Posted By:Ishmael Williams
Subject:Re: Pre-War Determinants of Unionism
Post Date:April 11, 2003 at 06:22:01
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Forum:Southern Unionist Forum
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You'll find alot of Confederate soldiers who would cite their ancestor's fighting in the Revolutionary War as a factor in their decision to join the Southern rebellion as well.

Speaking of the Revolutionary War, I do recall reading that many of those in the backcountry who chose not to join the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War did so because they preferred the Government across the ocean to the Government by the local lowlanders. In the Carolinas, there was hostility among some towards the local-based agents and provincial officials in Charleston and other more settled areas who the backcountry thought didn't represent the interests of all and regarded them as little more than poor squatters who served as a buffer from Indian attacks. This erupted into the Regulator Movements in the Carolinas in the years before the Revolution during which some backcountry settlers tried to address the neglect and right the wrongs done them by the Kings agents.

I wonder whether the southern Unionist Movement in the backcountry of the South didn't at least partly reflect the same kinds of frustrations towards state government and establishment which was oriented towards the more settled regions of the state. After all parts of the backcountry at the time of the Civil War were still really frontier outposts with poorly developed roads which constrained market-based agriculture and industrial development and also limited other contacts and exchanges outside the local area.

Is there evidence of regional political and other frictions between the uplands and the lowlands before the War? Could this isolation of the backcountry have contributed to this feeling that the Southern Cause was not a local issue?