This project explores the secession crisis in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky during the Civil War and examines how the region became a stronghold of the Confederacy despite the dominance of Union sentiments in the remainder of the state. This project focuses mainly on the political aspect of the war in the Jackson Purchase region.

The Jackson Purchase region was the only region of Kentucky during the Civil War to have a Confederate majority. The Jackson Purchase region consists of seven counties cut off from the rest of the state by the Tennessee River which resulted in an independent streak and a sense of spurning from the remainder of the Commonwealth. The region’s loyalty to the Confederacy during the Civil War can be attributed to many factors including the cultural and ancestral background of the region, trade and commerce dealings with major Southern cities such as Memphis and Nashville, the establishment of southern branches of protestant churches in the region, the expansion of slavery, the isolation and neglect the region endured from the rest of the state, and the defiant firebrand rhetoric of many leading secessionist leaders in the region.

This loyalty to the Confederate cause increased following the end of war and led to the creation of a solid voting bloc for the Democratic Party which was controlled by ex-Confederates and those who sympathized with their cause. The North won the war, but the South won the peace, especially in the Jackson Purchase region.

Keywords: Civil War, Reconstruction, Kentucky, Jackson Purchase, American Politics

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2017

Senior Project Advisor

Dr. David Pizzo

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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