Date: May 2011
Creator: Zemler, Jeffrey Allen
Description: This dissertation argues that the strong relationship that historians see between the South and West in the early 19th century, which allowed them to form what scholars have termed the Old South, had its origins in the twenty-year period after the American Revolution when a group of far-sighted southerners worked to form a political bond between the two regions. They did so by tirelessly defending the West and westerners against political and economic attacks, often from northerners but sometimes from people within their own region. Within the ongoing debate over the emergence of a southern consciousness, historians have overlooked one important factor in its development-the West. Although it would be incorrect to argue that southern consciousness began in the 1780s or 1790s, it would not be remiss to argue that southerners began to look at the trans-Appalachian West during this period as something more than just virgin territory. A few southerners, particularly James Madison, saw the South's political future entwined with the West's advancement and worked to ensure that a strong political relationship developed between the two regions. For people like Madison, this political merger of the two sections is what they meant when they talked about a "southern and ...
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