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Old 01-22-2013, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE (via SW Virginia)
1,644 posts, read 1,794,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
While WV was a Union state I heard about half of West Virginians fought for the South, not sure if that's true though. That seems to be one of the reasons brought up as to why WV isn't 'southern.' I have a pretty simplistic view of things, if they talk southern they are southern.
WV is an interesting case. Historically, Appalachia wasn't as pro-slavery as the rest of the south. The mountainous terrain makes slave labor for farming slightly less advantageous because the sheer lack of farming. However, a lot of confederate sympathies existed in WV which is why some of it's citizens bucked the "union" trend to fight for their former brothers in the Old Dominion. Most people these days, at least to my knowlege, consider people south of Charleston southern. I do, anyway. Once you start getting up close to Ohio and PA, the people just don't feel southern to me anymore.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:36 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Pennsylvania's portion of Appalachia as well as the Southern Tier of New York state seems a lot closer to the rest of Appalachia than most of the lowland South does. I'd say Appalachia is a distinct area that has continuously lost some of its distinctiveness by being put into the larger south even when it doesn't make much sense to.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE (via SW Virginia)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Pennsylvania's portion of Appalachia as well as the Southern Tier of New York state seems a lot closer to the rest of Appalachia than most of the lowland South does. I'd say Appalachia is a distinct area that has continuously lost some of its distinctiveness by being put into the larger south even when it doesn't make much sense to.
Pittsburgh used to be referred to as the Paris of Appalachia. I agree to some extent with this which is why I think the Appalachian cultures is unique. It is southern in a lot of senses, but midland in some as well.

I've always been so intrigued by the develppment of the culture because it's ancestry is so different than those surrounding it. The documentary "Hillbilly" which aired on the History channel is actually a really good summary of our history if you're ever interested in checking it out.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewberry22 View Post
Pittsburgh used to be referred to as the Paris of Appalachia. I agree to some extent with this which is why I think the Appalachian cultures is unique. It is southern in a lot of senses, but midland in some as well.

I've always been so intrigued by the develppment of the culture because it's ancestry is so different than those surrounding it. The documentary "Hillbilly" which aired on the History channel is actually a really good summary of our history if you're ever interested in checking it out.
Another point is that we now have two diverging Appalachias. One area has become mostly middle class with better road and highway access and closer proximity to cities. The other area is very isolated with mainly resource extraction jobs and poor access to larger towns and cities. This has always been somewhat true, but the trend has accelerated over the last half century of massive road building.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:16 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Pennsylvania's portion of Appalachia as well as the Southern Tier of New York state seems a lot closer to the rest of Appalachia than most of the lowland South does. I'd say Appalachia is a distinct area that has continuously lost some of its distinctiveness by being put into the larger south even when it doesn't make much sense to.
So to you the south is just ante-bellum mansions, lowland cotton or tobacco plantations, drawling non-rhotic accents, and mint julep? Isn't the Upland South pretty culturally similar to Appalachia? Is Chattanooga in Appalachia? I consider it a pretty stock standard Southern town.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Its sorta its own culture, i dont think its a subset of southern culture because Penn,NY, and Ohio are not considered southern and Pittsburgh is known for being the capital of the Appalachia.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Southern Appalachia seems more like the South, though, maybe not Northern Appalachia. Is Pittsburgh itself really Appalachian though?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
While WV was a Union state I heard about half of West Virginians fought for the South, not sure if that's true though. That seems to be one of the reasons brought up as to why WV isn't 'southern.' I have a pretty simplistic view of things, if they talk southern they are southern.
Exactly. Almost no one understands what happened in WV during the war, not even the most revered Civil War historians, all of whose books are riddled with errors about WV. The southern sociologist Howard Odum used the common misconception about WV's Civil War experience to exclude it from his very influential book "Southern Regions of the United States" (Chapel Hill, 1936).

