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The New South

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Jarod Roll

on 30 August 2017

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Transcript of The New South

The New South

HIS 106
Dr. Roll
New South
: term popularized by Henry Grady, Atlanta newspaper editor and regional booster, to describe development of an industrial capitalist economy and society in the years after 1877
Birmingham, Alabama
Cotton Production: 1860 vs. 1900
Confederate Commemoration:
--United Confederate Veterans (1889)
--United Daughters of the Confederacy (1895)
--J. B. Gordon: Confederate Governor of Georgia, KKK leader, US Senator, Railroad investor
--worked in two ways: a) facilitate national reconciliation among whites, common experience of the war; b) to signal victory of white supremacy to African Americans in the South
Logging train, Mississippi Delta, 1890s
Coal miners, Harlan County, Kentucky
Grover Cleveland (Dem.) elected President, 1884
Benjamin Harrison (Rep.) elected President, 1888
Federal Elections Bill (Lodge Force Bill), 1890
-- to stop white Democrats from using violence and fraud to defeat Republicans in the South

Rise of spectacle lynching in the 1890s:
-- why?
-- social and economic disruption of New South capitalism
-- white fears of disorder, of loss of racial privileges
-- white fears of economic and social competition with African Americans, especially during 1890s Depression
-- often expressed in sexual terms
Mississippi State Constitution, 1890
-- state convention, delegates elected by county officials; 134 white delegates, 1 black delegate
--in 1890, 58% of Mississippians were African American
-- legal moves to disenfranchise African Americans: a) poll tax, b) understanding clause, c) convicts barred
--the convention approved its own constitution; never approved by the state electorate

Delegates explain themselves:

--"It is the manifest intention of this Convention to secure to the State of Mississippi, "white supremacy"

--Senator Zachariah George: "Our chief duty when we meet in Convention is to devise such measures as will enable us to maintain a home government, under the control of the white people of the State."

--"The plan is to invest permanently the powers of government in the hands of the people who ought to have them--the white people."

Raymond newspaper:
--"The convention is called for the purpose of divising means by which the negro can be constitutionally eliminated from politics."

Results of the Mississippi Plan of 1890:
Black voters in 1868, 86,973 (96.7% of those eligible)
Black voters in 1892: 8,922 (5.9% of those eligible)
Black voters in 1964: 28,500 (6.7% of those eligible)

All other southern states adopt similar methods between 1891 and 1908; some added "grandfather clause"

1872 presidential election
(red, Republican; blue, Democrat)
1900 presidential election
1884 presidential election
After 1876, Democratic Party (white, most ex-Confederates) pushed Republican Party (mostly African American) out of power across the region
--used violence and fraud
--one Mississippi Democrat, 1890:

"no secret that there has not been a full vote and a fair count in Mississippi since 1875--that we have been preserving the ascendancy of the white people by revolutionary methods."
Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896
Williams, v. Mississippi, 1898

Mississippi state legislature, first elected under the rules of the 1890 state constitution, adopted the current state flag in 1894

--official flag adopted to show "patriotic ardor" and "state pride"

--what those things meant to the all-white state legislature in 1894 inseparable from logic of Mississippi Plan, Jim Crow, and national acceptance of white supremacy
Grady, 1886: "The old South rested everything on slavery and agriculture, unconscious that these could neither give nor maintain healthy growth. The new South presents a perfect democracy, the oligarchs leading in the popular movement; a social system compact and closely knitted, less splendid on the surface, but stronger at the core."
1906 dedication: Confederacy and its "sacred flag"
--"the youngest, the noblest, the bravest of all the nations of the earth" and
--"no nation rose so white and fair, none fell so pure of crime" but
--"The war is over. Its animosities have passed away . . . Nevertheless, we must keep the record clean. We owe this to ourselves and to our children and to our beloved Southland."
Full transcript