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dc.contributor.authorStewart, Bruce E.
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation chronicles the changing images of alcohol distillers in Appalachian North Carolina during the nineteenth century. Although moonshiners broke the law by refusing to pay the federal liquor tax, local communities did not initially view them as criminals following the Civil War. In fact, antebellum distillers were a well-respected, vital part of western North Carolina. During Reconstruction, they continued to garner the support of most mountain residents by opposing the newly reenacted federal liquor tax. Many mountain whites, whether Republican or Democratic, opposed liquor taxation because it threatened to increase federal authority and destroy an important local industry. Consequently, the moonshiner, by combatting the national government, became a celebrated figure in western North Carolina. After 1876, however, the status of liquor manufacturers (both licit and illicit) underwent a major overhaul. Mountain whites who did not distill alcohol increasingly believed that moonshiners were criminals on the fringes of society. Why did this change in attitude occur? To answer this question, I probe into the impact that industrialization had on mountain society, examine how federal liquor taxation affected party politics in southern Appalachia, and describe the rise of the prohibition movement in western North Carolina. These phenomena, combined with mainstream media’s negative portrayal of mountain society, helped to spark a local movement against legal and illegal distillers following Reconstruction. This anti-distiller crusade was both a reflection and a function of a cultural rift between urban and rural highlanders that had been growing since the late antebellum period. By the 1880s, distillers - the moonshiners, in particular - had become symbols of what was wrong with mountain society, thereby providing local townspeople and “outsiders” with an excuse to reform rural Carolina highlanders. Writ large, this study provides an excellent opportunity to view the development and impact of class conflict in southern Appalachia during the nineteenth century.
dc.subjectSouthern Appalachia
dc.subjectAmerican South
dc.subjectNew South
dc.subjectNorth Carolina
dc.subjectCivil War
dc.subjectSons of Temperance
dc.subjectLiquor Law Enforcement
dc.subjectKu Klux Klan
dc.subjectWhite Caps
dc.subjectWomen\'s Chris
dc.titleDistillers and prohibitionists
dc.title.alternativesocial conflict and the rise of anti-alcohol reform in Appalachian North Carolina, 1790-1908
dc.description.advisorJohn C. Inscoe
dc.description.committeeJohn C. Inscoe
dc.description.committeePaul Sutter
dc.description.committeeKathleen Clark
dc.description.committeeStephen Mihm

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