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Author Topic: Republican "nub" in western Tennessee  (Read 2777 times)
Indy Texas
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« on: April 18, 2012, 10:01:04 pm »
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I am aware of the history behind the East/West Tennessee split after the Civil War (East Tennessee being strongly Republican consistently; West Tennessee being part of the Solid South up until the late 20th century).
What confuses me is the little cluster of Republican counties in western Tennessee  just above where Alabama and Mississippi meet. I can't find anything explaining why they voted so much more Republican than the rest of that general area. Does anyone have any background info that might provide some context?
I've included a map that I made to try to explain what I'm talking about.

The Republican "nub" appeared in nearly every election from the late 19th century onward. After 1980, it faded away as the entire state and region became more Republican as well.
(I know, I've committed the mortal sin of making Republicans red and Democrats blue the way everyone not affiliated with this site does. Don't hate.)
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 10:37:39 pm »
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Wrong color scheme.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 11:12:27 pm »
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My dad's side of the family is from Hardin County and I'm very proud of this area's Republican tradition Smiley

You will note that these counties (Hardin, Wayne, Henderson, as well as Carroll and Weakley) voted against treason just like East TN:

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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 11:24:40 pm »
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My dad's side of the family is from Hardin County and I'm very proud of this area's Republican tradition Smiley

You will note that these counties (Hardin, Wayne, Henderson, as well as Carroll and Weakley) voted against treason just like East TN:



How did the DC area of Virginia not end up as part of West Virginia?
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 11:27:55 pm »
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Also, why did the heavily pro-Union, Republican tradition in eastern Tennessee never spill over into western North Carolina?
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 11:56:16 pm »
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Also, why did the heavily pro-Union, Republican tradition in eastern Tennessee never spill over into western North Carolina?

The Tennessee Valley is the only thing I can think of that caused it. You have the Appalachians (pretty rough terrain even today) that does a pretty good job of separating North Carolina from Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau that rises up and separates the rest of Tennessee from the Valley. I've always been fascinating by the little pockets like these in the South; I never noticed the "nub" as referenced in the OP, but it appears to be even more ardently Republican than my area in the TV.

My dad's side of the family is from Hardin County and I'm very proud of this area's Republican tradition Smiley

You will note that these counties (Hardin, Wayne, Henderson, as well as Carroll and Weakley) voted against treason just like East TN:



Awesome! My county was "divided". Would've been cooler if they'd got in line with the surrounding counties that were against secession. It's interesting how there's a trail "Against succession" that follows closely with the Tennessee River. That might be one of the original components to why the area in West TN is the way it is.
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 01:09:50 am »
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Wrong color scheme.

He acknowledged that in the OP; don't be an asshole.

On topic: Do you have the demographic breakdown of these counties? This is actually a really interesting observation.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 03:20:28 am »
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Wrong color scheme.

He acknowledged that in the OP; don't be an asshole.

On topic: Do you have the demographic breakdown of these counties? This is actually a really interesting observation.
Sorry I didn't read the OP just saw the color scheme. I just saw this in another thread earlier today, so it kinda pissed me off.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 03:35:06 am »
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I saw it but intended to comment on it anyways.

This is very interesting, btw. I didn't know that. Much of West Tennessee was in Union hands for most of the war, of course, and I *did* know about the Union sympathies of much of Northwest Alabama. (Oh, and more than a third of Tennessee's Civil War vets fought for the North. That is a higher than WVa's proportion of Civil War vets that fought for the South - even without any attempt to purge the lists of people who enlisted for Virginia or Tennessee before it was even clear what side they'd be on and went home as soon as they could (and those numbers are fairly high).

Also, why did the heavily pro-Union, Republican tradition in eastern Tennessee never spill over into western North Carolina?
It did. Northwestern North Carolina, to be precise. Transportation links played a major role in determining mountain areas' allegiance during the war - areas with good links to the east coast were pro secession even when not dependent on slavery - see also southwest Virginia. Areas with good links to the Northwest interior (what you'd call the Midwest now), not.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 03:36:01 am »
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Probably would make sense to have a detailed look at elevation / soil quality / historical Black populations for these counties.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 12:08:57 am »
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I noticed this awhile back while analyzing which counties have voted with their states the longest, but just assumed it was probably another pocket that didn't rely heavily on slavery and hated the state government like nearby areas in Alabama.
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 01:17:46 am »

How did the DC area of Virginia not end up as part of West Virginia?
West Virginia extended as far east as it did to include the entirety of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad that was in pre-War Virginia.  It was a failsafe in case the North lost the Civil War and had to let the South go, but was able to keep West Virginia.
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 11:59:59 am »
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It's also interesting to see how much of Alabama voted against secession. Most of North Georgia voted against it as well. The common factor seems to be the slave population. Why would you vote to take such a huge political risk when you don't have a plantation system to protect? Appalachia and heavily white counties were never culturally part of the deep south and the plantation elite.
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 12:15:58 pm »
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Remember that the Georgia and Alabama votes were taken at an earlier date than those in the Upper South, and the results are probably not strictly comparable. (Though the NE Alabama district sent an Unconditional Unionist to the CSA House in 1864. Grin )
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 04:21:29 pm »
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(Though the NE Alabama district sent an Unconditional Unionist to the CSA House in 1864. Grin )

That's beautiful.
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 05:27:42 pm »
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(I know, I've committed the mortal sin of making Republicans red and Democrats blue the way everyone not affiliated with this site does. Don't hate.)

Ease up on the attitude first.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 02:42:22 pm »
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It's not just Eastern Tennessee that was voting Republican during the Solid South, there was also an L-shaped band of counties that started about two counties east of Shelby that had a noticable Republican presence. Wayne County appears to have always voted Republican and Henderson County voted Republican every election except 1912 when it went with Teddy Roosevelt over Taft. It's quite noticeable in the 1968 map as it stands out as some strong Nixon counties in contrast to the surrounding strong Wallace areas. 1948 is pretty notable too, Dewey got over 70% in some counties in this region yet FDR didn't get below 60% in any county west of Nashville not nearby and unaffected by this region, and got over 75% in most counties.

Any info on this area and what it's like? What about it would make it prone to Unionist sympathies?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 02:46:49 pm by The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit »Logged



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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 02:50:16 pm »
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Seems to be near the border with Alabama, which was also a Unionist enclave (northern Alabama, of course)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Alabama_Cavalry_Regiment_(Union)
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2013, 03:02:37 pm »
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We had a thread about this last year. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 07:43:47 pm »

We had a thread about this last year. Smiley

Merged.
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2013, 08:50:01 pm »
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What do you know, I replied to this thread the last time too. LOL.
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