The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 11: Agriculture and Industry

MELISSA WALKER Agriculture Section Editor
JAMES C. COBB Industry Section Editor
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
    Book Description:

    Volume 11 ofThe New Encyclopedia of Southern Cultureexamines the economic culture of the South by pairing two categories that account for the ways many southerners have made their living. In the antebellum period, the wealth of southern whites came largely from agriculture that relied on the forced labor of enslaved blacks. After Reconstruction, the South became attractive to new industries lured by the region's ongoing commitment to low-wage labor and management-friendly economic policies. Throughout the volume, articles reflect the breadth and variety of southern life, paying particular attention to the region's profound economic transformation in recent decades.The agricultural section consists of 25 thematic entries that explore issues such as Native American agricultural practices, plantations, and sustainable agriculture. Thirty-eight shorter pieces cover key crops of the region--from tobacco to Christmas trees--as well as issues of historic and emerging interest--from insects and insecticides to migrant labor. The section on industry and commerce contains 13 thematic entries in which contributors address topics such as the economic impact of military bases, resistance to industrialization, and black business. Thirty-six topical entries explore particular industries, such as textiles, timber, automobiles, and banking, as well as individuals--including Henry W. Grady and Sam M. Walton--whose ideas and enterprises have helped shape the modern South.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-1669-8
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    In 1989 years of planning and hard work came to fruition when the University of North Carolina Press joined the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi to publish theEncyclopedia of Southern Culture. While all those involved in writing, reviewing, editing, and producing the volume believed it would be received as a vital contribution to our understanding of the American South, no one could have anticipated fully the widespread acclaim it would receive from reviewers and other commentators. But theEncyclopediawas indeed celebrated, not only by scholars but also by popular audiences with...

    (pp. xvii-xviii)

    The economy of a society provides the parameters for the development of its cultural life, and the history of the American South shows how its resources and role in the world economic system provided the context for the worldviews and customs of its people. “Agriculture and Rural Life” and “Industry and Commerce” were separate sections of theEncyclopedia of Southern Culture, but the editors have combined them here to provide a connected survey of how southerners have made a living. The region’s story was a global one from the beginning, as early settlers grew tobacco and sold it in Europe...


      (pp. 3-30)

      The work of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock has dominated the economy and shaped the culture of the South for more than 1,000 years. The region’s natural environment—a temperate climate, abundant rainfall, and an array of rich soil types—lent itself to agriculture. The demands of farming in turn molded the region’s culture, a culture that until recently undulated to the rhythms of the seasons rather than the regularity of the clock. Yet farming and rural life are characterized by uncertainty. Too much or too little rain, a hailstorm or a hurricane, insect pests and plant...

    • African American Landowners
      (pp. 31-32)

      Landownership gave African Americans a measure of economic security and greater independence from white control. Farm owners were their own bosses. They set their hours, controlled labor within their family, selected and marketed their own crops, and exerted a great deal of control over the education of their own children. Additionally, on their farms they were somewhat insulated from the humiliations of Jim Crow culture. Accordingly, from emancipation until the Great Migration, most black families sought landownership in order to fashion for themselves a meaningful freedom. After the federal government failed to supply Reconstruction-era blacks with the promised “40 acres...

    • Agribusiness
      (pp. 33-38)

      In the 1930 symposiumI’ll Take My Stand, Andrew Lytle criticized southerners who tried to “industrialize the farm; be progressive; drop old fashioned ways and adopt scientific methods.” Conversion of farms into scientific, purely commercial endeavors “means the end of farming as a way of life.” In the years since Lytle wrote these words, southern agriculture has been fundamentally restructured, leading to a decline in the number of southerners on the land and the increasing dominance of farming by fewer and fewer large operations. John H. Davis, a former assistant secretary of agriculture, coined the term “agribusiness” in 1955 to...

    • Agricultural Education
      (pp. 38-45)

      Generations of farmers learned traditional techniques associated with southern crops and stock at the sides of their elders. Yet, as science and technology fundamentally changed agricultural practices, and as farming transitioned from a lifestyle that most southerners engaged in to a business that fewer and fewer invested in, different interest groups took different approaches to championing agricultural education. The debate about whom agricultural education benefited and who should support it created deep divisions among southerners, pitted races and classes against each other, and galvanized philanthropists as well as local, state, and national politicians to either advocate or criticize public funding...

    • Colonial Farming
      (pp. 45-49)

      Agriculture thoroughly dominated the economy of the southern mainland colonies of British America. More than 90 percent of the workforce labored in agriculture, with the majority of families living on farms. The practices of colonial farmers, especially those of the South, often earned the scorn of contemporary observers, portraying them as slovenly and wasteful farmers who abused the land, neglected their livestock, accepted low yields and small incomes, used primitive tools, and resisted innovation, preferring to follow traditional practices. Recent historians have challenged that view, claiming that the denigration of colonial agriculture was often based on inappropriate comparisons with European...

    • Consumption and Consumers
      (pp. 49-54)

      Consumption came to the rural South with the earliest Europeans. As colonists founded trading posts and settlements, they initiated a lively trade with Native Americans. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Indians exchanged beaver, otter, and fox furs and deerskins for a variety of manufactured tools, ammunition, clothing, household goods, and novelties offered by whites. As historian James Axtell has observed, consumption among Native Americans, like that of Europeans, grew out of new tastes and new aesthetic preferences as well as need. Native peoples quickly incorporated European trade goods into their daily lives. They found metal tools and weapons more...

    • Country Stores
      (pp. 54-60)

      From 1865 to 1930, no institution influenced the South’s economy, politics, and daily life of its people more than the country store. Hundreds, maybe thousands of these stores were scattered throughout the region.

      The history of the southern country store begins with the merchant. He was initially an outsider who brought a cost-accounting mentality and objectivity believed to be somewhat foreign to the people among whom he settled. In the post–Civil War South, he created ways of exchanging goods and services with a minimum of cash, for in those times few people had much cash. The storekeeper had to...

    • Crops
      (pp. 60-63)

      Southern culture and commerce have been shaped by a basic dependence upon agricultural production. Cotton, tobacco, corn, peanuts, pumpkins, squash, beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, chili peppers, and tomatoes are crops indigenous to the United States and were cultivated by Indians and later by colonists in the southern states. These crops continue to be major food and fiber crops. Wheat, rice, indigo, and sugarcane were introduced by Europeans and have become major commercial crops. Seed grain crops, such as soybeans and hybrid sorghums, today surpass all other crops in total acreage and were generally developed in the modern era from...

    • Diversification
      (pp. 63-66)

      The history of the American South has been inextricably bound to the agricultural development of the region. In spite of growing industrialization, especially since World War II, the land and the farmer have consistently remained among the most influential forces in the shaping of the southern economic, political, and cultural heritage. Almost as pervasive, too, has been the unceasing call for diversification of agricultural activities—a call whose limited success also reveals a significant characteristic of the southern farmer.

      Prior to the Civil War, small, family-owned farms most often typified southern agriculture. These subsistence units were diversified and self-sufficient, producing...

    • Farm Organizations, 19th-Century
      (pp. 66-71)

      In 1865, as southern soldiers returned to the fields they had abandoned to enlist in the Confederate and Union armies, they recognized the extensive rebuilding that would be necessary to restore their farms to previous productivity. Reconstruction of fences and outbuildings destroyed by armies in search of firewood and shelter, reclamation of fields gone to weeds after years of neglect, and restoration of herds and flocks confiscated to feed armies and haul military equipment were common tasks that greeted them. Needing capital and labor to rebuild and return southern agriculture to its antebellum profitability, farmers turned to the crop lien,...

    • Food and Markets, Women’s Roles in
      (pp. 72-75)

      Just as food has shaped southern cultures, so has food played a central role in the female economy of the rural South. Women’s production for market both complemented cash-crop agriculture and shielded farms and families against the vagaries of prices for staple commodities such as cotton and tobacco. Memoirs of rural life, oral histories with rural elders, farm periodicals, and reports of home-demonstration agents who worked for the Agricultural Extension Service reveal the intricacies and importance of women’s commerce. Through their trade, women reduced indebtedness and reliance upon creditors, mitigated their own economic dependence upon men, and helped families to...

