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Chapter 18: The New South and the Trans Mississippi West

by: Jenise Jackson-Myers

Chapter 18: The New South and the Trans Mississippi West HIST 1379

Marketplace > University of Houston > History > HIST 1379 > Chapter 18 The New South and the Trans Mississippi West
Jenise Jackson-Myers

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About this Document

These are notes that cover Chapter 18 material as well as the LearnSmart questions from the textbook, U.S.: A Narrative History, Vol. 2: since 1865, 7th ed. (McGraw Hill, 2012).
The United States Since 1877
James Schafer
Class Notes
History 1379, notes, New South, Chapter 18, LearnSmart
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jenise Jackson-Myers on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1379 at University of Houston taught by James Schafer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 135 views. For similar materials see The United States Since 1877 in History at University of Houston.


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Date Created: 01/31/16
Chapter 18: The New South and the Trans Mississippi West  “New South” campaigned to be based on bustling industry, cities, and commerce  The economy of postwar South remained agricultural o Tied to crops (tobacco, rice, sugar, and especially cotton); cotton was introduced to marginal areas with the use of fertilizer o From 1880-1900, cotton grew slowly and prices fell o As farms grew larger in other parts of the country and became more efficient, southern farms shrank; resulted in the breakup of large plantations and high birthrates; across the country, the number of children born per mother dropped but in the South large families remained common (more children = more farmhands; each year = fewer acres of land available for each person to cultivate)  Among the most common and exploitative forms of farm tenancy was sharecropping o Unlike renters, who leased land and controlled what they raised, sharecroppers simply worked a parcel of land in exchange for a share of the crop (usually a third after debt was deducted); rarely enough to make ends meet and like other forms of tenancy, sharecropping left farmers in perpetual debt  Southern Industry: the crusade for a New South did bring change o Industrial production grew faster in the South than it did nationally; a boom in railroad building after 1879 furnished the region with good transportation; southern advances were striking in cotton textiles and tobacco o 400 cotton mills were humming by 1900, when thy employed almost 100,000 workers due to cotton fibers and cheap labor close at hand o New textile workers were white southerners escaping competition from black farm laborers or fleeing the hardscrabble life of the mountains o The iron and steel industry most disappointed promoters of the New South; the availability of coke as a fuel made Chattanooga, TN and Birmingham, AL major centers of foundries  Sources of Southern Poverty o Southern Industrialization’  Occurred later than in the Northeast, so northerners had a head start on learning new manufacturing techniques; the South commanded only a small technological community to guide its industrial development making it difficult to catch up o School Budgets  The South spent less on schooling than any other region; they cared little about education which lead to late industrialization o Segregation  Segregation was enacted as a law in every southern state, Jim Crow laws lead to segregation in all public places except streets and stores; DID NOT constitute as discrimination  Redeemers = Southern politicians who espoused a philosophy of white supremacy and promised to industrialize the South\  Plessy v. Ferguson=Supreme Court case that ruled segregation was permitted as long as accommodations for blacks and whites were separate but equal  80% of lynching’s took place in the South  Indian Peoples and The Western Environment o Some whites embraced the myth of the Indian as “noble savage” who lived in perfect harmony with the natural world; Plains Indians were inventive in using scarce resources  Cottonwood bark fed horses in winter, while the buffalo supplied not only meat but also bones for tools, fat for cosmetics, and sinews for thread  Plains Indians hunted buffalo by stampeding herds over cliffs, which often led to waste; they irrigated crops and set fires to improve vegetation; by the mid-nineteenth century some tribes had become so enmeshed in the white fur trade that they overwrapped their own hunting goods; although the Plains Indians were versatile, they were also damaging to ecosystems  Egotistical diversity produced a stunning variety of tribes and Indian peoples who nonetheless shared experiences and values; most tribes were small kinship groups of 300-500 people in which the well-being of all outweighed the needs of each member; although some tribes were materially better off than others, the gap between rich and poor was seldom large (small material differences often promoted communal decision making)  Indians also shared a reverence of nature, whatever