How Did Southern Men’S Emphasis On Chivalry Affect Southern Law?
- Marvin Harvey
How did southern men’s emphasis on chivalry affect southern law? Slave holder’s mastery was written into law as well as the paramount rights of husbands. Married women lost all of their property rights.
What did Southern men need in order to achieve high social standing and success in the world of politics?
What did mid-19th century southern men need in order to achieve high social standing and success in the world of politics? An honorable reputation.
Which statement characterizes how Southern Plain folk viewed religion?
Which statement characterizes how southern plain folk viewed religion? They enjoyed religious revivals.
Which statement describes a consequence of the South’s lack of economic diversity?
Which statement describes a consequence of the South’s lack of economic diversity in the mid-nineteenth century? Newly arrived European immigrants tended to settle in the North. How did southern men’s emphasis on chivalry affect southern law? Southern laws affirmed the paramount rights of husbands.
Which of the following restrictions was placed on the 260000 free blacks in the South by 1860?
Which of the following restrictions were placed on the 260,000 free blacks by 1860? Free blacks were subjected to special taxes, prohibited from interstate travel, denied the right to have schools and to participate in politics, and forced to carry ‘freedom papers.’
How did slavery affect Southern society?Printable Version Although slavery was highly profitable, it had a negative impact on the southern economy. It impeded the development of industry and cities and contributed to high debts, soil exhaustion, and a lack of technological innovation. The philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “slavery is no scholar, no improver; it does not love the whistle of the railroad; it does not love the newspaper, the mail-bag, a college, a book or a preacher who has the absurd whim of saying what he thinks; it does not increase the white population; it does not improve the soil; everything goes to decay.” There appears to be a large element of truth in Emerson’s observation. The South, like other slave societies, did not develop urban centers for commerce, finance, and industry on a scale equal to those found in the North. Virginia’s largest city, Richmond, had a population of just 15,274 in 1850. That same year, Wilmington, North Carolina’s largest city, had only 7,264 inhabitants, while Natchez and Vicksburg, the two largest cities in Mississippi, had fewer than 3,000 white inhabitants. Southern cities were small because they failed to develop diversified economies. Unlike the cities of the North, southern cities rarely became processing or finishing centers and southern ports rarely engaged in international trade. Their primary functions were to market and transport cotton or other agricultural crops, supply local planters and farmers with such necessities as agricultural implements, and produce the small number of manufactured goods, such as cotton gins, needed by farmers. An overemphasis on slave-based agriculture led Southerners to neglect industry and transportation improvements. As a result, manufacturing and transportation lagged far behind in comparison to the North. In 1860 the North had approximately 1.3 million industrial workers, whereas the South had 110,000, and northern factories manufactured nine-tenths of the industrial goods produced in the United States. The South’s transportation network was primitive by northern standards. Traveling the 1,460 overland miles from Baltimore to New Orleans in 1850 meant riding five different railroads, two stagecoaches, and two steamboats. Most southern railroads served primarily to transport cotton to southern ports, where the crop could be shipped on northern vessels to northern or British factories for processing. Because of high rates of personal debt, Southern states kept taxation and government spending at much lower levels than did the states in the North. As a result, Southerners lagged far behind Northerners in their support for public education. Illiteracy was widespread. In 1850, 20 percent of all southern white adults could not read or write, while the illiteracy rate in New England was less than half of 1 percent. Because large slaveholders owned most of the region’s slaves, wealth was more stratified than in the North. In the Deep South, the middle class held a relatively small proportion of the region’s property, while wealthy planters owned a very significant portion of the productive lands and slave labor. In 1850, 17 percent of the farming population held two-thirds of all acres in the rich cotton-growing regions of the South. There are indications that during the last decade before the Civil War slave ownership became increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. As soil erosion and exhaustion diminished the availability of cotton land, scarcity and heavy demand forced the price of land and slaves to rise beyond the reach of most, and in newer cotton-growing regions, yeomen farmers were pushed off the land as planters expanded their holdings. In Louisiana, for example, nearly half of all rural white families owned no land. During the 1850s, the percentage of the total white population owning slaves declined significantly. By 1860, the proportion of whites holding slaves had fallen from about one-third to one-fourth. As slave and land ownership grew more concentrated, a growing number of whites were forced by economic pressure to leave the land and move to urban centers. Copyright 2021 Digital History
Why did the southern states believe they had the right to succeed from the Union?
Southern states were concerned that the Republican government would attempt to abolish slavery. The abolition of slavery would devastate the Southern economy and made Southern states fearful that their states’ rights would be violated. The first state to secede from the Union was South Carolina.
How did the southern colonies view religion?
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. The original 13 colonies of what became the United States of America can be divided geographically into the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies. The Southern colonies were Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia,
- They were located south of both the New England colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) and the Middle colonies (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).
- The Southern colonies were noted for plantations, or large farms, and for the use of slaves to work on them.
