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This book brings a variety of fresh perspectives to bear on the diverse people and settlements of the eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century southern backcountry. Reflecting the growth of interdisciplinary studies in addressing the backcountry, the volume specifically points to the use of history, archaeology, geography, and material culture studies in examining communities on the southern frontier. Through a series of case studies and overviews, the contributors use cross-disciplinary analysis to look at community formation and maintenance in the backcountry areas of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These essays demonstrate how various combinations of research strategies, conceptual frameworks, and data can afford a new look at a geographical area and its settlement. The contributors offer views on the evolution of backcountry communities by addressing such topics as migration, kinship, public institutions, transportation and communications networks, land markets and real estate claims, and the role of agricultural development in the emergence of a regional economy. In their discussions of individuals in the backcountry, they also explore the multiracial and multiethnic character of southern frontier society. Yielding new insights unlikely to emerge under a single disciplinary analysis, The Southern Colonial Backcountry is a unique volume that highlights the need for interdisciplinary approaches to the backcountry while identifying common research problems in the field.
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