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The Lost State of FranklinAmerica's First Secession$
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Kevin T. Barksdale

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125213

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125213.001.0001

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Land of the Franks

Land of the Franks

The Backcountry Economy of Upper East Tennessee

(p.18) Chapter 1 Land of the Franks
The Lost State of Franklin

Kevin T. Barksdale

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the earliest permanent settlement of eastern Tennessee, a diverse, dynamic, and interconnected regional economy which is composed of a powerful coalition of landed elite, yeoman farmers, and backcountry merchants. It notes that the lack of support from the North Carolina state government for the improvement of the Tennessee Valley's infrastructure presented a formidable obstacle to economic advancement for the region's ruling and labouring classes. The chapter observes that the perceived unresponsiveness of North Carolina's eastern political leaders to the demands made by backcountry farmers, stockmen, merchants, and land speculators for state funds for internal improvements ultimately served as one of the driving issues uniting many of the region's economic elite and small-holders behind the Franklin statehood movement. It notes that both the frontier localism and internal factionalism found their origins in the fierce competition for control over the region's political and economic systems.

Keywords:   eastern Tennessee, regional economy, North Carolina, political leaders, statehood movement, frontier localism, internal factionalism, economic systems

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