Southern United States

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Southern United States
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{{about|the census region|the geographically southern part of the United States|Sun Belt}}{{short description|Cultural region of the United States}}{{Use American English|date=June 2016}}{{Use mdy dates|date=June 2016}}

| image_alt =| image_caption =| image_flag =| flag_alt =| image_seal =| seal_alt =| image_shield =| shield_alt =| nickname =| motto =| image_map =File:Us south census.png| map_alt =| map_caption = The Southern United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.| pushpin_map =| pushpin_label_position =| pushpin_map_alt =| pushpin_map_caption =| coordinates = | coor_pinpoint =| coordinates_type =| coordinates_footnotes =| subdivision_type = Country| subdivision_name =| subdivision_type1 = Subregion| subdivision_type2 = Subregion| subdivision_type3 =! Rank !! Team !! width=70px | Sport !! width=90px | League !! Attendance(avg/game)WEB,weblink 2018 National College Football Attendance,
Southeastern United StatesSouth Central United States>Deep SouthUpland South>DixieSouth Atlantic States>South AtlanticEast South Central States>East South CentralWest South Central States>West South Central}}| subdivision_type4 = CountryUnited States}}| subdivision_type5 = StatesAlabama}} {{flagDelaware}} {{flagGeorgia (U.S. state)Kentucky}} {{flagMaryland}} {{flagMissouri}} {{flagOklahoma}} {{flagTennessee}} {{flagVirginia}} {{flag|West Virginia}}| established_title =| established_date =| founder =| seat_type =| seat =| government_footnotes =| leader_party =| leader_title =| leader_name =| unit_pref = US | area_footnotes =| area_magnitude = | area_total_sq_mi =| area_total_acre =| area_land_sq_mi =| area_land_acre =| area_water_sq_mi =| area_water_acre =| area_water_percent =| area_urban_sq_mi =| area_urban_acre =| area_rural_sq_mi =| area_rural_acre =| area_metro_sq_mi =| area_metro_acre =| area_rank =| area_blank1_title =| area_blank1_sq_mi =| area_blank1_acre =| area_blank2_title = | area_blank2_sq_mi = | area_blank2_acre =| area_note =| dimensions_footnotes =| length_mi =| width_mi =| elevation_footnotes =| elevation_ft =| population_total = 124,753,9480200000US10200000US3TITLE=ANNUAL ESTIMATES OF THE RESIDENT POPULATION: APRIL 1, 2010 TO JULY 1, 2018PUBLISHER=UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU, POPULATION DIVISION, | population_footnotes =| population_density_sq_mi= auto| population_demonym = Southerner| population_note =| timezone1 =| utc_offset1 =| timezone1_DST =| utc_offset1_DST =| postal_code_type =| postal_code =| area_code =| area_code_type =| iso_code =| unemployment_rate =| website = | footnotes =| etymology =| coordinates_region =| area_urban_footnotes = | area_rural_footnotes = | area_metro_footnotes = }}The Southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Western United States, with the Midwestern United States and Northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.The South does not fully match the geographic south of the United States but is commonly defined as including the states that fought for the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War.WEB,weblink south,, September 30, 2014, The Deep South is fully located in the southeastern corner. Arizona and New Mexico, which are geographically in the southern part of the country, are rarely considered part, while West Virginia, which separated from Virginia in 1863,McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom. the Civil War Era, Oxford Univ. Press, 1998, p. 304 commonly is.Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers {{webarchive |url= |date=January 1, 2015 }}WEB,weblink Geological Society of America – Southeastern Section,, June 29, 2016, WEB,weblink Southern Legislative Conference – Serving the South,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 6, 2014, mdy-all, Some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries.BOOK, Garreau, Joel, The Nine Nations of North America, Avon Books, 1982, 978-0-380-57885-6, BOOK, Woodard, Colin, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, Penguin Books, 2012, 978-0-14-312202-9, While the states of Delaware and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia, permitted slavery prior to and during the Civil War, they remained with the Union. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, they became more culturally, economically, and politically aligned with the industrial Northern states, and are often identified as part of the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast by many residents, businesses, public institutions, and private organizations,Maryland and Delaware identify as Northeast
  • WEB,weblink About – CSG,, June 29, 2016,
  • WEB,weblink Home : Geographic Information : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, June 29, 2016,
  • WEB,weblink Regional Climate Centers – National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) formerly known as National Climatic Data Center (NCDC),, June 29, 2016,
  • WEB,weblink Region and Area Maps,, June 29, 2016,
  • WEB,weblink Northeast Regional Office – National Historic Landmarks Program,, June 29, 2016, but the United States Census Bureau puts them in the South.
Usually, the South is defined as including the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles, and cuisines, which have distinguished it in some ways from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European (mostly English, Italians, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Irish, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish American), African, Asian and some Native American components.WEB, Bethune, Lawrence E, Scots to Colonial North Carolina Before 1775, Lawrence E. Bethune's M.U.S.I.C.s Project,weblink Some other aspects of the historical and cultural development of the South have been influenced by the institution of slave labor on plantations in the Deep South to an extent seen nowhere else in the United States; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; support for the doctrine of states' rights, and the legacy of racial tension magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow laws", that lasted until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to frequently deny black people of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. Since the late 1960s, black people have held many offices in Southern states, especially in the coastal states of Virginia and South Carolina. Black people have also been elected or appointed as mayors and police chiefs in the metropolises of Baltimore, Charlotte, Raleigh, Birmingham, Richmond, Columbia, Memphis, Houston, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Jackson, and New Orleans, and serve in both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures."Gallup Poll: U.S. race relations by region; The South" {{webarchive |url= |date=May 27, 2016 }}. November 19, 2002.Historically, the South relied heavily on agriculture, and was highly rural until after 1945. It has since become more industrialized and urban and has attracted national and international migrants. The American South is now among the fastest-growing areas in the United States. Houston is the largest city in the Southern United States.WEB, Census Bureau Regions and Divisions with State FIPS Codes, US Census, December 2008,weblink December 24, 2014, PDF, yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 21, 2013, Sociological research indicates that Southern collective identity stems from political, demographic, and cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States. The region contains almost all of the Bible Belt, an area of high Protestant church attendance (especially evangelical churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention) and predominantly conservative, religion-influenced politics. Indeed, studies have shown that Southerners are more conservative than non-Southerners in several areas, including religion, morality, international relations, and race relations.JOURNAL, Christopher A., Cooper, H. Gibbs, Knotts, Declining Dixie: Regional Identification in the Modern American South, Social Forces, 88, 3, 2010, 1083–1101, 10.1353/sof.0.0284, JOURNAL, Tom W., Rice, William P., McLean, Amy J., Larsen, Southern Distinctiveness over Time: 1972–2000, American Review of Politics, 23, 2002, 193–220, This is evident in both the region's religious attendance figures and in the region's usually strong support for the Republican Party in political elections since the 1960s, and especially since the 1990s.Apart from its climate, the living experience in the South increasingly resembles the rest of the nation. The arrival of millions of Northerners (especially in major metropolitan areas and coastal areas)Marc Egnal, Divergent paths: how culture and institutions have shaped North American growth (1996) p 170 and millions of HispanicsRebecca Mark and Robert C. Vaughan, The South (2004) p. 147 has meant the introduction of cultural values and social norms not rooted in Southern traditions.Cooper and Knotts, "Declining Dixie: Regional Identification in the Modern American South", p. 1084Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts, eds. The New Politics of North Carolina (2008) Observers conclude that collective identity and Southern distinctiveness are thus declining, particularly when defined against "an earlier South that was somehow more authentic, real, more unified and distinct".Edward L. Ayers, What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History (2005) p. 46 However, journalist Michael Hirsh proposed that aspects of Southern culture have spread throughout a greater portion of the rest of the United States in a process termed "Southernization".Michael Hirsh (April 25, 2008). "How the South Won (This) Civil War" {{webarchive |url= |date=December 11, 2008 }}, Newsweek, accessed November 22, 2008


