The New South

Essay by ptnovak7High School, 12th grade February 2006

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By 1880, Northern capital erected the modern textile industry in the New South by bringing factories to the cotton fields. The term "New South" arose because the region was allowing the North to industrialize the land. The men who took over the state governments in the South believed that they had "redeemed" the region from the Republicans.

Redeemers in the New South celebrated the end of reconstruction and turned to the task of bringing industrialization and economic improvements to their region. The process was aided by the expansion of the railroad networks connecting the south to the industrialized Northeast, as well as by the low wages factories there paid. Sharecropping allowed agriculture to continue to dominate in the South, but most farmers found that it brought few improvements to their lives, and they were in debt most of the time. The results of the civil war had worsened the economic situation in the South, where investment capital was in short supply.

Also quite a few Southerners felt that those in the North were treating them as colonies rather than as equals.

The south produced more cotton than ever before in the end of the 1880's. Towns were growing throughout the region, industries had developed, and many black southerners had property. In the South slavery disappeared. However, quasi-slavery existed as the way of life for most African Americans in the south. Whites passed restrictive laws and blacks often chose to have as little to do with whites as possible.