Religion in Appalachia
The region of Appalachia has a long and rich history, this region was America’s first frontier. This region has seen many different changes come and go over its long lifetime. Many of these changes came in the early 20th century. The Appalachian region was very isolated and without much change until this time, and once we saw industrialization we saw many new changes affect the region in a religious sense. Some of the industrialization that had the greatest effect on our area was the building of large railroads in the late 19th century and early 20th century. These railroads connected the nation to the rich coal fields and virgin timber stands of the Appalachian Mountains. Although the influence of industry changed the landscape of Appalachia, it changed the religious landscape more. Appalachia had kept its old time traditions by isolation. When the industrial boom hit the region we had numerous people coming into the area that practiced many different religions. As part of this boom we saw key industrial cities grow, even more than their already large size. This is one reason we see the most religious diversity in key cities such as; Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC. This change was not limited to Southern Appalachia. Western Pennsylvania also saw in influx of immigrants and outsiders coming in droves to work the factories, which also affected their local customs and landscape. The Manufacturing boom lasted from about 1890 until 1930. Once conservationist and other groups began to realize the damage industry was doing to the region it was shut down and almost drove out. There are still many groups who are trying to outlaw strip mining. With industry fading and agriculture as good as gone, many people were looking for ways to survive. Many of these people including my ancestors decided that since they could no longer harvest coal or trees, they should focus on other sources of currency. Areas around the National Parks and State...
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