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Origins of the New South, 1877--1913

A History of the South

C. Vann Woodward

Publication Year: 1981


Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Series Page, Title Page, Copyright Page

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Preface to the Present Edition

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pp. vii-viii

The twenty years that have passed since this book was first published have witnessed unprecedented changes in the region about which it was written, an unprecedented amount of historical publication on the period it treated, and some significant changes in the way history is written and the questions that are asked of it. ...

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Preface to the Original Edition

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pp. ix-xiv

American historians, generally speaking, have taken the New South at its word and accepted its professions of nationalism to justify a neglect of regional history. After a more-or-less detailed treatment of the South during Reconstruction, ...


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pp. xv-xvi

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I: The Redeemers

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pp. 1-22

Any honest genealogy of the ruling family of Southern Democrats would reveal a strain of mixed blood. The mixture sprang from a forced union with the house that had been Democracy's bitter rival for the throne. ...

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II: The Forked Road to Reunion

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pp. 23-50

Decisions of great moment confronted the South in the winter that brought the end of Reconstruction.1 They were decisions that affected the welfare and future course not merely of the South alone but of the nation as a whole. ...

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III: The Legacy of Reconstruction

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pp. 51-74

The loyalty and discipline that prevailed in the white man's party were inspired by the revolution that established it in power. After the two objects of that revolution were achieved—the crushing of Negro power and the ousting of foreign control—party discipline was still dependent upon keeping vividly alive the memories of these menaces. ...

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IV: Procrustean Bedfellows

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pp. 75-106

The expression "Solid South," like its companion and contemporary expression, "Bourbon,"1 is of questionable value to the historian. The solidarity of the region has long been exaggerated. Thus one New Yorker wrote in 1879: ...

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V: The Industrial Evolution

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pp. 107-141

"Fifteen years have gone over the South," observed Whitelaw Reid, "and she still sits crushed, wretched, busy displaying and bemoaning her wounds." The reporters he sent to tour the South, as well as foreign travelers and commercial agents, came away with the same impression of the region in the late seventies. ...

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VI: The Divided Mind of the New South

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pp. 142-174

Canvassing the Southern problem in 1880, Edwin L. Godkin felt that he had hit upon the essence of the matter. "The conversion of the Southern whites to the ways and ideas of what is called the industrial stage in social progress, which is really what has to be done to make the South peaceful, is not a more formidable task than that which the anti-slavery men had before them fifty years ago" he wrote. ...

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Vll: The Unredeemed Farmer

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pp. 175-204

Sidney Lanier consulted the census reports when, in 1880, he undertook to define "The New South." The result was a vision of beauty. "The New South means small farming," he announced, and quoted statistics to prove it. ...

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VIII: Mudsills and Bottom Rails

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pp. 205-234

If reconstruction ever set the bottom rail on top, it was not for long and never securely. Redemption seemed to leave little doubt that the bottom rail was again on the bottom—whatever its temporary dislocation. It remained for the New South to find what Reconstruction had failed to find: ...

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IX: Southern Populism

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pp. 235-263

The agrarian resurgence of 1890 revived the old debate over the sectional diplomacy of the South. Conservative Southerners were as devoted to the Northeastern affiliation and as opposed to a Western alliance as they had been in 1878. ...

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X: Revolt Against the East

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pp. 264-290

The story of the great depression of the nineties has been told too exclusively in terms of the stricken cities of the East and the impoverished plains of the West. There was also a depression in the South, and the indications are that it lasted longer and was more heavily felt, in some respects, than in other parts of the country. ...

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XI: The Colonial Economy

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pp. 291-320

The vision that inspired the Southern businessman was that of a South modeled upon the industrial Northeast. The Richmond banker and railroad president John Skelton Williams, for example, said in 1898 that he was "hoping to see in the South in the not distant future many railroads and business institutions as great as the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Mutual Life Insurance Company, ...

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XII: The Mississippi Plan as the American Way

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pp. 321-349

As late as 1879 three foremost spokesmen of the South, Lamar of Mississippi, Hampton of South Carolina, and Stephens of Georgia, agreed in a public statement that the disfranchisement of the Negro was not only impossible but undesired. Lamar declared that it was "a political impossibility under any circumstances short of revolution," ...

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XIII: The Atlanta Compromise

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pp. 350-368

In place of the improvement in race relations promised by he disfranchisers as a result of their work there occurred a serious deterioration in almost all departments. In part this was a direct result of the methods used by the disfranchisers themselves. ...

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XIV: Progressivism—for Whites Only

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pp. 369-395

The crusade for Cuba broke the South's preoccupation with reform and scotched the radicalism of the nineties. Southerners responded with customary impetuosity to the upsurge of martial spirit and put aside sectional grievances. ...

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XV: Philanthropy and the Forgotten Man

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pp. 396-428

"Human society needs constructive management," observed Walter Hines Page and made a memorandum lest it slip his mind. This led the busy editor to another observation: "One of the best examples of organization in our time was done by John D. Rockefeller when he organized the Standard Oil Company. ...

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XVI: Bonds of Mind and Spirit

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pp. 429-455

By the turn of the century it was time for the generation that had grown up in the post-Reconstruction period to take command of the cultural life of the South. As a rule, people of this generation were unprepared for the task. ...

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XVII: The Return Of The South

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pp. 456-481

At the end of the first decade of the twentieth century the South looked back upon fifty years of isolation and impotence in national politics. Southerners could boast of the recovery of agricultural, commercial, or industrial power, but not the recovery of political power and prestige. ...

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Critical Essay on Authorities

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pp. 482-516

A full-dress bibliography of the period 1877-1913 in Southern history has never been attempted. The closest approach is an unpublished bibliography of the economic history of the South since 1865 compiled by Lester J. Cappon, who very kindly permitted the author to make use of his work. ...

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Critical Essay on Recent Works

Charles B. Dew

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pp. 517-628

This essay attempts to survey the pertinent books, articles, and doctoral dissertations that have appeared while and since Origins of the New South, 1877-1913 was first published in 1951. Much of this new scholarship has been devoted to amplifying our knowledge of areas and subjects which Professor Woodward opened to fresh investigation. ...


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pp. 629-654

E-ISBN-13: 9780807158203
E-ISBN-10: 0807158208
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807100097

Page Count: 672
Illustrations: Prefaces, Illus, Bibliog, Index
Publication Year: 1981