File:Texas Hill Country 187N-2.JPG|thumb|Texas Hill CountryTexas Hill CountryThe question of how to define the subregions in the South has been the focus of research for nearly a century.Howard W. Odum, Southern regions of the United States (1936)Rebecca Mark, and Rob Vaughan, The South: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004).File:Kentucky horse farm.JPEG|thumb|Bluegrass region, KentuckyKentuckyFile:Gloss Mountains.jpg|thumb|Glass Mountains, OklahomaOklahomaFile:Lone Oak in Saint Bernard Parish.jpg|thumb|Field of yellow wildflowers in Saint Bernard Parish, LouisianaSaint Bernard Parish, LouisianaFile:Linville Gorge-27527-3.jpg|thumb|North Carolina's Appalachian MountainsAppalachian MountainsFile:Pearl River backwater in Mississippi.jpg|thumb|right|Pearl River backwater in MississippiMississippiFile:Misty Bluff along the Buffalo River.jpg|thumb|Misty Bluff along the Buffalo River, Ozark Mountains, ArkansasArkansasFile:ChesapeakeTidalWetlands.jpg|thumb|Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay in MarylandMarylandFile:Cherry River West Virginia.jpg|thumb|Cherry River in West VirginiaWest VirginiaFile:Grayson County VA.jpg|thumb|The highlands of Grayson County in Southwest VirginiaSouthwest VirginiaAs defined by the United States Census Bureau,WEB, U.S. Census Bureau,weblink Census Regions and Divisions of the United States, June 9, 2016, the Southern region of the United States includes sixteen states. As of 2010, an estimated 114,555,744 people, or thirty seven percent of all U.S. residents, lived in the South, the nation's most populous region.WEB,weblink Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010, March 2011, United States Census Bureau, February 28, 2017, no,weblink" title="">weblink February 28, 2017, The Census Bureau defined three smaller divisions: The Council of State Governments, an organization for communication and coordination between states, includes in its South regional office the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.WEB,weblink CSG Regional Offices, Council of State Governments, 2012, February 13, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 20, 2014, Other terms related to the South include:
  • The Old South: can mean either the slave states that existed in 1776 (Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina){{dubious|reason=This overly broad definition would include New York, arguably Connecticut, and others in the North|date=October 2015}}Mary Johnston, weblink" title="">Pioneers of the Old South, A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings (1918){{failed verification|date=October 2015}} or all the slave states before 1860 (which included the newer states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas).James Oakes, Slavery and Freedom : An Interpretation of the Old South (1998)
  • The New South: usually including the South Atlantic States.C. Vann Woodward, The Origins of the New South, 1877–1913 (1951)
  • The Solid South: region largely controlled by the Democratic Party from 1877 to 1964, especially after disfranchisement of most blacks at the turn of the 20th century. Before that, blacks were elected to national office and many to local office through the 1880s; Populist-Republican coalitions gained victories for Fusionist candidates for governors in the 1890s.{{citation needed|date=August 2017}} Includes at least all the 11 former Confederate States.George Brown Tindall, The Disruption Of The Solid South (1972)
  • Southern Appalachia: mainly refers to areas situated in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, namely Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Western Maryland, West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, North Georgia, and Northwestern South Carolina.Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell, eds. (2006)
  • Southeastern United States: usually including the Carolinas, the Virginias, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.WEB,weblink SouthEastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, SouthEastern Division of the American Association of Geographers,
  • The Deep South: various definitions, usually including Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina. Also, parts of adjoining states are included (sections of East Texas, the Mississippi embayment areas of Arkansas and Tennessee, and northern and central Florida).Neal R. Peirce, The Deep South States of America;: People, politics, and power in the seven Deep South States (1974)
  • The Gulf South: various definitions, usually including Gulf coasts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama.
  • The Upper South: Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and on rare occasions Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware.weblink" title="">"United States: The Upper South". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  • Dixie: various definitions, but most commonly associated with the 11 states of the Old Confederacy.
  • The Mid-South: Various definitions, including that of the Census Bureau of the East and West South Central United States;weblink" title="">Archived copy at the Library of Congress (November 27, 2001). in another informal definition, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and sometimes adjoining areas of other states."GOP eyes potential for picking up U.S. House seats in Mid-South" {{webarchive |url=weblink" title="">weblink |date= January 13, 2014 }}, Memphis Commercial AppealBOOK,weblink VA health care resource allocations to medical centers in the Mid South ..., 9781428938656, WEB,weblink The Mid-South,, Thomas, Richard K., Jones, Virginia Anne, 1977, BOOK,weblink The Tchula Period in the Mid-South and Lower Mississippi Valley, 9780938896487, Dye, David H., Brister, Ronald C., 1986,
  • Border South: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware were states on the outer rim of the Confederacy that did not secede from the United States in the 1860s, but did have significant numbers of residents who joined the Confederate armed forces. Kentucky and Missouri had Confederate governments-in-exile and were represented in the Confederate Congress and by stars on the Confederate battle flag. West Virginia formed in 1863 after the western region of Virginia broke away to protest the Old Dominion's joining of the Confederacy, but residents of the new state were about evenly divided on supporting the Union or the Confederacy.WEB,weblink The Civil War in West Virginia,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink November 30, 2013, mdy-all,
The popular definition of the "South" is more informal and generally associated with the 11 states that seceded before or during the Civil War to form the Confederate States of America.In order of their secession, these were: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These states share commonalities of history and culture that carry on to the present day. Oklahoma was not a state during the Civil War, but all its major Native American tribes signed weblink" title="">formal treaties of alliance with the Confederacy.{{Citation needed|date=July 2013}}The South is a diverse meteorological region with numerous climatic zones, including temperate, sub-tropical, tropical, and arid—though the South generally has a reputation as hot and humid, with long summers and short, mild winters. Most of the south—except for the higher elevations and areas near the western, southern and some northern fringes—fall in the humid subtropical climate zone. Crops grow readily in the South; its climate consistently provides growing seasons of at least six months before the first frost. Another common environment occurs in the bayous and swamplands of the Gulf Coast, especially in Louisiana and in Texas.


Native American culture

The first well-dated evidence of human occupation in the south United States occurs around 9500 BC with the appearance of the earliest documented Americans, who are now referred to as Paleo-Indians.WEB,weblink Native american archeology and culture history, Prentice, Guy, February 11, 2008, Paleoindians were hunter-gathers that roamed in bands and frequently hunted megafauna. Several cultural stages, such as Archaic (ca. 8000–1000 BC) and the Woodland (ca. 1000 BC – AD 1000), preceded what the Europeans found at the end of the 15th century—the Mississippian culture.The Mississippian culture was a complex, mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Southeastern United States from approximately 800 AD to 1500 AD. Natives had elaborate and lengthy trading routes connecting their main residential and ceremonial centers extending through the river valleys and from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Some noted explorers who encountered and described the Mississippian culture, by then in decline, included Pánfilo de Narváez (1528), Hernando de Soto (1540), and Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1699).Native American descendants of the mound-builders include Alabama, Apalachee, Caddo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Guale, Hitchiti, Houma, and Seminole peoples, all of whom still reside in the South.Other peoples whose ancestral links to the Mississippian culture are less clear but were clearly in the region before the European incursion include the Catawba and the Powhatan.

European colonization

File:Benjamin Hawkins and the Creek Indians.jpg|thumb|left|Benjamin HawkinsBenjamin HawkinsEuropean immigration caused a die-off of Native Americans, whose immune systems could not protect them from the diseases the Europeans unwittingly introduced.Cook, Noble David. Born To Die, pp. 1–11.The predominant culture of the original Southern states was British. In the 17th century, most voluntary immigrants were of English origin, and settled chiefly along the eastern coast but had pushed as far inland as the Appalachian Mountains by the 18th century. The majority of early English settlers were indentured servants, who gained freedom after working off their passage. The wealthier men who paid their way received land grants known as headrights, to encourage settlement.WEB,weblink Indentured Servitude in Colonial America, Barker, Deanna, National Association for Interpretation's Cultural Interpretation and Living History Section,weblink October 24, 2009, yes, November 3, 2016, mdy-all, The Spanish and French established settlements in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. The Spanish settled Florida in the 16th century, reaching a peak in the late 17th century, but the population was small because the Spaniards were relatively uninterested in agriculture, and Florida had no mineral resources.In the British colonies, immigration began in 1607 and continued until the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775. Settlers cleared land, built houses and outbuildings, and on their own farms. The Southern rich owned large plantations that dominated export agriculture and used slaves. Many were involved in the labor-intensive cultivation of tobacco, the first cash crop of Virginia. Tobacco exhausted the soil quickly, requiring that farmers regularly clear new fields. They used old fields as pasture, and for crops such as corn wheat, or allowed them to grow into woodlots.BOOK, Isaac, Rhys, The Transformation of Virginia 1740–1790, 1982, University of North Carolina Press, 978-0-8078-4814-2, 22–23, In the mid-to-late-18th century, large groups of Ulster Scots (later called the Scotch-Irish) and people from the Anglo-Scottish border region immigrated and settled in the back country of Appalachia and the Piedmont. They were the largest group of non-English immigrants from the British Isles before the American Revolution.David Hackett Fischer, (Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America), New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 361–368 In the 1980 Census, 34% of Southerners reported that they were of English ancestry; English was the largest reported European ancestry in every Southern state by a large margin.The early colonists engaged in warfare, trade, and cultural exchanges. Those living in the backcountry were more likely to encounter Creek Indians, Cherokee, and Choctaws and other regional native groups.The oldest university in the South, the College of William & Mary, was founded in 1693 in Virginia; it pioneered in the teaching of political economy and educated future U.S. Presidents Jefferson, Monroe and Tyler, all from Virginia. Indeed, the entire region dominated politics in the First Party System era: for example, four of the first five Presidents—Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe—were from Virginia. The two oldest public universities are also in the South: the University of North Carolina (1789) and the University of Georgia (1785).

American Revolution

File:Battle of Guiliford Courthouse 15 March 1781.jpg|thumb|left|1st Maryland Regiment holding the line at the Battle of Guilford in North CarolinaNorth CarolinaWith Virginia in the lead, the Southern colonies embraced the American Revolution, providing such leaders as commander in chief George Washington, and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.In 1780 and 1781, the British largely halted reconquest of the northern states, and concentrated on the south, where they were told there was a large Loyalist population ready to leap to arms once the royal forces arrived. The British took control of Savannah and Charleston, capturing a large American army in the process, and set up a network of bases inland. There were many more Loyalists in the South than in the North,The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture, Volume 6 edited by Michael Vincent O'Shea, Ellsworth Decatur Foster, George Herbert Locke p. 4989 but they were concentrated in larger coastal cities and were not great enough in number to overcome the revolutionaries. Large numbers of loyalists from South Carolina fought for the British in the Battle of Camden. The British forces at the Battle of Monck's Corner and the Battle of Lenud's Ferry consisted entirely of Loyalists with the exception of the commanding officer (Banastre Tarleton).Wilson, David. The Southern Strategy. University of South Carolina Press. 2005. Both white and black Loyalists fought for the British at the Battle of Kemp's Landing in Virginia.Selby, John E; Higginbotham, Don (2007)Wilson, David K (2005). The Southern Strategy: Britain's conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775–1780. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. p. 9 Led by Nathanael Greene and other generals, the Americans engaged in Fabian tactics designed to wear down the British invasion force, and to neutralize its strong points one by one. There were numerous battles large and small, with each side claiming some victories. By 1781, however, British General Cornwallis moved north to Virginia, where an approaching army forced him to fortify and await rescue by the British Navy. The British Navy did arrive, but so did a stronger French fleet, and Cornwallis was trapped. American and French armies, led by Washington, forced Cornwallis to surrender his entire army in Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781, effectively winning the North American part of the war.Henry Lumpkin, From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South (2000)The Revolution provided a shock to slavery in the South. Thousands of slaves took advantage of wartime disruption to find their own freedom, catalyzed by the British Governor Dunmore of Virginia's promise of freedom for service. Many others were removed by Loyalist owners and became slaves elsewhere in the Empire. Between 1770 and 1790, there was a sharp decline in the percentage of blacks – from 61% percent to 44% in South Carolina and from 45% to 36% in Georgia.Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619–1877, (Hill and Wang, 1994), p. 73.In addition, some slaveholders were inspired to free their slaves after the Revolution. They were moved by the principles of the Revolution, and Quaker and Methodist preachers worked to encourage slaveholders to free their slaves. Planters such as George Washington often freed slaves by their wills. In the upper South, more than 10 percent of all blacks were free by 1810, a significant expansion from pre-war proportions of less than 1 percent free.Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619–1877, p. 81.

