Alternative History
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North Carolina is a former American state located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the Southern United States. The state once bordered South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina was once a key producer of textiles and tobacco in the United States. Raleigh was its capital and Charlotte was its largest city. On September 26th, 1983, the great nuclear war that ravaged the rest of the world brought the region to its knees, crippling the state government and limiting its ability to respond to the widespread disaster. What order emerged in the following years was largely local, stemming from small-town police forces, religious communities, citizen militias, and white supremacist organizations. Oftentimes these were one in the same. The western regions of the state, however, were largely spared from Doomsday and managed to form a coalition of stable settlements. These eventually formed Blue Ridge.

Years of police control and genocide ensued. Attempts at restoring the Confederate States, harsh persecutions of minorities, and post-atomic religious extremist sects kept the state in a state of constant flux. Most of these states have either been pacified or collapsed entirely, though much of the sentiment remains. Today, Blue Ridge is considered the legitimate successor to the North Carolina state government and has expanded its influence well into the central and eastern regions of the old state. The eastern stretch, largely coastal cities that are fiercely independent after years of attempted invasion by extremists, have become disillusioned with the old American dream and remain wealthy ports, connecting Blue Ridge to the rest of the world by proxy.

History

Pre-Doomsday

English colonists, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, unsuccessfully attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. Virginia Dare, born there in 1587, was the first child of English parentage born in America.

In 1653 the first permanent settlements were established by English colonists from Virginia near the Roanoke and Chowan rivers. The region was established as an English proprietary colony in 1663–1665 and in its early history was the scene of Culpepper's Rebellion (1677), the Quaker-led Cary Rebellion (1708), the Tuscarora Indian War (1711–1713), and many pirate raids.

During the American Revolution, there was relatively little fighting within the state, but many North Carolinians saw action elsewhere. Despite considerable pro-Union, antislavery sentiment, North Carolina joined the Confederacy during the Civil War.[1] The state's history of racial tension did not end there, and though the post-Civil War North Carolina government was more amicable to reconstruction, disenfranchisement of blacks in the state continued well after the war. This history of racial violence includes the Wilmington massacre of 1898, in which white supremacists violently took control of the city. This remains the first and only coup d'état in pre-Doomsday American history and it marked a turning point in racial relations in North Carolina.

The skyline of pre-war Raleigh

Though the late 19th century was hard on North Carolina, the 20th century saw the state turn into a center of education and innovation. In 1903, Kitty Hawk was the location of the first successful flight of a manned airplane. Coupled with a massive education campaign led by North Carolina's governor, the 1910s saw the creation of thousands of public schools and the establishment of many colleges. This was cut short, first by a particularly devastating Spanish Flu and then by the Great Depression, which left countless farmers in the largely-rural state destitute. North Carolina's success in pioneering education continued, and by 1980 many of the state's universities were among the most well-known in the nation. As more blacks sought higher education, many of North Carolina's most important moments during the civil rights era involved black college students. Perhaps the most famous were the Greensboro sit-ins of 1960. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 soon followed, racial violence continued in North Carolina.

During the 1980 census, North Carolina was found to have a population of 5,881,766.

Doomsday

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On Doomsday, strikes in North Carolina included Charlotte, Fort Lejuene, Havelock, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Fort Fisher, Jacksonville, Raleigh and Greensboro. Though the metropolitan areas were largely spread out and the downtown areas were considerably harder hit than the various communities adjacent to the cities, the military targets in North Carolina were completely obliterated. This crippled North Carolina leadership, preventing an immediate response to Doomsday. The region - particularly in the Piedmont - collapsed into near-anarchy. The nuclear blasts created massive fires that burned uncontrolled for weeks. They devastated the urban sprawl that had not been directly hit. Within the first few hours after Doomsday, the interstate system and many highways in North Carolina were gridlocked. People still trapped in urban areas were forced to flee the growing infernos on foot.

