U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Western North Carolina
 [Register]
Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-09-2009, 08:59 PM
 
1,129 posts, read 1,951,509 times
Reputation: 550
Default Xenophobic tendencies in WNC

Although it's always dangerous business to make generalizations, and of course there are always exceptions to the rule, there is a general tendency for folks from WNC to be mistrustful of those they consider "outsiders". Sometimes people take it personally, but once you understand the roots of this behavior by looking at the history, it makes more sense, and therefore you can put in proper perspective.

The first Europeans who settled in the Appalachian region were of Anglo-Scottish-Irish descent -- most people already know this. But many don't know that a lot of these folks migrated from a particularly volatile (and violent) part of Northern England near the Scottish border; David Hackett Fischer, in his excellent book "Albion's Seed", refers to them as "Borderers" (Fischer's book is a 900+ page monster, so I obviously can't do it justice in this post -- see Amazon.com: Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a Cultural History): David Hackett Fischer: Books for more info).

The Borderers, generally speaking, consisted of numerous sub-cultures and clans who were in a practically constant state of war with one another, fighting over territory and resources . . . which is what all animals do (including human ones) under scarce conditions. As a result, they became extremely mistrustful of "outsiders", and out of the necessities of survival, their cultures evolved to be very insular and closed off to those outside their clan.

So when these cultures began to migrate to the New World in large numbers, they brought along with them all of the psychological and cultural baggage they had built up over many years of constant strife and struggle. And cultural values -- especially ones that aided the survival of the "tribes" for so long -- become entrenched in a society, and the culture becomes extremely resistant to change.

And those attitudes just don't disappear because of a shift in environment; changes likes these happen very slowly (think about slavery, for example, and how racism still persists in our country in many ways).

Anyway, Fischer of course goes into much greater detail, and he talks at length about the other three major migrations to America and how they shape American culture to this day.

And like anything else, once you understand how something came to be, it removes the mystique and the animosity, which helps us to "all just get along".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-09-2009, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
43,978 posts, read 53,863,752 times
Reputation: 36653
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC_Paddler View Post
Although it's always dangerous business to make generalizations, and of course there are always exceptions to the rule, there is a general tendency for folks from WNC to be mistrustful of those they consider "outsiders". Sometimes people take it personally, but once you understand the roots of this behavior by looking at the history, it makes more sense, and therefore you can put in proper perspective.

The first Europeans who settled in the Appalachian region were of Anglo-Scottish-Irish descent -- most people already know this. But many don't know that a lot of these folks migrated from a particularly volatile (and violent) part of Northern England near the Scottish border; David Hackett Fischer, in his excellent book "Albion's Seed", refers to them as "Borderers" (Fischer's book is a 900+ page monster, so I obviously can't do it justice in this post -- see Amazon.com: Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a Cultural History): David Hackett Fischer: Books for more info).

The Borderers, generally speaking, consisted of numerous sub-cultures and clans who were in a practically constant state of war with one another, fighting over territory and resources . . . which is what all animals do (including human ones) under scarce conditions. As a result, they became extremely mistrustful of "outsiders", and out of the necessities of survival, their cultures evolved to be very insular and closed off to those outside their clan.

So when these cultures began to migrate to the New World in large numbers, they brought along with them all of the psychological and cultural baggage they had built up over many years of constant strife and struggle. And cultural values -- especially ones that aided the survival of the "tribes" for so long -- become entrenched in a society, and the culture becomes extremely resistant to change.

And those attitudes just don't disappear because of a shift in environment; changes likes these happen very slowly (think about slavery, for example, and how racism still persists in our country in many ways).

Anyway, Fischer of course goes into much greater detail, and he talks at length about the other three major migrations to America and how they shape American culture to this day.

And like anything else, once you understand how something came to be, it removes the mystique and the animosity, which helps us to "all just get along".
But to be fair Paddler, this happens in MANY places in this country - it's hardly unique to western NC
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 07:39 AM
 
122 posts, read 283,828 times
Reputation: 110
It is a little unique.. When the Scots-Irish (who were already exiles forced to live in a country where they were unwelcome and had to stay amongst themselves) fled and came to the New World they landed smack in the middle of the Dutch in the north. The Dutch hated them for being wild men and they fled once again into the foothills and piedmont of NC.. there they were in the middle of a religious group that hated the wild men, so they fled again. And found the deep hollers of the mountains.
A safe haven. Then, the British began to harass them about feality and loyalty and taxes, threatening to burn their farms and kill their women.. after the Over the Mountain Men solved that little problem there were more.. revenuers and the Civil War and the logging companies.. ti is an endless list of outside forces bent upon harm. There are few places in the country where the outside perssures have been so relentless and so devastating. Which compiled with the original stresses of exile from their native country has made the hardcore, longterm WNC natives a bit crazy and unblanced when it comes to outside influence and strangers. I am crazy, but I come by it naturally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
451 posts, read 903,519 times
Reputation: 281
Default Mountain Folks