The English were the first Europeans to settle the Southern colonies. In 1606 an expedition of colonists sailed from England to the New World. The next year they established Jamestown Colony in what is now the state of Virginia. It was the first permanent English settlement in America. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (NPG.77.42) Georgia was the last of the 13 colonies to be settled. British general James Oglethorpe founded the colony in 1733 as a haven for imprisoned debtors and the poor. The colony was also open to persecuted Protestants from Germany and Austria. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Although most people of the Southern colonies were English, there were small groups of Scots, Scotch-Irish, Germans, and others. The official religion of Virginia and the Carolinas was the Church of England (the Anglican church).
Religion, though, never strongly swayed the people in the Southern colonies. As Baptist, Quaker, and Presbyterian immigrants arrived, they freely established their own churches. Although Roman Catholics founded Maryland, they welcomed Protestants as well. Even after the English crown made Anglicanism Maryland’s official religion in 1692, the colony remained tolerant of other religions.
In Georgia, everyone but Roman Catholics had religious freedom from the start. The Southern colonies had a warm climate. Although the warm weather helped spread disease, it also made for ideal farming conditions. Southerners found that their economic success was tied to agriculture.
- South Carolina’s land, for example, was suitable for rice and indigo.
- Virginia and Maryland specialized in tobacco,
- Southerners not only sold the crops throughout the colonies but also made a large profit exporting them to England.
- While most Southerners lived on small farms, some of the wealthier people established plantations for large-scale farming.
Indentured servants and slaves did much of the work on the plantations. Indentured servants had their passage paid to the New World but then had to work for a certain period of time to pay off that debt. They generally worked from four to seven years, after which they became free.
A large percentage of the white settlers in North America were indentured servants. Some owners of smaller farms also used indentured servants and slaves. However, those owners typically worked alongside their help while plantation owners did not. The first Africans in the Americas arrived in Virginia in 1619.
They had been on a Portuguese slave ship heading to Mexico. Two English privateers attacked the Portuguese ship and captured about 50 African men, women, and children. One of the English ships brought the Africans to Jamestown, where colonists purchased them. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, the plantation owners were becoming dissatisfied with the indentured servant system. It was getting harder to find people who would willingly choose to become indentured. In addition, the loss of indentured servants as they fulfilled their contracts caused worker shortages.
Plantation owners soon turned to slavery, which guaranteed permanent workers. Virginia legalized the practice in 1661 and began relying on Africans for slave labor. As the plantations prospered, the demand for slaves increased. The import of enslaved Africans vastly increased the population of the Southern colonies.
( See also Atlantic slave trade,) The sale and export of cash crops brought great wealth to the plantation owners. With that wealth, they also gained political power. Soon the wealthiest owners began to dominate the local government. Smaller landowners generally supported them.
What was the Southern perspective?
Religion in the Civil War: The Southern Perspective, Divining America, TeacherServe©, National Humanities Center
Religion in the Civil War: The Southern PerspectiveHarry S. Stout Professor of History, Religious Studies, and American Studies Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity, Yale Divinity School ©National Humanities Center
The Civil War began with a largely symbolic battle at Fort Sumter, a battle in which the only fatality was a (southern) horse. Yet it immediately raised to national crisis a conflict that had been spilling blood regionally for decades. The perspective of what would quickly become the “Confederate States of America”—the southern perspective—balanced on two points: first, that the individual state was sovereign, even to the point of secession; second, that the “peculiar institution” of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.
- When news spread of the surrender of Fort Sumter on April 13 and of Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops, one southern state after another seceded and the Confederacy (of 11 states in all) was born.
- With it was born the South’s embrace of religion as its moral defense and its motive force.
- It’s abundantly clear, as recent scholarship has demonstrated that religion stood at the center of the Civil War for both sides.
Both and South looked to God for meaning, and each side believed—with equal fervor and certitude—that God was on its side. Many ministers, generals, leaders, and editors went so far as to proclaim that God had ordained the war and would determine its length, its damages, and its outcome.
- The victor would show, in other words, whose side God really supported.
- New England political and religious leaders had long proclaimed themselves God’s “chosen people.” With the start of the Civil War, southerners laid claim to the title and, through speech, print, and ritual actions, proceeded to “prove” their claim.
For the South, this “chosen” status not only presumed ultimate victory in what would turn out to be a long and bloody conflict, but also put God’s imprimatur on the Confederate national identity. In fact, the South claimed to be a uniquely Christian nation.
The new, adopted on February 8, 1861, and ratified on March 11, 1861, officially declared its Christian identity, “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.” Southern leaders chose as their national motto Deo Vindice (“God will avenge”). Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaimed that the time had come “to recognize our dependence upon God supplicate his merciful protection.” This national acknowledgment of religious dependence, as the South frequently pointed out during the war in both the religious and the secular press, stood in stark contrast to the “godless” government of the North that ignored God in its constitution and put secular concerns above the sacred duties of Christian service and the divine commission.
On June 13, 1861, President Davis declared the Confederacy’s first national fast. National fast days had long been quintessentially northern. Before the Civil War, the South had assiduously avoided both politics in the pulpit and the “jeremiad” (the language of religious devotion and lament, named for the biblical book of Jeremiah) from the secular rostrum.