The nuclear warheads detonated in Raleigh caused fires that burned for days, spreading to other areas

Those on the road fortunate to have stopped near regions not hit by bombs would have found crowds of desperate people swarming these communities mixing with terrified, armed citizens. Many tramplings and shootings happened across the state because of this initial panic. Grocery stores and convenience stores were picked clean within the first 24 hours after the bombs fell. One notable incident in Durham involved a fire at a gas station due to the pandemonium causing a massive explosion that contributed to the wave of fire cooking the Triangle alive. Each town had successive and large-scale waves of refugees arriving in their town, realizing there was nothing to be found, resorting to desperate measures, leaving their dead, and moving on.

Those who were stranded on their cars in the middle of nowhere were forced to migrate on foot. The pattern of nuclear strikes in the region isolated the mountains and coastline of North Carolina from the more-populated Piedmont, and emergency workers did what they could to guide people away from irradiated areas. Though this saved countless lives, it had the effect of funneling survivors, especially near Raleigh and Charlotte. Communities in the way, which had been picked clean already, were oftentimes subject to looting or other acts of violence.

The breakdown in order resulted in an overwhelming use of force by law enforcement.

Some communities retained order, usually by force. Violence and theft were frequent grounds for execution on the spot, though many of these extrajudicial killings saw a disproportionate number of black survivors die at the hands of rural law enforcement and armed citizens. These communities numbered far greater in October than they did in December, and most of the ones remaining withered away within the first few years of their existences. Though some survivors eked out an existence closer to locations of nuclear strikes, a series of expeditions undertaken separately by the Blue Ridge, Elizabeth City and Outer Banks governments confirmed that the cities of Durham, Winston-Salem, Morrisville and Wilmington were abandoned soon after Doomsday due to violence and mass deaths from radiation and starvation.

Blue Ridge scouts discovered a crude burial plot and marker 15 miles outside of Durham. Its tombstone was made out of plywood and the inscription - "Here Lies William Kennedy Smith, a member of the Kennedy clan from Massachusetts" - apparently carved with a knife.

Roughly a day after the bombs fell, nuclear fallout began to rain down on the devastated state. The prevailing wind currents carried the fallout to the northeast, though OTL weather reports indicate that the wind was largely already blowing in this direction at the time the bombs fell. This fallout would make central and southern North Carolina incredibly unsafe, and the regions remain impacted by radiation today. Communities within the fallout zones typically did not survive the first year after Doomsday. By 2000, it is estimated that only about a hundred people remained living in the fallout zones.

Carolinian Dark Age (1984 - 1990)

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Though several successful survivor communities would rise throughout North Carolina, the first year after Doomsday saw a dramatic fall in NC's population. Countless isolated survivors and families died in their houses during these dark years. Their abandoned domiciles would remain undiscovered for years until an explorer or looter found the house and their long-deceased occupants, took what remained of value (if there was anything at all), and moved on. Occasionally, looters would stumble upon the scene of some final act of desperation. Evidence of cannibalism has been noted on many remains dating to the year after Doomsday. Many tragic stories have been discovered in these abandoned houses, and it became customary to lay grave markers for the dead outside their homes. Nature began to reclaim these houses fairly early on, and by now many of these buildings are no longer safe to enter or have already collapsed. Starvation was especially bad on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, which cannot grow their own food.

Had the 1980s hurricane seasons been more active in North Carolina, it is unlikely that the region would have ever recovered. These famines culminated in a mutiny among members of the Coast Guard stationed in the region, ultimately resulting in the creation of a new, de facto independent city-state. In the meantime, Roanoke Island, being a fairly large island capable of supporting some agriculture, was able to retain relative order. Andy Griffith is known to have survived Doomsday and lived well into his 80s, spending the rest of his life in Manteo.