    • Garden Patches
      (pp. 75-79)

      In addition to maintaining decorative formal gardens, southerners have a tradition of growing functional gardens that provide vegetables for their own tables. They are called garden patches, garden plots, kitchen gardens, provision gardens, or simply vegetable gardens. They have been locales for intercultural exchange between the American Indian, European, and African ways of growing.

      The first people of the Southeast to keep garden patches were the Indians. As anthropologist Charles Hudson has noted, “In Creek towns, and probably in Indian settlements throughout the Southeast, the women cultivated kitchen gardens in addition to the large fields in the river bottoms, and...

    • Global Economy, Southern Agriculture in
      (pp. 79-83)

      Few students of southern history read Alfred O. Hero Jr.’s mammoth 1965 studyThe Southerner and World Affairsany more. Such neglect is unfortunate, because there is still much of interest in this “heroic” study of southern opinions about and engagement with other parts of the world. Some of the author’s findings might surprise today’s readers, including the declaration with which he opens chapter 4 (“International Commerce and Related Issues”): “Until relatively recently the South was more closely tied to the world economy than was the industrialized North.” Really? What about all that talk of southern isolation, seclusion, and sequestration?...

    • Good Roads Movement
      (pp. 83-85)

      The good roads movement in the South was at first primarily an attempt to convince farmers that road improvements would not be detrimental to their interests. Behind the campaign for better roads was the League of American Wheelmen, an organization of bicyclists that drew its membership almost exclusively from the Northeast. During the late 19th century, the league spent considerable time and money attempting to convince farmers in the South and elsewhere in the country that good roads would bring them greater economic and cultural rewards. The league also lobbied hard for a federal program aiding road building, and in...

    • Mechanization
      (pp. 85-88)

      During the antebellum period, the institution of slavery, the ignorance of many farmers, the lack of local markets where farmers could inspect and purchase implements, and the reluctance of plantation owners to invest in quality tools retarded the mechanization of southern agriculture. From the colonial period until the early 19th century, local artisans or plantation blacksmiths usually crafted the tools used in southern agriculture, and few implements were standardized. Technological change came slowly, and, prior to the Civil War, the sickle, cradle scythe, and shovel plow remained basic implements for cultivating and harvesting. By the late 1840s, however, more progressive...

    • Native American Agriculture
      (pp. 88-92)

      Despite stereotypes of Native Americans, southern Indians were farmers first for hundreds of years, organizing their economies and societies around agriculture. Native Americans first domesticated plants in the South early in the second millennium B.C. Woodland peoples supplemented their hunting by creating the Eastern Agricultural Complex around seed-bearing flowers and grasses. These first southern cultivars included sunflowers, sumpweed, knotweed, goosefoot, and ragweed, among others. By the first millennium B.C., southern farmers were also cultivating pumpkins and bottle gourds. Between A.D. 800 and 1000, they adopted more productive crops domesticated in Central America: varieties of flint corn, several kinds of beans,...

    • New Deal and Southern Agriculture
      (pp. 92-97)

      The Great Depression exposed and exacerbated two glaring problems in early 20th-century southern agriculture: low prices caused by overproduction of farm commodities and chronic rural poverty. During the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal administration tackled both of these important issues, but with mixed results.

      Overproduction difficulties plagued American farmers, especially southern cotton and tobacco producers, for a decade prior to the Depression. Though many proposals emerged during the 1920s to address the problem, none had been implemented. During the 1932 campaign, Roosevelt made aid to the nation’s farmers an important part of his New Deal platform. He endorsed the “voluntary...

    • New Deal–Era Farmer Organizations
      (pp. 97-101)

      Problems faced by poor farmers in Alabama and Arkansas in the 1930s resulted in the founding of two separate and distinct organizations. Although the tenants and sharecroppers they represented faced similar problems, important differences between Alabama’s Share Croppers Union (SCU) and Arkansas’s Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU) ultimately prevented the two organizations from forming an alliance. First, the SCU was affiliated with the Communist Party while the STFU’S orientation was toward the Socialists. A second important difference between the two organizations involved their racial makeup. The SCU was, for most of its existence, a black-only union, while the STFU was...

    • Part-Time Farming
      (pp. 101-102)

      Many southern farmers are part-time farmers. Defined as those who earn more than half their income from off-farm sources, part-time farmers devote most of their time to a job away from the farm while spending weekends and evening hours engaged in some subsistence and market-oriented farming activities.

      The shift to part-time farming in the South first began among the residents of southern Appalachia late in the 19th century. As lumber and mining companies moved into the mountains, farmers were lured into wage labor that they called “public work” to distinguish it from work on the privately owned farm. Appalachian farmers...

    • Plantations
      (pp. 102-106)

      During the 16th and 17th centuries, Englishmen established plantations, also called colonies, in Ireland, Virginia, Bermuda, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Jamaica, and elsewhere. During the 17th century, however, the term “plantation” gradually came to mean an extensive agricultural enterprise where proprietors or managers directed large labor forces in the production of export crops. Thereafter, plantations remained colonial only in the important sense of their economic relationship to faraway markets.

      Plantations of this sort developed first in North America on the Virginia peninsula between the James and York Rivers, the first tobacco kingdom, and then spread throughout Tidewater Virginia and Maryland. As...

    • Rural Life
      (pp. 106-117)

      Just as a truly solid South has never existed in an overall regional sense, there has never been a hard and fast pattern of rural life across the region. Much of the developing South, and especially that part designated the “Old Southwest,” spawned and nurtured an arrested form of frontier American culture that reflected the particular environmental influences to which people were exposed. Southerners were not the only Americans set adrift in such a large mass of virgin land; none, however, implanted this experience more indelibly in their folkways and modes of rural life. The availability of a seemingly inexhaustible...

    • Rural-Urban Migration
      (pp. 117-120)

      Sustained migration by rural southerners to urban places within the region began in the 1880s. From that point onward, rural southerners in growing numbers have chosen to leave the region’s countryside, migrating to cities in the South as well as those in the North and West. While some southern cities, such as New Orleans, have long attracted large numbers of foreign-born immigrants, most southern cities depended upon a steady influx of native-born rural migrants to support their population growth until only very recent times. The 9 percent of the South’s population residing in urban areas in 1880 grew steadily to...

    • Sharecropping and Tenancy
      (pp. 120-124)

      Since the post–Civil War years, the plantation landlord and the tenant farmer have been among the most prominent figures in the nation’s perception of the South. They have been graphic symbols of the region’s ruralism, poverty, and cultural backwardness, and they have exemplified the paternalism, exploitation, and social-class dimensions of southern agriculture. Until the mid-20th century, these images undoubtedly reflected the reality of several million southerners whose lives were blighted by crop-lien tenancy.

      Tenancy was a response to the disorganization and poverty of southern agriculture following the Civil War, becoming widely established by about 1880. Former slaves and landless...

    • Soil and Soil Conservation
      (pp. 124-130)

      Soils are natural bodies, the result of unique interactions of soil-forming factors. Once soils were thought of as merely the residuum from rocks. Parent material is indeed an important factor in soil formation, or soil genesis, because it is the source of many elements needed for plant growth. As parent material is exposed at the earth’s surface, it is altered by processes that can be related to climate, topography, living organisms, and the amount of time the material remains near the surface before being dissolved, eroded, or buried. Soil properties have always placed limitations on food production. With limited ability...

    • Sustainable Agriculture
      (pp. 130-133)

      The question of agricultural sustainability is as old as agriculture itself. It has been estimated that of the 80 billion humans who have ever lived, only about 10 percent have depended on agriculture for survival. Humans were very successful as hunter-gatherers, but this system probably only supported a population of about 4 million people (compared to today’s 6.5 billion). Agriculture most likely evolved in response to the inability of ecosystems to support expanding hunter-gatherer populations. Ever since the transition to agriculture beginning about 10,000 years ago, the question of sustainability has been of utmost importance to the human condition.


    • Women and Agriculture
      (pp. 133-136)

      Since the beginning of recorded history, women in the South have played a significant role in agriculture. The native women of the Southeast grew the crops that, along with intensive gathering and the men’s hunting, sustained their families. Early in the 17th century, observers from the Jamestown colony reported Powhatan women working in groups to cultivate small fields of corn and beans, which they relocated every three years. Further south, Creek women cultivated communal cornfields and kept family-sized vegetable patches.

