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Rediscovering the South's Celtic Heritage
by Barry Vann
The Overmountain Press, 2004
Hardcover, $24.95  (176 pages)
ISBN: 1-57072-269-2
 
  The majority of white population of the American South can trace there roots back to the Celtic regions of Europe. To understand the South today, it is necessary to study the historic politics, sense of home, religion, superstitions, feudalism, economics, and sense of privacy their ancestors brought to this new world.

New England was settled mainly by lower England, which was at odds with the Scotch-Irish section of upper England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales -- who settled the Upland South of Appalachia and the Ozarks. The politics from their homeland, kept these groups naturally at odds as matters of economics and politics were debated by the United States.

Education was important to the Celtic traditions, and their churches -- Presbyterian and Baptist -- formed colleges throughout the South. Vann shows how the Scotch-Irish dialect of the Ulster Protestants has dominated the region's language with words like "sparkin'," "scoot," "haint," or "critter."

The culture of ancient Celts has been protected by the isolation of remote areas of the Ozarks or Appalachia. Those wishing to study the culture as it existed in Europe often visit the American South to study the culture as it has been preserved.

Rediscovering the South's Celtic Heritage is a very readable text that would be an excellent addition to high school American History.

Dr. Barry Vann, a native of East Tennessee, is a geographer of Scotch-Irish, French Huguenot, English, Welsh, and Cherokee descent with interests in communities, politics, environmental issues, and history. After a year on a teaching fellow at the University of Dundee in Scotland, Vann now serves as professor of geography and education at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. He also chairs the Department of Education and directs the University's Center for Appalachian Community and Heritage Studies.

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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