Regulators of North Carolina


Regulators of North Carolina
(1764–71) Vigilance group formed in the western frontier counties of North Carolina.

Opposed to the high taxes and corruption of the colonial government, the group sought vainly to obtain reforms; it then refused to pay taxes, agitated against public officials, and committed acts of violence. Gov. William Tryon sent troops to crush the insurrection at the Battle of Alamance (1771). The leaders were hanged for treason, and many followers fled to Tennessee, where they sided with the loyalists in the American Revolution.

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▪ United States history
      (1764–71), in American colonial history, vigilance society dedicated to fighting exorbitant legal fees and the corruption of appointed officials in the frontier counties of North Carolina. Deep-seated economic and social differences had produced a distinct east-west sectionalism in North Carolina. The colonial government was dominated by the eastern areas, and even county governments were controlled by the royal governor through his power to appoint local officers. Back-country (western) people who suffered from excessive taxes, dishonest officials, and exorbitant fees also became bitter about multiple office holdings. They formed an association called the Regulators, which sought vainly to obtain reforms. They then refused to pay taxes or fees, punished public officials, and interfered with the courts. Finally, the Regulator insurrection was crushed by Governor William Tryon at the Battle of Alamance (May 16, 1771). Many frontiersmen fled to Tennessee, but the legacy of bitterness induced many Regulators to side with the loyalists (loyalist) during the American Revolution, in addition to continuing their own futile agitation for five more years.

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Universalium. 2010.

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