Antebellum years

File:SlaveDanceand Music.jpg|thumb|Slaves on a South Carolina plantation (The Old PlantationThe Old PlantationCotton became dominant in the lower South after 1800. After the invention of the cotton gin, short staple cotton could be grown more widely. This led to an explosion of cotton cultivation, especially in the frontier uplands of Georgia, Alabama and other parts of the Deep South, as well as riverfront areas of the Mississippi Delta. Migrants poured into those areas in the early decades of the 19th century, when county population figures rose and fell as swells of people kept moving west. The expansion of cotton cultivation required more slave labor, and the institution became even more deeply an integral part of the South's economy.WEB,weblink The Peculiar Institution of American Slavery, June 11, 2008, With the opening up of frontier lands after the government forced most Native Americans to move west of the Mississippi, there was a major migration of both whites and blacks to those territories. From the 1820s through the 1850s, more than one million enslaved Africans were transported to the Deep South in forced migration, two-thirds of them by slave traders and the others by masters who moved there. Planters in the Upper South sold slaves excess to their needs as they shifted from tobacco to mixed agriculture. Many enslaved families were broken up, as planters preferred mostly strong males for field work.Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 5, 215.Two major political issues that festered in the first half of the 19th century caused political alignment along sectional lines, strengthened the identities of North and South as distinct regions with certain strongly opposed interests, and fed the arguments over states' rights that culminated in secession and the Civil War. One of these issues concerned the protective tariffs enacted to assist the growth of the manufacturing sector, primarily in the North. In 1832, in resistance to federal legislation increasing tariffs, South Carolina passed an ordinance of nullification, a procedure in which a state would, in effect, repeal a Federal law. Soon a naval flotilla was sent to Charleston harbor, and the threat of landing ground troops was used to compel the collection of tariffs. A compromise was reached by which the tariffs would be gradually reduced, but the underlying argument over states' rights continued to escalate in the following decades.File:A Race Meeting at Jacksonville, Alabama by W.S. Hedges - BMA.jpg|thumb|Horse racing at Jacksonville, AlabamaJacksonville, AlabamaThe second issue concerned slavery, primarily the question of whether slavery would be permitted in newly admitted states. The issue was initially finessed by political compromises designed to balance the number of "free" and "slave" states. The issue resurfaced in more virulent form, however, around the time of the Mexican–American War, which raised the stakes by adding new territories primarily on the Southern side of the imaginary geographic divide. Congress opposed allowing slavery in these territories.Before the Civil War, the number of immigrants arriving at Southern ports began to increase, although the North continued to receive the most immigrants. Hugenots were among the first settlers in Charleston, along with the largest number of Orthodox Jews outside of New York City.{{Citation needed|date=July 2011}} Numerous Irish immigrants settled in New Orleans, establishing a distinct ethnic enclave now known as the Irish Channel. Germans also went to New Orleans and its environs, resulting in a large area north of the city (along the Mississippi) becoming known as the German Coast. Still greater numbers immigrated to Texas (especially after 1848), where many bought land and were farmers. Many more German immigrants arrived in Texas after the Civil War, where they created the brewing industry in Houston and elsewhere, became grocers in numerous cities, and also established wide areas of farming.By 1840, New Orleans was the wealthiest city in the country and the third largest in population. The success of the city was based on the growth of international trade associated with products being shipped to and from the interior of the country down the Mississippi River. New Orleans also had the largest slave market in the country, as traders brought slaves by ship and overland to sell to planters across the Deep South. The city was a cosmopolitan port with a variety of jobs that attracted more immigrants than other areas of the South.Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave , Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 2–7 Because of lack of investment, however, construction of railroads to span the region lagged behind the North. People relied most heavily on river traffic for getting their crops to market and for transportation.

Civil War

File:Southern United States Civil War map.png|thumb|left|alt=map of United States with southeastern states highlighted in shades of red|Historic Southern United States. The states in stripes were considered "border states", and gave varying degrees of support to the Southern cause although they remained in the Union. This illustration depicts the original, trans-Allegheny borders of Virginia, thus does not show West Virginia separately. Although members of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory (today part of Oklahoma) aligned themselves with the Confederacy, the region is not shaded because at the time it was a territory, not a state.]]By 1856, the South had lost control of Congress, and was no longer able to silence calls for an end to slavery—which came mostly from the more populated, free states of the North. The Republican Party, founded in 1854, pledged to stop the spread of slavery beyond those states where it already existed. After Abraham Lincoln was elected the first Republican president in 1860, seven cotton states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America before Lincoln was inaugurated. The United States government, both outgoing and incoming, refused to recognize the Confederacy, and when the new Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered his troops to open fire on Fort Sumter in April 1861, there was an overwhelming demand, North and South, for war. Only the state of Kentucky attempted to remain neutral, and it could only do so briefly. When Lincoln called for troops to suppress what he referred to as "combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary" judicial or martial means,WEB,weblink Commentary: Lincoln's Proclamation, September 30, 2014, yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 6, 2014, mdy-all, four more states decided to secede and join the Confederacy (which then moved its capital to Richmond, Virginia). Although the Confederacy had large supplies of captured munitions and many volunteers, it was slower than the Union in dealing with the border states. By March 1862, the Union largely controlled Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, had shut down all commercial traffic from all Confederate ports, had prevented European recognition of the Confederate government, and was poised to seize New Orleans.(File:EwellsDeadSpotsylvania1864crop01.jpg|thumb|Confederate dead of General Ewell's Corps who attacked the Union lines at the Battle of Spotsylvania, May 19, 1864.)In the four years of war 1861–65 the South was the primary battleground, with all but two of the major battles taking place on Southern soil. Union forces relentlessly squeezed the Confederacy, controlling the border states in 1861, the Tennessee River, the Cumberland River and New Orleans in 1862, and the Mississippi River in 1863. In the East, however, the Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee beat off attack after attack in its defense of their capital at Richmond. But when Lee tried to move north, he was repulsed (and nearly captured) at Sharpsburg (1862) and Gettysburg (1863).The Confederacy had the resources for a short war, but was unable to finance or supply a longer war. It reversed the traditional low-tariff policy of the South by imposing a new 15% tax on all imports from the Union. The Union blockade stopped most commerce from entering the South, and smugglers avoided the tax, so the Confederate tariff produced too little revenue to finance the war. Inflated currency was the solution, but that created distrust of the Richmond government. Because of low investment in railroads, the Southern transportation system depended primarily on river and coastal traffic by boat; both were shut down by the Union Navy. The small railroad system virtually collapsed, so that by 1864 internal travel was so difficult that the Confederate economy was crippled.The Confederate cause was hopeless by the time Atlanta fell and William T. Sherman marched through Georgia in late 1864, but the rebels fought on, refusing to give up their independence until Lee's army surrendered in April 1865. All the Confederate forces surrendered, and the region moved into the Reconstruction Era.The South suffered much more than the North overall, as the Union strategy of attrition warfare meant that Lee could not replace his casualties, and the total war waged by Sherman, Sheridan and other Union armies devastated the infrastructure and caused widespread poverty and distress. The Confederacy suffered military losses of 95,000 men killed in action and 165,000 who died of disease, for a total of 260,000,WEB,weblink Nineteenth Century Death Tolls: American Civil War, August 22, 2006, out of a total white Southern population at the time of around 5.5 million.WEB,weblink American Civil War, Those Confederate States, 2007-07-30, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink September 28, 2006, Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and about 18% in the South."Toward a social history of the American Civil War: exploratory essays {{webarchive|url= |date=November 6, 2011 }}". Maris Vinovskis (1990). Cambridge University Press. p. 7. Northern military casualties exceeded Southern casualties in absolute numbers, but were two-thirds smaller in terms of proportion of the population affected.