Both of these are great posts. There are some great books about the mountain people and their role in the Civil War as well. One that was written by Peter Stevens is called Rebels in Blue. This is about a husband and wife, Keith & Malinda Blalock, that fought for both sides of the war. She is the only woman that dressed as a man and fought for both sides.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:39 AM
 
1,129 posts, read 1,951,509 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenista View Post
There are few places in the country where the outside perssures have been so relentless and so devastating. Which compiled with the original stresses of exile from their native country has made the hardcore, longterm WNC natives a bit crazy and unblanced when it comes to outside influence and strangers. I am crazy, but I come by it naturally.
After going through all that, it's perfectly understandable that a group of people would just want to be left the helll alone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,659 posts, read 17,771,101 times
Reputation: 3524
The mountain folk of NC have always struck me as much more independent than those found in other regions of the state.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 09:01 AM
 
1,129 posts, read 1,951,509 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
But to be fair Paddler, this happens in MANY places in this country - it's hardly unique to western NC
When you say "this", do you mean a mistrust of outsiders in general?

If so, then I'd say that small towns in general have that tendency, because the smaller a community, the less diversity you have and therefore the more insular the culture becomes. Just like in nature, where biodiversity helps ensure the survival of the ecosystem as a whole, so does cultural diversity make a society stronger and more apt to thrive.

But the "small town" tendency is not nearly as pronounced as you see in WNC. That's been my first-hand experience, and Fischer's book goes a long way in explaining this phenomenon.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 09:06 AM
 
1,129 posts, read 1,951,509 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbirds View Post
Both of these are great posts. There are some great books about the mountain people and their role in the Civil War as well. One that was written by Peter Stevens is called Rebels in Blue. This is about a husband and wife, Keith & Malinda Blalock, that fought for both sides of the war. She is the only woman that dressed as a man and fought for both sides.
Ah, you must be referring to the "war of Northern aggression".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Weaverville
765 posts, read 1,440,910 times
Reputation: 367
Wonder if England would be willing to repatriate them?


Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenista View Post
It is a little unique.. When the Scots-Irish (who were already exiles forced to live in a country where they were unwelcome and had to stay amongst themselves) fled and came to the New World they landed smack in the middle of the Dutch in the north. The Dutch hated them for being wild men and they fled once again into the foothills and piedmont of NC.. there they were in the middle of a religious group that hated the wild men, so they fled again. And found the deep hollers of the mountains.
A safe haven. Then, the British began to harass them about feality and loyalty and taxes, threatening to burn their farms and kill their women.. after the Over the Mountain Men solved that little problem there were more.. revenuers and the Civil War and the logging companies.. ti is an endless list of outside forces bent upon harm. There are few places in the country where the outside perssures have been so relentless and so devastating. Which compiled with the original stresses of exile from their native country has made the hardcore, longterm WNC natives a bit crazy and unblanced when it comes to outside influence and strangers. I am crazy, but I come by it naturally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2009, 10:44 AM
 
122 posts, read 283,828 times
Reputation: 110
Another thought on the subject as well...
WNC was SO remote for some many hundreds of years that anytime an outsider showed up, you could just about bet that they came from the government. And you cold bet they wanted something and the only thing that drives anyone to make the tortureous horseback journey over the ridges would be money/taxes owed.
It wasn't until the railroad companies came in a built the rails that outsiders of any type even knew people lived in these mountains. And that was a heap of trouble within itself, what with the 'foreigners' that came in with the railroad companies, the encroachment on land etc..

It is a history of a remote and isolated society whose only contact with the outside world for generations was negative. When someone did show up, it was to take something.. money, land, rights.
And the same government who so aften showed up to demand payment of taxes or imminent domain on family land very rarely attempted to help the mountain people. During the Depression... the mountain folks were on their own to scrimp and starve - until the TVA showed up and asked them to move off the family land so they could build a dam and flood their homes. The mountain moved willing and graciously for the most part and then worked hard building those dams.

Please forgive us if we are 'techy' about folks coming in and wanting land and to change things. It just seems never ending.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Western North Carolina
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:47 AM.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top