Appalachia was America's first frontier. The Appalachian mountains include the Alleghenies, the Cumberlands, the Blue Ridge and the Great Smokies. It is an ancient range, rugged and beautiful. For centuries, it was home to many Indian tribes, including Shawnee, Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee. In the 17th century, European explorers and traders came into Appalachia; they traded and intermarried with the Indians. By the 1740's, streams of immigrants left England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Wales seeking a better life in the new world. The population in the mountains swelled and it was more difficult to share resources. The British, the Indians and settlers endured decades of combat on the Appalachian frontier, which marked the edge of British territory in the colonies. One of the dominant groups in the mountains was the Scotch-Irish. The early pioneers brought their folkways and their music from the old country. Mountain life was isolated, and traditional culture was preserved. The old ballads and fiddle tunes were greatly beloved, and handed down through generations. The men of Appalachia fought bravely in the American Revolution. Afterwards, they railed at taxes and regulations imposed by the new American government. They found comfort in religion, which was enlivened by a series of evangelical revivals in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Traditional music was mingled with the [56 minutes]
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Series Description: The vast Appalachia region stretches across 13 states and is home to more than 23 million people, yet it may be the least understood culture in America. Appalachia has existed for generations as a region apart, isolated physically and culturally by its rugged mountains. The ethnically diverse Appalachian people - including many of the country's first immigrants - played a profound, and often overlooked, part in the nation's history and cultural and economic development. THE APPALACHIANS, introduced by country music star Naomi Judd, is a comprehensive historical and cultural overview of this distinctive region. This three-part series documents the unique legacy, courage, character, arts and culture of the central and southern Appalachian people. The film includes the work of outstanding Appalachian historians and scholars, writers, poets and musicians, including Ricky Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, Alison Kraus and traditional folk artists from the region.
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