Reconstruction and Jim Crow

File:A Home on the Mississippi.png|thumb|A Home on the Mississippi, Currier and IvesCurrier and IvesAfter the Civil War, the South was devastated in terms of population, infrastructure and economy. Because of states' reluctance to grant voting rights to freedmen, Congress instituted Reconstruction governments. It established military districts and governors to rule over the South until new governments could be established. Many white Southerners who had actively supported the Confederacy were temporarily disenfranchised. Rebuilding was difficult as people grappled with the effects of a new labor economy of a free market in the midst of a widespread agricultural depression. In addition, what limited infrastructure the South had was mostly destroyed by the war. At the same time, the North was rapidly industrializing. To avoid the social effects of the war, most of the Southern states initially passed black codes. Eventually, these were mostly legally nullified by federal law and anti-Confederate legislatures, which existed for a short time during Reconstruction.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, September 10, 2006, Chapter 3: An Easy Adjustment to the Post War Nation: Pensacola Between 1865 and 1870, December 4, 2010,, There were thousands of people on the move, as African Americans tried to reunite families separated by slaves sales, and sometimes migrated for better opportunities in towns or other states. Other freed people moved from plantation areas to cities or towns for a chance to get different jobs. At the same time, whites returned from refuges to reclaim plantations or town dwellings. In some areas, many whites returned to the land to farm for a while. Some freedpeople left the South altogether for states such as Ohio and Indiana, and later, Kansas. Thousands of others joined the migration to new opportunities in the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta bottomlands and Texas.With passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (which outlawed slavery), the 14th Amendment (which granted full U.S. citizenship to African Americans) and the 15th amendment (which extended the right to vote to African American males), African Americans in the South were made free citizens and were given the right to vote. Under Federal protection, white and black Republicans formed constitutional conventions and state governments. Among their accomplishments were creating the first public education systems in Southern states, and providing for welfare through orphanages, hospitals and similar institutions.Northerners came south to participate in politics and business. Some were representatives of the Freedmen's Bureau and other agencies of Reconstruction; some were humanitarians with the intent to help black people. Some were adventurers who hoped to benefit themselves by questionable methods. They were all condemned with the pejorative term of carpetbagger. Some Southerners also took advantage of the disrupted environment and made money off various schemes, including bonds and financing for railroads.Richard Nelson Current, Those Terrible Carpetbaggers: A Reinterpretation (1989)Secret vigilante organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan—an organization sworn to perpetuate white supremacy—had arisen quickly after the war's end and used lynching, physical attacks, house burnings and other forms of intimidation to keep African Americans from exercising their political rights. Although the first Klan was disrupted by prosecution by the Federal government in the early 1870s, other groups persisted. By the mid-to-late-1870s, elite Southerners created increasing resistance to the altered social structure. Paramilitary organizations such as the White League in Louisiana (1874), the Red Shirts in Mississippi (1875) and rifle clubs, all "White Line" organizations, used organized violence against Republicans, both black and white, to remove Republicans from political office, repress and bar black voting, and restore the Democratic Party to power.Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2002, pp. 70–75 In 1876 white Democrats regained power in most of the state legislatures. They began to pass laws designed to strip African Americans and poor whites from the voter registration rolls. The success of late-19th century interracial coalitions in several states inspired a reaction among some white Democrats, who worked harder to prevent both groups from voting.Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, Vol.17, 2000, p. 27 {{webarchive |url= |date=April 28, 2016 }}, accessed March 10, 2008Despite discrimination, many blacks became property owners in areas that were still developing. For instance, 90% of the Mississippi's bottomlands were still frontier and undeveloped after the war. By the end of the century, two-thirds of the farmers in Mississippi's Delta bottomlands were black. They had cleared the land themselves and often made money in early years by selling off timber. Tens of thousands of migrants went to the Delta, both to work as laborers to clear timber for lumber companies, and many to develop their own farms.John Solomon Otto, The Final Frontiers, 1880–1930: Settling the Southern Bottomlands, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999 Nonetheless, the long agricultural depression, along with disenfranchisement and lack of access to credit, led to many blacks in the Delta losing their property by 1910 and becoming sharecroppers or landless workers over the following decade. More than two generations of free African Americans lost their stake in property.John C. Willis, Forgotten Time: The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta after the Civil War, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2000.File:10 year old Jimmie. Been shucking 3 years. 6 pots a day, and a 11 year old boy who shucks 7 pots.jpg|thumb|left|Child laborers, Bluffton, South CarolinaBluffton, South CarolinaNearly all Southerners, black and white, suffered as a result of the Civil War. Within a few years cotton production and harvest was back to pre-war levels, but low prices through much of the 19th century hampered recovery. They encouraged immigration by Chinese and Italian laborers into the Mississippi Delta. While the first Chinese entered as indentured laborers from Cuba, the majority came in the early 20th century. Neither group stayed long at rural farm labor."Italians in Mississippi", Mississippi History Now {{webarchive |url= |date=October 26, 2016 }}, accessed November 28, 2007 The Chinese became merchants and established stores in small towns throughout the Delta, establishing a place between white and black.WEB,weblink Vivian Wong, "Somewhere Between White and Black: The Chinese in Mississippi", Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, 2007-10-08, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink October 24, 2005, , accessed November 15, 2007Migrations continued in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among both blacks and whites. In the last two decades of the 19th century about 141,000 blacks left the South, and more after 1900, totaling a loss of 537,000. After that the movement increased in what became known as the Great Migration from 1910 to 1940, and the Second Great Migration through 1970. Even more whites left the South, some going to California for opportunities and others heading to Northern industrial cities after 1900. Between 1880 and 1910, the loss of whites totaled 1,243,000.Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; 15th Anniversary Edition (pbk), 2007, p. 24 Five million more left between 1940 and 1970.From 1890 to 1908, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, along with Oklahoma upon statehood, passed disfranchising constitutions or amendments that introduced voter registration barriers—such as poll taxes, residency requirements and literacy tests—that were hard for many poor to meet. Most African Americans, most Mexican Americans, and tens of thousands of poor whites were disfranchised, losing the vote for decades. In some states, grandfather clauses temporarily exempted white illiterates from literacy tests. The numbers of voters dropped drastically throughout the former Confederacy as a result. This can be seen via the feature "Turnout in Presidential and Midterm Elections" at the University of Texas’ Politics: Barriers to Voting. Alabama, which had established universal white suffrage in 1819 when it became a state, also substantially reduced voting by poor whites.Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 17, 2000, pp. 12–13 {{webarchive |url= |date=April 28, 2016 }}, accessed March 10, 2008Glenn Feldman, The Disfranchisement Myth: Poor Whites and Suffrage Restriction in Alabama, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004 Democrat-controlled legislatures passed Jim Crow laws to segregate public facilities and services, including transportation.While African Americans, poor whites and civil rights groups started litigation against such provisions in the early 20th century, for decades Supreme Court decisions overturning such provisions were rapidly followed by new state laws with new devices to restrict voting. Most blacks in the former Confederacy and Oklahoma could not vote until 1965, after passage of the Voting Rights Act and Federal enforcement to ensure people could register. Despite increases in the eligible voting population with the inclusion of women, blacks, and those eighteen and over throughout this period, turnout in ex-Confederate states remained below the national average throughout the 20th century.BOOK, Springer, Melanie, How the States Shaped the Nation, 2014, The University of Chicago Press, The University of Chicago, 145, Not until the late 1960s did all American citizens regain protected civil rights by passage of legislation following the leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Late 19th and 20th century—industrialization and Great Migration

(File:CottonpickHoustonWhere17.png|thumb|An illustrated depiction of black people picking cotton, 1913)At the end of the 19th century, white Democrats in the South had created state constitutions that were hostile to industry and business development, with anti-industrial laws extensive from the time new constitutions were adopted in the 1890s.Busbee, Wesley F.; Mississippi: A History; p. 185 {{ISBN|0882952277}} Banking was limited,{{how|date=December 2016}} as was access to credit. States persisted in agricultural economies.{{Citation needed|reason=maybe needs clarification. This sounds as though it were a perverse choice. Most farmers are afraid to make the transition from a lifestyle spanning centuries|date=February 2011}} Especially in Alabama and Florida, rural minorities held control in many state legislatures long after population had shifted to industrializing cities, and legislators resisted business and modernizing interests: Alabama refused to redistrict between 1901 and 1972, long after major population and economic shifts to cities. For decades Birmingham generated the majority of revenue for the state, for instance, but received little back in services or infrastructure.WEB,weblink Dr. Michael McDonald, US Elections Project: Alabama Redistricting Summary, George Mason University, 2017-03-11, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 6, 2005, , accessed April 6, 2008In the late 19th century, Texas rapidly expanded its railroad network, creating a network of cities connected on a radial plan and linked to the port of Galveston. It was the first state{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}in which urban and economic development proceeded independently of rivers, the primary transportation network of the past. A reflection of increasing industry were strikes and labor unrest: "in 1885 Texas ranked ninth among forty states in number of workers involved in strikes (4,000); for the six-year period it ranked fifteenth. Seventy-five of the one hundred strikes, chiefly interstate strikes of telegraphers and railway workers, occurred in the year 1886.""Strikes", Texas Handbook On-Line {{webarchive |url= |date=May 27, 2016 }}, accessed April 6, 2008By 1890 Dallas became the largest city in Texas, and by 1900 it had a population of more than 42,000, which more than doubled to over 92,000 a decade later. Dallas was the harnessmaking capital of the world and a center of other manufacturing. As an example of its ambitions, in 1907 Dallas built the Praetorian Building, fifteen storeys tall and the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi, soon to be followed by other skyscrapers.Jackie McElhaney and Michael V. Hazel, "Dallas", Handbook of Texas Online {{webarchive |url= |date=October 29, 2016 }}, accessed April 6, 2008 Texas was transformed by a railroad network linking five important cities, among them Houston with its nearby port at Galveston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and El Paso. Each exceeded fifty thousand in population by 1920, with the major cities having three times that population.David G. McComb, "Urbanization", Handbook of Texas Online {{webarchive |url= |date=April 3, 2016 }}, accessed April 6, 2008Business interests were ignored by the Southern Democrat ruling class. Nonetheless, major new industries started developing in cities such as Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; and Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, Texas. Growth began occurring at a geometric rate. Birmingham became a major steel producer and mining town, with major population growth in the early decades of the 20th century.The first major oil well in the South was drilled at Spindletop near Beaumont, Texas, on the morning of January 10, 1901. Other oil fields were later discovered nearby in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and under the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting "Oil Boom" permanently transformed the economy of the West South Central states and produced the most significant economic expansion after the Civil War.In the early 20th century, invasion of the boll weevil devastated cotton crops in the South, producing an additional catalyst to African Americans' decisions to leave the South. From 1910 to 1970, more than 6.5 million African Americans left the South in the Great Migration to Northern and Western cities, defecting from persistent lynching, violence, segregation, poor education, and inability to vote. Black migration transformed many Northern and Western cities, creating new cultures and music. Many African Americans, like other groups, became industrial workers; others started their own businesses within the communities. Southern whites also migrated to industrial cities like Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, and Los Angeles, where they took jobs in the booming new auto and defense industry.File:Farm Security Administration sharecropper photo of Mrs. Handley and some of her children in Walker County, Alabama. - NARA - 195926.tif|thumb|Photo of sharecroppersharecropperLater, the Southern economy was dealt additional blows by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the economy suffered significant reversals and millions were left unemployed. Beginning in 1934 and lasting until 1939, an ecological disaster of severe wind and drought caused an exodus from Texas and Arkansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle region, and the surrounding plains, in which over 500,000 Americans were homeless, hungry and jobless.WEB,weblink First Measured Century: Interview: James Gregory, August 22, 2006, Thousands left the region forever to seek economic opportunities along the West Coast.President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted the South as the "number one priority" in terms of need of assistance during the Great Depression. His administration created programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933 to provide rural electrification and stimulate development. Locked into low-productivity agriculture, the region's growth was slowed by limited industrial development, low levels of entrepreneurship, and the lack of capital investment.World War II marked a time of change in the South as new industries and military bases were developed by the Federal government, providing badly needed capital and infrastructure in many regions. People from all parts of the US came to the South for military training and work in the region's many bases and new industries. Farming shifted from cotton and tobacco to include soybeans, corn, and other foods.Industrial growth increased in the 1960s and greatly accelerated into the 1980s and 1990s. Several large urban areas in Texas, Georgia, and Florida grew to over four million people. Rapid expansion in industries such as autos, telecommunications, textiles, technology, banking, and aviation gave some states in the South an industrial strength to rival large states elsewhere in the country. By the 2000 census, the South (along with the West) was leading the nation in population growth. With this growth, however, has come long commute times and air pollution problems in cities such as Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, and others that rely on sprawling development and highway networks.

