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1.
A mostly poor region, mostly of British ancestry (English and Scots-Irish primarily, which mostly date to the 18th century). However, multiple ethnic groups are represented in the gene pool, and people of Southern/Eastern European descent (Dating from the time of the industrial revolution) become much more common as one goes northeast
(Scottish and Cherokee in western North Carolina, the former since colonial times and the latter countless centuries before that) as well as Welsh in some areas, most notably Eastern Pensylvania, Dutch in the Catskills, and more recent arrivals of mexican, Puerto Rican, East Indian Chinese, Middle Eastern and other descent, coming from many other places in Asia, Latin America, and Africa (many of these settled there for a time at least, long ago, either employed in town labor or to work in the coal mines.) Prior to the U.S./C.S. civil war, many runaway slaves escaped into these mountains (see melungeons) making good use of their remoteness.

Coal mining has been a significant source of employment for some time, but for a generation or two, the human workforce, who still deal with deadly conditions in both the air they breathe, as well as the lingering hazard of a cave in, have largely been replaced by huge machines which destroy a topography that took hundreds of millions of years to develop. Most people are out of work and many have tried to suppliment their income by growing cannabis.

Much older than the Rockies, Andes, Alps or Himilayas, the Appalachian Mountains stretch from the foothills of the state of Mississippi's Northeast , through the northern 2/3rds of Alabama, northern and Northwest Georgia, the
northernmost and westernmost parts of South Carolina, Western North Carolina], most of Virginia to the west, the eastern 2/3rds of Tennessee, the majority of Kentucky] to the east/southeast, pretty much all of West Virginia (once refered to as the State of Kanawha), the southeastern part of the state of Ohio, most of Pennsylvania, Western & northern Maryland, the northwest corner of the state of Delaware, Northwest New Jersey, most of the state of New York, New England, and into the Atlantic Provinces.
The Appalachian region, which is plagued by poverty, methmphetamine abuse, pollution from the coal mining that poisons the rivers and streams, mountaintop removal, a lack of economic activity, isolation (save for a number of metropolitan areas, which I'm not including for this definition) from most of the outside world (which has made it prey to many coal companies)
is in desperate need a renaisance.
by Miskatonic Jack 2 October 16, 2006