In this lesson, our instructor Elizabeth Turro gives an introduction on the new south and how the farmers mobilize. She talks about the frontier thesis, a new south, poverty in the south, class, race and politics in the new south, discrimination, Jim Crow, court cases and discrimination. She also explains how civil rights activists fight back, what problems are faced by farmers, the populist movement, the women populists, election of 1862 map and the Texas alliance's subtreasury system. The other key points are railroad regulations, the Wabash case and the interstate commerce act of 1886.
Frontier Thesis: written by Frederick Jackson Turner, U.S. Historian
After the results came out from the 1890 census that ND, SD, MT & WA were populated enough to achieve statehood, he addressed his concerns about the closing of the frontier and its significance: shaping the U.S. character and spirit, fostering a social and political democracy, and providing a safety valve for economic distress
Some businesspeople pushed for economic diversification in the “New South” by investing in industrial growth, railroads, steel, tobacco, and textiles yet the South remained mostly agricultural.
Tenants farmers struggled and poverty was common in the South, so they forged alliances, eventually forming the Populist Party & a movement against the Dems & interracial solidarity became crucial
“Redeemers” in the South instituted Jim Crow Laws that legalized segregation in public facilities
Court cases upheld discriminatory laws, such as Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)—the Court upheld the constitutionality of “separate but equal” (segregation in public facilities) & that segregation did not violate the 14th Amendment--provided that blacks received accommodations equal to those of whites
Civil rights activists fought back, such as: Ida Wells-Barnett in her anti-lynching campaign, Booker T. Washington’s advocacy of African American economic independence, and W.E.B. Du Bois’s civil rights demands
The Populist movement and Grange movement: farmers came together to address farm foreclosures, RR bankruptcies, stock market crash, & unemployment
Populists sought to lower shipping & storage rates, regulation of RRs, they called for the creation of “free silver” & the creation of subtreasury banks
They formed the People’s Party or Populist Party & William Jennings Bryan became a huge advocate for economic populism ran for President
The New South and The Farmers Mobilize
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.