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Country people in the new south: Tennessee's Upper by Jeanette Keith

By Jeanette Keith

Utilizing the Tennessee antievolution 'Monkey Law,' authored by way of a neighborhood legislator, as a degree of ways conservatives effectively resisted, co-opted, or neglected reform efforts, Jeanette Keith explores conflicts over the which means and price of development in Tennessee's hill kingdom from 1890 to 1925.Until the Eighteen Nineties, the higher Cumberland used to be ruled by way of small farmers who preferred restricted govt and enterprise neighborhood keep watch over of church buildings and colleges. Farm males managed their households' hard work and hostile monetary danger taking; farm ladies married younger, had huge households, and produced a lot of the family's sustenance. however the arrival of the railroad in 1890 remodeled the neighborhood economic climate. Farmers battled city dwellers for regulate of group associations, whereas Progressives referred to as for cultural, political, and fiscal modernization. Keith demonstrates how those conflicts affected the region's mobilization for international warfare I, and he or she argues that by way of the Nineteen Twenties moving gender roles and employment styles threatened traditionalists' cultural hegemony. in line with Keith, faith performed a tremendous function within the adjustment to modernity, and native humans united to help the 'Monkey legislation' as a fashion of confirming their conventional non secular values.

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I owe her and other local historian thanks. Historians are always in debt to archivists and librarians. I would like to thank the people at the Tennessee State Library and Archives; the Disciples of Christ Historical Society; the Southern Baptist Convention Historical Library and Archives; the National Archives in Washington and at the Record Center in East Point, Georgia; the Special Collections of the Hoskins Library at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt; the Vanderbilt Divinity School Library; the Jere Whitson Page x Library at Tennessee Tech; and the Clara Cox Epperson Library, Cookeville, Tennessee.

20 For farmers, stores were as much trading posts as places to buy. Advertisements in Upper Cumberland newspapers indicate that most, if not all, stores took barter for goods. To the stores farm families brought eggs, poultry, feathers, beeswax, tallow, dried fruits, hides, wool, corn, peas, butter, meal, pork, potatoes, sorghum, furs, and ginseng. In exchange they got textiles, shoes, hardware, farm supplies, and food. How much food families purchased in stores is hard to determine. Certainly most families bought sugar, soda, coffee, and salt; a significant number also found it more practical to buy Page 22 wheat flour.

By the 1890s the Upper Cumberland was populated by the descendants of generations of farmers who had chosen to stay in a region where access to agricultural markets was difficult. This promoted the development and survival of a yeoman farmer worldview, in which economic independence was highly valued in and of itself. Throughout the nineteenth century many people left the Upper Cumberland to farm lands in the West. Local newspapers often ran letters from former residents who described economic conditions in their new homes.

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