      The Cherokee maintained a fairly rigid division of labor wherein men helped clear fields, planted, and hunted. Women cultivated the...

    • Agricultural Cooperatives
      (pp. 137-139)

      Small farmers have always confronted the problem of diffusion. Functioning as atomized units, they find economic difficulty on either end of market transactions. As producers, they cannot control the price of their crops by matching supply to demand; as consumers, they cannot create economies of scale to lower the prices of their supplies. To overcome this problem, American farmers have at times sought to combine their resources to improve their prices or lower their costs. While there have been notable successes, the record of agricultural cooperatives has proven generally dismal nationwide. The depressing history of the South’s agricultural cooperatives proves...

    • Agricultural Societies, Antebellum
      (pp. 139-141)

      Agricultural societies played a critical role in shaping the contours of antebellum rural America. Through societies, farmers created a collective structure with enough clout to give voice to advocates of “systematic,” or scientific, farming. Societies sponsored agricultural addresses by prominent community leaders and held fairs to celebrate agrarian life. Though generally articulated as a utilitarian movement by historians, agricultural leaders aimed at a broader mission of social improvement, all the while preserving the nation’s agrarian tradition.

      The tenuous nature of antebellum agricultural societies makes it hard to establish firm numbers. The last figure compiled before the Civil War by the...

    • Apples
      (pp. 141-143)

      Southerners who grew up on a farm before World War II remember the farm orchard with its big apple trees, as well as the bewildering number of apple varieties—Red June, Limbertwig, Horse Apple, Transparent, Early Harvest, Blacktwig, Yates, Magnum Bonum, Kinnaird’s Choice, and on and on. From the farm, orchard apples were picked fresh from June until November and then stored in cellars or pits during the winter. They were eaten stewed, baked, fried, and in pies. They were made into jelly, preserves, and apple butter. Apple juice was made into cider and vinegar (and brandy!). Apple slices were...

    • Aquaculture
      (pp. 143-144)

      Aquaculture is often simply referred to as “fish farming,” but it is really a form of agriculture that involves the cultivation of a variety of aquatic animals and plants. Although aquaculture was not practiced in the United States until the mid-19th century, its origin dates back 4,000 years to ancient China. Aquaculture has developed into a billion-dollar industry in the United States and has been one of the fastest-growing agricultural enterprises over the last decade. This is in part due to an increase in per capita consumption of seafood, increased health consciousness, and a decline in natural stocks because of...

    • Boll Weevil
      (pp. 144-146)

      The cotton boll weevil,Anthonomus grandis(Boheman), migrated from Mexico across the Rio Grande River near Brownsville, Tex., in 1892. The weevil’s annual fall dispersal carried it to Louisiana in 1903, to Mississippi in 1907, and to the far reaches of the Cotton Belt in the early 1920s.

      By depositing eggs in the cotton square, the boll weevil prevented development of the locks of fiber. Farmers relied on the cultural method—a series of adjustments in growing practices—to reduce the weevil’s damage. As farmers adopted parts of this system, especially planting earlier with early maturing varieties, the production figures...

    • Cattle
      (pp. 146-148)

      By the early 21st century, the cattle industry was generating billions of dollars for the southern economy. But the modern cattle industry and 21st-century cattle bear little resemblance to the herding practices and animals of southerners’ agricultural forebears.

      Cattle are not indigenous to the Western Hemisphere and were first introduced to the North American continent by Spanish explorers and colonists in the 16th century. By the late 1500s, Spanish missionaries in Florida had introduced Indians to cattle raising and to Spanish ranching techniques that had been adapted to the American environment by settlers in the West Indies. A century later,...

    • Christmas Tree Farming
      (pp. 148-149)

      Farmers produce Christmas trees in every state in the South. A range of native and exotic conifer species grown as Christmas trees on plantations include pines, spruces, firs, cedars, and cypresses. Throughout the South, small “choose & cut” farms enable local customers to select a tree from the field or purchase precut Christmas trees, greenery, or other gift items from a farm store. These farms often diversify into other value-added enterprises that bring the public onto the farm in a paying capacity. These activities, encompassed by the concept of agritourism, include pumpkins, pick-your-own berry crops, nature trails, farm tours, lodging,...

    • Citrus
      (pp. 149-151)

      Citrus frequently appears in the iconography of Florida: a ripe, juicy orange; groves of fruit-laden trees extending to the horizon; the child reaching for a healthy snack from a backyard tree—images of a nature that is merged seamlessly with commerce and domestic life. This commingling reflects nearly perfectly the complex interplay of climate, geography, economics, and culture that frame the history of citrus. The modern orange, lemon, and lime are all products of centuries of human tinkering for markets, exemplars of “second nature,” and yet they are marketed as exemplars of a pure and healthy nature and employed in...

    • Communal Farms
      (pp. 152-153)

      Scholarly attention has focused on the large, successful, and well-known communal farms of the Northeast—including those of the Shakers, the Harmony Society, and Oneida. There have been, however, a number of significant communities in the South. The Shakers established Pleasant Hill and South Union in Kentucky in the early 1800s. Nashoba, an interracial Tennessee commune, was founded east of Memphis on the Wolf River in 1825 by Frances Wright, a reformer from Scotland. The name for the community derived from the Indian word for “wolf.” The experiment lasted until 1828 and was intended as a model society for slaves,...

    • Corn
      (pp. 153-154)

      Corn has over 500 industrial uses, most of which are little known. For nearly three centuries, maize, or Indian corn, had scores of everyday uses in the South, far more than all other crops combined. The area devoted to corn production in the South in 1920 was 46 million acres, the high point in acreage. That represented 44.6 percent of the nation’s total. As food, it was basic to survival. Southerners, like other rural Americans, ate it as roasting ears, popcorn, hominy grits, cornbread, dodgers, hoecake, johnny cake, pone, mush, fritters, spoon bread, pudding, porridge, parched corn, fish-frying batter, hoppin’...

    • Cotton Culture
      (pp. 154-157)

      In the last decade of the 18th century, cotton cultivation swept up small farmers, slaves, and planters into a way of life that came to epitomize the antebellum South. Fueled by rising demand and improvements in ginning technology, cotton cultivation began its migration southwestward across the South. The Civil War ended slavery, and, after a struggle over tenure and control of the crop, a sharecropping and croplien system emerged that lasted three quarters of a century. The new labor arrangements absorbed not only former slaves but also increasing numbers of white farmers who lost their land.

      Between World War I...

    • Dairy Industry
      (pp. 157-158)
      E. DALE ODOM

      Production of milk and dairy products in the early South was not significantly different from that in the North. Considerable divergence appeared in the 19th century, though, because of slower urban growth in the South. While the old dairy belt emerged in the North to supply milk for commercially manufactured dairy products in a national market and fluid milk to large cities, southerners haphazardly supplied their towns with fluid milk, made their own butter, and at times bought canned milk and cheese produced in the North.

      The dairy picture in the South changed surprisingly little from the 19th century until...

    • Farm Security Administration
      (pp. 158-159)

      During the Great Depression, the New Deal administration wrestled with the problem of massive and chronic rural poverty. Between 1935 and 1946, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was the federal agency that worked to uplift some of America’s poorest people.

      The FSA began as the Resettlement Administration (RA), created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order in May 1935. The RA consolidated federal programs for classifying rural land, retiring submarginal farms, and resettling their residents. Also transferred to the RA were rural subsistence homesteads for surplus industrial workers, pilot suburban housing projects, and several cooperative farm communities started with federal...

    • Fence/Stock Laws
      (pp. 159-161)

      An abundance of land and a comparative scarcity of people in the colonial South influenced the development of an extensive style of agriculture. A key feature of this agriculture was open- or free-range livestock raising. Under this system, colonies (later states) and localities passed fence laws, which permitted livestock owners to allow their animals to range freely over the countryside and required farmers to erect fences to protect their crops. Fence laws and the open range held sway in the South until after the Civil War.

      In the late antebellum era, the slow but steady importation of expensive purebred cattle...

    • Fertilizer
      (pp. 161-162)

      In the 1840s and 1850s, an agricultural reform movement occurred in the South as planters and farmers sought some means of restoring their worn-out fields. Farm journals of the period recommended increased use of lime and manures. At the same time, superphosphate and Peruvian guano were introduced as commercial fertilizers. By 1860 their use had spread from Maryland and Virginia into the Carolinas and Georgia.

      After the Civil War, the problems of exhausted land and quick returns on cotton and tobacco crops combined to greatly accelerate the use of fertilizers. To meet this demand, the fertilizer industry began to move...

    • Forage Crops
      (pp. 162-165)

      Forage refers to animal food of plant origin, particularly that providing feed for domestic animals. It may include pasturage, browse, hay, silage, green chop, and crop residues. Forages are the mainstay of grassland agriculture, that is, agriculture based on grasses, legumes, and other fodder or soil-building crops. Grassland farming with forage crops has many environmental benefits, including improving soil and water quality and reducing soil erosion and soil nutrient losses. In addition, forage-crop production requires far less pesticide and fossil fuel energy input compared with row crops.

      In pre-Columbian times, the southeastern United States was mostly covered by dense forest....

    • Garvey Movement
      (pp. 165-166)

      The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was a worldwide organization that flourished in many areas of the rural South in the early 1920s. People who joined the UNIA and others who supported its goals became part of what is now called the Garvey Movement. Incorporated in Harlem in 1918 by a Jamaican named Marcus Garvey, the UNIA established over 400 divisions in the former Confederate states. The UNIA gained popularity through an internationally distributed weekly newspaper called theNegro World. Its fundamental mission was to promote the economic, social, and political independence of people who identified themselves racially as Negroes...

    • Hog Production
      (pp. 166-168)

      Swine were the primary nonhuman companions of Europeans exploring eastern North America. The animals adapted well to the climate and landscape of the coast and interior. Would-be colonists made conscious efforts to “seed” potential outposts with swine to provide sustenance for themselves and future settlers. The success of this strategy is evidenced through a variety of colonial commentaries. In hisHistory of Virginia(1705), Robert Beverley observed, “Hogs swarm like Vermine upon the Earth and are often accounted as such.” According to William Byrd’sHistory of the Dividing Line between Virginia and North Carolina(1728), “The only Business [in North...

    • Home Extension Services
      (pp. 169-170)

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed Home Extension Services to disseminate information to the farming community. Home extension has its roots in the Progressive Era and the country life movement. Theodore Roosevelt authorized the Country Life Commission to investigate rural life. The report paid special attention to farm women and, finding they were overworked and lacked modern technologies, recommended improving their conditions. In order to improve agricultural scientific study, Congress had passed the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 that established land-grant colleges. Agricultural reformers eager to spread helpful information to farmers published bulletins and spoke at farmers’ institutes,...

    • Horses and Mules
      (pp. 170-172)

      Horses and mules once dominated the southern agricultural landscape. Before tractors replaced them, horses, mules, and, to a limited extent, oxen pulled plows, cultivators, and wagons across the American South. Horses were common in the South throughout the region’s draft animal era, but mules filled a central and unique place in southern agriculture and culture. Beginning in the early 19th century, in agricultural journals such as theSouthern Planter, southerners debated the merits of each type of draft animal. Planters were the first to adopt mules because they perceived mules as hardier than horses. Thus, mules fit well into an...

    • Insects and Insecticides
      (pp. 172-177)

      The topic of insects and insect control in the southern United States necessarily centers on the cotton boll weevil. This quarter-inch-sized beetle had previously lived in relative obscurity in its native Mexico and Central America. After crossing the border into Brownsville, Tex., around 1892, however, the boll weevil exploded in population because of the abundance of cotton crops. Either flying or hitching rides on cotton bales, the pest reached Louisiana in 1903, Mississippi in 1907, and Georgia in 1916. To an extent unprecedented in American history, the boll weevil crippled agricultural production, reducing yields by as much as 90 percent...

    • Knapp, Seaman A. (1833–1911) AGRICULTURAL REFORMER.
      (pp. 177-178)

      Seaman Asahel Knapp brought many experiences to his goal of improving southern agriculture. As editor, college president, essayist, teacher, and organizer, he acquired the skills necessary to secure acceptance of his most important idea: the Farmers’ Cooperative Demonstration Work program.

      Reared in Essex County, N.Y., Knapp graduated from Union College. Acting upon a physician’s advice to seek outdoor activities, he moved to Iowa in 1866 and began a lifelong study of agriculture. As professor and president of Iowa State College (now University), he urged farmers to adopt scientific farming practices. Knapp also edited theWestern Stock Journal and Farmer, emphasizing...

    • Migrant Labor
      (pp. 178-181)

      Migrant labor in the South entered the public consciousness abruptly on Thanksgiving Day 1960 with the airing of the CBS documentaryHarvest of Shame. Walter Cronkite exposed the stark living and working conditions of southern black families forced to migrate up and down the East Coast following the low-paying, short-term jobs to be found in fruit and vegetable agriculture. But the story behind that exposé began a hundred years before, in the racially based postemancipation agricultural labor system that developed in the South following the Civil War.

      In the Reconstruction South, the dispersed pattern of individual tenancies that became known...

    • Peaches
      (pp. 181-184)

      Elberta, Georgia Belle, Blake, Red-globe, Jefferson, Dixired, and Winblo; O’Henry, Cresthaven, Harvester, and Fireprince. All of these names are recognized and held in wide esteem by many southerners. They are a few of the varieties of the South’s most celebrated fruit, thePrunus persica, or the peach.

      The fruit, long synonymous with summer in the South, was first cultivated in China over 4,000 years ago and later traveled to Persia (where Europeans initially thought it had originated) and, prior to the first century, to southern Europe. Spanish trees were brought to the Americas in the 1500s. The plant adapted well...

    • Peanuts
      (pp. 184-185)

      Peanuts, pinders, groundpeas, and goobers are names applied to a nutritious food that has been a part of southern culture since colonial times. Groundpea is most descriptive, as the plant is a legume and belongs to the pea family, botanically known asArachis hypogaea. Peanuts were known in South America around 2,800 years ago. Spanish explorers carried them to Spain in the 16th century, and traders carried them to Africa. Peanuts possibly arrived in the South on slave-trading vessels, which carried them as food for slaves. The Congo name for peanuts,nguba, became “goober” in the South.

      Originally produced by...

    • Pecans
      (pp. 185-186)

      Among the various images that summon to mind the South, pecans take first place in the category of edible nuts. When European settlers first arrived in the New World, they found black walnuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, chinquapins, and pecans growing wild in the South. All of these, except the chest-nut (killed by a blight around 1920), continue to grow, but only the pecan is commercially important. The pecan is synonymous with the South because its natural habitat is the nine southern states from the Carolinas to Texas. Because of the high quality of the nut meat, the quantity of pecans...

    • Poe, Clarence Hamilton (1881–1964) AGRICULTURAL JOURNALIST.
      (pp. 186-187)

      The life of North Carolina journalist Clarence Hamilton Poe affords insight into the evolution of southern farming from the 1890s into the 1960s. Beginning in 1897 as a “printer’s devil” for the Raleigh-basedProgressive Farmer, he achieved national prominence first as editor, then as owner—positions he held until his death. In the process he built theProgressive Farmerinto the largest farm journal in the United States. Today, it continues to be one of the nation’s most significant farm publications.

      Using theProgressive Farmeras a podium, Poe championed a myth long dominant in southern history: agrarian life was...

    • Poultry
      (pp. 187-190)

      A glance at cookbooks suggests that southerners have roasted, baked, fried, sautéed, grilled, and barbecued chickens for centuries. Chicken has been a key ingredient in such regional dishes as gumbo, jambalaya, and Brunswick stew. Cookbooks since the 19th century have also included recipes for wild duck, turkey, and goose, as well as such fowl as blackbird, lark, quail, grouse, guinea fowl, peafowl, pigeon, and other game. Given this fondness for eating poultry, it is not surprising that poultry has been a mainstay of southern agriculture since the beginning of European settlement. Southerners raised many types of poultry for household consumption...

