tv 1870s Moonshine Wars in Appalachia CSPAN June 1, 2017 12:32am-1:41am EDT
>> many of whom who were resis tant. -- -- how are y'all doing, excellent. what i want y'all to do is go back in time. go back to the very beginning of the semester and/or second class. and remember we showed -- i showed you a clip of deliverance. and once we looked at deliverance i asked you to tell me what you think some of the
types of that movie were, and we began a list a number of these stereo types. they were uneducated. and in one case, you know, they have the genetic efficiencies. they leave in poverty. they're uncivilized people. and there was one kind of positive image and that was described in deliverance. they were at least good musicians. well, all of those scenario types that we observed in
deliverance. -- and it's not seen as unique for discovery of appalachian. now one reason why you're going to see the emergent. >> now, local literary con corner and it's going popular. and it's these people and we're going to begin and what they are interested in, though, is not necessarily the landscape, the mountains, the forests, other
kind of natural aspects. what they're focusing on is the people. they're about these mountain people. now, these local riders, their stories are going to be pubbished in middle class and very very popular at this time. and what i've listed here is some of the most prompt of these late 19th century journals. we've got harper's weekly, scibner's. these magazines are going to be read by middle class people. it's important to note this right now. they're read by middle class people and most of these middle class people live in the north. and they live in cities. we're talking about middle class people that live in new york city, philadelphia. so that's going to be the reader ship. that's who is consuming these locals color -- cover stories about appalachian.
now, what these locals are going to do when they begin to describe, when they begin to talk about these mountain people, it's that they're really going to stress what they call the peculiarities in life. they're going to begin to describe these mountain nears as being different. so what thing they're going to stress is the dialect, customs of these mountaineers is different. -- it's going to create two images. and, again, we're talking about the 1870s, and 890s. one of those images is going to be more -- and those image in the mountain nears. is that they're going to be and ancestors. and it's kind of implies it's
not so bad. so with this are contemporary sensation. due to geographic white -- due to the superior. and many ways to do isolation they're going to contemporary -- and other americans, say americans live in new york city, they do argue, though and they have the mid qualities within them that's going to allow them to come civilized.
and that's the first thing it's more benign and more positive image and really it's an image and really see this come out. it's a and apparently predispose violence that they have no regard, that they are not only ancestors, but unfortunately they're savage, though. in other words, they don't have main qualities in them that's going to allow them to become civilized. -- it is a more negative image and it turns out the both of those images, the positive and
they continue to this day and they live side by side with one another. >> the moon shiechb award is going to erupt and these local color riders are going to -- writers report and talk about moon shine. don't worry, i'll talk about what the moon shine wars were here in a few minutes. it's really those accounts of these moonshiners in appalachian. it's the moonshine wars that's going to play a big role of all mountain people being savage of being violent.
and as that name implies, they're not necessarily worried abo about. >> so these individuals are going to come in and they're journalists and novelists and they're going to come into the region in 1860s, early 1870s. they're going to begin to focus on the landscape, you know, the mountains, the huge trees, the waterfalls in this area and a good example of these scenic entrepreneurs is an arthur by
the name of christian reed, that's the pin name, the real name -- her real name is francis. but she's going to write the land of the sky. and this is an example of the scenic entrepreneurs. . she's more focused on describing the landscape. now, the story is actually based on an actual trip she took to western north carolina and 1875 visit asheville, but it is -- so we'll talk about all of these four northerners and they go into western north carolina, and they describe experience and when they begin to venture outside into the force of appalachian. so let me give you a little excerpt from series of articles again known as the land of the
sky. >> they begin to venture into the woods and wilderness. they quote we're leaving civilization altogether behind plunging deeper and deeper into the major. the mountains rise over heads hundreds of feet and ever -- of which great pines borrow in the dark shade ferns, flowers and mosses abound, together with trees of every variety while down to the hillsides and over the roads -- why is this important? why am i talking about these scenic entrepreneurs. well, it turns out that these scenic entrepreneur writings are
going to be appealing to the urban middle class northerners that i referred to. those are the individuals who are waiting those journals like harper's weekly, for instance. so why. why. that are going to appeal to the reader ship. first of all they describe -- they describe a landscape that is picturesque. a landscape that combines that's sub line for them, it's a landscape that's wild, that's untamed. and what they the combination of the -- for making it picturesque and that's of the landscape.