Meanwhile, in the mountains, the closest thing to a continuation of the North Carolina state government established a safe zone in Asheville. Situated relatively far away from the nearest nuclear strike in Charlotte, the Appalachian mountain city was able to establish order fairly quickly. Naturally, everyone in North Carolina had the same idea: the bombs did not hit the mountains, so it must be safe there. The population of Asheville is estimated to have swelled to roughly 400,000 people, or twice its pre-war population. This was an intense drain on resources, and these people brought with them their share of violence, disease, and more mouths to feed. The survival of Billy Graham and his mega-church inspired various acts of kindness, though it also inspired plenty of misguided racism and religious fervor. Various townships were reclaimed by Asheville in the following year as the new refugees were given opportunities to relocate to houses within Asheville that had lost their owners (prior residents of Buncome County were given priority status over the rest).

In 1984, Asheville passed legislature effectively declaring its independence from the United States in all but name. It began to ally with various other mountain communities and reclaim many more. As Asheville was where many members of the NC state legislature ended up, it was seen as something as a continuation of government by many people who had otherwise received little-to-no updates on the state of the union. This allowed Asheville to quickly establish control over the region, albeit fairly loose. Many of the refugees in Asheville ended up wandering elsewhere on their own, turning to desperation and banditry. Asheville's militia was most famously deployed in the Battle of Swannanoa, in which a group known for its violence against other refugees was engaged by the newly-formed militia. A reported 20 people died in the assault, and the region was pacified. Word of a new power in western NC spread around Appalachia.

Over the following years, Asheville made contact with other survivor communities outside of North Carolina. Some were hostile, such as East Tennessee, while others were more willing to cooperate and trade, such as the Piedmont Republic. Asheville fought a series of wars against the former of the two called the Smoky Mountain War of 1987, effectively establishing the pre-war border of North Carolina as the legal boundary of East Tennessee. The overwhelming amount of refugees relocated, settled, or perished over time, and Asheville returned to a more stable population of 200,000.

Violence continued in many post-atomic states as warlords and extremists exacted a reign of terror.

The central region of North Carolina, which had been hit particularly hard by the bombs, largely fell into anarchy shortly after Doomsday. In a few cases, law and order was retained in a brutal fashion. Particularly in rural areas, survivor communities were usually small and oftentimes tied to a religious congregation. This led to the early creation of several agricultural settlements. These groups were small; a typical community was no more than 100 people. As time went on, some groups grew in size, wielding influence over whole towns. Multitudes more dwindled in size as families died with every famine, the passing of winter each year, and regular epidemics of typhoid. Some gave their lives to protect their families in this grim, lawless realities while others met their fate by trying to steal Thursday night dinner from the wrong person.

There was oftentimes some overlap between members of local police departments and members of hate groups. North Carolina was still very racially-divided prior to Doomsday, and this only got worse after the bombs fell. As these police departments were the only semblance of law and order remaining, countless atrocities against minorities were ignored, and some police chiefs became little more than tribal despots. Though many police departments ended up dissolving in the months and years after Doomsday, a number of these communities established local control. There was some level of cooperation among these communities, though wars resembling gang violence broke out between various police states.

Perhaps the most notable case of a police despot rising to power was in Henderson, in which a police chief elected after Doomsday terrorized nearby communities into giving him monthly "taxes." This could come in the form of food, supplies, or labor. Anyone who refused, was disliked, or was a minority was shot on the spot. By gathering steady supplies from these areas, he had effectively seized control of several counties in North Carolina. This would continue until the 2000s.

Sheriff Rule (1991 - 2010)

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The period after 1990 is typically referred to as "sheriff rule" in central North Carolina. By this point, most of the agricultural and religious communities that had survived were nominally protected by militias claiming to be law enforcement. The definition of this term grew increasingly loose over time, though most of these agencies claimed to be direct continuations of some polity's police or sheriff department. As towns were re-established, these groups represented the towns' interests and became synonymous with the town militia. As happens with groups of armed people claiming to be the law in a lawless time, these groups began to exert increasing influence on the provisional governments of the towns they protected. Over the span of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the question arose in communities across North Carolina: were law enforcement militias the tools of their small communities, or were the small communities the tools of the law enforcement militias?