    • Progressive Farmer
      (pp. 190-192)

      The first issue of the agricultural periodicalProgressive Farmerappeared on 10 February 1886. Colonel Leonidas L. Polk, a former Confederate officer and a farmer from Anson County, N.C., conceived the newspaper, which later became a monthly magazine, as a forum for promoting the goals of a better rural way of life, a more scientific agriculture, and an improved educational system for farm people. TheProgressive Farmerbecame a successful North Carolina institution whose efforts led in the early 1890s to a reorganization of that state’s department of agriculture and the founding of a new agricultural college, North Carolina State...

    • Rice Culture
      (pp. 192-194)

      As the Carolina and Georgia rice cultures made adjustments to post–Civil War labor demands and farmers along the Mississippi River started growing rice using labor-intensive methods, a highly mechanized rice culture developed in the southwest Louisiana and Texas prairies. The completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific Railroad in the early 1880s opened the area, and real estate promoters lured midwesterners to settle there. These new arrivals discovered that Cajuns grew rice, a grain similar to wheat, and they adapted wheat binders to the soggy rice fields. After several dry years in the early 1890s wilted “Providence” stands of rice...

    • Rural Electrification Administration
      (pp. 194-195)

      When the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) was created in 1935, less than 4 percent of the farms in the southern states had electricity. Without it, many of the comforts of modern life were unavailable, and for that reason the South enthusiastically welcomed the REA. In 1936, when Congress gave the REA statute authority, southern congressmen were among the agency’s most ardent supporters. The Southern Policy Association, a group of southern congressmen eager to promote southern development, endorsed the REA bill and regarded electrification as an important step in that direction.

      As the REA began operation, southern farmers quickly established electric...

    • Rural Free Delivery
      (pp. 195-196)

      Although the free delivery of mail service was commonplace in the nation’s cities and towns in 1900, American farmers were still going, usually once a week, to small fourth-class post offices for their mail. That year the farmers in 11 states of the old Confederacy and Kentucky had nearly 21,000 such post offices, over one-third of all those in the nation, to which the mail was carried from central post offices over more than 94,000 miles of star mail routes.

      Slow and inefficient, this mail service offered little relief for the southern farmer’s isolation, and in the 1890s, when Postmaster...

    • Sears, Roebuck Catalog
      (pp. 196-198)

      “Without that catalog,” writes Harry Crews in his 1978 autobiography of a Bacon County, Ga., boyhood, “our childhood would have been radically different. The federal government ought to strike a medal for Sears, Roebuck Company for sending all those catalogs to farming families, for bringing all that color and all that mystery and all that beauty into the lives of country people.”

      A genuine piece of Americana, the “Farmer’s Bible” or “Wish Book” had a special impact on the South. Predominantly rural for so much longer than their northern counterparts, southerners relied on the Sears catalog’s images of urban life...

    • Soybeans
      (pp. 198-199)

      Soybean production in the United States increased from 13.9 million bushels in 1930 to 2.3 billion bushels in 1982. The acreage devoted to the crop increased from 1 million to 71 million acres in the same period. Introduced as a novelty as early as 1804, the soybean was first used in the United States primarily for forage, beginning about 1900. Although many people saw its potential as a source of oil, less than one-fourth of the planted acreage in the mid-1930s was harvested for beans, which were then pressed for the oil for industrial uses and for meal for livestock...

    • Sugar Industry
      (pp. 199-200)

      Cane sugar is a key commodity in international trade and an important component of the modern diet. At one time or another, sugarcane was grown commercially in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. During the 19th century, south Louisiana was the focal point of this dynamic industry; beginning in the mid-20th century, however, the center of innovative activities shifted to Florida.

      Between 1880 and 1910, the Louisiana sugar industry experienced a scientific and technological revolution in methods, process apparatus, and scale of operation. The animal-powered mills and open evaporation kettles characteristic of the antebellum period were supplanted by...

    • Tobacco Culture, Flue-Cured
      (pp. 200-203)

      Jamestown colonists raised the first commercial tobacco in the early 17th century, and the expansion and contraction of plantings varied with international demand and prices. Over the years, farmers developed different varieties that they cultivated throughout the country. After the Civil War, bright tobacco, so called because of its golden color produced by intense heat during curing, became a favorite of cigarette manufacturers. Flues running through the barn provided the heat, leading to the adoption of the name “flue-cured” for this type of tobacco. Growers of fluecured tobacco changed the traditional work culture by harvesting only several ripe leaves each...

    • Truck Farming
      (pp. 203-204)

      Truck farming emerged as a form of post–Civil War agriculture in the United States. This agricultural enterprise significantly influenced widespread and scattered regions of the South well into the 20th century. The growth and development of profitable urban markets throughout the United States attracted the attention of profit-hungry southern farmers during the last quarter of the 19th century. This new enterprise involved the sale of vegetables and annual fruit crops—as distinguished from orchard crops—in distant urban markets in fresh and marketable condition. Although the southern grower would produce a wide variety of truck produce, the primary crops...

    • Viticulture
      (pp. 204-206)

      Commercial grape production is a vital part of the fruit industry of the South. The climate of the South offers the potential for growth of traditional and unique grape cultivars for the production of a range of grape products. Most of the grape acreage in the southern United States is planted to French American hybrid grape varieties (e.g., Chambourcin, Seyval); however, Concord and Niagara (Vitis labruscana) and muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) are also grown commercially, and someVitis vinifera(the standard European wine grape varieties) are successfully grown.

      Muscadine grapes, the “grape of the Deep South,” have thick skins, large seeds,...


      (pp. 209-228)

      The traditional wisdom that most antebellum southerners shied away from industrial investments and commercial ventures because they were by nature an “agricultural people” is more traditional than wise. If anything, these southerners were an “economic people” whose particular circumstances made it advantageous for them to become “agricultural.” Some prominent figures in the Old South may have voiced their fears of industrialization and condemned its proponents as the advance agents of Yankee subversion in the region, but then, as now, the primary influences and motivations that shaped the development of southern commerce and industry were economic. Worries about cultural identity were...

    • Antebellum Industry
      (pp. 229-231)

      The history of industry in the Old South has been obscured by the long shadow of the plantation. The roar of a blast furnace or the din of a cotton factory were more likely to jar the southern imagination than to capture it, given the South’s traditional identification with the pastoral ideal. Much less specialized than their northern peers, southern factory owners often blended their careers with those of planter and politician. Planters who did not become businessmen themselves often invested capital in the industrial expansion, but industrial development in the South lagged far behind the North because it lacked...

    • Business, Black
      (pp. 232-235)

      West African slaves came from commercial economies and, when permitted, engaged in trade in the New World. The “Sunday markets” of the West Indies and South America were often dominated by Africans who filled them with produce from their garden plots. Such commercial activity, although less flourishing in North America, certainly existed, especially in colonial South Carolina. In fact, a subeconomy carried on by slaves and free blacks in 18th-century South Carolina became so vigorous that the master class legislated against what it feared could become a political as well as an economic underground.

      This tightening of the slave system...

    • Civil Rights and Business
      (pp. 235-237)

      W. J. Cash argued eloquently in his classicThe Mind of the South(1941) that the Old South did not die with the Civil War; indeed, he argued, that most tragic of American conflicts strengthened and confirmed Old South values. Extending his thesis into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cash argued that even the quest for economic progress of the New South prophets and the business progressives failed to dislodge the prevailing attitudes and values of the pre–Civil War southern mentality, which was characterized by individualism, intolerance, and a commitment to the maintenance of white supremacy. Cash...

    • “Colony,” South as
      (pp. 237-240)

      From Jamestown to Fort Sumter, there was a three-way conflict over exactly who would control the output of southern labor, both white and black. The British Crown attempted, sporadically, to gain control of the southern surplus of goods for itself, or at least for its merchant friends; the commercial interests of the northern colonies, later states, wanted to control the surplus; and the southern planters thought it would be appropriate to keep it close to home. As long as the institution of slavery existed, the southern planters could explore strategies to maintain high prices partly through low labor costs. Once...

    • Expositions and World’s Fairs
      (pp. 240-244)

      Beginning in the late 19th century, many cities in the American South hosted large expositions and fairs that were intended to promote the host cities by displaying the best of modern achievement. In part because the South had a more rural population, expositions set in southern cities were on a smaller scale than their northern counterparts. Yet, most of these southern expositions still managed to draw hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of visitors. For all of their popularity, however, southern fairs experienced a lull in the early 20th century. A half-century hiatus divides southern expositions into two distinct eras,...