more importantly, these readings escape so as we get into the 1870s, that's really when you begin to see the rise of organization in the united states and that's first going to -- and it's like new york city is going to grow tremendously. philadelphia is going to grow tremendously. they're now going to emerge. well, it turns out these cities are hectic places. they're a lot different than if you live in the country side. so when these middle class living in philadelphia and living in new york city and when they're reading about these.
. these articles are going to be very appealing to industrial man. when they begin to describe the landscape. they're also going to talk about things like huge trees that they see are 20, 30, width in diameter or 150 tall. they're doing to talk about these that they see. a lot of these northerners are going to read these and they'll say to themselves, wow, wait a second, there are some big trees in this area. perhaps i should come out there and make some money. oh, there's a lot croppings, perhaps there's a lot of coal in this area. what these scenic entrepreneur writings also do is they really introduce these northern industrialist to the natural resources, the raw materials that are available in southern appalachian. in many ways this is going to set the stage for industrialization taking place in appalachian. we'll get into industrialization, though, next
week. i don't want to touch up on that yet. as we get in the mid 1870s, though, this is when you begin to see the rise of local -- and many ways they'll begin to replace those scenic entrepreneurs. and, again, if you remember local color riders, they're more focused on not the landscape like those scenic entrepreneurs. they're focused on the mountain people themselves. what they're going to stress, though, is the peculiarities of mountain culture. they're going to stress how different these mountain residents are when you compare them to one of the readers that's -- harper's weekly in new york city or philadelphia. now, the first local color rider, according to some historians, is a guy by the name of will wallace harnny. 18 p 3 he's strange land in
peculiar people. i think the name of the article himself says a lot about what this ultimately going to be about. let me give you a little excerpt from his article here. the natives of this characterized of the frame, so here he's saying he's focusing on the mountain people himself. now he's starting to say they're different. in this case they're different from other americans. the elongation of the bones. the contour of the facial angle. the relative proportion or disproportion of extremities. the loose muscle and harsh features were exemplified in the late president lincoln. like the individual appeals in their idiom which is prekul yar to the mountains. a couple of important things here. first he is saying that these people are somehow different, in this case, physical different than other americans. but he also compares them to
who, abraham lincoln. so here he's comparing them to a hardy frontier, what he's saying is these people are different, in the end they're good old honest abe. they're frontiers. they do live like our contemporary ancestors. but they have -- they're a noble race of people that's going to be able to achieve civilization. so as we get after the article, you'll have a series of local color riders, they'll express that first inch that was created over this period of time. the more image, the more positive image of the mountaineer, of it being contemporary, living like our pioneer like our grandfather's did in the 17 hundreds. another good example, this will be the last one i use to talk about that first more positive
image, another local color writer is her name is rebecca harding davis, she writes "qualities" let me give you another excerpt from her article here. they were not with dishes, knives, forks, beds or any other impediments, they slept in a hole filled with straw under loose boards on the floor. this is important right here. in pigments of civilization. so what they're saying, what she's saying here is that these people are uncivilized. they're not yet connected to modern america. but they were contented in good nature. they took life a huge joke and were honest general folk, despite their dirty and bedless condition. in other words, they're good people, though. they're eased with living in these conditions. money, indeed, appear throughout this region to be one of the unknown luxuries of civilization
