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The Architecture of William Nichols

Building the Antebellum South in North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi

by Paul Hardin Kapp with Todd Sanders; foreword by William Seale

The Architecture of William Nichols: Building the Antebellum South in North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi is the first comprehensive biography and monograph of a significant yet overlooked architect in the American South. William Nichols designed three major university campuses—the University of North Carolina, the University of Alabama, and the University of Mississippi. He also designed the first state capitols of North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. Nichols’s architecture profoundly influenced the built landscape of the South but due to fire, neglect, and demolition, much of his work was lost and history has nearly forgotten his tremendous legacy.

In his research onsite and through archives in North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Paul Hardin Kapp has produced a narrative of the life and times of William Nichols that weaves together the elegant work of this architect with the aspirations and challenges of the Antebellum South. It is richly illustrated with over two hundred archival photographs and drawings from the Historic American Building Survey.

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Arkansas, 1800-1860

Remote and Restless

S. Charles Bolton

Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually quite productive and dynamic. Bolton describes migration, agricultural growth, religion, the roles of women, slavery, the dispossesion of the Cherokees and Quapaws, and many other facets of Arkansas's development.

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Arkansas and the New South, 1874–1929

Carl Moneyhon

This study, the first published in the Histories of Arkansas Series, examines the struggle of Arkansas's people to enter the economic and social mainstreams of the nation in the years from the end of Reconstruction to the beginning of the Great Depression.

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Arkansas/Arkansaw

How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a State

Brooks Blevins

Arkansas/Arkansaw is the first book to explain how Arkansas’s image began and how the popular culture stereotypes have been perpetuated and altered through succeeding generations. Brooks Blevins argues that the image has not always been a bad one. He discusses travel accounts, literature, radio programs, movies, and television shows that give a very positive image of the Natural State. From territorial accounts of the Creole inhabitants of the Mississippi River Valley to national derision of the state’s triple-wide governor’s mansion to Li’l Abner, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Slingblade, Blevins leads readers on an entertaining and insightful tour through more than two centuries of the idea of Arkansas. One discovers along the way how one state becomes simultaneously a punch line and a source of admiration for progressives and social critics alike.

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The Arkansas Delta

Land of Paradox

This collection of essays represents a large-scale attempt to characterize the long-neglected Arkansas Delta. The historical, social, economic, geographic, and cultural issues the authors address make it abundantly clear that the Delta—long thought to be a land of relative stasis—is actually changing quite rapidly. It is clear, too, that this strange land is filled with haunting contradictions.

Winner of the 1994 Virginia C. Ledbetter Prize

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Arkansas in Ink

Gunslingers, Ghosts, and Other Graphic Tales

In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.

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Arkansas in Modern America, 1930–1999

Ben F. Johnson, III

This elegantly written narrative traces Arkansas's evolution from a primarily rural society in the early 1900s to its expanding manufacturing economy and its growing prosperity and parity with the rest of the nation. Ben Johnson explores the influence of federal-state relations, beginning with the New Deal programs of President Franklin Roosevelt and continuing through the administrations of native son Bill Clinton. With particular sensitivity, he examines organized labor in the timber industry and in row crop agriculture; school desegregation, "white flight," and the private academy movement in the delta region; the growth of Wal-Mart and the poultry industry in the northwest section of the state; and the expansion of outdoor recreation and tourism as lakes were constructed and game populations rejuvenated. This book is particularly impressive for the breadth of its scope. Johnson offers detailed information on women, music and literature, organized religion, environmental trends, and other important cultural influences. Third in the popular Histories of Arkansas series, Arkansas in Modern America extends the narrative into the contemporary era with a format aimed at students and general readers. This important book will set the standard, for years to come, for analysis and interpretation of Arkansas's place in the twentieth century.

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The Arkansas Post of Louisiana

Arkansas Post, the first European settlement in what would become Jefferson’s Louisiana, had an important mission as the only settlement between Natchez and the Illinois Country, a stretch of more than eight hundred miles along the Mississippi River. The Post was a stopping point for shelter and supplies for those travelling by boat or land, and it was of strategic importance as well, as it nurtured and sustained a crucial alliance with the Quapaw Indians, the only tribe that occupied the region.

