After the Civil War: The New South Essay

987 Words 4 Pages
Was there a New South after the Civil War? What elements marked or did not mark the New South?

After the Civil War, the South was in a state of political turmoil, social chaos, and economic decline. Contrary to popular belief, Northerners did not subject Southerners to unethical or inhumane punishment. The time post Civil War was filled with efforts toward reconstructing the South, yet there is the strong question if there even is a New South. Yes, there was somewhat of a New South economically. No, there was not a New South regarding race relations and social hierarchy. In the 1870’s, the South realized the world still looked at them as the ones who wanted slavery. There was a need to project a new image to the world and to stimulate
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Cotton was still a major industry in the South after the Civil War, but iron and tobacco became strong competitors. There was an increase in Southern cotton mills. In 1800, there were one hundred and sixty mills; in 1900, there were over four hundred mills. There were, however, racist hiring practices. Very few blacks acquired jobs. This was justified by mill owners because whites suffered in competition with blacks for agricultural jobs. The counterargument may be that they were not jobs, because the blacks were slaves and not paid. Southerners found large coal and iron ore reserves, and thereby had a tremendous growth in iron and steel mills. Eventually though, these mills became controlled by foreign investors and Northerners around 1900. Tobacco was traditionally grown in the South, but factories for processing were not developed until post Civil War in 1900. Outside capitalists also controlled these industries. The Northerners reconstructed the Southern economy—one that they controlled—but did not change much in the South itself, which still had multiple racial and social issues.
The South was still extremely unhappy regarding the freedom of the slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their…