When many of us consider American history, we really start thinking about the time that people first came to the area that would eventually become the United States. The real history, however, starts with the Revolutionary war for many of us. Yes, there were thousands of years of history that occurred before that time but understanding the modern history can certainly give you an appreciation for the area you are studying.
Tennessee is one of those areas, and although it did not participate in the Revolutionary war, it was occupied during that time by settlers. The Revolutionary war did occur near the state of Tennessee, as they fought in both North and South Carolina and they fought heavily in Virginia. Many of the individuals who lived in Tennessee during that time did fight in the war, including a battle in South Carolina, known as Kings Mountain. It was during the battle of Kings Mountain when a superior British force was defeated and more than 1000 prisoners were captured.
It wasn’t long after the Revolutionary war ended that Tennessee started to think about entering the statehood. 3 counties had discussed the possibility, and a governor was chosen. His name was John Sevier, who just so happened to be the Col. in charge of the troops that fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain. They didn’t become a state at that time, however, because of a disagreement over the border with North Carolina. It was that spirit of independence, however, that eventually led to Tennessee becoming its own state.
Just a few short decades later, things really began to pick up steam in the state of Tennessee. The population experienced quite a lot of growth, going from some 85,000 to more than 250,000 during the time that Sevier was governor. Knoxville, Nashville and many other early settlements also began to pick up steam as well and they became frontier towns. It was also during that time that Tennessee began producing iron, and became a leader in that area.
As you can tell, there are many interesting things about the state of Tennessee. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at the ancient history and the Native American tribes that lived in the state or if you are considering some of the more recent history, it can enhance your appreciation of all that the state of Tennessee has to offer.