Several significant issues fueled the regulator movement in the US. The origin of the War of the Regulation comes from the massive growth in the population of North and South Carolina after migration from big eastern cities to the rural west had intensified.


The regulator movement happened in the 1760s because of the deep socio-economic differences that appeared between east and west areas in North Carolina that led to sectionalism, abuse of power, and injustice in the state. The internal structure of the colonies was once predominantly made up of peasants with an agricultural economy. Sellers and lawyers began to move westward, overturning the social and political structure of several states. They were joined by new Irish immigrants who inhabited the remote west area.

At the same time, the local agricultural community suffered from a deep economic depression due to severe droughts during the previous decade. The loss of crops was not only farmers’ direct source of food, but also their primary means of income, which led many to rely on goods brought by newly arrived sellers. Since revenue was cut off, local planters fell into severe debt. Sellers, in turn, relied on lawyers and the court to settle disputes. Obligations were quite common at the time, but from 1755 to 1765, court cases between peasants and sellers increased from seven to one hundred in Orange County, North Carolina alone.

It was a war between lower-class citizens who made up the majority of the population of remote North and South Carolina and the wealthy planter elite, which comprised about 5% of the community. Despite their small proportion, rich people secured almost complete control of the government of states. The primary goal of the Regulators was to form an honest government and reduce taxation. The wealthy politicians who ran North Carolina at this point saw this movement as a serious threat to their power. Royal Governor, William Tryon, eventually brought in a militia to crush the rebellion and kill its leaders, including farmers Herman Husband and John Pryor.

The Battle of Alamance in 1771 ended the regulator movement. Nevertheless, for five more years, “regulators” fought and agitated against established authorities to get better trade conditions. There was no major party who won the War of the Regulation; however, it is considered that the regulator movement was defeated. Different scholars argue whether the regulator movement was successful or not. The rebellion of peasants against authorities did not change the persistent system of power substantially. Despite this fact, courage and strength that regulators showed and techniques they used to enhance armed resistance encouraged patriots to fight in the Revolutionary War against British power. Some scientists, therefore, consider the regulator movement as an accelerator for the war of independence in the US.

The impact of the regulator movement was vast as it showed American people’s willingness to struggle for their rights and go against military service. The rebellion was local and aimed to abolish corruption and high tariffs. The Revolutionary War was around British pressure, trade, and taxes. Nevertheless, the significance of the regulator movement lies in the fact that American people went from complaints to resistance, implying that they have a sense of justice that other people should deal with.