Presentation on theme: "The Gilded Age The New South: From Plantation to Iron."— Presentation transcript:
The Gilded Age The New South: From Plantation to Iron
Henry W. Grady Editor of the Atlanta Constitution Major voice of the “New South” Called for: Industrialization Diversified & efficient agriculture Widespread education Sectional peace and racial harmony
The “Old” South By committing itself to cotton production, the South: Gambled its future on unending demand (primarily British) Tied its economic performance to international commodity prices Sacrificed long-term development for short-term gain Accepted moral isolation from rest of the world (Due to existence of slavery)
The “Old” South Southern Society A Study in Contrasts
The “Old” South Distinguishing Characteristics of Plantations (How were they different from other farms?) Large size Substantial commercial enterprises Dedicated to producing staple crops for market Large labor force Management structure Division of labor Distinction between management & labor Owners did not work alongside slaves
Mechanizing Cigarette Production Hand rolling: About 240 per hour The Bonsack rolling machine 12,000 per hour Ten machines could replace 500 workers
Cigarettes and the Tobaccos Industry “The tobacco industry is about half smoke and half ballyhoo.” James Duke Massive advertising aggressive pricing virtual monopoly on supplies and key technologies Market domination 90% of cigarette production by 1890 75% of tobacco production by 1904
Southern Steel By 1889 Birmingham’s steel industry, founded in 1870, was ready to challenge Pittsburgh for the lead in steel production. By 1907, had been bought by its northern rival
Railroad Impacts Connected isolated areas to national & international markets. Opened new areas to settlement & development. Fueled growth of interior cities. Eased migration westward. Opened southern economy to outside interests.
Southern Economics Limits to Southern Economic Growth Burgeoning North Low wages Limited capital Colonial Economics A colony serves as a producer of raw materials, which are shipped to the mother country. A colony serves as a market for finished goods produced by the mother country. The colony exists for the economic benefit of the mother country.
Sharecropping “facing the eastern end of a westbound mule”
Sharecropping Landlord provides: A house A plot of land Seed, tools, mule Credit at a store (usually owned by the landlord) Sharecropper provides: Labor (to grow the crop and maintain fences, ditches, etc.) Crop split 50/50 between landlord and sharecropper
Sharecropping Pitfalls: Sharecropping was not a contract between equals. Landlord held all the power Landlord controlled the accounting Tremendous incentive for landlord to cheat Forced continued emphasis on marketable cash crops Often trapped croppers/tenants in a cycle of debt