In the teeth of conflict, however, the South discovered a religious rhetoric that could interpret God’s involvement with the Confederate cause and define the role of the Christian churches in the Confederate nation. This language of Christian nationhood dissolved the barrier between religious and secular speech in the South, and set the stage for a moral battle that declared a declined spirituality in the North, a region—according to southern voices—now run by infidels and fanatics under a godless government.
Vindication for this new nation under God seemed to come with the South’s victory at First Manassas on July 21, 1861. In a thanksgiving sermon preached the same day in Richmond, Virginia, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, William C. Butler declared: God has given us of the South today a fresh and golden opportunity—and so a most solemn command—to realize that form of government in which the just, constitutional rights of each and all are guaranteed to each and all.
- He has placed us in the front rank of the most marked epochs of the world’s history.
- He has placed in our hands a commission which we can faithfully execute only by holy, individual self-consecration to all of God’s plans.
- Such declarations, once rare in the South, would now become a staple of the religious press, the civilian preacher, the military chaplain—and the politician.
For the remainder of Confederate history, nearly three-quarters of all published sermons were thanksgiving, public fast or other war-related sermons, and the number of sermons actually in print represented only a fraction of the total. Not only did church-goers hear the message that their war was a holy one, but so did virtually anyone who read a newspaper, attended a public gathering or served in a military camp or on the battlefield.
- It’s instructive to realize that most of those who attended local churches in the South during the war—and therefore listened week after week to their local pastor sacralizing the southern war cause—were women and children.
- With husbands, sons and fathers off at war, women filled the pews, and in turn, the preachers filled the women’s hearts and minds with a new sense of their place in both politics and public action.
It would be the women, they understood, who would be keeping the godly “covenant” with their morality, prayers, and home-front support of the war. The net effect of this was to make the southern women ferocious in their opposition to the North and their insistence that their men keep fighting.
It was their unbending resolve, in part, that caused northern general William Tecumseh Sherman to feel justified in inflicting enormous civilian damages against the South in his infamous “March to the Sea.” As far as Sherman was concerned, the southern women’s sense of outrage and their religious determination to hold out against the North forfeited the protection that decency and the rules of war afforded “civilians.” For their part, the southern women believed that they, no less than their men, would bear a critical responsibility before God for the outcome of the conflict.
When they went to work in the mills and factories left unmanned by war, when they took over the roles of protector and provider at home, they understood themselves as vital players in a divine experiment of Christian nationhood. And when they suffered the afflictions of northern armies in their backyards and growing numbers of war dead, they strengthened and consoled themselves with the knowledge that they were doing God’s work on earth.
Part of that work, as had long been argued, was the “Christianizing” of the African slaves. To address abolitionists’ cries for an end to slavery, southern preachers declared that slavery was a sacred trust imposed on the South by the slave traders of Great Britain and the northern states. Furthermore, some averred, God had ordained slavery as a punishment for African paganism.
Ironically, this very conviction led Southern educators to talk seriously for the first time about educating the black people among them. Baptist ministers, especially, sought to pass resolutions encouraging their congregations to work politically toward repealing laws banning slave literacy.
It was only logical that if the South was commissioned by God to create a Christian nation, its success in the war would depend on God’s favor. For some, this suggested that God’s favor could be lost through ill treatment of the slaves or, conversely, won through greater humanitarianism. Within the privacy of the southern slave quarters, the Bible told a different tale.
The slaves had their preachers too, as well as their own, Black preachers were often among the few literate slaves, and they created powerful stories of redemption, freedom, and retribution against their white masters out of the language and ethos of the Old Testament tales of Israel’s captivity and release.
In the presence of white observers, black preachers echoed the message heard in white pulpits of obedience and subservience to “God-ordained” masters. In fact, there was strong practical incentive to do so, because often it was only through obedience and subservience that slaves avoided the lash and other penalties.
Yet at the end of the day, slave religion emphasized that God would change their earthly situation and punish the cruelty of the slave holders. It was the slaves’ conviction that God was ultimately on their side that gave them the courage to run away and throw themselves on the mercy of the northern army.
- It strengthened their resolve to follow the Underground Railroad in the face of untold risks and dangers toward what they supposed would be a new life in freedom.
- Their religious beliefs became vocal in their spirituals—songs full of their pain, sorrow and resignation, their hope, joy and rebellion.
- While the runaway slaves sought the protection of the northern army, buoyed by religious messages of freedom and redemption, the armies of the South fought to maintain their right to own those slaves and otherwise to determine their own destinies, both politically and economically.
As the momentum of the war seemed to veer in the North’s direction and news of victories slimmed for the South, the dispirited southern soldiers turned to religion in ways that were increasingly visible. As good news for the Confederacy dwindled, the religious press filled the lackluster newspaper columns with ringing stories of revival in the military.
There is a mighty work of the Spirit going on now in the camps of this regiment and brigade,” reported the Central Presbyterian of Richmond, Virginia, in June 1863. With such news to cling to, the demoralized populace of the South now looked to the army for their spiritual hope. The Southern Churchman from Tennessee wrote of “immense congregations assembled to hear the word and many sinners led to cry for mercy; a chaplain informed me that 1,000 men in his division had professed the faith.” Even the secular press got in on the spin.
