Joel Canfield Biography & Facts
Appalachia () is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York State to northern Alabama and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia southwest to the Great Smoky Mountains. As of the 2010 United States Census, the region was home to approximately 25 million people.Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants. Early 20th century writers often engaged in yellow journalism focused on sensationalistic aspects of the region's culture, such as moonshining and clan feuding, and often portrayed the region's inhabitants as uneducated and prone to impulsive acts of violence. Sociological studies in the 1960s and 1970s helped to re-examine and dispel these stereotypes.While endowed with abundant natural resources, Appalachia has long struggled economically and been associated with poverty. In the early 20th century, large-scale logging and coal mining firms brought wage-paying jobs and modern amenities to Appalachia, but by the 1960s the region had failed to capitalize on any long-term benefits from these two industries. Beginning in the 1930s, the federal government sought to alleviate poverty in the Appalachian region with a series of New Deal initiatives, such as the construction of dams to provide cheap electricity and the implementation of better farming practices. On March 9, 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission was created to further alleviate poverty in the region, mainly by diversifying the region's economy and helping to provide better health care and educational opportunities to the region's inhabitants. By 1990, Appalachia had largely joined the economic mainstream but still lagged behind the rest of the nation in most economic indicators.
Defining the Appalachian region
Since Appalachia lacks definite physiographical or topographical boundaries, there has been some disagreement over what exactly the region encompasses. The most commonly used modern definition of Appalachia is the one initially defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 and expanded over subsequent decades. The region defined by the Commission currently includes 420 counties and eight independent cities in 13 states, including all of West Virginia, 14 counties in New York, 52 in Pennsylvania, 32 in Ohio, 3 in Maryland, 54 in Kentucky, 25 counties and 8 cities in Virginia, 29 in North Carolina, 52 in Tennessee, 6 in South Carolina, 37 in Georgia, 37 in Alabama, and 24 in Mississippi. When the Commission was established, counties were added based on economic need, however, rather than any cultural parameters.The first major attempt to map Appalachia as a distinctive cultural region came in the 1890s with the efforts of Berea College president William Goodell Frost, whose "Appalachian America" included 194 counties in 8 states. In 1921, John C. Campbell published The Southern Highlander and His Homeland in which he modified Frost's map to include 254 counties in 9 states. A landmark survey of the region in the following decade by the United States Department of Agriculture defined the region as consisting of 206 counties in 6 states. In 1984, Karl Raitz and Richard Ulack expanded the ARC's definition to include 445 counties in 13 states, although they removed all counties in Mississippi and added two in New Jersey. Historian John Alexander Williams, in his 2002 book Appalachia: A History, distinguished between a "core" Appalachian region consisting of 164 counties in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, and a greater region defined by the ARC.In the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (2006), Appalachian State University historian Howard Dorgan suggested the term "Old Appalachia" for the region's cultural boundaries, noting an academic tendency to ignore the southwestern and northeastern extremes of the ARC's pragmatic definition. Sean Trende, senior elections analyst at RealClearPolitics, defines "Greater Appalachia" in his 2012 book The Lost Majority as including both the Appalachian Mountains region (western Virginia and North Carolina, the Piedmont region in western South Carolina, West Virginia, southern Ohio, the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee, northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi) and the Upland South (southern Indiana and Illinois, the Bluegrass, Mississippi Plateau, Western Coal Field, and Jackson Purchase regions in central and western Kentucky, Middle and West Tennessee, Missouri, the Ozarks in Arkansas, Little Dixie and Southwestern Oklahoma, North and East Texas, and the Texas Hill Country) following Ulster Protestant migrations to the Southern and Midwestern United States in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Toponymy and pronunciation
While exploring inland along the northern coast of Florida in 1528, the members of the Narváez expedition, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, found a Native American village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida, whose name they transcribed as Apalchen or Apalachen (IPA: [apaˈlatʃen]). The name was soon altered by the Spanish to Apalachee and used as a name for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528, and applied the name. Now spelled "Appalachian", it is the fourth oldest surviving European place-name in the U.S. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves. The first cartographic appearance of Apalchen is on Diego Gutiérrez's map of 1562; the first use for the mountain range is the map of Jacques le Moyne de Morgues in 1565. Le Moyne was also the first European to apply "Apalachen" specifically to a mountain range as opposed to a village, native tribe, or a southeastern region of North America.The name was not commonly used for the whole mountain range until the late 19th century. A competing and often more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains", "Alleghenies", and even "Alleghania". In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United States either "Appalachia" or "Alleghania".In northern U.S. dialects, the mountains are pronounced or . The cultural region of Appalachia is pronounced /æpəˈleɪʃ(i)ə/, also /æpəˈleɪtʃ(i)ə/, all with a third syllable like "lay". In southern U.S. dialects, the mountains are called the , and the cultural region of Appalachia is pronounced /ˈæpəˈlætʃ(i)ə/, both with a third syllable like the "la" in "latch". This pronunciation is favored in the "core" region in central and southern parts of the Appala.... Discover the Joel Canfield popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Joel Canfield books.