Middle Tennessee History Coalition Columns

Historic Columns

Cumberland Compact: Beginnings of Democracy or a simple contract?

The Cumberland Compact has long been portrayed romantically as the beginning of democratic government in the early settlements in middle Tennessee. It is even viewed by some as the glue that held the settlements together under great duress and others as the foundation of the Tennessee State Constitution.  There is much to be admired about the early settlers of middle Tennessee. They were hardy, self-reliant, people who gambled everything for a chance at prosperity.   So it is not surprising that anything they did would be looked on with some reverence.

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