Modern economy

In the late 20th century, the South changed dramatically. It saw a boom in its service economy, manufacturing base, high technology industries, and the financial sector. Texas in particular witnessed dramatic growth and population change with the dominance of the energy industry and tourism such as the Alamo Mission in San Antonio. Tourism in Florida and along the Gulf Coast also grew steadily throughout the last decades of the 20th century.Numerous new automobile production plants have opened in the region, or are soon to open, such as Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama; the BMW production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Toyota plants in Georgetown, Kentucky, Blue Springs, Mississippi and San Antonio; the GM manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee; a Honda factory in Lincoln, Alabama; the Nissan North American headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee and factories in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi; a Kia factory in West Point, Georgia; and the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee.The two largest research parks in the country are located in the South: Research Triangle Park in North Carolina (the world's largest) and the Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama (the world's fourth largest).In medicine, the Texas Medical Center in Houston has achieved international recognition in education, research, and patient care, especially in the fields of heart disease, cancer, and rehabilitation. In 1994 the Texas Medical Center was the largest medical center in the world including fourteen hospitals, two medical schools, four colleges of nursing, and six university systems.WEB,weblink Texas Medical Center,, 2010-06-15, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is consistently ranked the #1 cancer research and treatment center in the United States.WEB,weblink U.S. News Best Hospitals: Cancer,, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 6, 2012, Many major banking corporations have headquarters in the region. Bank of America is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Wachovia was headquartered there before its purchase by Wells Fargo. Regions Financial Corporation is in Birmingham, as is AmSouth Bancorporation, and BBVA Compass. SunTrust Banks is located in Atlanta as is the district headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. BB&T is headquartered in Winston-Salem.Many corporations are headquartered in Atlanta and its surrounding area, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, and The Home Depot, and also to many cable television networks, such as the Turner Broadcasting System (CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner South, Cartoon Network), and The Weather Channel. In recent years some southern states, most notably Texas, have lured companies with lower tax burdens and lower cost of living for their workforce. Today, the states with the most Fortune 500 companies include California, New York, and Texas; closely mirroring the economic and population resources of those states.WEB,weblink Chart: States With The Most Fortune 500 Companies, September 30, 2014, 2013-09-10, This economic expansion has enabled parts of the South to report some of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, September 28, 2007, State jobless rate below US average, The Decatur Daily, August 19, 2005, February 12, 2007, But in the U.S. top ten of poorest big cities, the South is represented in the rankings by two cities: Miami, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee.Milwaukee now fourth poorest city in nation{{dead link|date=November 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} JSOnline, September 28, 2010 In 2011, nine out of ten poorest states were in the South.America's Poorest States {{webarchive |url= |date=May 21, 2013 }}, 24/7 Wall St


Southern public schools in the past ranked in the lower half of some national surveys.NEWS, Matus, Ron,weblink Schools still rank near the bottom, St. Petersburg Times, March 6, 2005, September 5, 2007, When allowance for race is considered, a 2007 US Government list of test scores often shows white fourth and eighth graders performing better than average for reading and math; while black fourth and eighth graders also performed better than average.US Department of Education {{webarchive |url= |date=August 25, 2009 }} retrieved June 14, 2008 This comparison does not hold across the board. Mississippi scores lower than average no matter how the statistics are compared. Newer data suggests that education in the South is on par with the nation, with 72% of high schoolers graduating compared to 73% nationwide.NEWS,weblink Graduation Rates Rise in South, Study Finds, Education Week, October 14, 2009, January 12, 2013,


File:Maynardville-musicians-tn1.jpg|thumb|Street musicians in Maynardville, TennesseeMaynardville, TennesseeSeveral Southern states (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) were British colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the government along with the Northern colonies during the Revolutionary War. The basis for much Southern culture derives from the pride in these states being among the 13 original colonies, and from the fact that much of the population of the South has strong ancestral links to Colonists who emigrated west. Southern manners and customs reflect the relationship with England and Africa that was held by the early population, with some influences being provided by the Native American populations of the area.WEB, Bethune, Lawrence E, Scots to Colonial North Carolina before 1775, Lawrence E. Bethune's M.U.S.I.C.s Project,weblink Overall, the South has had lower percentages of high school graduates, lower housing values, lower household incomes, and lower cost of living than the rest of the United States.JOURNAL, Christopher A., Cooper, H. Gibbs, Knotts, Defining Dixie: A State-Level Measure of the Modern Political South, American Review of Politics, 25, 2004, 25–39, These factors, combined with the fact that Southerners have continued to maintain strong loyalty to family ties, has led some sociologists to label white Southerners an ethnic or quasi-ethnic group,BOOK, John Shelton, Reed, One South: An Ethnic Approach to Regional Culture, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1982, 3, 978-0-8071-1003-4,weblink JOURNAL, Southerner and Irish? Regional and Ethnic Consciousness in Savannah, Georgia, William L., Smith, Southern Rural Sociology, 24, 1, 223–239, 2009,weblink though this interpretation has been subject to criticism on the grounds that proponents of the view do not satisfactorily indicate how Southerners meet the criteria of ethnicity.JOURNAL, Ethnicity and ethnic groups in America: the view from Harvard, M. G., Smith, 1982, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 5, 1, 1–22, 10.1080/01419870.1982.9993357,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 21, 2015, mdy-all, The predominant culture of the South has its origins with the settlement of the region by large groups of Northern English, Scots lowlanders and Ulster-Scots (later called the Scotch-Irish) who settled in Appalachia and the Piedmont in the 18th century, and from parts of southern England such as East Anglia, Kent and the West Country in the 17th century,David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 633–639 and the many African slaves who were part of the Southern economy. African-American descendants of the slaves brought into the South compose the United States' second-largest racial minority, accounting for 12.1 percent of the total population according to the 2000 census. Despite Jim Crow era outflow to the North, the majority of the black population remains concentrated in the Southern states, and has heavily contributed to the cultural blend (Christianity, foods, art, music (see spiritual, blues, jazz and rock and roll)) that characterize Southern culture today.In previous censuses, the largest ancestry group identified by Southerners was English or mostly English,WEB,weblink PDF, Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980 – Table 3,, WEB,weblink PDF, Table 3a. ''Persons Who Reported a Single Ancestry Group for Regions, Divisions and States: 1980,, WEB,weblink PDF, Table 1. Type of Ancestry Response for Regions, Divisions and States: 1980,, with 19,618,370 self-reporting "English" as an ancestry on the 1980 census, followed by 12,709,872 listing "Irish" and 11,054,127 "Afro-American". Almost a third of all Americans who claim English ancestry can be found in the American South, and over a quarter of all Southerners claim English descent as well.Wilson, Charles Reagan. Ferris, William R. Encyclopedia of Southern culture, p. 556 The South also continues to have the highest percentage of African Americans in the country, due to the history of slavery.


The South has had a majority of its population adhering to evangelical Protestantism ever since the Second Great Awakening,Christine Leigh Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (1998) although the upper classes often stayed Anglican/Episcopalian or Presbyterian. The First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening from about 1742 about 1850 generated large numbers of Methodists and Baptists, which remain the two main Christian confessions in the South.Donald G. Mathews, Religion in the Old South (1979) By 1900, the Southern Baptist Convention had become the largest Protestant denomination in the whole United States with its membership concentrated in rural areas of the South.Edward L. Queen, In the South the Baptists Are the Center of Gravity: Southern Baptists and Social Change, 1930–1980 (1991)WEB,weblink Baptists as a Percentage of all Residents, 2000, Department of Geography and Meteorology, Valparaiso University, yes,weblink" title="">weblink May 22, 2010, Baptists are the most common religious group, followed by Methodists, Pentecostals and other denominations. Roman Catholics historically were concentrated in Maryland, Louisiana, and Hispanic areas such as South Texas and South Florida and along the Gulf Coast. The great majority of black Southerners are either Baptist or Methodist.Samuel S. Hill, Charles H. Lippy, and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. Encyclopedia of Religion in the South (2005) Statistics show that Southern states have the highest religious attendance figures of any region in the United States, constituting the so-called Bible Belt.WEB,weblink The most and least religious states in the US – Mississippi comes out top, Vermont is bottom – Christian News on Christian Today,, Pentecostalism has been strong across the South since the late 19th century.Blanton, Anderson, Hittin' the Prayer Bones: Materiality of Spirit in the Pentecostal South. (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)