    • Globalization
      (pp. 244-248)

      “Of all the Americans,” James McBride Dabbs wrote, “the Southerner is the most at home in the world. Or at least in the South, which, because of its very at-homeness, he is apt to confuse with the world.” One might see here a nascent ideology of globalism—southern hospitality as humanism—while recognizing also an insularity that was inward-looking rather than hospitable.

      A historical perspective reveals a globalized South that preceded the southern identity, contributing to and then molded in part by the American Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. In the 21st century, the American South is reemerging as...

    • Industrialization, Resistance to
      (pp. 248-252)

      In the South before the Civil War, the prevailing philosophy held that a culture rooted in an agricultural economy and agrarian values was superior to any other. Although manufacturing, largely of the household variety, existed in the region on a level comparable to that of New England early in the 19th century, sectional differences soon began to emerge. Aided by the disruption of overseas commerce surrounding the War of 1812, the factory system began to expand in the North. By midcentury, northerners who 50 years before had harbored grave doubts about extensive industrialization viewed it as a positive good.


    • Industrialization and Change
      (pp. 252-255)

      It is a persistent myth, running through popular and academic writing, that industry in the South is of recent origin. Some views attribute the birth of industrialism to the New South movement at the end of the 19th century, others to the notable rise of the Sunbelt South since World War II. Such truncated accounts of economic modernization ignore the deep roots and persistent patterns of southern industrial development. For at least 100 years, from the antebellum origins of the factory system to the collapse of the plantation system during the Great Depression, the shape and pace of industrial growth...

    • Industrialization in Appalachia
      (pp. 256-259)

      Although the southern mountain region has sometimes been said to be predominantly agricultural in its economy and rural in its culture, industrial development occurred there much as it did elsewhere in the United States and at the same times. During the antebellum period, extractive and manufacturing activities developed as decentralized, locally capitalized, and locally managed enterprises, serving a local or regional market. During the late 1860s, in Appalachia as elsewhere in the nation, these same activities became increasingly centralized through the emergence of large-scale enterprises serving a national or international market and developed with nonlocal capital by nonlocal entrepreneurs. The...

    • Industrialization in the Piedmont
      (pp. 259-263)

      Before 1830 the piedmont region had a small but relatively diverse manufacturing sector, including woolen mills, foundries, and nail and rifle plants. But such promising industry dwindled with the expansion of the slave economy and concentration on the lucrative cash crop cotton. By 1860 significant production was limited to a small number of cotton textile mills in towns such as Graniteville, S.C. The Civil War destroyed most of these modest gains, and manufacturing did not demonstrate any real momentum until the 1880s. But from that time through the 1980s, cotton textile expansion and piedmont industrialization became virtually synonymous. By the...

    • Military and Economy
      (pp. 263-266)

      Since the Civil War, and especially since World War II, the South has become the most powerful base of support for the continued American military buildup that has resulted in the rise of the Military-Industrial Complex, a term coined by Malcolm Moss and popularized by Dwight D. Eisenhower. More accurately, the complex should be styled the Military-Industrial-Technological-Labor-Academic-Managerial-Political (MITLAMP) Complex. All sectors of modern technological society are involved in its functioning. Within the MITLAMP Complex are military and industrial beneficiaries, technical specialists, labor recipients of defense funds, academic elites, managerial elements, and political opportunists. These groups, especially in the South and...

    • New South Myth
      (pp. 266-269)

      Defeated and frustrated, the postbellum South furnished fertile soil for the growth of myth—for grafting the imagined upon the real to produce a hybrid that itself became a force in history. Hardly had Union armies sealed the fate of the Old South in 1865 before some people began to speak of a New South. By the early 1870s, optimists were finding hope in defeat and envisioning a society that would be less sumptuous but more substantial than the antebellum plantation order to which they paid homage but whose flaws, they believed, had been exposed in the ordeal of war....

    • Sunbelt South
      (pp. 269-272)

      “Sunbelt South” and, more generally, the “American Sunbelt” were media creations designed to give coherence and meaning to the dramatic population growth and political upheavals that occurred in the South and Southwest after 1940. Coined by political analyst Kevin P. Phillips in his bookThe Emerging Republican Majority(1969), the concept of “Sun Belt” (or “Sunbelt”) lay dormant and ill-defined until the mid-1970s, when a combination of census reports on migration, the growing Republican potential in the South and West, and the presidential candidacy of Georgian Jimmy Carter brought the lower tier of states to public attention. Although he did...

    • Airline Industry
      (pp. 273-274)

      In the 1920s there were no clear distinctions between aircraft manufacturers and aircraft dealers, nor between aircraft dealers and aircraft operators. Furthermore, the market as a whole had yet to determine whether aviation had any business potential beyond, perhaps, rapid mail service. One company, the Huff Daland Company, launched a branch that designed, manufactured, and eventually operated crop-dusting services aimed at southern plantation owners. The Huff Daland Dusters branch would later establish business links to Mexico and Peru from its base in Monroe, La. When legal troubles erupted, Huff Daland Dusters was dissolved. The international operations were placed under new...

    • Atlanta as Commercial Center
      (pp. 274-275)

      Atlanta’s role as the commercial center of the Southeast began in the late 1830s when the Georgia legislature decided to build a railroad from the Chattahoochee River northwesterly to Chattanooga, Tenn. Atlanta grew around the terminus of this Western & Atlantic line. By the mid-1840s two private lines had arrived, and Atlanta had connections to Augusta and Savannah. Eventually, 15 rail lines would converge on the “Gate City” as it far surpassed its state rivals.

      During the Civil War, Atlanta served as a major manufacturing and supply point for Confederate forces until General William Sherman’s troops destroyed it in 1864....

    • Automobile Industry
      (pp. 275-278)

      In the past 30 years, the South has experienced a tremendous growth in the automotive industry. While many observers claim the southern automobile industry started in the early 1980s, it actually began in the early days of automobile manufacturing and remained a small part of the region’s industrial base until the 1980s. In 1900 the G. H. Waters & Sons Buggy & Carriage Factory in New Bern, N.C., built a horseless carriage. In 1902 a Richmond, Va., machine manufacturer built a prototype called the Coffee. A Jacksonville, Fla., repairshop owner built a few automobiles in 1905 that he called the...

    • Banking
      (pp. 278-283)

      During the colonial period, banking and financial intermediaries, except for general fire and life insurance companies, were almost nonexistent. By 1781 the situation was beginning to change with the establishment by Robert Morris of the Bank of North America and the later creation of the First Bank of the United States.

      Under Alexander Hamilton’s guidance, Congress chartered the First Bank of the United States (1791–1811) to provide a uniform currency and enhance the stability of the economy. Although the First Bank was not completely successful in achieving these objectives, it did provide financial services to the South through its...

    • Bulldozer Revolution
      (pp. 283-284)

      Historian C. Vann Woodward has suggested that the most apt “symbol of innovation” in the modern South is the bulldozer. “The roar and groan and dust of it greet one on the outskirts of every Southern city,” he wrote in a 1958 essay titled “The Search for Southern Identity.” The mule had been the popular symbol of the South’s traditional agricultural economy, but the giant earthmoving machine in the post–World War II period had become central to the industrial revolution in the region. The bulldozer symbolized the revolution “in its favorite area of operation, the area where city meets...

    • Casino Gambling
      (pp. 284-285)

      Casino-style gambling houses have long been part of the South’s social fabric, but only since the early 1990s have such establishments carved a legitimatized footing in the region’s soil. Southern antebellum gaming dens were most common in the Mississippi River cities of Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans, where they tempted a transient crowd of riverboat travelers. More elite and permanent clubs, most notably in New Orleans, catered to wealthier gamblers, while the more common and rougher variety typically operated along the waterfront. These riverside workingclass “gambling hells” often earned reputations for violent crime, cheating card sharps, and all manner of...

    • Chain and Specialty Stores
      (pp. 286-286)

      After the Civil War, the rural South witnessed the development of country or general stores. Mail-order houses such as Sears, Roebuck and Co. caused socioeconomic rumblings, but the real merchandising revolution was the advent of specialty stores and their spread as chains under common ownership. These new stores, which sold one product (such as shoes) rather than a variety of products, grew in number during the early 20th century, and by the 1920s they held a sufficiently large share of the market to feed the growing cult of consumerism through the promise of standardized goods and lower prices made possible...

