While the previous explorations of African American and white female experience suggest both the gains and limitations produced in the Revolutionary Era, from the perspective of almost all Native Americans the American Revolution was an unmitigated disaster.
By far the largest of the three original Anglo-American culture areas, the South is also the most idiosyncratic with respect to national norms—or slowest to accept them. The South was once so distinct from the non-South in almost every observable or quantifiable feature… The warm climate of the South affords a period of — frost-free days per year, enabling such profitable crops as tobacco, rice, sugarcane, and cotton to be grown.
This climate, coupled with abundant rainfall, offered 17th- and 18th-century European settlers a superb opportunity to raise crops Americans largely supported slavery in the southern region export if an adequate permanent labour supply could be found.
The source proved to be African slaves, made available for purchase through the international slave trade. From this unique situation of supply and demand arose the system of plantation slaverywhich above all other factors distinguished the South from other U. Byblacks constituted about one-third of the Southern population and almost the entire workforce on the plantations.
At the beginning of the American Civil Warmore than four million blacks remained in bondage, though less than one-sixth of the white population actually owned slaves. Library of Congress, Washington, D. Economically, the antebellum and cotton-oriented South looked to the British textile industry for its market and opposed the growing politico-economic power of the industrializing North.
The Southern social philosophy, holding to an ideal of rural gentry, presented a sharp contrast to that of the North, for it stressed a genteel, aristocratic lifestyle rather than one based on the earnest accumulation of money.
In the period between the American Revolution —83 and aboutthe North, spurred by the abolitionistspassed from mild opposition to strong condemnation of slavery. The ensuing Civil War —65 wrought immense destruction on much of the South, which emerged the loser in the conflict.
In many areas cropland was ruined, livestock lost, railroads destroyed, and billions of dollars in slave-related investments wiped out.
Recovering slowly from this destruction, much of the South continued to rely largely on a one-crop economy—cotton, tobacco, or rice—and to cultivate the crops with the labour of black freedmen.
Until the South remained an impoverished and undiversified region. Chronic overproduction of cotton, with its attendant low prices, forced more and more farmers, both black and white, into sharecropping ; between and Southern land tenancy increased from 36 to 55 percent.
The Great Depression of the s caused a total bankruptcy of the cotton economy, which was not relieved until federal New Deal legislation intervened to provide payments for reducing cotton acreage and for unemployment relief. Both of these devices encouraged migration to the cities, a trend that was accelerated during World War II by a heavy influx of Southern blacks to Northern industrial centres.
The New Deal, however, was ultimately to benefit the South. The cotton acreage quota system led to improvements in productivity and to diversification of the agricultural base. The Tennessee Valley Authoritya vast river-development scheme created inbrought electricity to many rural families, further increased farmland productivity through flood control and improved soil management, and laid the groundwork for new industry.
Courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Authority After World War II the South began to experience sustained growth and industrialization, particularly in the lumber, paper, petrochemical, and aerospace industries.
By the 21st century, manufacturing was the largest sector of the economy in most Southern states. By the census, Texas had surpassed New York as the second most populous state. As the demographic balance of the country shifted southward, the South consistently gained Congressional representation.
A split in the Democratic Party in response to its postwar civil rights platform led to the ascendency of George Wallace and caused many segregationist Southern conservatives to flee to the Republican Party.
This split was so exacerbated by the growing civil rights movement of the s that by the s the Democratic monopoly of the South was fully broken. Ever wealthier, the South played an increasing role in national politics beginning in the final quarter of the 20th century.
Bush of Texas were elected president, and Southern support became pivotal to successful presidential campaigns.The majority of slavery was illegal in The North as it had been outlawed in the 19th century, yet its expansion was rife in southern states.
Farming wasn’t as important in The North whereas the cheap workforce of slavery provided the backbone for the economy in the southern region.
From this unique situation of supply and demand arose the system of plantation slavery, which above all other factors distinguished the South from other U.S. regions. By , blacks constituted about one-third of the Southern population and almost the entire workforce on the plantations.
Southern separatism in defense of slavery culminated in –61, when 11 Southern states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee) seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America.
Others portrayed slavery as a prison that was physically and psychologically damaging to African Americans, like Nazi concentration camps. Others focus not on the damage but the fact that African Americans maintained and built their culture under slavery.
The culture of the Southern United States, or Southern culture, is a subculture of the United States. The combination of its unique history and the fact that many Southerners maintain—and even nurture—an identity separate from the rest of the country has led to its being the most studied and written-about region of the U.S.
Slavery, the Economy, and Society Even before the Constitution was ratified, however, states in the North were either abolishing slavery outright or passing laws providing for gradual emancipation.
The Northwest Ordinance of barred slavery from the new territories of that period, so rather quickly, slavery effectively existed only in the.