The Arkansas Post of Louisiana covers the most essential aspects of the Post’s history, including the nature of the European population, their social life, the economy, the architecture, and the political and military events that reflected and shaped the Post’s mission.

Beautifully illustrated with maps, portraits, lithographs, photographs, documents, and superb examples of Quapaw hide paintings, The Arkansas Post of Louisiana is a perfect introduction to this fascinating place at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, a place that served as a multicultural gathering spot, and became a seminal part of the history of Arkansas and the nation.

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Artisan Workers in the Upper South

Petersburg, Virginia, 1820-1865

Diane Barnes

Though deeply entrenched in antebellum life, the artisans who lived and worked in Petersburg, Virginia, in the 1800s—including carpenters, blacksmiths, coach makers, bakers, and other skilled craftsmen—helped transform their planter-centered agricultural community into one of the most industrialized cities in the Upper South. These mechanics, as the artisans called themselves, successfully lobbied for new railroad lines and other amenities they needed to open their factories and shops, and turned a town whose livelihood once depended almost entirely on tobacco exports into a bustling modern city. In Artisan Workers in the Upper South, L. Diane Barnes closely examines the relationships between Petersburg's skilled white, free black, and slave mechanics and the roles they played in southern Virginia's emerging market economy. Barnes demonstrates that, despite studies that emphasize the backwardness of southern development, modern industry and the institution of slavery proved quite compatible in the Upper South. Petersburg joined the industrialized world in part because of the town's proximity to northern cities and resources, but it succeeded because its citizens capitalized on their uniquely southern resource: slaves. Petersburg artisans realized quickly that owning slaves could increase the profitability of their businesses, and these artisans—including some free African Americans—entered the master class when they could. Slave-owning mechanics, both white and black, gained wealth and status in society, and they soon joined an emerging middle class. Not all mechanics could afford slaves, however, and those who could not struggled to survive in the new economy. Forced to work as journeymen and face the unpleasant reality of permanent wage labor, the poorer mechanics often resented their inability to prosper like their fellow artisans. These differing levels of success, Barnes shows, created a sharp class divide that rivaled the racial divide in the artisan community. Unlike their northern counterparts, who united as a political force and organized strikes to effect change, artisans in the Upper South did not rise up in protest against the prevailing social order. Skilled white mechanics championed free manual labor—a common refrain of northern artisans—but they carefully limited the term "free" to whites and simultaneously sought alliances with slaveholding planters. Even those artisans who didn't own slaves, Barnes explains, rarely criticized the wealthy planters, who not only employed and traded with artisans, but also controlled both state and local politics. Planters, too, guarded against disparaging free labor too loudly, and their silence, together with that of the mechanics, helped maintain the precariously balanced social structure. Artisan Workers in the Upper South rejects the notion of the antebellum South as a semifeudal planter-centered political economy and provides abundant evidence that some areas of the South embraced industrial capitalism and economic modernity as readily as communities in the North.

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The Ashley Cooper Plan

The Founding of Carolina and the Origins of Southern Political Culture

Thomas D Wilson

In this highly original work, Thomas D. Wilson offers surprising new insights into the origins of the political storms we witness today. Wilson connects the Ashley Cooper Plan--a seventeenth-century model for a well-ordered society imagined by Anthony Ashley Cooper (1st Earl of Shaftesbury) and his protege John Locke--to current debates about views on climate change, sustainable development, urbanism, and professional expertise in general. In doing so, he examines the ways that the city design, political culture, ideology, and governing structures of the Province of Carolina have shaped political acts and public policy even in the present. Wilson identifies one of the fundamental paradoxes of American history: although Ashley Cooper and Locke based their model of rational planning on assumptions of equality, the lure of profits to be had from slaveholding soon undermined its utopian qualities. Wilson argues that in the transition to a slave society, the "Gothic" framework of the Carolina Fundamental Constitutions was stripped of its original imperative of class reciprocity, reverberating in American politics to this day.

Reflecting on contemporary culture, Wilson argues that the nation's urban-rural divide rooted in this earlier period has corrosively influenced American character, pitting one demographic segment against another. While illuminating the political philosophies of Ashley Cooper and Locke as they relate to cities, Wilson also provides those currently under attack by antiurbanists--from city planners to climate scientists--with a deeper understanding of the intellectual origins of a divided America and the long history that reinforces it.

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