Scotch Irish Influences On Appalachian Culture And American History

1708 words - 7 pages

A large number of people of "Scotch-Irish lineage" settled in The Appalachian Mountain area of North Carolina. By the beginning of the 1800s, the residents of the Appalachian Mountains were of several different ethnic backgrounds; there were English, Germans, French Hugenots, Irish, and some Indians. Nevertheless, the majority of the settlers in this area were the Scotch-Irish, from Ulster. The Scotch-Irish, were the most influential people in America by the end of the 1700s, because they "numbered 3,172,444" which was about 14 percent of the population. The Scotch-Irish people who immigrated to the English colonies from Ulster were influential in the instigation of the American Revolution, then when the war began they contributed many resources to the war effort. After the American Revolution was won and the nation was forming, the Scotch Irish played an essential part in the creation of Appalachian culture, as we know it today.The Scotch-Irish were an unusual culture from the British Isles. They were not quite Scottish and they were not Irish, but they were known as "Celtic" as any other people from the British Isles were.Most of the Scotch-Irish people were Presbyterians originally from the highlands of Scotland and the Scottish English border, which moved to Ulster, Ireland during the seventeenth century. They moved to Ulster, because King James I had created plantations where they could work. Then in early eighteenth century, the Scotch-Irish moved again, this time immigrating to the British colonies across the Atlantic. They made this move to the Americas because of restrictions that the British placed on their religion, Presbyterianism, and because of "economic deprivations" in Ulster. It is estimated that a quarter of a million Scotch-Irish left Ulster during the 18th century. These peoples left the British Isles on ships from Belfast, Portrush, Larne, Londonderry, and Newry and entered the Americas through the ports in Philadelphia, Delaware, New York, Baltimore and Charleston. Most of the Scotch-Irish who settled in the Appalachians of Western North Carolina landed in ports in Pennsylvania, along with many Scotch-Irish who chose not to continue traveling inland but instead chose to settle in Pennsylvania. Even though many settled in Pennsylvania, a large number continued their journey and moved south by way of the Great Wagon Road through Virginia to Western North Carolina. Because there land could be bought cheaply, since, at that time Western North Carolina was frontier land. From about 1740 to about 1756, there was a constant stream of these people pouring into the area, until they represented about one third of the population. This meant that the Scotch-Irish population in North Carolina numbered about 65,000 people. They usually tended to settle in groups and around other Scotch-Irish who practiced the same customs and spoke the same dialect.The Scotch-Irish helped a great deal in the instigation of the American Revolution as well...

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