and it's startling. if anything can be startling to find how easy and comfortably life resvolves itself. they don't know what money is. hopefully if you remember appalachian you'll know these people are connected to the larger market economy, that they're engaged in a cash market. so this is not necessarily represents the truth of what's going on. it's more of a perception of what's going on. so why would this first image, this more positive image of the mountain near, why is it going -- mountaineer going to be more appealing. these are the individuals who are consuming those local color articles in these journals. first, it serves as a creation. in that these urban middle class northerners, they view
themselves as being civilized, they view themselves as being urban. they view themselves as being koz cos cosmopolit cosmopolitan. they need to reaffirm their identity as being civilized. in order to do that, they'll have to find another group of people. then they define -- perceive as being different from them. well, in this case, it's going to be that mountain resident who is uncivilized, who is not bu cosmopolitan. in many way, it's reaffirming to these urban middle class northerners that they are
civilized. >> where you see squaller and poverty. the life in this town is very hectic. you're going from place to place very quickly. so what these urban middle class northerners want us to be reminded of simpler time. a time in which our grandfather. and when they weren't encumbered with the burden of civilization. when they were happy with having
really. >> as we get into the late 1870s, the image of the mountaineer is going to change. it's going to go from one of these to being our ancestors as being a good noble person that's going to have them lift up themselves. it's going to go to that image to one that's a lot more negative, one that specifies that these mountaineers are inherently violent. they have no regard for law and order. in other words, these people are uncivilized. they don't have traits that's going to allow them to become civilized. give you good example here of this transition between these -- between these images. louise jones, she's another color local writer. she was in the backwoods of carolina where she's talking
about the people of western north carolina. and let me kind of give you a couple of excerpts here from her piece. and i think this is really is a good contrast to what we were previously reading on these other slides here. first, she's going to describe these mountaineers as being the lower class composed of poor white trash. see a difference? they're no longer like good old honest abe. they're no longer like our good hardy pioneer folk, they're poor white trash. let me continue here quoting from in the backwoods of carolina, the civilities, even some of the decencies of life are disspenced with. and it's always more degrading than a corresponding state of ignorance among the people that have never been elevated. so the degenerate anglo sax
sons. compared, few of them who still linger in the mountains. so what she's already in here, these people are unsooicivilize. unsavage. and in fact, they're even more savage than who, those native americans. so the question, now, is why do you see the rise of the second image that's more negative image of the mountaineers, this image that says that these mountaineers are inherently predisposed to committing violence. that they're never going to become civilized. they're never going to become part of america. what i want to argue is that mo moonshining plays a big role in this. late 1870s. you're going to see the rise to what is known as the moonshine wars. it's a label that these local color writers are going to give. but basically what happens, and i'll talk about this in greater
detail here in a few minutes. 1877, the federal government decides to crack down on the feeling, moon shiners and other words for moonshiners. they distill alcohol but they do not pay a federal liquor tax. >> and that's going to lead to competence and gun fights between these. what happens is that these so-called moon shine wars of local -- and interested and trying to write about the people themselves. and what's going to happen is local and increasing talk about moon shiners.
late 1700s, many of them are going to distill alcohol. now, i want to say this, first of all, the period i'm talking about right now is before the civil war. we're looking at the ant bell lum period. during that period, there was no such thing as a moonshiner. the main reason for that is that there was not a federal liquor tax, so these distillers did not have to worry about paying that federal liquor tax. the only exception is in the the brief period of time they do enact but it's ultimately going to repeal that tax. so why from day one are these, you know, mountain people in the 1700s, why are they going to distill alcohol. well, first of all, there's practical reasons behind this. and that's -- if you -- it's easier transport alcohol. so instead -- if you're glowing corn.
