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Paper Topic:

southern culture:






Southern culture is a result of blending of numerous different cultures that include English culture , Scots-Irish culture , Native American culture , the culture of African slaves and the culture of Spanish and French colonists . Some of the significant events that the south has gone through include slavery , The Civil War and Reconstruction , Civil Rights Movement and the Great Depression ( HYPERLINK "http /www .knowsouthernhistory .net " www .knowsouthernhistory .net

The Spanish formed the first white settlement as early as 1565 . Later in around 1607 the

English settled in what is present-day Virginia . By 1619 the first Africans had begun to arrive in Virginia and with time slavery became a protected institution . Other immigrants followed with Spanish settlements in Texas , French establishments near the Mississippi , in Arkansas . In the 18th century Scots and Scots-Irish began to settle in Appalachia and PiedmontThe Scots had migrated from the homelands due to the promise of a country that had more land and better economic opportunities ( HYPERLINK "http /www .knowsouthernhistory .net " www .knowsouthernhistory .net

The Scots and Scot-Irish were involved in trade , welfare and cultural exchange with the Native Americans (Greek Indians and Cherokees . The African slaves mainly came to work in the plantations where tobacco rice , indigo and cotton were grown . At the time agriculture was the main economic activity

The significant difference between the immigrants to the South and North is that the South had a predominant settlement of British or German immigrants who mostly came to improve their fortunes . The North had more variety with such groups as the Dutch , in present day New York the Swedes in present-day Delaware and the Puritans in New England There was less emphasis on agriculture in the North compared to the South . Consequently most farmers in the North were subsistence farmers who usually grew a wider variety of crops and kept livestock in large numbers . The crops that they grew include wheat , corn and beans unlike the south who had fewer cash crops on large plantations . There was a greater focus on manufacturing and industry in the North

Other immigrants that came to the North in the 1840s include German Catholics and Scandinavians , Irish Catholics . The South did not have much immigration before the Civil War and as such remained mostly rural while the North already had many big cities (Griffith , 2007 . The issue of slavery was a major difference between the North and South . The wealthy slave owners of the South , `tuckahoes ' controlled most of southern politics . They felt slavery was an integral part of the southerners ' economy due to the large plantations they owned . The North on the other hand felt that the practice of slavery was immoral and ought to be abolished (Franklin and Moss , 2000 , Pg 215 . However , it has been argued that the North had no moral authority to fight for the abolishing of slavery . It is reported that though the blacks were not slaves in the North they were mistreated and had no voting rights . They were more likely to be insulted in the North than the South . Some Northern states forbade black immigration into their boundaries , others would not allow them to vote or testify in court (Franklin and Moss 2000 , Pg 185

The North 's actions to bar slavery were motivated by economic reasons The North desired to have reduced competition between slave labor and free white labor . In addition many Northern whites did not want blacks to live among them (Griffith , 2007

Colonial America was mainly protestant more so the South which had predominantly whites from England . The settling of the English in the south of the country helped to contribute to a great anti-Catholic bias This even led to laws against Catholics but they were later removed However , the attitude remained the same amongst many Catholics (Lieberson , 22

Jews were also among the groups that settled in North America . Their settlement actually goes back as far as 1650s . However when their numbers from Eastern Europe continued to increase there was a rise in anti-Semitism for the new comers and earlier German Jewish settlers (Lieberson , pp 22

The industrial nature of the Northern countries resulted in labor being provided by the whites rather than black people . Capitalism was the favored economic structure . There was a fear that most black slaves would get the jobs of the whites hence the blacks did not have many employment opportunities and most if them were barred from crossing the Northern states bs . For some blacks , it was more preferable to be in the south as they earned more and were treated better (Griffith 2007

In the South it was mainly members of the aristocracy who owned slaves The social base for slavery was such that at the top were a few whites who owned slaves and had enormous political and social power . These were followed by poorer whites of lower status . They were mainly lowland whites , poor whites and mountain whites . The lowland whites had such occupations as tradesmen , small-scale cotton farming and mechanics . The mountain whites lived on the Appalachia Mountains in a sort of semi-isolation . There were also free blacks of the south who were despised by the southern whites as they were an example of emancipation while the Northern whites hated them because they competed with them for work . At the very bottom of the social structure were the blacks ' slaves (Feldmeth , 1998

Prior to the civil war , the people in the south perceived themselves as necessary for sustaining the economy of the country . The states had to pay tariffs to ensure the maintenance and success of the manufacturing industry in the North . In addition slavery was seen as essential to the survival of the economic , as Biblical and preferable to the `wage slavery ' of the North (Feldmeth , 1998 . The North employed white people to work in the industries for far much lower wages than those of the slaves in the south and as such the south viewed this as enslaving one 's own brother . Their beliefs in favor of slavery were reinforced by the huge economic advantage found in the cotton plantation business which in 1860 formed around 56 of the country 's The capitalists in the North saw , the expansion of slavery from the North as a threat to the capitalist economy of the North . The North and South became more distinct as different regions when in the 19th century , two major issues brought out opposing interests led to secession and the civil war . One of these issues was the tariffs paid to the federal government . In objection to an increase in these tariffs North Carolina sought to repeal the federal law that enacted them citing its rights as a state . With the threat that troops , would be sent , South Carolina was compelled to collect these tariffs . The tariffs were lowered after much discussion and compromise . However , the argument about state 's rights persisted

The issue of slavery was also a factor contributing to the war , with the question of whether the new states added to the country would be `free ' states or slave states . Both the North and South wanted to have more clout in government and slavery was a key issue in achieving this The expansion of slavery would have created economic difficulty for the industries of the North while the abolitionists from the North were a threat to the South that depended on slave labor for their economy . In addition some of these abolitionists tried to instigate violent slave revolts which slave owners feared would result in deaths of many whites as had happened in Haiti (Griffith , 1998

When the Republican Party won the election of 1860 , the seven southern states declared their secession , but this was rejected by the Union which declared it as rebellion . Much of the political war prior to the American civil war about expanding slavery into new territories . The likelihood that the new territories could become free states was high especially because Lincoln has earlier shown the desire to arrest the spread of slavery . Both the North and South assumed that if slavery did not expand it would die off (McPherson , 1988 , pp 241 , 253

The war happened mostly on the Southern states soil leading to destruction of their economy and great numbers of civilian casualties The war also resulted in the end of slavery by the Emancipation Proclamation . The union enjoyed several advantages over the confederacies . Among these are large numbers , more a greater supply of arms , suppliers and ammunitions due to the North 's more industrialized economy and better finances and transportation (there were good rail roads links between union cities while the south has a smaller rail system (Heidler , 2002 , Pp591-98

Following the civil war , labor became a major problem in the south Many blacks decided to leave the south . The white small-scale farmers suffered large losses and had untended lands with many destroyed buildings . Many farmers fell deeper into debt because they had to borrow money for planting (Trinkely , 2007 . The plantation owners left America for Europe or Brazil , where slavery was not illegal (Trinkley 2007 pg 1

Cotton sales also suffered because of the migration of the plantation owners and also the blacks . During he Reconstruction period every cotton crop failed and successively so depressing the southern economy even further (Trinkley , 2002 , Pg 1

The freeing of the slaves led to a rise in wage labor which then led to share cropping and renting . Most states in the south continued to curtail the freedom of the blacks leading to development of Blacks Codes . Black economic opportunity was very narrow due to restrictions placed on them by the legislature in South Carolina and most other states

Blacks could only be hired servants or farm laborers , their movement was restricted and they could be dismissed very liberally (Chicora Foundation , 2006 . A pass system was established and beatings of blacks were common place

Various groups to control African American were formed among these were the Ku Klux , one of the most notorious . Lynching was also on the increase especially in those areas where cotton prices had fallen tremendously and the boll weevils ravaged the cotton (Chicora Foundation , 2006 . The lynching decreased when white southern industrialists put pressure on the government to crack down on lynching because it had led to a decline in the cheap labor provided by blacks who left the southern states in search of safety and better jobs in the North . In the twentieth century , Jim Crow rules that enforced racial segregation and discrimination (Chicora Foundation , 2006

Southern culture is basically more socially conservative than most of the other parts in the country . The centrality of agriculture in the economy , land ownership is the major stratifying factor in the society The church is the main community institution in the rural communities The place of the southern lifestyle is generally slowed down compared to the rest of the country

For up until the 1890 's most of the southern people were opposed to immigration this can be partly attributed to the civil war which united the south in generally disliking outsiders . There was also a general desire to keep the population of the south , white without any foreigners . In addition , the southerners still black labor over white labor and most northerners and people from foreign countries had little desire to go to the south (Fleming , 1995 , 276-297

The south however is gradually changing and becoming more accommodative of foreigners . This has been due to the recent influx of Mexican immigrants both legal and illegal . This is evident by plans that delegates from the southern states to facilitate immigration into the southern state . The states in the south are becoming increasingly ethnically diverse due to demographics changing fast for example Latinos have a very high fertility rate in the south leading to changes in the countries politics and cultural trends

Works cited

Chicora Foundation , 2006 , Heritage , not Hate ? Retrieved from HYPERLINK "http /www .chicora .org /heritage .htm " www .chicora .org /heritage .htm

Feldmeth GD , 1998 The peculiar institution of American slavery , US History Resources retrieved from HYPERLINK "http /home .earthlink .net gfeldmeth /lec .slavery .html http /home .earthlink .net gfeldmeth /lec .slavery .html

Fleming WL 2007 Immigration to the Southern States , Political Science Quarterly , vol 20 no2 , pp 276-297

Franklin J and Moss A , 2000 From Slavery to Freedom : A History of African American , New York : Alfred A Knopf pp 185

Griffith , TM 2007 The Confederacy , The Union and the Civil War , A look at four claims about the War Between the States retrieved from HYPERLINK "http /www .knowsothernhistory .net /Articles /History /WSI www .knowsothernhistory .net /Articles /History /WSI

Heidler , 2002 , Encyclopedia of the American civil war A political social and military History Pp 1591-98

Kelly M , 2007 , Overview of the American Civil War , war and Aftermath retrieved from HYPERLINK "http /americanhistory .about .com /od /civilwarmenu /a /civiloverview-2 .htm http /americanhistory .about .com /od /civilwarmenu /a /civiloverview-2 .htm

Lieberson S , 1980 , A piece of the Pie : Blacks and White Immigration Since 1880 , University of California Press

McPherson J 1988 , Battle cry of freedom , Oxford University Press ISBN 5X pp251-258

Simkins BF , 1972 A History of the South , Third Edition , New York : Alfred A , Knopf , 196 pp 213 , 215-216

Trinkley M , 2007 , Economic effects of the Civil War , Sciway net retrieved from HYPERLINK "http /www .sciway .net /afam /reconstruction /economic .html www .sciway .net /afam /reconstruction /economic .html



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