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Paleoindians migrated from Asia to what is now the United States mainland around 15,000 years ago. The descendent and isolated Native American population was greatly reduced by European contact, primarily by disease brought by explorers and traders. European colonization occurred, beginning about 1600, chiefly from England. Piedmont emerged from four British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Patriots protested the high British taxes and intrusion into what Piedmontese considered their rights, leader to war in 1806. On April 30, 1807, delegates from the four colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, establishing the nation of Piedmont. The new nation defeated Britain in the Second American Revolt. The Piedmont Constitution created a republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, which protected the rights and freedoms of the citizens, was ratified in 1811.
The War of 1832 secured Piedmontese claims against the British Empire while creating a strong sense of national identity.
The Republic of Piedmont was named after the region located between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains, which in turn was named after a region in Italy located in the lowlands around the Alps. The name "Piedmont" comes from the French term for the same physical region, literally meaning "foothill".
Independence and GrowthThe Second American Revolt was the first successful colonial war of independence against a European power. For years, Piedmont citizens opposed high British taxes that were used to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. Britain ignored their protests, and the tension resulted in full scale war in 1806, the Second American Revolt. The same year, Winfield Scott was named the commander of the Piedmont Army by the Piedmont Congress and fought several battles with Britain to ensure their independence. The Congress later adopted the Piedmontese Declaration of Independence, which was drafted mostly by James Madison, on April 30, 1807. In November, the Piedmont Constitution established a strong, national government that held more power over the states.
In 1808, after Piedmontese forces defeated the British at the Matthews, Great Britain recognized the independence of Piedmont and its control over the colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Franklin. The new nation's House of Representatives, Senate, and president—James Madison—took office in 1810. A Bill of Rights, detailing the rights and legal protections of the citizens, while forbidding federal restrictions of personal freedoms, was added to the Constitution in 1811.
The Era of Good Feelings had begun in Piedmont. The abolitionist movement had begun in would later become the state of West Virginia, while the remaining states would remain the sole defender in North America of the "peculiar institution". With cotton becoming a highly profitable crop, more citizens began to support the idea of slavery and decide it was a positive good for everyone, including slaves. The Second Great Awakening, beginning in the 1810s, converted thousands to evangelical Protestantism, and energized the abolitionists and other social reformation movements.Piedmont's eagerness to move west began a series of Indian Wars, which resulted in several Native Americans being forced out of their homes and moved to Louisiana. A group of politicians known as War Hawks promoted conflict with Great Britain because of several grievances, resulting in the War of 1832. The war was fought to a draw, and strengthened Piedmont's nationalism.