American History after 1863
September 8, 2015
Reconstruction began in America after the Civil War ended. This raised some questions about the south such as; who would lead the south? How would the economy in the south be different than before the end of slavery? How would race play a part in the south since the Emancipation Proclamation? And the main question: Did the “New South” emerge during reconstruction? During the reconstruction period, republican politicians who had control over the southern state governments in the late 1860s looked to implement what they thought America should be like into the south. Most white southerners resisted. Most republican governments that were “radical” fell and before a decade was over, conservative white democrats had taken control over the south. They were going to determine economic and social norms of the New South. Before the war, the southern economy was mostly based off of agriculture from slaves. This was why some southerners realized that the economic future of the south depended on their willingness to industrialize. They looked forward to the south having business culture with cities, trade, and factories. Henry Grady tells us, “There was a south of slavery and secession-that south is dead. There is now a south f union and freedom- that south, thank God, is living, breathing, and growing every hour” (28). From 1880 to 1900 many industries expanded greatly in the south, including cotton, textiles, iron, and steel. By 1914, the new south had finally become industrialized which was a permanent change. Woodward claims “that southern industrialization did not match the exaggerated claims of many New South proponents” (29). Now to the issue of whether or not the “New South” emerged during reconstruction or not. Edward Ayers will agree that it did indeed emerge during reconstruction, however James Tice Moore will tell us why this statement is incorrect, that the “New South” did not...