instead of transports that corn to market, oftentimes they found it was a much easier to convert that corn into liquid, into whisky and then send that product to market. so i'll give you an example here, during the antebellum period, a mule could carry an equivalent of four bushels of corn. but, if that appalachian -- that farmer converted that corn into alcohol, he could carry equivalent of 24 bushels. so you can see here it makes practical sense. it's easier to transport this corn if it's converted into liquor. if it's converted into whisky. it's also more profitable to distill alcohol as opposed to just selling your corn among the market. during most of the antebellum
period, a bushel of corn and a gallon of whisky, pretty much sold for the same amount, usually ranged between 30 cents apiece. keep that in mind here. so let's just say, for example, that the price of a bushel of corn and a price per gallon of whisky, 60 cents each. let's say you have 20 bushelles, you'll end up making $10. what if you had that 20 bushels of corn and you decided to convert that corn into liquor, into whisky. it turns out back then, two bushels of corn, out of two bushels of corn you can make five gallons of liquor of whisky, if you had that 20 bushels of corn and you converted into alcohol and sold it on in the market, you'll end up making $25. you can see a big difference here, $10 if you sell that to
market, $25 if you. so these farmers through the antebellum period, it's practical and easy to transport, but you can also make a lot of money from it as well. >> i'm talking about before the civil war. i'm talking about the 1820s and '30s. turns out that alcohol played a very important role in mountain culture. and let me stress this, too, that this is not something that is unique and that for americans everywhere in the united states at this time, alcohol plays an important role in their practices. let me give you a couple of examples. -- other parts of the united
states. they really didn't have a lot of forms of leisure, like there wasn't any at this time, a they combine leisure with work. this will come together in a second. a good example of that would be barn rayinisings. say a farmer wants to build a farm, he'll invite all the members of the surrounding community with him to help him build that barn. so it's work function here, he's able to get his barn built. but it's also a social function and that these people from around the region, they have the opportunity to come together. and as they're building that barn, they're going to talk. they're going to joke. they're going to gossip. they'll talk politics, et cetera, et cetera. oftentimes during these barn raisings, you'll also have
whisky that was used of these conversations, particularly, amongst the men. alcohol also plays an important role in the political culture, not also mountain society at this time, but also american society. it's during this period of time when you have very popular practice called treaty, treating, treating. it's kind of a practice that i wish was still around today. but basically what happens, say if you're a voter and you went to vote and you'll -- you typically it was too late for the courthouse. as you're walking into that courthouse, the candidate who is running for office stop you and shake your hand, remember to vote for me and they might also, here is a little alcohol for you, too, maybe that will convince you to vote for me. the point of all of this, it's
the consumption of alcohol and i will say that there is people do have a problem. they don't modern use. they're not absolute this time. if there's not a stigma attached to alcohol. if there's not a stigma attached to alcohol consumption. it means it's not attached to those individuals to make -- and 1862 is going to change for the appalachian. and but also distillers throughout the united states. 1862 federal government is going to enact a federal liquor tax and actually happens during the middle of the civil war to raise money for the war effort that was going on at that period of
time. in 1865 a lot of these mountain farmers are going to return home. they're going to resume, you know, what they had been doing beforehand. you know, it makes practical sense to make alcohol the best way to support my family so to make alcohol. i'm going to continue to do what i was doing before the war, convert my coin into liquor. now comes the problem they realize they have to pay that federal income tax. now, some of these mountain farmers are going to pay that tax. some are going to refuse to pay that tax. when they refuse to pay that tax, they're going to be known as moonshiners. the question, first of all, is why fight the bureau of internal revenue. the bureau of internal revenue is the federal agency that's created in 1862 to enforce this
federal liquor tax. the name of the bureau is going to be changed in 1953 to the irs, an institution that everybody, federal agency, that i think everybody is pretty familiar with to date. but why would these mountaineers right after the american civil war, why would they resist the bureau of internal revenue. why would they refuse to pay this federal liquor tax. what i'm going to give you is what i believe more plausible answers to this question right here. the local colorist which we'll talk about here in the next few slides. they're going to come up with different conclusions. this, i think, are the more plausible reasons why they're ultimately going to resist the federal government. first of all, we'll argue that hurts that profit margin. it kind of makes sense, now have to pay a tax and make as much money on products. in this case, it's going to be
whisky. these farmers are also going to argue that they have a natural right. they have a natural right to distill alcohol, really they have a natural right to make a living, however that living might be, free from government oversight. so for them, they're arguing, i have a natural right just like my grandfather, just like my father to make a living, free of government interference. so there's a motion of natural rights, why should i pay a tax. this is what i do to feed my family, to support my family. and, also, turns out after the american civil war that this whole issue of federal liquor taxation is intertwined with the politics of reconstruction. i know that a lot of you are not history major, very quickly reinstruction is the period of time right after the civil war. takes place roughly between, you know, 1865 to 1877.
