation of people from this district is coal mining.
  • Josiah Leming
    Josiah Leming
    Josiah Leming is an American singer-songwriter, best known for appearing in Season 7 of American Idol, where he was cut during the Hollywood round of the auditions, just before the semifinals. His cut followed a subpar performance, but was considered somewhat controversial nonetheless. Leming's...

    , singer/songwriter, born and raised in Morristown, Tennessee
    Morristown, Tennessee
    Morristown is a city in, and the county seat of, Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 29,137 at the 2010 United States Census. It is the principal city of the Morristown, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Grainger, Hamblen and Jefferson counties...

     has a song entitled "Appalachia."
  • The fictional television program
    Television program
    A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

    , Justified
    Justified (TV series)
    Justified is an American television drama series created by Graham Yost. It is based on Elmore Leonard's novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story "Fire in the Hole". Its central character is Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. Marshal. The series is set in the city of Lexington, Kentucky...

    , is set in the eastern hills of Kentucky in and around Harlan County
    Harlan County, Kentucky
    Harlan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1819. As of 2000, the population was 33,200. Its county seat is Harlan...

    .
  • The fictional story "Bridge to Terabithia
    Bridge to Terabithia
    Bridge to Terabithia is a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Paterson and was published in 1977 by HarperCollins. In 1978, it won the Newbery Medal...

    " by Katherine Paterson was set in the Appalachian Mountains.

Regions

The six physiographic provinces of Appalachia are:
  1. Appalachian Plateau
    Appalachian Plateau
    The Appalachian Plateau is the western part of the Appalachian mountains, stretching from New York and Alabama. The plateau is a second level United States physiographic region....

  2. Allegheny Mountains
    Allegheny Mountains
    The Allegheny Mountain Range , also spelled Alleghany, Allegany and, informally, the Alleghenies, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the eastern United States and Canada...

  3. Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians
    Ridge-and-valley Appalachians
    The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, also called the Ridge and Valley Province or the Valley and Ridge Appalachians, are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division and are also a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from southeastern New York through northwestern New...

  4. Great Appalachian Valley
    Great Appalachian Valley
    The Great Valley, also called the Great Appalachian Valley or Great Valley Region, is one of the major landform features of eastern North America. It is a gigantic trough — a chain of valley lowlands — and the central feature of the Appalachian Mountain system...

  5. Blue Ridge Mountains
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

  6. Piedmont (United States)
    Piedmont (United States)
    The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...


Related topics

  • Appalachian Ohio
    Appalachian Ohio
    Appalachian Ohio is a bioregion and political unit in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Ohio characterized by the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Regional Commission defines the region as consisting of twenty-nine counties...

  • Appalachian Trail by state
    Appalachian Trail by state
    The Appalachian National Scenic Trail spans fourteen U.S. states during its journey that is long, including Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine...

  • Appalachian State University
    Appalachian State University
    Appalachian State University is a comprehensive , public, coeducational university located in Boone, North Carolina, United States. Appalachian State, also referred to as Appalachian, App State, or simply App, is the sixth largest institution in the University of North Carolina system...

  • Birth in Southern Appalachia
    Birth in Southern Appalachia
    -Background:Appalachian Regional Commission defines the Appalachian Region as a region the follows the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York,...

  • Museum of Appalachia
    Museum of Appalachia
    The Museum of Appalachia, located in Norris, Tennessee, north of Knoxville, is a living history museum that interprets the pioneer and early 20th-century period of the Southern Appalachian region of the United States...

  • Ozark culture
  • Settlement school
    Settlement school
    Settlement schools are social reform institutions established in rural Appalachia in the early 20th century with the purpose of educating mountain children and improving their isolated rural communities. Settlement schools have played an important role in preserving and promoting the cultural...

  • Social and economic stratification in Appalachia
    Social and Economic Stratification in Appalachia
    The Appalachian region of the Eastern United States is home to over 20 million people and covers parts of mostly mountainous areas of 13 states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, and the...

  • Upland South
    Upland South
    The terms Upper South and Upland South refer to the northern part of the Southern United States, in contrast to the Lower South or Deep South.-Geography:There is a slight difference in usage between the two terms...

  • Urban Appalachians
    Urban Appalachians
    Urban Appalachians are people from Appalachia who are living in metropolitan areas outside of the region. Because migration has been occurring for decades, most are not first generation migrants from the region but are long-term city dwellers. People have been migrating from Appalachia to cities...

  • Whiskey Rebellion
    Whiskey Rebellion
    The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States in the 1790s, during the presidency of George Washington. Farmers who sold their corn in the form of whiskey had to pay a new tax which they strongly resented...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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