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Definition: Appalachia from Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary

Region of E United States incl. the various ranges of the Appalachian Mts., with no definite boundaries but generally comprising the S tier of New York, most of Pennsylvania, and the mountainous parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama; historically (c. 1690–1756) included also early settlements beyond the colonies of the Atlantic seaboard.


Summary Article: Appalachia
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Region of eastern USA, corresponding roughly to the area covered by the Appalachian Mountains. Stretching from the Gulf of St Lawrence to central Alabama, the region consists of 373 counties in 13 states, and is isolated and physically fragmented.

The US government defined the area in its Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which was designed to give assistance to the area following the sharp decline in employment in coal mining, which took place in the 1950s. A regional commission undertook the building of new roads, which have reduced the region's isolation and enabled the population to seek work elsewhere. Development of the timber and extractive industries continue to have a deleterious effect on the natural environment.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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