The law enforcement militias that became important were universally the ones that stuck together to enrich themselves. The peaceful militias were passive as other communities grew in importance via small-scale wars, racial cleansing, and tax collection. Though Henderson remained the most powerful and notable example due to its control over the entire Kerr Lake region, it was not the only one. These communities that had clung to survival through the Carolinian dark ages began to seize resources from isolated families first, then other communities entirely. As opposed to the wholesale murder seen in the 80s (which still happened), smaller communities were intimidated into providing resources to police communities in exchange for protection. Settlements that had previously been depopulated by violence were resettled. A 2020 census of Oxford NC, for example, looked into archival records from 1980 and reported that none of the people living in the city in 1980 were living there in 2020.

The Kerr Republic became a model example of this because of its large-scale, violent invasion of the surrounding countryside in the early 1990s. A democratically-elected police chief ordered a two-month reign of terror known as the Kerr Lake Massacre, in which armed members of the militia swept through the communities surrounding the lake, and then south into Granville and Vance counties in an attempt to "collect long-withheld taxes" from people living in the region after Doomsday. Parishes, families, and other small communities were then told that the Henderson PD represented law and order in the absence of instruction from the state or federal governments. These taxes typically came in the form of food, water, and ammunition. In 1992, Butner Correctional Facility was occupied and turned into a fortress and stockpile for the Henderson militia. No such "mass tax collection" took place again, and local militias began allying with the Henderson militia to participate in the defense of the region. This was referred to as the Kerr Republic.

By 1995, the Kerr Republic was the primary producer and distributor of tobacco, which made it a regionally-important entity. Militia members became responsible for clearing out and patrolling the interstate system. By this point, many highways and stretches of the interstate were almost entirely overgrown. The rusted and broken-down vehicles were stripped of useful parts and then moved off the road to allow for the movement of caravans and riders on horseback. Ensuring the interstate is not entirely overgrown remains a constant chore in North Carolina, particularly during the summer. A similar thing began to happen all over the state, from the mountains to the coast.

In addition to this expansion of the post-war infrastructure, the rise of tobacco estates transformed the economic and civic landscape across North Carolina. Though they initially existed within sheriff-ruled areas, prospecting farmers might leave their violent, police-controlled plots and find somewhere more suitable to start a farm of their own. In the late 1990s, a massive tobacco boom led these tobacco magnates to compete with the sheriffs, especially as the various sheriff republics began to expand. However, a sense of adventure began to sweep through the younger adults who had known the pre-war world only as children. This sense of wanderlust and newfound youth in a post-apocalyptic world led many to resist sheriff rule or leave them altogether.

The late 1990s also saw the formal establishment of Blue Ridge, which held the most widely-recognized claim to legitimacy as the successor to the North Carolina state government. During the 1980s and 90s, much of the black diaspora facing persecution in North Carolina fled to Asheville. Though systemic racism existed in Blue Ridge, it was lightyears ahead of sheriff-ruled communities in terms of social justice. To preserve their unquestioned power and dominance, the sheriffs of central NC refused Blue Ridge's legitimacy. The mountain community that seemed to be taking North Carolina in a relatively-peaceful sweep was stopped in its tracks. Black communities and independent farmers began to ally with Blue Ridge. The population of central North Carolina continued to plummet as waves of immigrants flocked to western North Carolina.

Not everyone was willing to leave their homes, especially tobacco farmers who had just established their new estates. Resistance against sheriff rule became even more widespread, especially after the Second Burning of Durham in 1997. This post-apocalyptic concert became the birth of the 'smasher' subculture. Known for its unique taste in hard rock, near-anarchic beliefs, bad attitudes, and garments absolutely covered in unnecessary spikes and chains, smashers were the boogeymen to the older generation. Smashers in Blue Ridge started many famous music bands and led to the birth of radio stations that remain staples of Carolinian culture to this day.

