Appalachian History. Terry Sams 4 th Grade Teacher Piedmont Elementary Dandridge, Tennessee 2003-2004. Objectives. Tennessee 4 th Grade Content Standard: 1.0
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4th Grade Teacher
The term "Appalachian" is used to describe a number of things. It is used geologically for the mountain range in Eastern North America. It is used politically for 406 counties in 13 states.
It refers to a unique American culture; suggesting traditional crafts, music, cuisine, heritage, and beliefs. It refers to a specific ethnic group, the descendents of early settlers in the mountains. Appalachia itself is a mixture of all things Appalachian.
Appalachia is a culturally and physically distinct area of the Eastern United States centered around the Appalachian Mountain chain and
by the U.S. Government
as 13 states and 406
this unique region.
Click below for an on-line map for each state:
Our mountains are the oldest surviving mountains in the world. They where pushed up between 350-300 million years ago when the North
American and African
tectonic plates collided
near the equator.
When they were formed they were estimated to be higher than 20,000 feet, as high or higher than
the Himalayas. These
mountains are not only
older than the dinosaurs,
they are older than
Indians settled in Appalachia.
The Cherokees of North Carolina
were the largest group. The
early Cherokee farmed and hunted in the southern Appalachian region.
Sequoyah, Cherokee Chief,
that invented an alphabet
for his people so they could read.
Settlers from England, Scotland, and Ireland began moving from colonies through the Appalachian mountains to find more fertile land west.
Learn more about America’s past at Biography of America with videos, maps, timelines, and interactive skills.
Cumberland Gap is located where the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee meet. This gap was a major passage in the old days through Cumberland Mountain. It was discovered by Daniel Boone by following a herd of buffalo (bison).
The French and Indians fought the British and colonial troops for control of the colonies. The French were defeated and the Indians were forced further westward.
Appalachians wanted to be free of British taxes and control. The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and the Battle of Kings’ Mountainin 1780 were fought in the Appalachian Mountains. The British were defeated in both battles.
The Cherokees, the main Appalachian Mountain tribe, were forced to give up their land by the Indian Removal Act. President Andrew Jackson, backed by the federal government, forced the Indians from their homes. They were
moved to Okalahoma
along a route that
became known as
the Trail of Tears.
Most Appalachians did not
own slaves and wanted nothing
to do with the war, yet most of the region allied itself with the Confederacy while parts of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina remained loyal to the Union.
General Ulysses S. Grant, Union
President Abraham Lincoln
The war was hard on the people of Appalachia, with many people fighting brother against brother and family against family.
Robert E. Lee, Confederate
the wealth of the natural
resources in the mountains,
such as coal, timber and
natural gas. Many
Appalachians sold their
land for up to 50 cents
an acre for “mineral rights.”
Some Appalachians were hired to work on what had been their own land, cutting timber, mining the coal, and drilling the land for natural gas.
Industrialization and automation came to the mountains. Machinery replaced much of the work the mountain people did for a living.
Many mountain communities were broken up as Appalachians began migrating to industrial cities to find work.
Although these new immigrants began blending into their new communities, many "Urban Appalachians" retained many qualities of their original Appalachian identity and heritage.
Some Appalachians had a hard time adjusting to city life and people in the city did not always understand the ways of Appalachians. People made fun of the way they talked, often making hillbilly jokes. This has caused many Appalachian people to deny their own heritage, because of the stereotypes that were created.
In the years following World War II, 4 million people left the Appalachian region because of economic conditions. This included the mechanization and closing of the mines. As people left in search of jobs, they moved to large cities like Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, and Indianapolis.
A paper mill in the city.
Those leaving Appalachia also moved to Cincinnati, Dayton, and Hamilton, Ohio. People came to these cities to work in large factories and plants.
Today 34% of
Cincinnati's, 40% of
close to 60% of
is of Appalachian
Mountain people can't read, can't write, don't wear shoes, don't have teeth, don't use soap, and don't talk plain. They beat their kids, beat their friends, beat their neighbors, and beat their dogs. They live on cow peas, fatback and twenty acres straight up and down. They don't have money.
They do have fleas, overalls, tobacco patches, shacks, shotguns, food stamps, liquor stills, and at least six junk cars in the front yard. Right? Well, let me tell you:
I am from here, I'm not like that and I am danged tired of being told I am. --author unknown
1. Be self-confident2. Enjoy life more3. Appreciate the world around you4. Don't give in to prejudice, talk about it5. Become more open minded6. It's OK to be different * learn how to appreciate differences * it's up to you to be prepared * overcome fear7. Find out more about yourself
8. Make friends with people from other
cultures * explore their culture - do a little
research * learn to speak out * be honest * let your voice be heard * diversify and learn different languages * prejudice isn't funny9. Appreciate different people10. Try new things11. Appreciate cultural differences12. Learn other people's ways13. Talk to others
To find famous Appalachians:
The word Appalachia means different things to different people. To those who live in the region, it may suggest one of the most beautiful places on earth. But to those outside of the region, it may be associated with dire conditions, disasters, poverty, danger, or just plain backwardness.
5. Personalism - relates well to others; go to great lengths to keep from offending others; getting along is more important than letting one's feelings be known; think in terms of persons rather than degrees or professional reputations
6. Love of Place - never forget "back home" and go there as often as possible; revitalizing, especially if a migrant; sometimes stay in places where there is no hope of maintaining decent lives
Visit this site for over 200 quilt blocks from this region: