A New South?

The term “New South” is a rather ambiguous term used now, in the early 21st century, in many of the Leftist-dominated state tertiary education systems. The term itself, apparently, can first be traced to articles written by Henry Woodfin Grady, and published in the Atlanta Constitution, of which he was editor, during the late 19th century.  A speech by Grady, by the same term, was delivered by him in New York City in 1886.  Leftists academics sometimes overlook his “racist” ideas, and instead choose to present him as a major figure in reintegrating the post-war Southern states into the Union. The general idea, expressed by Grady, was that the region, which had been the Confederacy, was in need of industrialization. As a visionary, he is obscure, outside of academic circles, (although a statue of him exists in Atlanta), and is dubious to serious students of the history of the United States.

Large scale industrialization of the Southern region did not occur significantly until the mid to late 20th century well after Grady’s death in 1889. And, in the early 21st century, it is the predominate region of manufacturing, along with sections of the West. Several corporations, such as the Remington Arms company have re-located to the South, in just the last 20 odd years. And during the 1970’s -1980’s “factory jobs” provided the main source of employment for Southerners in states like Tennessee. It should, however, be noted that  many manufactures have also decided to outsource manufacturing labor to nations outside the geo-political United States, thus leaving the South less industrialized today than it was during the late 20th century.

The idea of industrialization of the post-Confederacy South was a noteworthy idea, especially in lieu of some of the background to the war. For example, the issue of tariffs had been a major factor in the build-up to war. Since 1824, Nationalists (defined as those who advocated a centralize seat of government power), such as Henry Clay, and others from the Northern states, had sought to impose high taxes upon imported manufactured goods. The goods and economy of the Northern states was what was protected by the tariffs. And this presented a problem for the South ––when high taxes are placed on imported goods, the importers have less to spend on exported goods. Thus exported goods bring lower prices. In essence, the tariffs, imposed by the Nationalist North, crushed free trade, and created a monopoly for manufactured goods for Northern states. The antebellum South was very dependent upon the purchases of the exported commodity of cotton from foreign nations. And dependent, to varying degrees, upon manufactured goods from those sources. Thus, Northern Nationalists had been slowly placing the South in an economic stranglehold for over three decades before war eventually occurred. [1] However, Grady’s idea of industrializing the South should not be construed as a primary factor in the development of a “New South”.

When the war was over, and in the decades which followed, ideas such as those promulgated by Grady, did seek to assimilate the Southern region economically, into what was rapidly becoming The Empire. However, if the South was industrialized (and since the previous agrarian system had been basically destroyed by war) a “New South” would not only be subservient to national government, but would then produce manufactured goods within the goals of the Empire.

It can be argued that vigorous Southern resistance, in general, to the tyranny of the national government only remained intact until the late 19th century. For example, at the close of that century, the war monger and Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt (and others) were able to convince and rally, via propaganda, deception, and sensationalism, the United States Congress, President William McKinley, and much of the Southern public, to support two military invasions of foreign nations. Cuba and the Philippines.

The two resultant wars, often called singularly as the Spanish-American War, appealed to a new sense of patriotism which was already forming in the South. Young men from both the North and South, totaling 182,000, volunteered to fight. All had been convinced that there was a common enemy—Spain. [2] These wars, and certainly Roosevelt’s book The Rough Riders, and various versions of it were major bestsellers. This time period can be marked as the beginnings of a larger sense of national unity and identity in the general public’s mind and in that of the South. Moreover, Roosevelt bragged ad nauseam, throughout his book, that the “Rough Riders” were the epitome of America. Whites, blacks, cowboys, indians, lawyers, northerners, southerners, and criminals, according to Roosevelt, were microcosms of one nation. A Empire united. [3]

The aftermath of these two aggressive military campaigns against foreign nations which resulted in much unneeded death, and in the installation of puppet dictators, who acted on behalf of the national government of the United States, can be the marking point of the end of The Republic in the Southern mind. And also when the idea of being “American” rather than Southern or Northern began to take a foothold. The concept would have enough prevalence to make for sufficient support of another war in 1914. And perhaps reach the height of its insanity after early December of 1941.

The Nationalists, in the United States, have had more impact of the development of the “New South,” than Grady. (Alexander Hamilton being the “granddaddy” of them all). In the last approximately 160 years, they have left a horrid legacy of wars, destruction, death, brutality, enslavement and self-aggrandizement of wealth and power unknown since the British Empire. And it all began with the unconstitutional military invasion of what became the short-lived Confederate States of America. It is questionable as to whether or not a “New South” has ever existed, as it was quickly swallowed up by Nationalist ideas. Those in the “New South” who truly have preserved the ideas of the “Old South” have been a minute minority for several generations. And remain so to this day. The majority of Southerners were believing Northern and Nationalist myths by the early 20th century. They only remained “apart” in colloquialism, accents, customs, and mores. In just 40 years after one of the most horrific wars ever fought in the history of mankind, many in the “New South” had the delusions of Nationalism embedded into their psyche.

-By Robert Durban

Endnotes

1   Calhoun, John C. Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun. Ed. Ross M. Lence. (Indianapolis. Liberty Fund:1992) pgs. 299-311, 367-461.

2   Johnson, Clint. The Politically Incorrect Guide To The South. (Washington, DC. Regnery Publishing. 2006) pgs. 209-216.

3   Roosevelt, Theodore. The Rough Riders. (New York. Modern Library. Reprint. 1999). pgs. 1-63.

5 thoughts on “A New South?

  1. Interesting piece Mr. Durban.
    I found your following statement quite important: “Moreover, Roosevelt bragged ad nauseam, throughout his book, that the “Rough Riders” were the epitome of America. Whites, blacks, cowboys, indians, lawyers, northerners, southerners, and criminals, according to Roosevelt, were microcosms of one nation. A Empire united. [3]”
    I had saw a movie about the Rough Riders (with Sam Eliot) as a teenager, but never read the book. I recalled the movie going out of the way to depict Southerners and Indians joining the cause, and show Roosevelt commandeering a civilian train for military purposes. The Yankees just cannot help themselves from being authoritarian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This, Mr. Putnam, is very generous of you to say, as it can’t be easy.

      Southerners and Yankees are both authoritarian cultures, as was Brittannia, whence we both arose.

      The difference is that Southerners are inward looking, and, thus, principally, authoritarian unto ourselves, whereas, Yankees are outward looking, and, hence, authoritarian in their treatment of others.

      Sadly, many of my Southron Brethren have become so accustomed, or, perhaps, better said, ‘conditioned’, to sharing in this vainglorious behavior of the Northern Culture, that, when you call their attention to the fact that it has nothing to do with our great credo, ‘don’t be sticking your nose in the business of others’, they wax irate.

      Like

  2. @Mr. Durban…

    ‘Those in the “New South” who truly have preserved the ideas of the “Old South” have been a minute minority for several generations. And remain so to this day. The majority of Southerners were believing Northern and Nationalist myths by the early 20th century. They only remained “apart” in colloquialism, accents, customs, and mores. ‘

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    So true and well stated; and yet, though most of our heads have been filled, and, thus, subverted, with the creationist myths of others, we have still, with little effort, remained, ‘apart’.

    To know the truth of this, just invite a Yankee friend, who has never been South, to come visit you in the rural swamp hinterlands of Dixie, and watch and listen to him try to cope with his culture shock – even today.

    In fact, even when friends of mine, who live in large Yankee-ified Southern cities come visit the wife and I, they wrestle with the auto-lag that comes with traveling back, so quickly, in time.

    Like

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