From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Regulation The origins of the War of Regulation stem from a drastic population increase within North Carolina during the 1760s, followed by immigration from the large eastern cities to the rural west. While the inland section of the colony had once been predominately composed of planters with an agricultural economy, merchants and lawyers from the coastal area began to move west, upsetting the current social and political structure. At the same time, the local agricultural community was suffering from a deep economic depression, due to severe droughts throughout the past decade. The loss of crops caused farmers to lose not only their direct food source, but also their primary means of income, which led many to rely on the goods being brought in by newly arrived merchants. Since income was cut off, the local planters often fell into debt, which could not be paid off immediately. The merchants, in turn, would rely on lawyers and the court to settle the debate. Debts were not uncommon at the time, but from 1755 to 1765 the number of cases brought to the docket increased 15 fold, from seven annually to 111 in Orange County alone. Court cases could often lead to planters losing their homes and property, so they grew to resent the presence of the new merchants and the lawyers. The shift in population and politics eventually led to an imbalance within the colony's courthouses, where the newly arrived and well-educated lawyers used their superior knowledge of the law to their sometimes unjust advantage. A small clique of wealthy officials formed and became an exclusive inner circle in charge of the legal affairs of the area. The group was seen as a 'courthouse ring', or a small bunch of officials who obtained most of the political power for themselves. FROM http://www.alternet.org/books/surpr...HFF&rd=1&src=newsletter740442&t=17&paging=off The roots of modern American protest, specifically over finance and economics, shoot deep into the colonial period. Yet in contradiction not only to what the conservative Tea Party movement, in naming itself, asserts, but also what many Americans across today’s political spectrum have good reason to assume, our early struggles over money and government, and over the proper relationship between them, were by no means always struggles between American colonists and English authorities. As in today’s political arguments over debt, taxes, and public and private finance, ordinary, less privileged Americans and better-off, better-connected Americans vied with one another, throughout the period before the Revolution, for control of government policy regarding money.