23 Facts About Appalachia


Appalachia is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama and Georgia.

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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.

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Since Appalachia lacks definite physiographical or topographical boundaries, there has been some disagreement over what exactly the region encompasses.

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People in Appalachia began to feel slighted over what they considered unfair taxation methods and lack of state funding for improvements .

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Sentiments in northern Appalachia had shifted to the pro-abolitionist Republican Party.

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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.

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Today, residents of Appalachia are viewed by many Americans as uneducated and unrefined, resulting in culture-based stereotyping and discrimination in many areas, including employment and housing.

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Journalists often wrote about the violence, using stereotypes that "city folks" had developed about Appalachia; they interpreted the feuds as the natural products of profound ignorance, poverty, and isolation, and perhaps even inbreeding.

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Germans were a major pioneer group to migrate to Appalachia, settling mainly in western Pennsylvania and southwest Virginia.

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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.

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Protestantism is the most dominant denomination in Appalachia, although there is a significant Roman Catholic presence in the northern half of the region and in urban areas, like Pittsburgh and Scranton.

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The region's early Lowland and Ulster Scot immigrants brought Presbyterianism to Appalachia, eventually organizing into bodies such as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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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 did not see a practical need for formal education.

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In spite of consolidation and centralization, schools in Appalachia struggled to keep up with federal and state demands into the 21st century.

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The transition from an agrarian society to an industrial society and its effects on Appalachia are captured in works such as Olive Tilford Dargan's Call Home to the Heart, Agnes Sligh Turnbull's The Rolling Years, James Still's The River of Earth, Harriette Simpson Arnow's The Dollmaker, and Harry Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands .

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Appalachia serves as the origin point for the kid, the protagonist of McCarthy's Western masterpiece Blood Meridian.

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Economy of Appalachia traditionally rested on agriculture, mining, timber, and in the cities, manufacturing.

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Mountains and valleys of Appalachia once contained what seemed to be an inexhaustible supply of timber.

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The first major logging ventures in Appalachia transported logs using mule teams or rivers, the latter method sometimes employing splash dams.

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Arguably the most successful logging firm in Appalachia was the Georgia Hardwood Lumber Company, established in 1927 and renamed Georgia-Pacific in 1948 when it expanded nationally.

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About two-thirds of Appalachia's coal is produced by underground mining, the rest by surface mining.

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Manufacturing industry in Appalachia is rooted primarily in the ironworks and steelworks of early Pittsburgh and Birmingham, and in the textile mills that sprang up in North Carolina's Piedmont region in the mid-19th century.

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The ARC's wide scope grew out of the "pork barrel" phenomenon, as politicians from outside the traditional Appalachia area saw a new way to bring home federal money to their areas.

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