GGR254H1 Lecture Notes - Sharecropping, Transpiration

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Published on 14 Apr 2014
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GGR254
Lecture Feb 13/13
The Rise of the Sunbelt
Question:
What is the Sunbelt? How has it emerged as the dominant region in the postwar period?
Will use the ‘Old South and Texas as illustrations
Structure:
Elements of the Old South
The “triumphant New South”
Texas and the Golden Crescent
Elements of the Old South
1. Institutionalized Racism
Culture formed around hostile separation
Influenced every aspect of southern life
2. Rural Society
Tobacco, rice, cotton, export crops grow in plantations, and then with
sharecropping
Cotton was the key in the agricultural output of the area
Small urban population
Most people lived outside of urban places
in 1920 only 1/3 of southerners lived in cities (as opposed to 2/3
in manufacturing belt)
Lack of urbanization is related to:
Dependence of agriculture
South had a narrow economic spectrum (did little outside
of agriculture)
Relied heavily on northern cities for financial, educational
and manufacturing based functions
3. Little manufacturing before WWII
Low wage, labor intensive and centered on a narrow spectrum of low-
value industries (textile, shoes)
4. ‘Colonial appendage’ of the North:
Political and economic institutions
Banks were concentrated in the north
Most of the population was in the north, therefor the north had most of
the representation in congress
The south was very much an appendage
5. High degree of poverty
Per captia income lower than the national average
This was especially true in regards to the AA population
This is one of the reasons for the great migration
They were not just fleeing Jim Crow, they were also attempting
to free from great poverty
Reasons for high poverty are many and varied
The economy of the south was destroyed
(During the civil war)
Took a long time to rebuild its economy
Because it was a colonial appendage, the banks and
institutions of the north failed to provide capital to the
south
The economic structure was narrow, un-diverse, based on
agriculture (doesn’t create good incomes)
Until the 1930 the lack of federal intervention into the
social welfare system, the people in poverty had little to
no help from the government in any way
TheTriumphant New South
1. Natural resources
Exploitation of oil lumbers, sun, etc.
The rise of a powerful, prosperous new region
oThis is based on the decline/deindustrialization of the
manufacturing belt
oBuild on the fact that Detroit, Chicago, etc. are not landing
grounds for immigrants
2. Population growth
Both migrants and immigrants move to the sunbelt
Immigrants had traditionally gone to the north, this has been reversed,
rather they are going to the south
3. Rapid urbanization
Sunbelt cities are the fastest growing ones in the country
Development of well-developed urban system
Cities such as Atlanta are the:
oFocus of growth in many economic sectors
oCoordinator of regional markets
oNode connecting the New South to the rest of the USA and the
world
Ex. Miami plays a key role in connecting the United States
to Latin America
4. Rapid economic growth:
Gained many new economic sectors
1947-87: industrial growth rate = 120%
It’s not just manufacturing, service centers, etc. are also developing
oGrowth in many sectors, including traditional and high-tech
industrial as well as financial areas
Economic growth:
oWhat are the advantages of the industrial south?
Low wages and non-unionized labor
People get paid less for the same work
Profit seeking capitalists love this
Growing (affluent) market
5. Modernization of agriculture
Mechanization and science
oThis changes the food that we eat and the way in which farming is
done
oFarming is now a more organized, large scale, production system
oServes international and regional markets
oAll sorts of new agricultural products are being grown in the south
now
oLarge corporations are now controlling what is grown
This rests on very cheap labor
oAn example of this would be Floridas postwar citrus industry
6. Marketing and selling of the South
Variety of institutions have attracted capital investment to the South
Grantham’s “selling of the south” illustrates this well
How was this done?
oGiving of free land
oLabor conditions
oRight to work
oHostility to unions
oPro-business
Making of good business climate
oAttempted to make better educational opportunities
oPut money into research and development
7. Federal policy and spending since the 1930s
Labor: improved wages and working conditions
Agriculture: accelerate modernization
Energy: support domestic production
Transpiration: integrate regions (highway systems, etc.)
Result: the sunbelt incorporated into the ‘modern USA
Texas and the Golden Crescent
Defense industry and military bases
Petro-chemical and multipliers
Houston: