The Appalachian Mountains are a mountain range in Eastern North America that cross through a number of states and Canada. While most people have heard of the Appalachian Mountains, they have had both historical and geographic significance that has helped shape the formation of the United States as the country that it is today. Here are some fun facts about the Appalachian Mountains.
Appalachia is one of the oldest European-designated names in America.
When European explorers came over to North America, one of the first places they named was the Appalachian Mountains. The name Appalachia was given by Spanish explorer Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1528 while exploring the Florida coast. The name came from a nearby Indian tribe, whose name they transliterated as Apalachen. The name stuck, and the Appalachian Mountains have remained by that name ever since.
Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the Appalachian Mountains.
Reaching an elevation of 6,684 feet, Mount Mitchell is the highest point in the Appalachian Mountains, as well as the eastern United States. It is located near Burnsville, North Carolina, and has an observation deck where visitors can view the surrounding area.
The Appalachian Mountains are an important source of coal.
In parts of the Appalachian Mountains, coal mining is common to extract the resource for industrial use. The Appalachian Mountains includes coal mining regions in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and several other states.
The Appalachian Mountains helped foster the American Revolution.
The Appalachian Mountains were a dividing line between American colonists and Native American tribes. After British victory in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Great Britain no longer needed to worry about nearby French interference. In order to protect Indian tribes who had supported the British during the war, the British issued the Proclamation of 1763. This declaration stated that lands west of the Appalachian Mountains would be reserved for British Indian allies. American colonists who wanted to expand westward were appalled by this declaration. Part of the reason the American Revolution was fought was so that colonists could continue to expand westward across the Appalachian Mountains into new territories.
The Appalachian Mountains are home to the Cumberland Gap.
The Cumberland Gap was an important part of Wilderness Road, a route that allowed settlers to cross through the Appalachian Mountains and into Kentucky. This allowed explorers and settlers to go westward beyond the Appalachian Mountains.
The Appalachian Mountains are not just another mountain range in the United States. They have had a significant influence on American history, and provide natural beauty every year to sightseers from around the world.