The Richmond Daily Dispatch reported in January 1864 “the religious interest in the army is unchilled by the cold weather. Meetings are still held in every part of the army; and in many, if not all the brigades, meeting-houses have been constructed for their own use, and faithful chaplains nightly preach to large and deeply attentive congregations.” All this brings to mind the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes—the idea that the fear of imminent death can make a “believer” of anyone.
- Did soldiers of the South experience “conversion” out of terror? Did they turn to religion out of a growing certainty that theirs was a lost war? Perhaps some did, but it was far more complicated than that.
- Facing failure, they needed to know that they had not fought in vain.
- Having sacrificed so many fathers, brothers, and sons, they needed to explain and justify the apparent lack of God’s blessing on their efforts.
In those makeshift churches in the military camps, a new religion was born—the religion of the “Lost Cause.” The religious press made a myth of one of the Confederacy’s most famous and favored leaders—General Stonewall Jackson—and his religious faith.
Jackson rallied his troops with his conviction that God would give the victory to them. When he died on the battlefield, his memory and the strength of his conviction lived on. Meanwhile, southern army chaplains played a considerable role in fostering a religious view of Jackson’s death and the war. Jackson, they emphasized, embodied southern religious values, and in his death he led the war dead as a “martyr” for the Lost Cause of the South.
It is no coincidence that in many regions of the South in the aftermath of its defeat in the Civil War, the date of Jackson’s death—May 10—was chosen as the date for a Confederate Memorial Day. When all was said and done, religion formed the backbone of the South in the Civil War.
- It affirmed the spirituality of the southern church, and it gave the white South its self-proclaimed sacred identity.
- God had not deserted the South, they declared, but had rather disciplined them in a refining fire that would hone them for a higher calling, yet to be revealed.
- For the black South, religion formed a mighty rallying point for freedom fighters and the cause of equality.
It empowered African Americans with a cultural and shared language that would fuel their entry into leadership, civil rights, the arts, and education. Guiding Student Discussion You’re unlikely to find any student who doesn’t have an idea, and probably plenty of opinions, about the Civil War, including who was right and who was wrong.
Regional biases live on, so where you teach may play a part in the views your students have formed. An important facet of your work in presenting the Civil War from the Southern perspective will be in helping your students to put aside their biases for the sake of a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the people, whether northern or southern, black or white, religious or not, who participated in the conflict.
In order to do this, you may need to give your students an opportunity to express their opinions. Best case, you can set up a chart and write out the various views represented in the class. This is the first step in moving class discussion toward an evenhanded, contextualized discussion of the Civil War, and especially of how religion informed the people engaged in the conflict.
- You may want to give your students the opportunity to do some research on antebellum southern life.
- Much has been made of plantation life on the grand scale that cotton and sugar produced.
- But the majority of southerners did not live on huge plantations.
- They worked smaller operations growing tobacco, rice, or indigo, or they lived on small farms with no slaves at all.
Townspeople often employed white and freed black workers to run their businesses and factories. What all southerners had in common was their dependence on the slave economy. They viewed the North, with its superior resources and industrialization, as exploitive and irreligious.
The North’s attempts to limit the spread of slavery and eventually to abolish it they understood as acts of aggression against their way of life and their means of survival. Make sure your students understand that the North—and especially New England—had made itself obnoxious to the South with regard to expansion across the continent.
Politicians, ministers, and abolitionists used the occasion of western settlement to preach and act against not only slavery but also the economy that depended on it. Southerners did not share the long-held northern assumptions about a special status in the eyes of God that could only be realized in a single Union.
They had their own religious identity and firmly held to their own role in God’s providential work. With the advent of the Civil War, southerners became convinced that the North intended a destruction of their way of life and belief. Although the North’s first self-proclaimed aim in the conflict was to preserve the Union, religious and humanitarian groups in the North increasingly touted the war as one of liberation for the slaves.
In your discussion, remind your students that people make sense to themselves. Southerners, raised in a slave economy and versed in biblical language that had been amply applied to the context of that economy, truly believed that they were the good guys.
Those in the North, of course, believed the same of themselves. Help your students step into the shoes of the ordinary soldier, sometimes a mere child, sometimes facing enemy soldiers who in other circumstances would have been friends and family; the woman left at home with children and often hostile slaves, aware that enemy troops might be near at hand ready to steal or kill; the leaders whose responsibility it was to defend home and wealth and nation; the African Americans who heard the cry of freedom, but faced deadly odds.
War is not “virtual,” with icons moving on a screen or through cyberspace with blood that is nothing more than a splash of color. It is not a chess game, with canny hands moving inanimate pieces on a playing board and discarding the pieces only to set them back up for the next contest.
War is a cruel, wasteful, and terrifying engagement between opposing forces that often must kill, or be killed. The Civil War was the single most destructive war in the history of this nation. In fact, it equals all other wars combined. Let your students discuss the ways in which religion would affect people under circumstances of war such as these.
To aid in their understanding and to help them build their ideas and arguments, refer them to the fine online sources available. For the African American point of view, for instance, direct your students to, For a more immediate sense of the conflict, take them on a visual tour through the,
- Ed Ayres and the University of Virginia have made available a remarkable archive of two communities during the Civil War—one North and one South—at that could give your students experience in examining primary resource material for a closer understanding of the differing points of view. Harry S.
- Stout is the Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity, Yale Divinity School and Professor of History, Religious Studies, and American Studies at Yale University.
He is the author of several books, including Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War ; The New England Soul, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for history; The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism, which received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for biography as well as the Critic’s Award for History in 1991.
He is general editor of both The Works of Jonathan Edwards and the “Religion in America” series for Oxford University Press. In 2003, Professor Stout was awarded the Robert Cherry Award for Great Teaching. Address comments or questions to Professor Stout through TeacherServe To cite this essay: Stout, Harry S.
“Religion in the Civil War: The Southern Perspective.” Divining America, TeacherServe®. National Humanities Center. DATE YOU ACCESSED ESSAY. : Religion in the Civil War: The Southern Perspective, Divining America, TeacherServe©, National Humanities Center
What was the religion of the southern region?
Reform and Reaction in Sectional Religion, 1940–2000 – Top, Atlanta Hare Krishna New Panihati Dham temple, Atlanta, Georgia, 2014. Still by Anandi Salinas. Courtesy of Anandi Salinas. Middle, Al-Farooq Masjid Mosque, Atlanta, Georgia, July 4, 2009. Photograph by Flickr user Chris Yunker, Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0,
- Bottom, Ebenezer Baptist Church sign, Atlanta, Georgia, May 6, 2013.
- Photograph of this historic MLK site by Flickr user Wally Gobetz,
- Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0,
- World War II brought more change to the US South than any other event in its history, even the legendary Civil War.
- The World War upset traditional patterns of thought and behavior, exposing southerners to new ways of thinking, and it launched economic developments that would overcome the long period era of poverty.
It opened a new period in which the South experienced fundamental changes in a social system that had long shaped ideology and experience. Changes in communication and transportation, population growth, urbanization, the end of the one-party political system, consumerism, secularization — all pushed the South toward change.
- Yet the South retained a self-consciousness promoted by new national acceptance of cultural identities of all shapes, by appreciation of southern cultural traditions by a concern for tourism, by nostalgia, and by the functionality of southern organizations within a national federalist framework.
- Black southerners became among the most energetic examiners of the mythology of the white South, as well as of their own self-consciousness as southerners.
Appreciation of regions within the South has also grown, seen in the emergence of new conceptualizations of those regions, such as the Mid-South around Memphis, Tennessee; a central Texas complex within the larger, traditional Southwestern region; the Atlanta metro region; and a central Florida region anchored by the fantasies of Disney World. Jewish civil rights activist Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington, DC, August 28, 1963. Photograph by the now defunct United States Information Agency. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives Identifier 542002,
- Photograph in public domain.
- The civil rights movement was a central moral landmark for the South.
- African American church leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Fred Shuttlesworth, and Ralph David Abernathy, emerged as the leading edge of reform, and local congregations provided the foot soldiers for the movement’s nonviolent protests and boycotts.
The protests drew from principles of nonviolence that King learned from Indian leader Mahatmas Gandhi, but equally significant sources were Christian teachings on social justice and the heritage of the southern black church’s witness against the evils of segregation.
- The civil rights movement made the end of Jim Crow segregation a compelling moral challenge to the white South.
- In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Brown v.
- The Board of Education decision, major southern white denominational leaders and regional meetings counseled compliance with the call for desegregation, but most rank-and-file church members rebelled, rejecting the social changes that loomed.
Some ministers used the same biblical justifications for segregation as their ancestors had used to justify slavery. Progressive clergymen who advocated acceptance of integration often lost their pulpits; ministers who ignored the issue risked moral irrelevancy.
Few white religious leaders came out forcefully against the Jim Crow system. In the end, white church people reluctantly acquiesced to racial change, although their segregated churches and private schools remained retreats from those changes. Traditions of separate black and white worship were deeply held and reflected differing worship styles as well as racial divisions.
Southern clergy have been among the leaders of racial reconciliation efforts in the recent South, often working through community groups to promote principles of Christian fellowship across social boundaries. President Jimmy Carter addressing the Southern Baptist Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 16, 1978. Photograph by White House staff photographers. Courtesy of The National Archives, archives identifier 17897, The traditional evangelical denominations, the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, have long been at the heart of the South’s religious culture, and they retained their hold during this period of social change.
- Baptists continue to represent about half of the church-affiliated population of the South, Methodists about a quarter, and Presbyterians ten percent.
- The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has been a “folk religion of the South,” and yet it has also been the largest US Protestant church, thanks in part to establishing new congregations in the West, far beyond the original southern borders of the denomination in the nineteenth century.
Increasingly a corporate-dominated bureaucracy, the SBC has long been closely allied with the South’s power structure, lending its conservative voice to issues of racial and social justice. Fundamentalists have taken over institutional control of the denomination since the 1980s, establishing creeds for the enforcement of orthodoxy, reshaping its educational institutions to narrow the range of teaching options, emphasizing the primacy of the inerrancy of the Bible, and moving away from traditional Baptist support for separation of church and state to support, among other government-enforced social causes, prayer in schools. Deaconess consecrated at United Methodist Women’s Assembly, Louisville, Kentucky, April 27, 2014. Photograph by Paul Jeffrey. Courtesy of Flickr user UMWomen, Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Methodists and Presbyterians also remain dominant church traditions in the contemporary South.
Southern Methodists rejoined Methodists from other parts of the nation in a 1939 merger, and in 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren joined with them to form the United Methodist church. Methodists in the South represent about a quarter of the national membership. Unlike Baptists, Methodists have retained their Wesleyan stress on piety above creed.
Southern Presbyterians have undergone more recent dramatic denominational change than Methodists, having reunited with their northern coreligionists in 1983. Conservatives had already broken away to form the Presbyterian Church in America because of their fears over the liberalism of mainstream southern Presbyterians, fears only confirmed by the national merger.
Black Christianity has also remained a powerful spiritual force in the latest South. The clerical role in leading the civil rights movement gave churches considerable moral authority, buttressing their historic and continuing efforts in providing fellowship, social services, recreation, sanctuary from the larger society, and a gospel of hope to oppressed people.
They have long given a prophetic dimension that few other religious institutions have provided. The National Baptist Convention remains the largest black Baptist group, and the African Methodist Episcopal church is the leading black Methodist body. The movement for a specifically black theology has also had its adherents in the South, dating back to the call for black power in the late 1960s. Top, Billy Graham statue, Nashville, Tennessee, January 26, 2007. Photograph by Flickr user Brent Moore, Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 2.0, Middle, Pick Your Poison, Bible-bangers on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, New Orleans, February 5, 2008.
- Photograph by Flickr user MA1216,
- Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0,
- Bottom, County courthouse with “Let’s Go to Church Sunday” sign, Batesville, Arkansas, November, 2011.
- Photograph by Flickr user Jimmy Emerson DVM,
- Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0,
- Secularization slowly loosened the hold of religious ideology upon public morals.
The new right political movement that began in the 1980s with the Moral Majority saw the rise of the Religious Roundtable and the Christian Coalition, and received a new boost through the presidency of George W. Bush, has attempted to address this slippage.
- While a national movement, the religious right hopes to impose on society and church institutions a discipline that adherents believe once existed in the small towns and rural society of the earlier South before becoming besieged in the dramatic social changes of the 1960s.
- The religious right aims to anchor the nation’s political direction in a moral outlook grounded in its biblical interpretation.
National leaders of the movement have included many southern figures, such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and Oral Roberts. The religious right engages those issues it sees as part of an agenda of “traditional values,” including issues related to family definition, as well as abortion, pornography, prayer in schools, and before its defeat, the Equal Rights Amendment. Data on religious views, The South, 2014. The Religious Lanscape Study, The Pew Research Center. All reports courtesy of The Pew Research Center. Religion continues to define the US South as a distinctive part of the United States. It contributes to defining debates on public policy issues and provides on-going organizational bases for political campaigns across the ideological spectrum.
It supports a needed infrastructure of social services and educational institutions in southern regions where public agencies are underfunded. It offers a still compelling worldview to the majority of the South’s Christians, giving meaning in troubled times and empowering the poor and marginalized. Southern religion has supported a peculiar variety of religious pluralism within the United States, allowing for religious minorities to flourish.
Forms of religion identified with the South—evangelicalism, fundamentalism, pentecostalism—have traveled throughout the nation, a prime example of the “southernization of the United States.” Meanwhile, southerners themselves live in places that often cannot be seen as southern so much as parts of a national or even global network.
What were negative outcomes of reconstruction in the South?
On the negative side, however, Reconstruction led to great resentment and even violence among Southerners. Terrorist organizations, like the Ku Klux Klan, struck fear into the hearts of African Americans and anyone who cooperated with the Republican governments.
What did the South’s economy focus on?
Industry and Economy during the Civil War (U.S. National Park Service) New technologies showing America’s emerging industrial greatness were refined the Civil War: the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, and the steam-powered printing press Library of Congress The American economy was caught in transition on the eve of the Civil War.
What had been an almost purely agricultural economy in 1800 was in the first stages of an industrial revolution which would result in the United States becoming one of the world’s leading industrial powers by 1900. But the beginnings of the industrial revolution in the prewar years was almost exclusively limited to the regions north of the Mason-Dixon line, leaving much of the South far behind.
In 1860, the South was still predominantly agricultural, highly dependent upon the sale of staples to a world market. By 1815, cotton was the most valuable export in the United States; by 1840, it was worth more than all other exports combined. But while the southern states produced two-thirds of the world’s supply of cotton, the South had little manufacturing capability, about 29 percent of the railroad tracks, and only 13 percent of the nation’s banks.
The South did experiment with using slave labor in manufacturing, but for the most part it was well satisfied with its agricultural economy. The North, by contrast, was well on its way toward a commercial and manufacturing economy, which would have a direct impact on its war making ability. By 1860, 90 percent of the nation’s manufacturing output came from northern states.
The North produced 17 times more cotton and woolen textiles than the South, 30 times more leather goods, 20 times more pig iron, and 32 times more firearms. The North produced 3,200 firearms to every 100 produced in the South. Only about 40 percent of the Northern population was still engaged in agriculture by 1860, as compared to 84 percent of the South.
Even in the agricultural sector, Northern farmers were out-producing their southern counterparts in several important areas, as Southern agriculture remained labor intensive while northern agriculture became increasingly mechanized. By 1860, the free states had nearly twice the value of farm machinery per acre and per farm worker as did the slave states, leading to increased productivity.
As a result, in 1860, the Northern states produced half of the nation’s corn, four-fifths of its wheat, and seven-eighths of its oats. The industrialization of the northern states had an impact upon urbanization and immigration. By 1860, 26 percent of the Northern population lived in urban areas, led by the remarkable growth of cities such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit, with their farm-machinery, food-processing, machine-tool, and railroad equipment factories.
- Only about a tenth of the southern population lived in urban areas.
- Free states attracted the vast majority of the waves of European immigration through the mid-19th century.
- Fully seven-eighths of foreign immigrants settled in free states.
- As a consequence, the population of the states that stayed in the Union was approximately 23 million as compared to a population of 9 million in the states of the Confederacy.
This translated directly into the Union having 3.5 million males of military age – 18 to 45 – as compared to 1 million for the South. About 75 percent of Southern males fought the war, as compared to about half of Northern men. The Southern lag in industrial development did not result from any inherent economic disadvantages.
- There was great wealth in the South, but it was primarily tied up in the slave economy.
- In 1860, the economic value of slaves in the United States exceeded the invested value of all of the nation’s railroads, factories, and banks combined.
- On the eve of the Civil War, cotton prices were at an all-time high.
The Confederate leaders were confident that the importance of cotton on the world market, particularly in England and France, would provide the South with the diplomatic and military assistance they needed for victory. As both the North and the South mobilized for war, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the “free market” and the “slave labor” economic systems became increasingly clear – particularly in their ability to support and sustain a war economy.
The Union’s industrial and economic capacity soared during the war as the North continued its rapid industrialization to suppress the rebellion. In the South, a smaller industrial base, fewer rail lines, and an agricultural economy based upon slave labor made mobilization of resources more difficult.
As the war dragged on, the Union’s advantages in factories, railroads, and manpower put the Confederacy at a great disadvantage. Nearly every sector of the Union economy witnessed increased production. Mechanization of farming allowed a single farmer growing crops such as corn or wheat to plant, harvest, and process much more than was possible when hand and animal power were the only available tools.
- By 1860, a threshing machine could thresh 12 times as much grain per hour as could six men.) This mechanization became even more important as many farmers left home to enlist in the Union military.
- Those remaining behind could continue to manage the farm through the use of labor-saving devices like reapers and horse-drawn planters.
Northern transportation industries boomed during the conflict as well-particularly railroads. The North’s larger number of tracks and better ability to construct and move parts gave it a distinct advantage over the South. Union forces moving south or west to fight often rode to battle on trains traveling on freshly lain tracks.
In fact, as Northern forces traveled further south to fight and occupy the Confederacy, the War Department created the United States Military Railroads, designed to build rails to carry troops and supplies as well as operating captured Southern rail lines and equipment. By war’s end, it was the world’s largest railroad system.
Other Northern industries-weapons manufacturing, leather goods, iron production, textiles-grew and improved as the war progressed. The same was not true in the South. The twin disadvantages of a smaller industrial economy and having so much of the war fought in the South hampered Confederate growth and development.
- Southern farmers (including cotton growers) were hampered in their ability to sell their goods overseas due to Union naval blockades.
- Union invasions into the South resulted in the capture of Southern transportation and manufacturing facilities.
- The Southern economy, while shaky throughout the war, grew markedly worse in its later years.
The Emancipation Proclamation both enraged the South with its promise of freedom for their slaves, and threatened the very existence of its primary labor source. The economy continued to suffer during 1864 as Union armies battered Confederate troops in the eastern and western theaters.
In the East, General Ulysses S. Grant threw men and materiel at Robert E. Lee’s depleted and increasingly desperate army. Grant took advantage of railroad lines and new, improved steamships to move his soldiers and had a seemingly endless supply of troops, supplies, weapons, and materials to dedicate to crushing Lee’s often ill-fed, ill-clad, and undermanned army.
Though the campaign eventually fell into a stalemate at Petersburg, Virginia, Grant could afford to, as he stated, “fight it out along this line if it takes all summer,” while Lee could not. In the western theater of the war, William T. Sherman’s Union troops laid waste to much of the Georgia countryside during the Atlanta Campaign and the subsequent “March to the Sea.” Sherman’s campaigns inflicted massive damage to Southern industry, agriculture and infrastructure.
His soldiers destroyed rail lines and captured the major economic and transportation hub of Atlanta and the critical seaport of Savannah. When Sherman famously telegraphed Lincoln in December 1864, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah,” his gift included “about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.” Sherman himself later estimated that this campaign, which eventually moved north and similarly impacted the Carolinas, caused $100 million of destruction.