in reconstruction is a period of time in which the north, the federal government is trying to incorporate those former confederate states back into the union. well, if you remember our lecture from monday when we're talking about the civil war in ap latch chpalachian one thing demonstrated to you guys is that appalachian was not this mon lisk unionness region. you had -- mon liregion. a lot of farmers will realize they have to pay a federal tax. they'll get mad because it hurts the profit margin and they have a right to make that product free from government intervention. what they'll view the bureau of internal revenue is as well as the federal liquor tax is a tool
of yankee centralization. so a lot of these farmers, they fought for the confederacy, they come back and want to distill alcohol. they view this bureau of internal revenue, this tax as a tool of yankee centralization. what do i mean by that. they view the bureau of internal revenue, they view this tax as a tool used by the federal government to impose dominance over their communities. it's going to be another reason why they're ultimately going to oppose the bureau of internal revenue. another reason behind this is that they're also going to gain the support, they being the moonshiners of the democratic party at this time. now, the parties that we know today, the republican party, the democratic party. they're completely different than what they were in, say,
the, you know, the 1860s or the 1870s. at this time we're talking about during reconstruction, the democratic party is the party of the former confederacy. most of the confederates, they're not going to embrace the republican party. they're going to embrace the democratic party. it turns out that these democrats also view the bureau of internal revenue, they view that federal liquor tax as yankee civilization, a tool used by the federal government toim pose dominance over the local community. what happens during reconstruction is democratic politicians in north carolina and virginia. they're going to urge these moonshiners to resist the law. in this case they have the support for people that have the political power in that society. so, as i said, this is what i believe are really the true
reasons why many of these individuals in appalachian decide, why they ultimately to become moonshiners. as we get into 1870s, you'll see the individual that's going to be become president that year and when he becomes president, he realizes that moonshine and throughout on the united states. and it's caused the federal government. and decides to do is crack down on it. in appalachian, in other parts of the united states of america at that time. so what's going to happen as we get to 1877 and 878 is more and more of these federal agents are going to begin to come in to apprehend, to arrest moonshiners and oftentimes what's going to happen is bloodshed, gun fights
are going to take place. these local color writers are going to begin to hone in on these conflicts between these revenuers, between these moonshiners and they're going to popularize this conflict as the moonshine wars, kind of have a nice little feel to it, doesn't it? the moonshine wars, you're trying to sell papers and magazines. you're trying to make people buy those things. moonshine wars is something that's very atratractive and ve appealing. a couple of things i want to stress as i get into what they had to say, what they ultimately had to say about the moonshine wars. first, these local color writers do emphasize the level of violence. most moonsmihiners would rather
flee than fight. flee, live another day. what you see here between 1877 and 1880 this is the height of the so-called moonshine wars. in average there's around 6 revenue acres that are killed per year. that's not, you know, you want zero killed. six is not a large number. it's not the numbers that these local color writers are going to be implying in their context. billy the kid, all these gun fights, gun fight at the ok corral. during the so-called wild west you had 20 deputy marshals that are killed per year. so you can see here, when you compare these moon shooin wars to the so-called wild west -- moonshine wars to the so-called wild west, they're a lot more
violent. these locals are going to over emphasize, exaggerate the level of violence that these mountaineers commit against these revenuers. please also remember that not all mountain residents are moonshiners. what's going to happen, they're going to depict all mountaineers as being take tate all mountaineers as being moonshiners. when northern readers are going to read the stories, they are going to equate moonheadliners with mountaineers. they're one and the same according to these local color writers. also understand that moonshining occurs everywhere in the united states at this time. appalachia, to this day is
synonymous with moonshining. but people don't realize it is not confined to appalachia. so the moonshine wars are going to do two things. one thing they're going to do is they're going to create the myth of violent appalachia. i'm going to spend the rest of the lecture about the construction of this smith. the second thing the moonshine wars are going to do, and i should say local color accounts of these moonshine wars are going to do is their going to encourage urban victorians to intervene on behalf of the mountain people, mountain people who they believe are depraved and living in squalor and who are ignorant and uneducated. it's going to make a lot of the middle class northerners to help out these mountaineers.
