Violent Violence

Decent Essays

when counties failed in this regard the state was often hesitant or unable to act as a final third party enforcer. This paper provides an answer to the puzzle of why feud violence in Eastern Kentucky spiked in the latter half of the 19th century. Previous explanations, such as Altina Waller’s account of the Hatfield/McCoy Feud (Waller, 1998) have analyzed feud violence from a historical perspective. This paper will bring the tools of economics and rational choice approaches to bear on the problem. The analysis of violence using economic logic is not novel. Violent conflict, though costly and perhaps even socially inefficient, can still be individually rational for the parties involved (Tullock 2003, p. 4.) Previous work has also explored …show more content…

Section 2 will explore economic changes in Eastern Kentucky, provide background on basic demographic details, and discuss changes in state and county government implemented by the 1850 Constitutional convention. Section 3 will discuss the role third parties traditionally play in contract enforcement, how these can fail, and non-state solutions that can emerge to solve problems of governance. Section 4 seeks to ties the previous two sections together and apply them to Eastern Kentucky in the 19th century. Section 5 concludes. 3 2 Eastern Kentucky, 1850-1900 2.2 Geography and Transportation Eastern Kentucky2 still presents an imposing landscape. Geographically, the region is near totally ensconced by the Appalachian Mountain range, which runs from Alabama to Maine. Mountains, rocky hills, and forests dominate the terrain. Outside of the Huntington-Ashland Metropolitan area, most of the countryside is quite rural. Small towns dot the region, but there is relatively little else. Census and economic data from 1850 and 1860 depict a region that was still very much unexplored and underdeveloped. Transportation in the state was limited, meaning that vast portions of it were isolated and cut off from the cultural and economic hubs of Lexington, Louisville, and the capital city of Frankfort. This relative isolation contributed to the importance of government at the county

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