An already troubled Confederate economy simply could not absorb such massive losses and survive. As the war progressed, substantial and far-reaching changes were taking place far from the battle lines. When Lincoln became president in March 1861, he faced a divided nation, but also a Congress dominated by Republicans after many Southern Democratic members left to join the Confederacy.
Lincoln and congressional Republicans seized this opportunity to enact several pieces of legislation that had languished in Congress for years due to strong Southern opposition. Many of these bills set the course for the United States to emerge by war’s end as a nation with enormous economic potential and poised for a massive and rapid westward expansion.
When Southerners left Congress, the war actually provided the North with an opportunity southerners from Congress, the war actually provided the North with an opportunity to establish and dominate America’s industrial and economic future. Foremost among these bills was the Homestead Act, a popular measure regularly debated in Congress since the 1840s.
This law provided free title to up to 160 acres of undeveloped federal land outside the 13 original colonies to anyone willing to live on and cultivate it. Southerners had for years opposed the idea because it would severely hamper any opportunity to expand slavery into the areas where settlement would be likely.
In the North, “free soilers” had clamored for the bill for decades, while abolitionists viewed it as a means to populate the West with small farmers vehemently opposed to slavery’s expansion. Abraham Lincoln publicly stated his support while president-elect, stating, “In regards to the homestead bill, I am in favor of cutting the wild lands into parcels, so that every poor man may have a home.” He made good on his promise by signing the Homestead Act into law on May 20, 1862.
In order to make the farms more efficient and to help industries develop new and better equipment, as well as provide opportunities for students in the “industrial classes,” in 1862 Congress passed the Morrill Act (Land-Grant Colleges Act), by which each state was granted land for the purposes of endowing Agricultural and Mechanical (A and M) colleges.
The purpose of the act was “to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.” This unprecedented national investment in higher education also required instruction in military tactics. Another major initiative was the Pacific Railway Act, approved by President Lincoln on July 1, 1862.
- The transcontinental railroad linking the East and West had, like the homestead bill, been heavily debated by pre-war Congresses.
- Southerners wanted a railroad built along a southern route.
- Northerners, not surprisingly, wanted a Northern route.
- Once Southerners left Congress at the outset of the war, Republicans passed legislation that actually dictated a so-called “middle route” with an eastern terminus at Omaha and a western one at Sacramento.
The construction of the first transcontinental railroad meant jobs for thousands in factories producing tracks and tools as well as those that labored for years to lay the tracks across rough terrain. It also meant the literal and symbolic linking of East and West (to the exclusion of the South) and decreased travel times for passengers and goods.
It improved commercial opportunities, the construction of towns along both lines, a quicker route to markets for farm products, and other economic and industrial changes. During the war, Congress also passed several major financial bills that forever altered the American monetary system. The Legal Tender Act authorized the federal government to print and use paper money, called “greenbacks,” to pay its bills and finance the war.
Even though greenbacks were not backed by similar amounts of gold and silver, creditors were required to accept them at face value. By the end of the war, the government had printed over $500 million in greenbacks, and the American financial system’s strict reliance on transactions in gold or silver ended.
The National Bank Act created a national banking system to reduce the number of notes issued by individual banks and create a single federal currency. The Internal Revenue Act eased inflation primarily by placing excise taxes on many luxury items such as tobacco and jewelry. More famously, the first U.S.
income tax was imposed in July 1861, at 3 percent of all incomes over $800 up to 10 percent for incomes over $100,000 to help pay for the war effort. For better or worse, the political philosophies underlying the creation of the Confederate States of America, with its emphasis upon a strong state and a weak central government, coupled with its vast investments in a slave-labor-based agricultural economy, meant that the South had neither the ability nor the desire to develop the kind of industrial economy or centralized financial system required to sustain a “modern” war.
By contrast, the Union’s willingness and ability to vastly increase the influence and footprint of the federal government not only contributed directly to its military success in the war, but it also transformed many other areas of national life, including industrial, economic, agricultural, mechanical, and financial realms.
Simply put, the United States of America would be a very different nation today than had the war never been fought. If we are truly the world’s last remaining superpower, then it is, at least partially, the massive industrial and economic expansion enabled by the Civil War that allowed us to ascend to that role in the first place.
- This essay is taken from The Civil War Remembered, published by the National Park Service and Eastern National.
- This richly illustrated handbook is available in many national park bookstores or may be purchased online from Eastern at C&O Canal National Historical Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Governor’s Island National Monument, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Shiloh National Military Park : Industry and Economy during the Civil War (U.S.
National Park Service)
What was the big effect on the South’s economy after the Civil War?
After the Civil War, sharecropping and tenant farming took the place of slavery and the plantation system in the South. Sharecropping and tenant farming were systems in which white landlords (often former plantation slaveowners) entered into contracts with impoverished farm laborers to work their lands.
What are the 3 main causes of the Civil War?
The Civil War was a war between the Union (Northern US States) and the Confederacy (Southern US States) lasting from 1861-1865. The reasons for the Civil War were disagreements over slavery, states vs. federal rights, the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the economy.