The Appalachian Culture

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Appalachia: A Culturally Diverse Territory in the United States

Appalachia, a culturally diverse territory on the eastern side of the United States of America, is located. The area extends from the Southern Tier of New York to northern Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Its natural flora, ecosystem, and characteristics are distinct, making the area ideal for human habitation. In that regard, the Appalachian Mountains range from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama. According to a 2010 survey in the United States, Appalachia has a population of almost twenty-five million inhabitants. Migration was the order of the day in the early years as communities used to move from one place to another in such of sites, which are suitable for their activities, farming, hunting, and gathering, as well as livestock keeping. In the 17th century, while the English explorers moved in the Appalachia, the Algonquian tribe was the one ruling the central region whereas the Cherokee was controlling the southern part.

Migration and Expansion in the 18th Century

In the following century, the 18th century, migration in Europe saw its first start. The eastern Pennsylvania that is, the Tidewater region of Virginia to be precise, started to fill up with immigrants (Ulster Scots). Their daily activities enhanced their further movement westward into the Appalachian Mountains as they escaped mistreatment from Quaker leaders. Cherokee and various Native American tribes signed treaties amongst themselves; consequently, some lands were able to open up, for example, north Georgia, and north Alabama, this happened between 1790 and 1840. However, not all treaties resulted in something positive especially the last ones. As a result, a large chunk of the Cherokee population was removed from the region.

Political Inequalities in the 19th Century

Domination of state legislatures was present in the 19th century. Appalachia's farmers in yeoman and their wealthier counterparts from the lowland experienced a vast growth in rift amongst themselves. Those in a rule of people of Appalachia mistreated them, the taxation methods that they used were not fair to its people, and lack of state funds as well as a significant consideration whereby funds were meant to be used to improve things such as roads. Similarly, the regions (northern and southern) did not share similar interests. For example, while those in the northern area, the lowland elites, were majorly into industries and businesses, on the other hand, their counterparts in the southern part comprises of large-scale landowner's planters. Moreover, mountain counties and state government engaged in threats to break off to form separate states from the rest. This was successful as eastern Virginia and Virginia separated to form different states according to the states constitution.

Political Challenges and Poverty in Modern Appalachia

The Appalachian region has experienced extensive political inequalities over an extended period. This is mainly caused by existing difference in elite class who create economic and politic division. For instance, those with power are known to encourage racial discrimination. Currently, over 4 million children are living in extreme poverty in the Appalachian region, (Vance). According to Mr. Vance, the community is disintegrated in a diminution of church culture. Moreover, there exist physical hardship, drug addiction and a decline in the global workforce. It is through Vance that we view America in different dimensions. Vance's people are forgotten and ignored in American politics, and that is the current political state of Appalachia. It is characterized by divisive politics with no sense of humanity. The elites in the society look down upon other people. Most of the members of Appalachia prefer not be getting assistance from the government but rather need their jobs in the local industries to get their life going.

The Impact of Poverty on Appalachian Development

Poverty over the years has been a significant challenge facing cities, towns, and states at large. Its effects have been quite extensive and much felt by many. Appalachia has not escaped from this issue this falling victim, of the same. However, John F. Kennedy as president came up with the President's Appalachian Regional Commission, which was made clear by his successor. As a result, the Commission was passed into law in 1965. The people of Appalachian clung so much to their traditional values and heritage even though an option for a new modernized state was presented to them. Extreme poverty in the region is thus associated with cultural sensitivity. The people feared that modernization might erode their heritage. This has been a hindering factor in developing the Appalachian region.

Work Cited

Vance, J. D. "Hillbilly Elegy–A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. 2016."

November 03, 2022

Sociology History

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