The Rise and Fall of Tobacco in South Carolina
Publication Year: 2000
The first comprehensive history of Bright Leaf tobacco culture of any state to appear in fifty years, this book explores tobacco's influence in South Carolina from its beginnings in the colonial period to its heyday at the turn of the century, the impact of the Depression, the New Deal, and World War II, and on to present-day controversies about health risks due to smoking.
The book examines the tobacco growers' struggle against the monopolistic practices of manufacturers, explains the failures of the cooperative reform movement and the Hoover administration's farm policies, and describes how Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal rescued southern agriculture from the Depression and forged a lasting and successful partnership between tobacco farmers and government. The technological revolutions of the post-World War II era and subsequent tobacco economy hardships due to increasingly negative public perception of tobacco use are also highlighted.The book details the roles and motives of key individuals in the development of tobacco culture, including firsthand experiences related by farmers and warehousemen, and offers informed speculations on the future of tobacco culture. Long Green allows readers to better understand the full significance of this cash crop in the history and economy of South Carolina and the American South.
Published by: University of Georgia Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Tables and Figures
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...this study. The Pee Dee Heritage Center has been a faithful friend anddeserves first mention. Its director, Dew James, always responded to pleasfor help promptly and energetically. The Pee Dee Heritage Center is co-sponsored by Coker College, Francis Marion University, the Governor’sSchool for Mathematics and Science, and Coastal Carolina University. The...
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...stand the history of tobacco culture in South Carolina. Given the negativeimage smoking has acquired, one might ask, Why study tobacco at all? andwhy especially in South Carolina? For better or worse, tobacco is thor-oughly American. Indians grew and smoked tobacco for centuries beforeteaching its culture to European and African newcomers. Not only did the...
1 Tobacco Doth Here Grow Very Well, 1670–1810
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...and farmers have long felt the fickle arrogance of the marketplace. The lawsof supply and demand and comparative advantage have dominated agri-culture since Babylonian peasants traded omers of wheat for baskets of ol-ives. The ancient logic of market forces is well known and requires only abrief summary here. For a crop culture to be economically viable, supply...
2 Years of the Locust, 1865–1885
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...bacco was again cultivated as a cash crop in South Carolina. Over theseeight decades, South Carolina deepened its commitment to rice, cotton,and slavery and marched in lockstep with world markets to the cadence ofthe overseer’s lash. In the 1820s, South Carolina’s preeminence in cottonproduction was supplanted by vast new areas of cultivation in Mississippi,...
3 Pearl of the Pee Dee, 1885–1918
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...equaled the spectacular rise of cigarette smoking in the late nineteenth andearly twentieth centuries.1 As a way of consuming tobacco, cigarettes werelatecomers. Before the 1870s, few Americans outside major cities had seena cigarette, let alone smoked one. Americans puffed pipes and cigars,dipped snuff, and chewed flavored tobacco, but cigarettes were uncommon...
4 Reform and Reaction, 1918–1926
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...ers suffered from the correction of inflated wartime commodity prices.But falling prices were only part of the problem. Many tobacco growersthroughout the Carolinas and Virginia believed they were being victimizedby a biased marketing system that prevented them from receiving a fairprice. Seeking reform, thousands of growers in the three states organized...
5 The Abyss, 1926–1932
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...that flue-cured tobacco growers were headed for disaster. By the late 1920s,the handwriting was clearly on the wall. Efforts to reform the highly preju-diced marketing system had failed. Besides the inherent bias of few buyersand many sellers, growers were victimized by secret grading systems andpredatory speculators who sought to profit at their expense. To make mat-...
6 The Lord, Mr. Roosevelt, and Bright Leaf Redemption, 1933–1935
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...6 The Lord, Mr. Roosevelt, andBright Leaf Redemption, 1933–1935page of history as did the New Deal in the chronicle of southern agricul-ture. The benevolent paternalism that came to characterize government’sattitude toward farming began in the first hundred days of Franklin D.Roosevelt’s presidency. The heart of the New Deal’s farm program was the...
7 War and Peace, 1936–1950
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...gram suffered a setback when the Supreme Court declared the AgriculturalAdjustment Act unconstitutional. In a six-to-three decision, the Courtruled that government had no right to ‘‘regulate and control agriculture.’’Speaking for the majority, Justice Owen J. Roberts, a Hoover appointee,stated that policies intended to reduce acreage or limit production were...
8 Advance, Retreat, and Retrenchment, 1950–1990s
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...pelledbyprosperityandpowerfuladvertising,demandforcigarettessoared,and Pee Dee tobacco growers worked hard to supply the raw material.American agriculture was undergoing profound technological change aswell. As industry returned to peacetime production in the late 1940s, farm-ers poured wartime profits into inexpensive, mass-produced farm machin-...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 17 tables, 1 map, 4 figures
Publication Year: 2000