their natural impact on the natural world; they believed human beings were part of an interconnected world of animals, plants, and other natural elements (all had souls of their own but were bound together as if by contract to live in balance through the ceremonial life of the tribe and the customs related to specific plants and animals  Whites and the Western Environment: Competing Visions o By 1868, a generous Congress had granted western settlers their two greatest wishes  Free land under the Homestead Act of 1862  Transcontinental railroads o John Wesley Powell-director of the U.S. Geological Survey  Knew something about water and farming; led scientific expeditions down the Green and Colorado Rivers through the Grand Canyon and had returned to warn Congress that developing in the West required more scientific planning  Vision for the West- based on limits of its environment, the key was water (not land); water was parched in the West and should be treated as a community rather than private property; suggested political boundaries defined by large watersheds and regulate the distribution of the scarce material  His scientific realism could not overcome the popular vision of the West as the American Eden  The War For The West o To open more land, federal officials introduced in 1851 a policy of concentration, tribes were pressured into signing treaties limiting the boundaries of their hunting grounds to “reservations” (Sioux  the Dakotas, Crow Montana, Cheyennefoothills of Colorado) where they would be taught to farm o Such treaties often claimed that their provisions would last “as long as waters run” but time after time land-hungry pioneers broke promises of the government by squatting on Indian lands and demanding federal protection; the government in turn forced more restrictive agreements on the Western tribes; this cycle of agreements made and broken was repeated until a full-scale war of the West raged between whites and Indians  Contract and Conflict o General Pope lead the campaign with the opening of a guerilla war that continued off and on for some 30 years; gained momentum in November 1864 when a force of Colorado volunteers under Colonel John Chivington fell upon a band of friendly Cheyenne gathered at Sand Creek under army protection; Chief Black Kettle raised an American flag to signal friendship but Chivington would have none of that and didn’t accept it; the troops massacred well over 100 and led to a turn on the federal government for the Indians o Besides war, liquor and disease killed the Indians as they came in contact with the white  Custer’s Last Stand- and the Indians o After the Sioux ended in 1868 with the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, two large Indian reservations, one in Oklahoma and the other in the Dakota Badlands, were established; six years later, Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into Paha Sapa, the sacred Black Hills of the Sioux (a violation of the Treaty of 1868) o Although Custer had been defeated, railroads stood ready to extend their lines, prospectors to make fortunes, settlers to lay down roots, and soldiers to protect them; Indians were unable to maintain a steady resistance  Killing With Kindness o Dawes Act (1887) – ended policy of concentrating Indians on reservations, looked to draw Native Americans into white society as farmers and small property owners and into the marketplace; lands held by the tribes would now be parceled out to individuals: 160 acres to the head of a family and 80 acres to single adults or orphans o More destructive; undermined the communal structure at the core of tribal life o Wounded Knee was a final act of violence against an independent Indian way of life  Borderlands o With the railroads came more white settlers as well as well as Mexican laborers from south of the border; southwest grew on the backs of Mexicans  The West and the World Economy o Congress had become so alarmed at foreign ownership of western land that it enacted the Alien Land Law (1887)  Prohibited the purchase of any land in western territories by foreign cooperations or by individuals who did not intend to become citizens  Cattle Kingdom o Ranchers allowed their herds to roam the unbroken or “open” range freely, identified only by a distinctive brand o By the 1890s the open range and the long drives had largely vanished; larger cattle cooperations prevailed; cowboys became wage laborers employed by the ranching cooperations; cattle business succumbed to the eastern pattern of economic concentration and labor specialization  A Plains Existence o Nature imposed its own hardships; blizzard piled snow to the rooftops and halted travel; winds blasted the plains for weeks; locusts destroyed all vegetation; dry heat occurred as well  Farming on the Plains o Bonanza farms were common in the wheatlands of the northern plains; consisted of 1,000 acres or more; against such competition, small-scale farmers could scarcely survive; dry farming was permitted in arid climates by blankets of dust to keep moisture from evaporating too quickly


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