In Rupert Vance's 1951 essay "The Regional Concept as a Tool for Research" he stated-"In the case of West Virginia, for example, the historical fact that the area 'seceded from secession' during the Civil War was given sufficient cultural importance in Howard W. Odum's analysis to outweigh certain other characteristics for which statistical indices were at hand". Mr. Vance goes on to say- "West Virginia is found to have its closest attachment to the Southeast on the basis of agriculture and population"

Howard Odum's book became the basic primer for government agencies and educational institutions when they set up their programs and courses, and so Mr. Odum's ignorance became institutionalized and persists to this day.

The truth of the matter is that West Virginia was created without the participation of most of its populace. Most of the state is composed of counties that voted in favor of Virginia's secession from the United States in 1861, and at least half of the soldiers from WV were Confederate, much more than KY, MO, or MD.

If you are interested further you can check out my website.

West Virginia, the Other History
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE (via SW Virginia)
1,644 posts, read 1,794,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Another point is that we now have two diverging Appalachias. One area has become mostly middle class with better road and highway access and closer proximity to cities. The other area is very isolated with mainly resource extraction jobs and poor access to larger towns and cities. This has always been somewhat true, but the trend has accelerated over the last half century of massive road building.
There really are no parts of Appalachia these days that are remarkably isolated which will continue to be good for developement. I consider the area that I grew up in as one of the most isolated in all of South-Central Appalachia. Buchanan Co. VA is the poorest county in Virgina and one of the 100 poorest in the US. It is extremely rugged, riddled with poverty, and most of it's residents (all of my family included) still work in the coal industry. We now have 4 lane highways, easy access to Interstate 81, and they are currently building the coalfield expressway which is meant to cut through the mountains making it even more accessible than it already is. The only detriment that we still deal with is a lack of good airports. We have Tri Cities Regional Airport in Blountville, TN but that is around 2 hours away.

Today I feel like Appalachia is split between the "developed" Appalachian cities of Roanoke, Knoxville, Bristol, Johnston City, Asheville, Greeneville, Spartanburg, Chattanooga, and Charleston in one tier...and then the "developing" areas that have smaller arterial routes to these larger cities. The growing is definitely stunted a bit compared to the rest of the country but it is good to see positive population growth and college graduates staying in the area for work. I would personally love to move back home but in my field there just are no jobs but fortunately that trend is slowly changing.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,120 posts, read 23,634,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnewberry22 View Post
Pittsburgh used to be referred to as the Paris of Appalachia. I agree to some extent with this which is why I think the Appalachian cultures is unique. It is southern in a lot of senses, but midland in some as well.

I've always been so intrigued by the develppment of the culture because it's ancestry is so different than those surrounding it. The documentary "Hillbilly" which aired on the History channel is actually a really good summary of our history if you're ever interested in checking it out.
Yea, I find the Appalachians culturally really distinct and Pennsylvania definitely has a good expanse that feels a lot more like the rest of Appalachia than it does what people consider the northeast. I've heard it as Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania with Alabama or Kentucky in-between, and find the Kentucky reference far closer overall than Alabama and that Pittsburgh definitely feels like a part of that though it's a large city with a historically large immigrant population (but that includes a lot of domestic migration from Appalachia). A good friend and professor of mine was actually from one of these small "Pennsyltucky" towns and her and her family certainly felt they had a lot more in common with other Appalachian regions than the rest of the overarching North or the general South. Thanks for the rec on Hillbilly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
So to you the south is just ante-bellum mansions, lowland cotton or tobacco plantations, drawling non-rhotic accents, and mint julep? Isn't the Upland South pretty culturally similar to Appalachia? Is Chattanooga in Appalachia? I consider it a pretty stock standard Southern town.
There are a lot of regional variations that get loaded into a general umbrella term of the south. I don't think I said anything about only cotton plantations being the only representation of the south, but there's definitely a distinctive lowland and coastal south that is quite different from Appalachia (which would include parts of the north). There's some overlap all over. Chattanooga's supposedly a transition town at the borders of Appalachia, but I've never set foot in the place so I have no idea how true that is culturally.
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