In the early 2000s, a massive revolt took place in Asheboro after the Level Cross Massacre of 2004, in which a group of 6 police klansmen in the sleepy town of Level Cross opened fire on a black neighborhood, killing anywhere from 18 to 66 people. After news of this mass killing by the sheriffs spread through the former Piedmont-Triad, months of rioting were violently and lethally handled by the police. How a tragedy of this magnitude could take place in a southern town named Level Cross was beyond anyone, but the violence that ensued shook the police klan to the ground, eventually resulting in the complete collapse of the Asheboro Police Klan. The remnants of this klan scattered to the wind, though racial violence continued. News of this wanton slaughter reached far and wide and soon many sheriff-ruled communities found themselves embroiled in violence. Some, like Roanoke Rapids, were able to throw off their oppressors. Others, such as those in Hillsborough, were put down with brutal efficiency.

These insurrections would continue throughout the 2000s. They were called the "Pig Wars," a slang term at first that had caught on by the 2010s to refer to the widespread downfall of most of these regimes by 2010. Though many would blame meddling from Blue Ridge from the start, the mountain community began sending aid to those fighting against the police klans - first in the form of food and supplies, but soon in the form of weapons and armed mercenaries. The American Spring, which saw the United States in the West contact much of North America, would spell the ultimate end of sheriff rule and, in short order, the further expansion of Blue Ridge into the North Carolinian Piedmont.

Blue Ridge Ascendant (2011 - 2015)

In 2011, a revolt broke out against the local government of Kannapolis. Dubbed the Moonshiner's War, this armed conflict dragged many bandit groups and gangs into the fray. Though it began as a violent gang war, the police and government, many of whom had gang affiliations, began to pick sides. This culminated in a violent shootout and widespread destruction. The events were broadcast from a series of radio signals to the entire world and was a rare glimpse to some overseas at just how far post-war America had fallen. The cries for help were needed by Blue Ridge, which quickly annexed the city and began to pursue a policy of expansion into central North Carolina. The process of pacifying these gang wars was long, but in the end the region was pacified and proved to be a model of success for Blue Ridge.

The winter of 2012 saw the Level Cross Tribunals. This sleepy town to the north of Asheboro had been host to a radical sect of the Ku-Klux-Klan since the '90s. They began a period of aggressive expansion throughout the former Piedmont-Triad. What began as an ethnic cleanse turned into a brutal subjugation of the surrounding population into a cult. To protect itself, Asheboro accepted Blue Ridge control over the region. After a quick and brutal cleanup of the area, the Blue Ridge army cornered the cult in its main headquarters. After a tense standoff, the radicals stormed the Blue Ridge army in a suicide run. They were put down, but inflicted heavy casualties on the team sent to eliminate them.

The expansion of Blue Ridge's authority into central North Carolina resulted in a large-scale shift away from sheriff rule. The police warlords that once claimed huge swaths of land in North Carolina had largely petered out, killed each other, or scattered to the winds. The Pig Wars ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. Though police states continued until the Rocky Mount Wars, the worst of the storm had passed. A shift in Carolinian culture took place. Whether it was due to the collapse of autocratic regimes across the former state or the rebellious youth simply growing older and more tempered, North Carolina saw groups like smashers and atom goths lose traction. In OTL, the 2010s saw an obsession with 80s culture. A similar thing took place in the 2010s in this ATL. As Blue Ride expanded across North Carolina, a return of many technologies meant the return of ways to make and distribute music. The world remained in a period of arrested development after the war, but the 2010s truly saw the cultural rebirth of pre-war America. Synth-folk, Appalachian metal, and bluegrass dominated the music scene.

The acquisition of territory within the Piedmont-Triad allowed Blue Ridge to justify its expansion throughout rural regions of North Carolina. For many of these farmers, the promise of a new regime was usually accompanied by violence and crop failure. The farmers in the region had no reason annexation by Blue Ridge would be any different. To many degrees, it was not any different, though the new government rarely gave folks a reason to revolt so long as there was food on the table. Some parts of North Carolina were far worse for wear under the thumb of a sheriff warlord and believed the very same thing could happen to Blue Ridge on a grander scale. Of course, the sheriffs were not all opposed. There were many who believed in the ability of what police or military presence existed in the region was a unifying presence, and that they represented the preservation of old world values and the continuation of the American way of life. Such people would have looked dis-favorably upon any large-scale government after a certain point.