this is going to lead to what is known as the uplift movement. it's going to happen in the 1880s to the 1890s. i'm going to save this discussion for monday. i'm going to focus on this myth of the creation of the violent appalachia. the first article i discovered that begins to talk about moonshine culture in the 1870s. and it's the first article i found that mentions the term moonshining. throughout the early 1860s, 1870s when reporters talked about moonshine they talked about illicit distillers. these local color writers are going to say moonshiners.
doesn't it have a better sound to it. guys who go into the forest at night and are sneaking around, evading the federal liquor tax. so this one article published in 1877, "harper's weekly" entitled "the moonshine man: a peep into his home and hideaways." this is the first article i have seen that wonders why the moonshiners do what they do. to make a long story short here, the article pretty much describes the experience that the writer of this article had when he was traveling with revenuers in the state of kentucky. it pretty much chronicles what he is doing with these revenuers when they are going into eastern tennessee -- or eastern kentucky. in the end, they capture some moonshiners and take the moonshiners back to louisville,
kentucky and there they would stand trial for not abiding by the federal liquor tax. this article, i believe, really creates two things about moonheadliners. and by extension mountain residents that later local color writers are going to take up on to explain why you have moonshining in appalachia. one of those things is moonshining is a product of geographical isolation. that those mountains have served as a physical barrier preventing civilization and the market economy from coming into appalachia and so the mountaineers continue to live like primitive, contemporary ancestors. but what geographic isolation also does is encourage these individuals to distill alcohol
as a way to make money. along those same lines, the local color writers view moonshining as something that is primitive, something that modern americans do not do. it is something that is uncivilized. the second thing it is going to emphasize is that these moonshiners are uncivilized and are savage. and again, remember, when these local color writers are talking about these moonshiners they're implying that all mountaineers are moonshiners. middle-class northerners when they read these stories they automatically assume that talking about moonshiners this is how all those mountain people are. they're uncivilized. they're savage. let me give you an excerpt.
that drives the point home and i'll analyzed a little bit for you. what the author of the "moonshine man," he describes the federal agents have captured that moonshiner and they're taking them back to louisville and they will stand trial for evading federal liquor tax. here is the description of what happens when they enter into civilization. >> the moonshiner in a alarm city is as mild looking a man as you have ever seen. the startling effect produced by sudden entry into a city after long years of life in rural regions so overcome the elicit distiller that picture him to the streets as meek and mild mannered in the extreme. in other words these individuals have never seen buildings or
railroads before. and when they enter into this civilization and urban environment they freak out and start shake they don't know how to act in a modern civilized world. in this case, these moonshiners are not only unwilling to embrace modernity. they're not willing to embrace civilization and they're also unable to. it's going to be impossible for them to ultimately become civilized. you are going to have several articles on moonshiners that are published by local color writers in '77 and '78 and they pretty much emphasize the same themes as "the moonshine man." i found audio interesting article trying to describe these moonshiners.