    • Coal Mining
      (pp. 286-289)

      Although coal was discovered in Virginia in the early 1700s, southern coal mining remained a small-scale enterprise until the late 19th century because of the lack of transportation. Following the Civil War, the increased demand for coal as a fuel for the Industrial Revolution, the development of the steamdriven plow (which tunneled out the Appalachian Mountains), and the appearance of railroads in the mountains promoted the emergence of coal as a significant southern product.

      The rise of the coal industry consumed farmland and farm life, as well as mountain culture, as the industrial transformation tied the previously rural, isolated regions...

    • Coca-Cola
      (pp. 289-290)
      E. J. KAHN JR.

      William Allen White once called it the “sublimated essence of all that America stands for,” and an anonymous but no less fervent admirer called it the “holy water of the American South.” The “it,” as the latest in a long line of slogans proclaims, is, of course, Coca-Cola.

      John S. Pemberton, known as “Doc” like most pharmacists of his era, concocted Coca-Cola in 1886 primarily as a hangover cure. It has subsequently been many things to many people; to Robert Winship Woodruff, its high priest for nearly 60 years, the drink is a “religion as well as a business.” Pemberton...

    • De Bow’s Review
      (pp. 290-291)

      Established in New Orleans in 1846 by James Dunwoody Brownson De Bow,De Bow’s Reviewwas the preeminent southern antebellum journal of business, economics, and public opinion. Modeled on Freeman Hunt’sMerchant’s Magazine of New York,theCommercial Review,as it was often called, was initially devoted to “the diversities and ramifications of commercial action.” Always a partisan of the South, De Bow increasingly advocated southern nationalism and the defense of slavery after 1850, and he opened the journal’s pages to supporters of secession, including Edmund Ruffin and George Fitzhugh.

      Despite theReview’simportance, De Bow always had difficulty keeping...

    • Delta Airlines
      (pp. 291-293)

      Beginning in 1924 as Huff Daland Dusters and specializing primarily in crop spraying in the southern United States and Latin America, Delta adopted its enduring name in 1928 from the Mississippi Delta region. Guided by Collett Everman “C. E.” Woolman, a former county agricultural agent who ultimately became its patriarch and longtime chief executive, the airline began passenger operations in 1929 from its Monroe, La., base on a route eventually extending from Fort Worth to Atlanta. Forced to abandon this service in 1930 when it failed to win an essential federal government airmail contract, Delta survived precariously on meager earnings...

    • Duke, James B. (1856–1925) BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST.
      (pp. 293-294)

      The youngest of three children of Washington Duke and Artelia Roney Duke, James Buchanan Duke was born in Orange (now Durham) County, N.C., on 23 December 1856. Although his mother died in 1858 and his father was later drafted into Confederate service, “Buck” Duke, as he was known in the family, spent most of his childhood on his father’s modest farm about three miles from the new village of Durham. He received some schooling at an academy in Durham and, after a brief stay at New Garden School (later Guilford College), attended the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


    • Flagler, Henry (1830–1913) ENTREPRENEUR.
      (pp. 295-296)

      Henry Morrison Flagler led the development of the east coast of Florida from 1885, when he launched his business ventures in Florida, until his death in 1913. Born in western New York State in 1830, Flagler moved to Ohio as a young man to seek his fortune. With the help of relatives, he became a successful grain dealer. He married his first wife, Mary Harkness, in 1853. From this marriage came his only children, Jenny Louise and Harry. During the Civil War, Flagler invested his life savings in a salt-manufacturing business that failed. After the war, he joined John D....

    • Foreign Industry
      (pp. 296-298)

      Foreign industry, or commercial enterprises owned by residents outside of the United States, has been part of the American and southern economy from the beginning of American history. Food, tobacco, and forest-products industries were among the first sectors of foreign investments, followed by textiles and numerous other industries. Much of the early railroad and canal construction in the United States was also done or financed by foreign investors. However, the major influx of foreign industry occurred during the 20th century and became particularly significant for the South as late as the 1960s and 1970s. For example, only 10 percent of...

    • Furniture Industry
      (pp. 298-299)

      Most of the fine furniture used in the South during the colonial period was imported from England. As towns and cities grew in size and wealth, however, skilled craftsmen from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and France and from northern cities in America made their way in increasing numbers into lucrative southern markets such as Williamsburg, Charleston, New Bern, and Savannah. Some of the early craftsmen were itinerants, some were employed on large plantations, and some established shops in the larger towns and cities. The common folk made most of their own furniture or used the products of local carpenters.


    • Grady, Henry W. (1850–1889) NEWSPAPER EDITOR.
      (pp. 299-300)

      Born on 24 May 1850 in Athens, Ga., to William Sammons and Ann Gartrell Grady, Henry Woodfin Grady enjoyed a comfortable upbringing. Wise financial management by his father, a successful merchant who died in 1864 from wounds received serving in the Confederate army, enabled Henry to enroll at the University of Georgia in 1866. Following graduation in 1868, he attended the University of Virginia for a year, excelling in oratory and displaying journalistic talent as a contributor to theAtlanta Constitution.Returning to Georgia in 1869, Grady located in Rome, edited various newspapers there, and married Julia King, his childhood...

    • Gregg, William (1800–1867) BUSINESSMAN.
      (pp. 300-301)

      William Gregg was born on 2 February 1800 in Monongalia County, Va., and died 13 September 1867 in Graniteville, S.C. His outspoken advocacy of manufacturing and his entrepreneurship of the Graniteville Manufacturing Company (1846–67) fixed his reputation as the “father” of the southern textile industry, an image enhanced by Broadus Mitchell’s laudatory biography (1928). Initially, Gregg amassed a fortune as a jeweler and silversmith in Columbia (1824) and Charleston (1838). Introduced to cotton manufacturing at his uncle’s small mill (circa 1810) near Madison, Ga., Gregg in 1837 purchased stock in the Vaucluse Mill (1833) in the Horse Creek Valley...

    • Insurance
      (pp. 301-303)

      The persistence of deep-rooted facets of southern socioeconomic life and culture—limited financial assets, African-bred burial practices, rural lifestyles long retained by urban dwellers, insecurities derived in the painful adjustment from plantation paternalism to semifreedom—go far to explain the seeming paradox of the region’s high personal-security consciousness linked with its below-average insurance coverage. In 1982, for example, southern states accounted for 9 of the top 17 states in the number of life insurance policies in force, but only 5 states were above the national average in per family life insurance in force. No southernheadquartered insurer ranked among the top...

    • Liquor Industry
      (pp. 303-305)

      The distillation of southern liquor dates from the early colonial period. Efforts to reproduce European wines and beers generally failed, but colonists quickly learned to distill local fruits and grains. They made corn whiskey in Jamestown, for example, while Georgians distilled peach brandy. By the late 1600s cheaply imported rum had further confirmed colonial preferences for hard liquor, and Scots-Irish immigration in the mid-1700s widely popularized whiskey making, particularly on the frontiers. Rye and barley distilling consequently flourished in Maryland and parts of Virginia, where even George Washington made some rye liquor.

      Whiskey production soared after the Revolution (which had...

    • Mobile Home Industry
      (pp. 305-307)

      Mobile homes are more popular in the South than elsewhere in the United States, and sociologists have struggled to understand the reasons behind this phenomenon. Some argue that southerners are simply driven by the low cost of these dwellings, while others look to cultural factors such as individual autonomy and the potential for mobility. The mobile home industry, too, has its own culture, driven by many of the same factors.

      In the early years of the 20th century, “homes on wheels” were designed for recreation, an affordable way of taking the comforts of home along for the ride. Trailer camps...

    • Music Industry
      (pp. 307-309)

      The development of commercial popular music in the South has paralleled trends in other industries. The region has served as a source of musical raw materials—styles, performers, and creative talents—for the nation as a whole. Until World War II, however, nonsoutherners controlled most of the institutions vital to marketing popular music, including publishing houses, recording companies, and theater chains. Professional musicians in the South pursued the American goal of material advancement, but profits tended to flow toward New York, Chicago, or Hollywood, the three major music centers of the United States before World War II. Of course, there...