American football

File:2010 BCS Champ.jpg|thumb|Alabama plays Texas in American football for the 2010 BCS National Championship GameBCS National Championship GameAmerican football, especially at the college and high school level, is by far the most popular team sport in most areas of the Southern United States.The region is home to numerous decorated and historic college football programs, particularly in the Southeastern Conference (known as the "SEC"), Atlantic Coast Conference (known as the "ACC"), and the Big 12 Conference. The SEC, consisting entirely of teams based in Southern states, is widely considered to be the strongest league in contemporary college football and includes the Alabama Crimson Tide, the program with the most national championships in the sport's history. The sport is also highly competitive and has a spectator following at the high school level, particularly in rural areas where high school football games often serve as prominent community gatherings.Though not as popular on a wider basis as the collegiate game, professional football also has a growing tradition in the Southern United States. Before league expansion began in the 1960s, the only established professional team based in the South was the Washington Redskins, who still retain a large following in most of Virginia, and parts of Maryland.WEB,weblink Here Is Every U.S. County's Favorite Football Team (According to Facebook), Robinson, Meyer, September 5, 2014, The Atlantic, Later on, the merger-era National Football League began to expand into the football-crazed Deep South in the 1960s with franchises like the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, Miami Dolphins, and most prominently the Dallas Cowboys, who overtook Washington as the region's most popular team and eventually became widely considered the most popular team in the United States. In later decades, NFL expansion into Southern states continued, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers added to the league, while the Houston Oilers were replaced by the Houston Texans after the Oilers relocated to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans.{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: center;"
Alabama Crimson Tide football>Alabama Crimson Tide Football NCAA (SEC) 101,562
LSU Tigers football>LSU Tigers Football NCAA (SEC) 100,819
Texas A&M Aggies football>Texas A&M Aggies American football >Division I (NCAA)>NCAA (Southeastern Conference) >| 99,844
Texas Longhorns football>Texas Longhorns Football NCAA (Big 12 Conference) >| 97,713
Tennessee Volunteers football>Tennessee Volunteers Football NCAA (SEC) 92,984
Georgia Bulldogs football>Georgia Bulldogs Football NCAA (SEC) 92,746
Oklahoma Sooners football>Oklahoma Sooners Football NCAA (Big 12) 86,735
Auburn Tigers football>Auburn Tigers Football NCAA (SEC) 84,462
Florida Gators football>Florida Gators Football NCAA (SEC) 82,328
Clemson Tigers football>Clemson Tigers Football NCAA (ACC) 80,400
South Carolina Gamecocks football>South Carolina Gamecocks Football NCAA (SEC) 73,628
Florida State Seminoles football>Florida State Seminoles Football NCAA (Atlantic Coast Conference) >| 68,288
Miami Hurricanes football>Miami Hurricanes Football NCAA (ACC) 61,469
Arkansas Razorbacks football>Arkansas Razorbacks Football NCAA (SEC) 59,884
Virginia Tech Hokies football>Virginia Tech Hokies Football NCAA (ACC) 59,574
West Virginia Mountaineers football>West Virginia Mountaineers Football NCAA (Big 12) 58,158
Mississippi State Bulldogs football>Mississippi State Bulldogs Football NCAA (SEC) 58,057
Kentucky Wildcats football>Kentucky Wildcats Football NCAA (SEC) 57,572
NC State Wolfpack football>NC State Wolfpack Football NCAA (ACC) 56,855
Texas Tech Red Raiders football>Texas Tech Red Raiders Football NCAA (Big 12) 56,034
Ole Miss Rebels football>Ole Miss Rebels Football NCAA (SEC) 55,685


File:Lone Star Series, Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, 2013.jpg|thumb|Houston vs Texas face-off during the Lone Star Series in the American League West division of Major League BaseballMajor League BaseballBaseball has been played in the Southern United States since at least the years leading up to the American Civil War. It was traditionally more popular than American football until the 1980s, and still accounts for the largest annual attendance amongst sports played in the South. The first mention of a baseball team in Houston was on April 11, 1861.BOOK,weblink Houston: A History and Guide, The Anson Jones Press, 1942, American Guide Series, Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration on the State of Texas, 215, 87890145, 2507140M, NEWS, Base Ball Club,weblink The Weekly Telegraph, April 16, 1861, December 10, 2012, 19th century and early 20th century games were common, especially once the professional leagues such as the Texas League, the Dixie League, and the Southern League were organized.The short-lived Louisville Colonels were a part of the early National League and American Association, but ceased to exist in 1899. The first Southern Major League Baseball team after the Colonels appeared in 1962 when the Houston Colt .45s (known today as the Houston Astros) were enfranchised. Later, the Atlanta Braves came in 1966, followed by the Texas Rangers in 1972, and finally the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays in the 1990s.College baseball appears to be more well attended in the Southern U.S. than elsewhere, as teams like Florida State, Arkansas, LSU, Virginia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Texas are commonly at the top of the NCAA's attendance.WEB,weblink 2014 Division I Baseball Attendance, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Cutler, Tami, March 31, 2014, January 20, 2015, The South generally produces very successful collegiate baseball teams as well, with Virginia, Vanderbilt, LSU, and South Carolina winning recent College World Series Titles.The following is a list of best-attended baseball teams in the Southern U.S.:{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: center;"! Rank !! Team !! League !! 2018 overallannual attendanceWEB,weblink MLB Attendance, ESPN, January 19, 2015, Houston Astros >| 2,980,549 Atlanta Braves >National League >| 2,555,781Washington Nationals >National League >| 2,529,604Texas Rangers (baseball)>Texas Rangers American League 2,107,107Baltimore Orioles >| 1,564,192Tampa Bay Rays >| 1,154,973Miami Marlins >| 811,104

Auto racing

File:Green flag at Daytona.JPG|thumb|right|The start of the 2015 Daytona 500, the biggest race in NASCAR, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FloridaDaytona Beach, FloridaThe Southern states are commonly associated with stock car racing and its most prominent competition NASCAR, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The sport was developed in the Deep South in the early 20th century, with stock car racing's historic mecca being Daytona Beach, Florida, where cars initially raced on the wide, flat beachfront before the construction of Daytona International Speedway. Though the sport has attained a following throughout the United States, a majority of NASCAR races continue to take place at Southern tracks.


Basketball is very popular throughout the Southern United States as both a recreational and spectator sport, particularly in the states of North Carolina and Kentucky which are home to several historically prominent college basketball programs. Prominent NBA teams based in the South include the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Miami Heat.


Golf is a popular recreational sport in most areas of the South, with the region's warm climate allowing it to host many professional tournaments and numerous destination golf resorts, particularly in the state of Florida. The region is home to The Masters, an elite invitational competition played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, which has become one of the professional game's most important tournaments.


In recent decades association football, known in the South as in the rest of the United States as "soccer", has become a popular sport at youth and collegiate levels throughout the region. The game has been historically widespread at the college level in the Atlantic coast states of Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, which contain many of the nation's most successful college soccer programs.The establishment of Major League Soccer has led to professional soccer clubs in the Southern cities including FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, San Antonio FC, Orlando City, and Atlanta United. The current United States second division soccer league, the USL Championship, was initially geographically based in the coastal Southeast around clubs in Charleston, Richmond, Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh, Virginia Beach, and Atlanta.The Southern region is home to numerous professional sports franchises in the "Big Four" leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB), with more than 100 championships collectively among them.


Nine Southern states have obesity rates exceeding thirty percent of the population, the highest in the country: Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Texas.NEWS, Adult Obesity Facts, August 13, 2012, Overweight and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rates for hypertension and diabetes for these states are also the highest in the nation.NEWS, Joel Banner, Baird, Study: Vermont among least obese states,weblink The Burlington Free Press, Burlington, VT, 1A, 4A, June 30, 2010, May 12, 2013, A study reported that six Southern states have the worst incidence of sleep disturbances in the nation, attributing the disturbances to high rates of obesity and smoking.WEB,weblink The Six Worst States for Sleep,, June 29, 2016, The South has a higher percentage of obese peopleRachel Pomerance, "Most and Least Obese U.S. States", U.S. News & World Report, August 16, 2012. and diabetics."Diabetes Most Prevalent In Southern United States, Study Finds", Science Daily, September 25, 2009 It has the largest number of people dying from stroke."Southern Diet Might Explain the 'stroke Belt'", HealthDay, February 7, 2013 and the highest rates of cognitive decline.Rick Nauert, "U.S. South Has Higher Risk of Cognitive Decline", Psych Central, May 27, 2011 Life expectancy is lower and death rates are higher in the South than in other regions of the United States for all racial groups.JOURNAL, Geographic and Racial Variation in Premature Mortality in the U.S.: Analyzing the Disparities, PLOS ONE, 7, 4, e32930, 10.1371/journal.pone.0032930, 22529892, 3328498, 2012, Cullen, Mark R., Cummins, Clint, Fuchs, Victor R., WEB,weblink Death in the United States, CDC, This disparity reflects substantial divergence between the South and other regions since the middle of the 20th century.JOURNAL, Fenelon, A., Geographic Divergence in Mortality in the United States, 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00630.x, Population and Development Review, 39, 4, 611–634, 2013, 25067863, 4109895, The East South Central Census Division of the United States (made up of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama) had the highest rate of inpatient hospital stays in 2012. The other divisions, West South Central (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) and South Atlantic (West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida) ranked seventh and fifth, respectively.WEB, Wiess, AJ and Elixhauser A, Overview of Hospital Utilization, 2012, HCUP Statistical Brief #180, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, October 2014,weblink The South had a significantly higher rate of hospital discharges in 2005 than other regions of the United States, but the rate had declined to be closer to the overall national rate by 2011.WEB, Torio CM, Andrews RM, Geographic Variation in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Acute and Chronic Conditions, 2005–2011, HCUP Statistical Brief #178, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD, September 2014,weblink For cancer in a region, the South, particularly an axis from West Virginia through Texas, leads the nation in adult obesity, adult smoking, low exercise, low fruit consumption, low vegetable consumption, all known cancer risk factors,Matt Stiles, "The State of the Cancer Nation", NPR, April 17, 2015. which matches a similar high risk axis in "All Cancers Combined, Death Rates by State, 2011" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.2nd map in "Cancer Prevention and Control, Cancer Rates by State", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 25, 2014.