In 2013, the expansion of Route 64 from Murphy to Manteo was underway, though much of these routes, particularly in Blue Ridge, were already rebuilt and in regular use. Though trade along I-40 continued, it was very limited and only stretched from Asheville to High Point before stopping near Greensboro. Therefore, I-40 in North Carolina became known as the Hickory Highway and remained an important route for traders within Blue Ridge. The reconstruction of old Route 64 connected North Carolina with the poat-atomic world and it was a massive undertaking. Blue Ridge oversaw most of the construction and provided most of the equipment on the side west of Raleigh. On the eastern side of Raleigh, Outer Banks rebuilt the William B. Umstead bridge. After years of negotiations, the Inner Banks were willing to allow the reconstruction of Route 64. The various polities donating men and resources to the project means the quality of the roads vary heavily. The project was completed in 2020.

Route 64 in North Carolina was fortunately far from radiation zones, save for one exception: Raleigh. A bypass was created and now Route 64 officially goes around Raleigh. However, a number of routes directly through Raleigh are known to shave off travel time significantly. People are known to travel through these routes at high speed, stopping for nothing in order to avoid radiation. Known famously as the Dale Earnhardt Superhighway, these routes are frequently changing due to blockage or new, faster routes being discovered. To travel the Dale Earnhardt Superhighway is to tempt fate and requires keen navigation, fast reflexes, mechanical aptitude, and a working automobile. It has reinvigorated North Carolina's bootlegger spirit and jumpstarted the post-war sport of racing. Many people refurbish old cars for the sole purpose of travelling the Dale Earnhardt Superhighway. The routes are frequently littered with the broken-down wrecks of cars that could not survive the trip. The bodies of their drivers usually aren't far away. "Move your car before you die," is one of the idioms that has entered the Carolinian lexicon, usually meaning "if you are in a bad situation, don't bring others down with you."

Present-Day North Carolina

Though the countries and communities of the former state of North Carolina have yet to unify into a larger nation, Blue Ridge exerts considerable authority over the region and is considered the de facto head of the region's political affairs. The Blue Ridge government also has good relations with neighboring East Tennessee and Republic of Piedmont. So often have the three nations worked together that it has been said an informal alliance exists among them. The only official agreement between the three nations, however, happened in 1999 when the three nations signed an agreement to promote trade. The Piedmont Dollar was recognized as the official currency, and provisions were put into place for all three countries to formally rejoin the United States if its government was ever legitimately reinstated.

A referendum on a formal union between Blue Ridge and East Tennessee was proposed in 2008 and set for a vote in March 2010, but was scuttled after a series of media polls of Blue Ridge and East Tennessee voters indicated only 12 percent support for a united Blue Ridge/East Tennessee "super state/super nation".

Blue Ridge officials met with officials from the town of Elizabeth City, located in eastern North Carolina, in late 2009 and again in June 2010. While political union was impractical due to the distance between the two regions and the current situation of the land between them, Blue Ridge officials did pledge to send aid and assistance to the region as often as possible. That pledge resulted in ongoing airplane shipments of medicine, food, clothing and building materials for Elizabeth City residents, supplemented by similar shipments from East Tennessee, Georgia and Piedmont into Outer Banks.

A Blue Ridge University team is preparing to join military explorers in scouting out the land for a potential highway connecting Asheville with the Elizabeth City and Outer Banks regions, to route through northern North Carolina (a connecting road would be built from Greenville, Piedmont). The highway would provide a permanent connection between the two regions to move goods back and forth. The biggest dangers to such a route are avoiding blast sites and radiation, and what types of people might be living in the targeted region...whether they are people to provide aid to, or bandits and robbers to be avoided.

A Blue Ridge military flyover on September 13, 2010 confirmed survivor communities existing in the towns of Greenville and Kannapolis; the Kannapolis flyover reportedly drew a large, impromptu crowd of people along the town's main strip. On September 14, Blue Ridge Governor Terry Bellamy said plans to make formal contact with both towns were being worked on and that the League of Nations would be involved in the process.