published in "harper's weekly" and talking about moonshiners in western north carolina. the author describes his experiences trying to track down some of these moonshiners. when he talks about why these individuals decide to moonshine, he is going to stress the same thing as "the moonshine man," they are a product of geographical isolation and they are uncivilized and savage and describes why they want to break the law and why they are more likely to commit violence. but this article adds a new theme and that is genetics. that mountaineers, for whatever reason, genetically they are predisposed to committing violence. there's something engrained in
their dna that makes them not want to abide by the law. there is something engrained in their dna that makes them want to commit violence to preserve their way of life. let me give you a couple of quotes from "law and moonshine"" according to the author, the illicit the distiller of the moonshiner was, quote, naturally wild and grotesque. physically they're different. they're grotesque. they're wild, they're savage. there is something genetically different with them that makes them predisposed to committing this violence. the author continues, it is impossible to quince -- convince these big-boned semi-barbarian people that the revenue official
who comes searching for and destroying their stills is not an emissary of the he rhett call and unjust government but for him whom the sly bullet is too good and welcome. as we get into the 1880s, most of the local color writings mention moonshiners somehow or another. they become a central character in all these writings. and these northern middle class people begin to associate moonshining with appalachia. these local color stories, local color writing are also going to stress those themes that i talked about. moonshine is a product of geographical isolation. these moonshiners and by
extension, these mountain residents are uncivilized, they're savage. these moonshiners and mountain whites are also genetically different. they are genetically predisposed to commit violence and they are savage. what you also see though as we get in the mid-1880s, though is the moonshiner will serve as a symbol of what is wrong with appalachia. these local color writers are going to say the main reason why the appalachian people live in isolation and why they are violent is because they are in geographic isolation and because they are genetically predisposed to violence. what the moonshiner becomes in the 1880s is an example of how
outsiders could improve mountain society. in many ways the way to make mountain society improve, to make it better, to make it civilized, to make it modern, was to get rid of these moonshiners and get rid of the factors that play in them ultimately deciding to break the law. how do you do that? what these local color writers are going to say is, we need to bring education into the mountains. they need more schools. more importantly, though, according to the local color writers what these mountaineers need to be -- need to have in order to not be moonshiners but also to become civilized is economic modernization. we need industries to come into appalachia, to provide jobs to these people, to connect them to
the larger market economy. if we're able do that then these people are going to stop break the law. they're going to stop being moonshiners. a good example of this is donald baines, he was a journalist. we can consider him a local color writers as well. he is going to write an article entitled "among the moonshiners." he talks about the moonshiners and more importantly he gets into this how the moonshiners can improve society. how economic modernization can be used to uplift these mountaineers. bring in jobs, connect them to the larger modern economy. modernize appalachia, modernize the mountaineer. there's the quote. in a few more years when the
march of progress shall have sounded the moonshiners okay base will be gone. when he is referring to progress here he is referring to economic modernization. we need to bring in the railroad. companies and timber companies. to provide employment for these people. when the march of progress should have sounded through these woods and dales the moonshiners occupation shall be gone and in its stead we shall find farmers cultivating the rich soil that is running to waste. the stills that they use to convert that corn into liquor. and where now is not but desolation, squalor and ignorance there shall be cultivation, happiness, wealth, happiness and intelligence. so why are local color writers
ultimately create this image of the violent mountaineer? why create this myth of violent appalachia? first of all, it is going to provide an excuse to industrialized the region. this is something you've -- if you've been listening you've been picking up on this a little bit. the 1880s is when you begin to see the rise of industrialization in appalachia. when you begin to see capitalists come in from the north and begin to buy up hundreds of thousands of acres of land and are going to start timber operations. they're going to start coal operatives. as these industrialists are coming into the region, they can say -- we're coming in there to make money. but at the same time the main reason we want to come in here is to what? uplift these mountaineers. help them out, give them jobs
that they need so they no longer break the law. so that they no longer moonshiners. it provides an excuse to industrialize the region. it's also beneficial to these middle class northerners. it allows them to project their own fears on to people perceived to be different. in this case the moonshiners, the violent savage mountain people. remember in the 1870s and 1880s, this is when the united states becomes urbanized particularly in the northern part of the country. this is also the period of time when the united states becomes industrialized. along with industrialization, though, comes disorder.
give you a couple of examples here. what happens is there are too many people coming into the cities so it's going to be hard for the municipal governments to construct housing for these individuals. a lot of people are going to become homeless or live in these tenements. with industrialization you are going to see the gap between rich and poor is going to begin to widen. another thing that is seldom mentioned with the rise of industrialization you also see a tremendous amount of labor strife in the northeast. and a lot of these workers who are wage earners are going to begin to protest poor wages. they're going to begin to protest dangerous work conditions. they are increasingly going to join unions and their employers are not going to like that. oftentimes what happens out of that is violence or strikes.
for a lot of these urban, middle class northerners, first of all, they have embraced industrialization. but they're also scared. they're looking around, seeing that industrialization has created disorder. and many of them are scared for the future of the united states. is this labor strike going to continue? is this violence going to continue? again, though, they've embraced industrialization. how does this violent mountaineer play a role in this? they can at least say this, things are not going so swell in new york city. there are people living in squalor. there are a lot of labor strikes going on. but at least i'm not who? i'm not one of those savage mountaineers. i am not living in squalor like those mountaineers.
i'm at least civilized. so even though i'm scared about what's happening in the future i'm glad i chose industrialization. if i didn't, who would i be living like? those mountain people, the appalachian moonshiners. the third reason why they ultimately created this image, why this image of the violent mountaineers is important. it allows the north to reunite with the south following reconstruction. as i said earlier, reconstruction is that period of time right after the civil war in u.s. history, it's that time when the federal government is going to begin to try to find ways to implement those former confederate states back into the union. reconstruction is also one of the most violent periods in american history.
as we get into the 1870s, what's ultimately going to happen throughout these former confederate states is that the democratic party. and remember the democratic party at this time they are the party of the former confederates. they are the party that these white confederates are joining. they are going to begin to overthrow these republican-held state governments in the south. overtimes that overthrow -- or i should say replace those republican governments. oftentimes, though, that process is very, very violent. for instance during this period of time during reconstruction that you see the emerge of a terrorist organization known as the ku klux klan. it's also a period of racial violence in american history. and that violence is white-on-black violence that
ultimately accompanies the collapse of these republican governments. racial violence is going to deeply disturb these northerners. it is going to convince these northerners at least momentarilies, maybe we should not allow these confederate states back in the union so quickly. what these stories of these violent mountaineers do, though, is it kind of serves as a way for these white northerners, it kind of allows them to ignore the racial violence that's going on in the south. as these local color writers are writing about the violence in the south they are talking about these exotic, savage mountain white people who are genetically predisposed to committing violence. it's these individuals that the northern middle class northerners are going to become interested in.
it was a way for them to ignore what is going on in the south. by extension, and allows a northerners to ultimately reconcile with the south, allow the northerners to reunite with the south following reconstruction. so as i said, the local color accounts of the moonshine wars they are ultimately going to do two things. first of all they're going to create that myth of violent an -- appalachia, and we just described why this is important. what those local color accounts of moonshiners are also going to do is lead to that so-called uplift movement i referred to a few slides ago. that uplift movement we're going the talk about on monday. have a great weekend. don't drink and drive.
the battle of midway took place june 4th through 7th, 1942 in the pacific theater of world war ii and resulted in a decisive naval victory for the u.s. over japan. coming just six months after the japanese attack on pearl harbor and one month after the u.s. navy fought the japanese to a stalemate at the battle of the coral sea, some argue the u.s. victim you are at midway was the turning point of the war in the pacific. to mark the battle's 75th anniversary we will be live from the macarthur memorial visitor's center in norfolk, virginia. that's here on c-span3. on sunday, matt taibbi will be our guest on in depth.
>> instantly you fall in love in that moment, you know, for me, trump was like that except it was the opposite. when i first saw him on the campaign trail i thought this is a person who is unique, horrible, amazing, terrible characteristics were put on earth specifically for me to appreciate or unappreciate or whatever the verb is because i had really been spending a lot of the last ten to twelve years without knowing it, preparing for donald trump to happen. >> mr. taibbi is a contributor to "rolling stone" magazine and the author of several books "the great derangement," "a story of bankers, politicians and the
most audacious power grab in american history" and "insane clown president." during our live three-hour conversation weal take your calls, tweets and facebook questions. watch in depth with author and journalist matt taibbi, live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on sunday. sunday night on after words. nebraska senator ben sass explores how to encourage adolescents to become independent citizens. he is interviewed by the founder and president of the me l millennial -- >> change industries three times in the first decade post
college. that's new. and all the unsettling scary stuff that produced progressivism was about the idea that job disturbance created all these unsettling ripples. a lot of what people panicked about then is what we're going to experience at warp speed. we're going to have 40 and 50-years-old get dismediated out of not only jobs and firms but industries. we are going to have to create learners. >> watch sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span 2's book tv. >> dickinson college professor cotton seiler teaches a class about the emerging definitions of whiteness and blackness in colonial america and how they impacted the origins of country music.