File:Confederate Rebel Flag.svg|thumb|While this Confederate Flag pattern is the one most often thought of as the Confederate Flag today, it was actually just one of many used by the Confederate armed forces. Variations of this design served as the Battle Flag of the Armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee, and as the Confederate Naval Jack, albeit with different shades.]](File:Little Rock integration protest.jpg|thumb|A rally against school integration in 1959.)In the first decades after Reconstruction, when white Democrats regained power in the state legislatures, they began to make voter registration more complicated, to reduce black voting. With a combination of intimidation, fraud and violence by paramilitary groups, they suppressed black voting and turned Republicans out of office. From 1890 to 1908, ten of eleven states ratified new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most black voters and many poor white voters. This disfranchisement persisted for six decades into the 20th century, depriving blacks and poor whites of all political representation. Because they could not vote, they could not sit on juries. They had no one to represent their interests, resulting in state legislatures consistently underfunding programs and services, such as schools, for blacks and poor whites.Michael Perman, Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South (2009)With the collapse of the Republican Party in nearly all parts of the South, the region became known as the “Solid South”, and the Democratic Party after 1900 moved to a system of primaries to select their candidates. Victory in a primary was tantamount to election. From the late 1870s to the 1960s, only rarely was a state or national Southern politician a Republican, apart from a few Appalachian mountain districts.Key; Southern Politics State and Nation (1984)Gordon B. McKinney (2010); Southern Mountain Republicans 1865–1900. University of North Carolina Press. {{ISBN|978-0-8078-9724-9}} Republicans, however, continued to control parts of the Appalachian Mountains and compete for power in the Border States. Apart from a few states (such as the Byrd Machine in Virginia, the Crump Machine in Memphis), and a few other local organizations, the Democratic Party itself was very lightly organized. It managed primaries but party officials had little other role. To be successful a politician built his own network of friends, neighbors and allies. Reelection was the norm, and the result from 1910 to the late 20th century was that Southern Democrats in Congress had accumulated seniority, and automatically took the chairmanships of all committees.The classic study is V.O. Key, Southern politics in State and Nation (1949) By the 1940s the Supreme Court began to find disfranchisement measures like the “grandfather clause” and the white primary unconstitutional. Southern legislatures quickly passed other measures to keep blacks disfranchised, even after suffrage was extended more widely to poor whites. Because white Democrats controlled all the Southern seats in Congress they had outsize power in Congress and could sidetrack or filibuster efforts by Northerners to pass legislation against lynching, for example.Increasing support for civil rights legislation by the national Democratic Party beginning in 1948 caused segregationist Southern Democrats to nominate Strom Thurmond on a third-party “Dixiecrat” ticket in 1948. These Dixiecrats returned to the party by 1950, but Southern Democrats held off Republican inroads in the suburbs by arguing that only they could defend the region from the onslaught of northern liberals and the civil rights movement. In response to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling of 1954, 101 Southern congressmen (19 senators, 82 House members of which 99 were Southern Democrats and 2 were Republicans) in 1956 denounced the Brown decisions as a "clear abuse of judicial power [that] climaxes a trend in the federal judiciary undertaking to legislate in derogation of the authority of Congress and to encroach upon the reserved rights of the states and the people." The manifesto lauded, “...those states which have declared the intention to resist enforced integration by any lawful means”. It was signed by all Southern senators except Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tennessee senators Albert Gore, Sr. and Estes Kefauver. Virginia closed schools in Warren County, Prince Edward County, Charlottesville, and Norfolk rather than integrate, but no other state followed suit. Democratic governors Orval Faubus of Arkansas, Ross Barnett of Mississippi, John Connally of Texas, Lester Maddox of Georgia, and, especially, George Wallace of Alabama resisted integration and appealed to a rural and blue-collar electorate.Numan V. Bartley, The New South, 1945–1980 (1995) pp 455–70File:Lyndon Johnson signing Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964.jpg|thumb|right|US president Lyndon B. Johnson signs the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964Civil Rights Act of 1964The northern Democrats’ support of civil rights issues culminated when Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended legal segregation and provided federal enforcement of voting rights for blacks. In the presidential election of 1964, Barry Goldwater’s only electoral victories outside his home state of Arizona were in the states of the Deep South where few blacks could vote before the 1965 Voting Rights Act.Bernard Cosman, Five States for Goldwater Continuity and Change in Southern Presidential Voting Patterns (1966)Pockets of resistance to integration in public places broke out in violence during the 1960s by the shadowy Ku Klux Klan, which caused a backlash among moderates.David M. Chalmers, Backfire: how the Ku Klux Klan helped the civil rights movement (2003) Major resistance to school busing extending into the 1970s.Bartley, The New South pp 408–11National Republicans such as Richard Nixon began to develop their Southern strategy to attract conservative white Southerners, especially the middle class and suburban voters, in addition to migrants from the North and traditional GOP pockets in Appalachia. The transition to a Republican stronghold in the South took decades. First, the states started voting Republican in presidential elections, except for native sons Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Then the states began electing Republican senators and finally governors. Georgia was the last state to do so, with Sonny Perdue taking the governorship in 2002.Earl Black and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans (2003) In addition to its middle class and business base, Republicans cultivated the religious right and attracted strong majorities from the evangelical or Fundamentalist vote, mostly Southern Baptists, which had not been a distinct political force prior to 1980.William C. Martin, With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (2005)After the 2012 elections, the eleven states of the former Confederacy were represented by 98 Republicans, 40 Democrats.Michael Barone, “Republicans Find Refuge in the House,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 9, 2012) p. A13.

Presidents from the South

The South produced nine of the first twelve Presidents prior to the Civil War. For more than a century after the Civil War, no politician from an antebellum slave state became President unless he either moved North (like Woodrow Wilson) or was vice president when the president died in office (like Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson). In 1976, Jimmy Carter defied this trend and became the first Southerner to break the pattern since Zachary Taylor in 1848. The South has produced five of the last nine American Presidents: Lyndon B. Johnson (1963–69), Jimmy Carter (1977–81), George H. W. Bush (1989–93), Bill Clinton (1993–2001) and George W. Bush (2001–2009). Johnson was a native of Texas, while Carter is from Georgia, and Clinton from Arkansas. While George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush began their political careers in Texas, they were both born in New England and have their ancestral roots in that region.

Other politicians and political movements

File:Bill Clinton 1978.jpg|thumb|Bill Clinton, newly-elected Governor of Arkansas speaking with Jimmy Carter in 1978. Carter and Clinton were both Southern Democrats and elected to the presidencies in 1976 and 1992.]]The South has produced various nationally known politicians and political movements. In 1948, a group of Democratic congressmen, led by Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, split from the Democrats in reaction to an anti-segregation speech given by Minneapolis mayor and future senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. They founded the States Rights Democratic or Dixiecrat Party. During that year's Presidential election, the party ran Thurmond as its candidate and he carried four Deep South states.In the 1968 Presidential election, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace ran for President on the American Independent Party ticket. Wallace ran a “law and order” campaign similar to that of Republican candidate, Richard Nixon. Nixon's Southern Strategy of gaining electoral votes downplayed race issues and focused on culturally conservative values, such as family issues, patriotism, and cultural issues that appealed to Southern Baptists.In the 1994 mid-term elections, another Southern politician, Newt Gingrich, led the Republican Revolution, ushering in twelve years of GOP control of the House. Gingrich became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 1995 and served until his resignation in 1999. Tom DeLay was the most powerful Republican leader in Congress{{Citation needed|date=February 2011}} until he was indicted under criminal charges in 2005 and was forced to step aside by Republican rules.{{Citation needed|date=February 2011}} Apart from Bob Dole from Kansas (1985–96), the recent Republican Senate Leaders have been Southerners: Howard Baker (1981–1985) of Tennessee, Trent Lott (1996–2003) of Mississippi, Bill Frist (2003–2006) of Tennessee, and Mitch McConnell (2007–present) of Kentucky.The Republicans candidates for President have won the South in elections since 1972, except for 1976. The region is not, however, entirely monolithic, and every successful Democratic candidate since 1976 has claimed at least three Southern states. Barack Obama won Florida, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, and Virginia in 2008 but did not repeat his victory in North Carolina during his 2012 reelection campaign.“Romney Bus Tour Charts Course for Battlegrounds Obama Won”. Businessweek. August 10, 2012.

Race relations

Native Americans

Native Americans had lived in the south for nearly 12,000 years. They were defeated by settlers in a series of wars ending in the War of 1812 and the Seminole Wars, and most were removed west to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma and Kansas), but large numbers of Native Americans managed to stay behind by blending into the surrounding society. This was especially true of the wives of Euro-American merchants and miners.

