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“Origins of the New South” › C. Vann Woodward

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Origins of the New South, by C. Vann Woodward

Text block clean and unmarked. Seller Inventory UTA Published by Louisiana State Univ Press Ex-library, shelf wear, no dust jacket. Item added to your basket View basket. Proceed to Basket. View basket. Continue shopping. United Kingdom. Northern power overturned these Codes. After the Compromise of the South regained control with the Redeemers. New South: There was no A. New South: There was no abrupt change in Southern life or politics. Blacks still sat where they wanted to on street cars, etc. Political leaders continued to seek the black vote.

In the s a revolution occurred, caused by white racism. Why was segregation delayed until s? External influences: Mississippi Plan of to disenfranchise black voters was declared constitutional.

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Plessy v. Ferguson was upheld separate but equal. These emerged in the s because the South had to be cautious until they could be sure that the North would not return. Internal influences were more important: Political and social factors were more important than economic urbanization, banking, finance. The most important political determinant was Populism.

They attacked the crop lien system, the RFM, and the banking structure. In some cases the Populists merge with the Republicans. The Democratic Redeemers had to try to stop this political force by absorbing it. Conservative Redeemers in the Democratic party gave way to new racist demagogue leaders who represented lower class white voters.

Main themes of Origins 1.


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Examination of the Southern power elite: who were they, how was it formed, how did it retain power, how did it exert hegemony. The massive infusion of Northern capital into the South in the s. But, industrialization proceeded slowly, falling behind the rest of the nation.

The Redeemers were cooperative Southern collaborators that the Northerners were looking for. The emergence of an entrepreneurial elite of businessmen and industrialists bankers, railroadmen, and owners of cotton, tobacco, and iron factories. They sought national reconciliation. Thus, there is a unity between economic and political power here. Then came the Populist revolt. The threat that the poor white farmers and blacks would unite was the force that eventually led to disenfranchisement.

The race issue in the disenfranchisement campaigns was essentially a masquerade. The real issue was the combative whites new elite businessmen and farmers. Radical, racist demagogues within the Democratic part Pitchfork Ben Tillman , overthrew the conservative Democrats. These new Democrats responded to the arguments of the racist lower class whites and enacted Jim Crow. Synopsis: The south can not be understood in a national history--it stands apart. War and Reconstruction removed old and added new peculiarities in the south.


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  7. Politically it achieved a unity that it previously never had. Feb 10, Rob Bauer rated it really liked it Shelves: southern-history. This is an extended review of one of the most important books of southern history ever written. When C. Vann Woodward published Origins of the New South in , he made several claims about the region that historians have debated ever since. He wrote that by , rather than achieving integration into the American mainstream, the South remained very much a distinct region.

    It had been a one-party political region for decades and was in many ways a unique region economically as well. When he loo This is an extended review of one of the most important books of southern history ever written. When he looked at the New South, Woodward was not convinced that conditions there were, in fact, new at all. From the Hayes administration onward, Woodward portrays the Democratic Party as coming under the control of former Whigs who allied themselves with Northern industrialists.

    Whether it was cotton mills, coal mining, railroad construction, or timber, the capital funding for development in each industry came not from southerners, but from the North, and Redeemer economic policies contributed to this state of affairs. One important reason for this dependence on outside capital was the impoverishment of the southern people, a result of many factors. Woodward places most of the blame for this on class conflict within the South.

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    For example, the lack of literacy compared with the North resulted from the fact that southerners had a general reluctance to tax for the support of their schools yet had to support two school systems simultaneously due to segregation. This was unfortunate, because several economic considerations seemed to bode well for the South. With a low immigration rate and a largely rural population, labor in towns was scarce, which should have driven wages up.

    Woodward believes that class relations in the South prevented this from occurring. He points to the desire of the planters to control labor and discusses the means, both legal debt peonage, enticement laws, emigrant agent laws, contract enforcement statutes, vagrancy statutes, and the criminal surety system backed by convict labor and extralegal physical violence , employed to achieve this end. Additionally, the poor economic conditions in the South should have given southerners incentive to move north for better conditions.

    That they did not do so in large numbers is further testament to the coercive powers of southern planters and industrialists over labor conditions. Another theme developed throughout Origins of the New South is the unfortunate trend toward less democracy that prevailed throughout the former Confederacy. While the national tendency was to broaden democracy through the Fifteenth Amendment, the initiative, referendum, and recall, and suffrage for women at the state level in some states, the South moved in the opposite direction.

    The ascendance of a reactionary social system, which promptly passed laws restricting the rights of labor, helped to stunt economic development by removing any incentive to increase productivity via mechanization or the division of labor. For Woodward, the Redemption regimes that came to power throughout the South in the s were not a restoration of the old regime of plantation owners but a new phase in the process begun in Rather than Republican carpetbaggers it was the Redemption leaders who laid the social and economic foundations for the New South.

    Several dispute his interpretation of the domination of southern politicians by northern industrialists, believing the relationship more a willing alliance for mutual advantage. They likewise find continuity in the political leadership between the antebellum era and the Redeemers where Woodward sees change. However, this does not rob Origins of the New South of all the merits that made it influential to begin with. Likewise, many still substantially agree on the main factors contributing to the economic poverty of the South.

    The contrast in the trend towards or away from greater democracy between the South and the rest of the nation has not lost validity. If nothing else, his work remains important for its historiographic value.

    Table of Contents for: Origins of the new South fifty years lat

    Because of its influence when published, understanding the themes in Origins of the New South is key to understanding the evolution of historical research on the Redeemer period in Southern history. This is true of any research after five decades. However, the work retains enough value in enough areas that it is still worth reading for those seeking to understand the history of the New South in all its nuances. Jan 15, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: 1st-library-jack , history-us , 1st-library-zotero.

    This time it is the myth that "Emancipation freed the poor whites more than it did the Negro! The poor white farmer's plight was miserable. A the root of his misery was the crop lien system. Credit was in the saddle and rode the farmer merciless.

    It was not the local merchant at the South whom Woodward blames for the exploitation of the Southern poor, but rather the financiers at the North, for "the merchant was only a bucket on an endless chain by which the agricultural well of a tributary region was drained of its flow" p. Woodward also describes the Farmers' Alliance attempts to short circuit this exploitative system by co-operative buying and selling p. The example of successful agitation by the Alliance to which he points is the destruction of the jute trust.

    Poor whites and freedmen were in pretty much the same economic position, 8 yet the transformation "from slavery to caste as a system of controlling labor" proceeded apace as the New South integrationist ideology attempted to pit workers against each other --divide and conquer p.

    Addressing the activities of the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor in the South, Woodward provides ample evidence of Southern labor's militancy. In Chapter IX, "Southern Populism," he points out that the Southern Alliance men were oriented toward the West, as opposed to Southern Conservatives who had entered into a colonial relationship with Eastern capital. At the heart of Southern Populism was the Farmers' Alliance. But historians devoted to their craft—not a preconceived agenda—pursue the confrontation as their own article of faith, simply because the facts tell a different story.

    It is a volume all the more fascinating to me, personally, being a transplanted Yank living in the South—which upon entry, can seem a foreign land to Americans from other regions. The politics of Redemption belonged therefore to the romantic. By the late s they were pictured more as opportunities and outlets for economic expansionism. PART 2: Part 2 of our highlight of "Origins" focuses on the hard decline of the small independent farmer across the South during the ss. But the same economic dynamics that re-established white-dominant rule also widened the boundaries of virtual agrarian servitude.

    No longer confined to black communities, inescapable debt began to ensnare white farmers in this society-wide realignment of wealth and class.