    • Naval Stores
      (pp. 309-311)

      The naval stores industry, whose principal products were tar, pitch, and turpentine, derives its name from the use of these products for waterproofing the rigging and hulls of early wooden sailing vessels. Based on the exploitation of the pine woods for resinous juices, the industry is one of the oldest industries in the South. It was developed at James-town in 1608, but it is associated especially with North Carolina because of the highly resinous longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), whose natural habitat is the approximately 100-mile-wide coastal plain that spans the southern coastline from Virginia to Texas.

      Until 1835 the people...

    • Nuclear Industry
      (pp. 311-313)

      During the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was widely regarded as a glamorous technological breakthrough that could offer dramatic benefits in industry, agriculture, medicine, and the generation of electrical power. The southern states acted with particular enthusiasm to promote the use of nuclear energy as a part of their effort to encourage economic growth. They also played a leading role in increasing the authority of state governments to safeguard public health and safety from radiation hazards, a reflection of their determination to protect traditional state responsibilities from federal infringement.

      When Congress passed the...

    • Oil Industry
      (pp. 313-314)

      Within a year after E. L. Drake brought in the nation’s first oil well outside Titusville, Penn., the South entered the petroleum picture. In the spring of 1860, a well in Wirt County, Va., (about 12 miles southeast of Parkersburg) began producing 37 to 50 barrels per day. After the creation of West Virginia, all of the oil activity was in the new state. As important as oil was in West Virginia (well into the 20th century), significant numbers of West Virginia and Pennsylvania oil-field workers migrated to the nascent Texas industry. The 1894 discovery in Corsicana signaled the beginning...

    • Radio Industry
      (pp. 314-317)

      Radio communication designed for reception by the general public is known as broadcasting. The origins of southern broadcasting are indistinct. Clearly, southerners engaged in wireless telegraphy and telephony before the advent of formal broadcasting. As early as 1892, Nathan B. Stubblefield, a melon farmer, transmitted speech successfully from a small shack near his farmhouse in Murray, Ky., but he hardly intended to reach the general public. Nevertheless, a historical marker on the outskirts of Murray announces to all that the site is “The Birthplace of Radio.”

      Beginning in 1912, federal regulation required every wireless-transmitter operator to secure a license from...

    • Railroad Industry
      (pp. 317-319)

      Even though the South possessed many navigable rivers and had basically an agricultural rather than an industrial economy, it was active in the promotion of railroads in the early 19th century. Baltimore businessmen obtained a charter for the Baltimore & Ohio in 1827, and Charleston interests built a 136-mile railroad to Hamburg, S.C., between 1830 and 1833. In 1860 the 15 slave states had more than 10,000 miles of railway, or about a third of the national total. Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee led the South in rail mileage. On the eve of the Civil War, southern railroads lagged well behind...

    • Research Triangle Park
      (pp. 319-320)

      Research Triangle Park (RTP) is a planned industrial research park in piedmont North Carolina that includes more than 5,000 acres near three research universities: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Governor Luther Hodges initiated the program in 1955 with the appointment of the Governor’s Research Triangle Committee, which was made up of corporate and university leaders. With private funding, the Governor’s Committee was incorporated in 1956, and sociologist George Lee Simpson Jr. from the UNC–Chapel Hill faculty was appointed as director. The plan was to promote the region for industrial...

    • Savannah River Site
      (pp. 320-321)

      When it was built in the early 1950s, the Savannah River Site was hailed as an engineering marvel on par with the construction of the Panama Canal. Containing five nuclear reactors, a number of other large-scale nuclear and chemical facilities, high-tech research centers, multiple waste treatment sites, and a host of other support buildings, the entire site is spread over 310 square miles of mostly wooded land owned by the U.S. government on the western border of South Carolina, approximately 30 miles southeast of Augusta, Ga. Construction began on the site in 1950 when the Atomic Energy Commission contracted with...

    • Southern Growth Policies Board
      (pp. 321-322)

      The Southern Growth Policies Board was established through an interstate compact in December 1971 by nine southern governors who saw that the region was undergoing rapid growth in its population and economy. Terry Sanford, former governor of North Carolina and president of Duke University, proposed the idea for a regional planning agency in a speech to a reform group, the L. Q. C. Lamar Society. Sanford suggested that interstate planning and cooperation would be the keys to helping the South “win the awesome race with time to save the cities and preserve the countryside. Now is the time, and the...

    • Stevens, J. P., and Company
      (pp. 323-323)

      J.P. Stevens and Company traces its beginnings to a Massachusetts woolen mill founded in 1813 by Nathaniel Stevens. In 1899 John P. Stevens, Nathaniel’s grandson, established the New York commission house from which the present firm takes its name. Stevens came to serve as selling agent for a number of southern cotton textile firms, eight of which merged with the Stevens family interests in 1946 to form the modern corporation. In succeeding years, Stevens transferred its woolen operations to the South, in part to counter unionization efforts. It also expanded its holdings of southern mills, becoming the secondlargest publicly held...

    • Textile Industry
      (pp. 323-325)

      Small-scale textile mills could be found in the South as far back as the American Revolution, and the textile industry gained a firm foothold in the piedmont area of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia during the antebellum era. By 1850 more than 200 textile mills operated in the South. Leaders of the industry included William Gregg and Daniel Pratt, both of South Carolina. The textile mill made its greatest impact on the region in the 100 years after the Civil War. Developing rapidly after 1880, the industry soon rivaled the enormous New England textile center in plants, equipment,...

    • Timber Industry
      (pp. 325-327)

      Beginning with a concentration on naval stores (turpentine and pitch), the southern timber industry has come to include a diversity of products related primarily to southern yellow pine but including cypress and other hardwoods as well. The 17th-and 18th-century timber industry was located in the Carolinas and characterized by small, low-capital establishments with low annual production. Sawmills and distilleries for turpentine were located in the woods. Those industries used slave labor organized on a task system. The small, less developed but still important business of searching for live oak timbers used in shipbuilding often involved migrant crews who searched the...

    • Tobacco Industry
      (pp. 327-329)

      Tobacco was once the fifth most important cash crop in the United States. It has been an important element of southern agriculture since the days of Sir Walter Raleigh, though it has experienced considerable decline in recent years. North Carolina and Kentucky are the principal tobacco-producing states in the country, but Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida all contain areas where tobacco is and has long been grown. All five major tobacco-producing regions of the United States are in the South: the Burley, Old, New Bright, Border, and Georgia-Florida Belts. In the 1960s tobacco meant $1 billion annually for...

    • Trucking Industry
      (pp. 329-330)

      Although trucking emerged first in the Northeast and Midwest during the 1910s, its appearance in the South was not too far behind. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, the business had expanded enough to challenge railway control over southern transportation. Rail executives pressured legislators in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee to enact restrictive motor carrier laws. Ad hoc trucking associations, which had emerged in part through encouragement from insurance and truck manufacturing firms, failed to block these laws. In 1932 the state of Texas won two important Supreme Court cases that authorized restrictive controls over trucks. Ironically for the...

    • Wal-Mart
      (pp. 330-332)

      In 2002, for the first time, a service provider topped theFortune500 list of the world’s largest corporations, edging out the traditional winners from the manufacturing and resource-extraction sectors. Arkansas-based discount retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., passed Exxon-Mobil to become the biggest company on earth. Since 2002 it has held the number one position on the ranking for five out of six years. This development is a turning point in economic history and a useful synecdoche for the impact of southern-style business culture on globalization.

      While northern observers often marveled that the “backward” Ozarks could produce such a revolutionary model,...

    • Walton, Sam M. (1918–1992) BUSINESSMAN.
      (pp. 332-334)

      U.S. News & World Reportmagazine in 1986 proclaimed Sam Moore Walton of Bentonville in northeastern Arkansas the wealthiest man in the United States. He had, at that point, made $ 4.3 billion from his 900 Wal-Mart discount stores that operated in 22 states, mainly in the South and Southwest.

      Walton began his retail career by working for J.C. Penney. In 1945 he and his brother J.L. raised $25,000 to open a variety store in Newport, Ark., and later bought a five-and-dime store on the town square. By 1962 the Waltons operated 15 dime stores, and the number had grown...

    (pp. 335-336)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 337-354)