10-Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Centuryll

10-Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Centuryll...

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Unformatted text preview: HUMANITIES 1704 Introduction to Appalachian Studies Dr. Stevan R. Jackson Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century Coal has been considered the most valuable natural resource in Appalachia. I might add that human labor necessary to extract the coal was also a most valuable natural resource in Appalachia. Without human labor, especially cheap human labor, the coal stays in the ground. This facts sets up the Appalachian geographic region as well as the Appalachian people as ideal situations for exploitation by outside entities. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century Existence of coal was known for a long time but it was only after the Civil War and the beginning of the industrialization period throughout America that the Appalachian coal became important. Appalachian coal boon lasted from around 1880 until 1930 . This is the most active historic period in Appalachia since the original settlement and subsequent conflicts that arose around those settlements. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century Bituminous coal was good for the nation’s industries because of the way this coal burned. Most of the Appalachian coal deposits were bituminous, a softer coal, as opposed to the Western coal deposits, which were mainly anthracite, a harder coal. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century The major coal fields in Appalachia were located in central and southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, eastern Tennessee, and eastern Kentucky . The economies of these regions become tied to this one major industry, thus leading to “putting their economic eggs in one basket”. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century Men who owned and operated the mines were ambitious, college educated, from middle or upper middle class backgrounds, with close ties to the railroads, and largely from outside the Appalachian mountains. They established a company town system in which the coal owner built and owned every aspect of the town . This is not a good economic situation for the Appalachian people. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century Like most industrialists in the US these coal mine owners, who were mostly from outside of the region, held strongly to the idea that power and authority should be in the hands of those who demonstrated their ability by the accumulation of great material wealth. Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Century...
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course HUM 1704 taught by Professor Srjackson during the Fall '11 term at Virginia Tech.

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10-Appalachian History-20th Century into the 21st Centuryll...

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