Survivor states

Nation Capital Language(s) Organization Notes Population
Blue Ridge Flag.png Blue Ridge Asheville English 250,000
Franklin Confederation Franklin English 30,000
Inner Banks Greenville English 40,000
DD1983 Outer Banks Civil.svgOuter Banks Manteo English Barrier Islands off former North Carolina 60,000

Independent survivor communities

  • Danville/Martinsville, Virginia (according to Blue Ridge scouts, no one in the area was aware of the existence of the Republic of Virginia/Virginian Republic; Blue Ridge expects this to change in the very, very near future)
  • Ablemarle
  • Colerain
  • Edenton
  • Greenville
  • Henderson/Kerr Lake
  • Kannapolis
  • Lake Gaston/Roanoke Rapids
  • Lake Norman
  • Mooresville
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Salisbury
  • Tarboro
  • Washington
  • Wilson
  • Winton

Except for Greenville and Kannapolis, all of the above listed survivor communities, except for the Danville/Martinsville region had an estimated population of anywhere from 250 to 800 people apiece. Danville was estimated to have 2,500; Martinsville 1,400.


All population estimates amount to guesses by locals. Blue Ridge military officials estimate the population for Greenville and Kannapolis to be at least 2,000, perhaps as much as 6,000.

Geography

North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet (2,037 m) in the mountains. The coastal plains are strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.

Culture

North Carolinian culture since the 1980s has remained a vibrant and ever-shifting post-war amalgamation of rural traditions and 1980s sensibilities. Many aspects harken back to the Carolinian Dark Ages, though it was increasingly influenced in the 1990s by backer culture. Similar to frontiersmen, the idea of casting off the shackles of sheriff rule, throwing caution to the wind, and setting out on the broken Carolinian roads for adventure and the first chance at fame and fortune since the bombs fell allured many young North Carolinians. Some aspects were seen as a continuation of the American dream, a gasping breath at freedom and breathing life into the shattered world around them. This dream took many lives, but there were many who persevered. As wars between sheriffs broke out and sheriff rule began to weaken under the backers, a new subculture began to rise among the youth: smashers.

Smashers have a mixed legacy in many Carolinian circles today. Effectively a post-war return to goth/hard rock crowds, smashers are known for their loud concerts, boisterous behavior, and general disregard for sheriff rule. They popularly wear black, had mohawks, and put spikes on most of their clothes. Their most famous act was the 1997 Second Burning of Durham, in which thousands gathered in the ruins of Duke University and held a concert wherein much of the surrounding ruins was defaced or destroyed. The festivities lasted for days, resulted in several deaths, and could be heard from far and wide. The religious crowd notably equated them with devil worshippers and superstitious folks who hear their concerts have returned with mobs on more than one occasion, resulting in many firefights. Smasher culture saw its zenith in the early 2000s before the end of sheriff rule.

As smasher culture came to an end, the return of textile manufacturing in North Carolina, particularly in the mountains, led to an explosion of "road warriors." Known for wearing denim jackets and jeans, also playing loud music that more resembled classic rock, and being "overly armed," road warriors were the hard-as-nails mercs and caravaneers. They wore headbands, bandoliers, multiple gun belts, and gas masks. Being armed to an ostentatious degree was seen as a display of wealth, though it was give-or-take weather half of them were really loaded. Road warrior culture fell off when Blue Ridge's war in central North Carolina displayed just how silly this was. The denim-wearing drifters made their mark, however, and the style is frequently referred to as an "Asheville Tuxedo."

Music

Famous persons

  • Billy Graham
  • William Kennedy Smith - died during the evacuation of Durham.
  • Seth Henderson - Superintendent of Dare County Schools in the 60s/70's and President of the Outer Banks during 1988-1996 as a Democrat.

References

  1. Read more: North Carolina: History, Geography, Population, and State Facts — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108254.html#ixzz0zSKe8700

See also


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