Civil rights

File:1943 Colored Waiting Room Sign.jpg|thumb|Racial segregationRacial segregationThe South witnessed two major events in the lives of 20th century African Americans: the Great Migration and the American Civil Rights Movement.The Great Migration began during World War I, hitting its high point during World War II. During this migration, blacks left the South to find work in Northern factories and other sectors of the economy.Katzman, 1996The migration also empowered the growing Civil Rights Movement. While the movement existed in all parts of the United States, its focus was against disfranchisement and the Jim Crow laws in the South. Most of the major events in the movement occurred in the South, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, the March on Selma, Alabama, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.. In addition, some of the most important writings to come out of the movement were written in the South, such as King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail". Most of the civil rights landmarks can be found around the South. The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Birmingham includes the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which details Birmingham's role as the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement. The 16th Street Baptist Church served as a rallying point for coordinating and carrying out the Birmingham campaignas well as the adjacent Kelly Ingram Park that served as ground zero for the infamous children's protest that eventually led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been rededicated as a place of "Revolution and Reconciliation" and is now the setting of moving sculptures related to the battle for Civil Rights in the city, both are center pieces of the Birmingham Civil Rights District. The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site in Atlanta includes a museum that chronicles the American Civil Rights Movement as well as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s boyhood home on Auburn Avenue. Additionally, Ebenezer Baptist Church is located in the Sweet Auburn district as is the King Center, location of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King's gravesites.The Civil Rights Movement ended Jim Crow laws across the South. A second migration appears to be underway, with African Americans from the North moving to the South in record numbers.WEB,weblink Tracking New Trends in Race Migration, News & Notes, April 4, 2008, March 14, 2006, National Public Radio, While race relations are still a contentious issue in the South, the region surpasses the rest of the country in many areas of integration and racial equality. According to 2003 report by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Nashville-Davidson, and Jacksonville were the five most integrated of the nation's fifty largest cities, with Memphis at number six.NEWS,weblink Study shows Memphis among most integrated cities, American City Business Journals, Memphis Business Journal, January 13, 2003, Southern states tend to have a low disparity in incarceration rates between blacks and whites relative to the rest of the country.WEB, Marc, Mauer, Ryan S. King, Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity, July 2007, Sentencing Project, The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C., 16, April 20, 2010, PDF,weblink (Report.)


Some Southerners use the Confederate flag to identify themselves with the South, states' rights and Southern tradition.Groups, such as the League of the South, have a high regard for the secession movement of 1860, citing a desire to protect and defend Southern heritage.WEB,weblink League of the South Core Beliefs Statement, June 12, 2008, June 1994, League of the South, yes,weblink" title="">weblink June 15, 2008, mdy-all, Numerous political battles have erupted over flying the Confederate flag over state capitols, and the naming of public buildings or highways after Confederate leaders, the prominence of certain statues, and the everyday display of Confederate insignia.Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic (1998)Other symbols of the South include the Bonnie Blue Flag, magnolia trees, and the song "Dixie".BOOK,weblink Confederate Symbols, University Press of Florida, 2000, 9780813017587, Martinez, James Michael, Richardson, William Donald, McNinch-Su, Ron,

Major cities

The South was heavily rural as late as the 1940s, but now the population is increasingly concentrated in metropolitan areas. The following tables show the twenty largest cities, metropolitan, and combined statistical areas in the South. Houston is the largest city in the South.(File:Houston night.jpg|thumb|Houston)(File:San Antonio Skyline.jpg|thumb|San Antonio)(File:Dallas view.jpg|thumb|Dallas)(File:Austin Evening.jpg|thumb|Austin)(File:Jacksonville at Night (39527326802).jpg|thumb|Jacksonville)(File:Fort Worth Skyline1.jpg|thumb|Fort Worth)(File:Charlotte Skyline 2011 - Ricky W.jpg|thumb|Charlotte)(File:WashMonument WhiteHouse.jpg|thumb|Washington D.C.)(File:Downtown El Paso at sunset.jpeg|thumb|El Paso)(File:Nashville panorama Kaldari 01.jpg|thumb|Nashville){| class="wikitable sortable"! valign=bottom | Rank! valign=bottom | City! valign=bottom | State! valign=bottom | Population(2018 est.)WEB,weblink Table 1. City and Town Population Totals: 2010-2018: (CBSA-EST2012-01), March 2016 United States Census, United States Census Bureau, Population Division., 1Houston, Texas>HoustonTexas>TX 2,325,502 2San Antonio, Texas>San AntonioTexas>TX 1,532,233 3Dallas, Texas>DallasTexas>TX 1,345,047 4Austin, Texas>AustinTexas>TX 964,254 5Jacksonville, Florida>JacksonvilleFlorida>FL 903,889 6Fort Worth, Texas>Fort WorthTexas>TX 895,008 7Charlotte, North Carolina>CharlotteNorth Carolina>NC 872,498 8Washington, D.C.>WashingtonWashington, D.C.>DC 702,455 9El Paso, Texas>El PasoTexas>TX 682,669 10Nashville, Tennessee>NashvilleTennessee>TN 669,053 11Memphis, Tennessee>MemphisTennessee>TN 650,618 12Oklahoma City, Oklahoma>Oklahoma CityOklahoma>OK 649,021 13Louisville, Kentucky>LouisvilleKentucky>KY 620,118 14Baltimore, Maryland>BaltimoreMaryland>MD 602,495 15Atlanta, Georgia>AtlantaGeorgia (U.S. state)>GA 498,044 16Miami, Florida>MiamiFlorida>FL 470,914 17Raleigh, North Carolina>RaleighNorth Carolina>NC 469,298 18Virginia Beach, Virginia>Virginia BeachVirginia>VA 450,189 19Tulsa, Oklahoma>TulsaOklahoma>OK 400,669 20Arlington, Texas>ArlingtonTexas>TX 398,112

Major metropolitan areas

{| class="wikitable sortable"! valign=bottom | Rank! valign=bottom | Metropolitan Statistical Area! valign=bottom | State(s)! valign=bottom | Population(2018 est.)WEB,weblink Table 4. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical (CBSA-EST2012-01), March 2018 United States Census, United States Census Bureau, Population Division., 1Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex>Dallas-Fort Worth-ArlingtonTexas>TX 7,539,711 2Greater Houston>Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar LandTexas>TX 6,997,384 3Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area>Washington-Arlington-AlexandriaVirginia>VA-Maryland-West Virginia>WV-DC 6,249,950 4South Florida metropolitan area>Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm BeachFlorida>FL 6,198,782 5Atlanta metropolitan area>Atlanta-Sandy Springs-RoswellGeorgia (U.S. state)>GA 5,949,951 6Tampa Bay Area>Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterFlorida>FL 3,142,663 7Baltimore Metropolitan Area>Baltimore-Columbia-TowsonMaryland>MD 2,802,789 8Greater Orlando>Orlando-Kissimmee-SanfordFlorida>FL 2,572,692 9Charlotte metropolitan area>Charlotte-Concord-GastoniaNorth Carolina>NC-SC 2,569,213 10Greater San Antonio>San Antonio-New BraunfelsTexas>TX 2,518,036 11Greater Cincinnati>Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky*The 2012 Census population estimate for the part within the South (Kentucky) is 431,997.Ohio>OH-Indiana-Kentucky>KY 2,190,209 12Greater Austin>Austin-Round Rock-San MarcosTexas>TX 2,168,316 13Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area>Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-FranklinTennessee>TN 1,930,961 14Hampton Roads>Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport NewsVirginia>VA-NC 1,728,733 15Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area>JacksonvilleFlorida>FL 1,534,701 16Oklahoma City metropolitan area>Oklahoma City-NormanOklahoma City>OK 1,396,445 17Research Triangle>Raleigh-CaryNorth Carolina>NC 1,362,540 18Memphis metropolitan area>Memphis-Forrest CityTennessee>TN-Mississippi-Arkansas>AR 1,350,620 19| Richmond-PetersburgVirginia>VA 1,306,172 20Louisville metropolitan area>Louisville-Jefferson County*The 2010 Census population for the part within the South (Kentucky) is 973,271.Kentucky>KY-IN 1,297,310
  • Asterisk indicates part of the metropolitan area is outside the states classified as Southern.

Major combined statistical areas

{| class="wikitable sortable"! valign=bottom | Rank! valign=bottom | Combined Statistical Area! valign=bottom | State(s)! valign=bottom | Population (2017 est.) WEB,weblink Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 - United States -- Combined Statistical Area; and for Puerto Rico, United States Census Bureau, Population Division, March 2018, March 31, 2018, 1Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area>Washington-Baltimore-ArlingtonDistrict of Columbia>DC-Maryland-Virginia>VA-West Virginia-Pennsylvania>PA 9,764,315 2Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex>Dallas-Fort WorthTexas>TX 7,846,293 3Greater Houston>Houston-The Woodlands-BaytownTexas>TX 7,093,190 4Miami metropolitan area#Combined Statistical Area>Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. LucieFlorida>FL 6,828,241 5Atlanta metropolitan area>Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy SpringsGeorgia (U.S. state)>GA 6,555,956 6Greater Orlando>Orlando-Deltona-Daytona BeachFlorida>FL 3,284,198 7Charlotte metropolitan area>Charlotte-ConcordNorth Carolina>NC-SC 2,684,121 8Cincinnati metropolitan area>Cincinnati-Wilmington-MaysvilleOhio>OH-Kentucky-Indiana>IN 2,238,265 9Research Triangle>Raleigh-Durham-Chapel HillNorth Carolina>NC 2,199,459 10Nashville metropolitan area>Nashville-Davidson–MurfreesboroTennessee>TN 2,027,489 11Hampton Roads>Virginia Beach-NorfolkVirginia>VA-NC 1,829,195 12Piedmont Triad>Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High PointNorth Carolina>NC 1,663,532 13Jacksonville metropolitan area>Jacksonville-St. Marys-PalatkaFlorida>FL-GA 1,631,488 14Louisville metropolitan area>Louisville/Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-MadisonKentucky>KY-IN 1,522,112 15New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond combined statistical area>New Orleans-Metairie-HammondLouisiana>LA-MS 1,510,162 16Oklahoma City metropolitan area>Oklahoma City-ShawneeOklahoma>OK 1,455,935 17Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area>Greenville-Spartanburg-AndersonSouth Carolina>SC 1,460,036 18Memphis metropolitan area>Memphis-Forrest CityTennessee>TN-Mississippi-Arkansas>AR 1,374,190 19Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL Combined Statistical Area>Birmingham-Hoover-TalladegaAlabama>AL 1,364,062 20Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville, OK Combined Statistical Area>Tulsa-Muskogee-BartlesvilleOklahoma>OK 1,160,612

See also

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  • Ayers, Edward L. What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History (2005)
  • Cash, Wilbur J. The Mind of the South (1941),
  • Cooper, Christopher A. and H. Gibbs Knotts, eds. The New Politics of North Carolina (U. of North Carolina Press, 2008) {{ISBN|978-0-8078-5876-9}}
  • Flynt, J. Wayne Dixie's Forgotten People: The South's Poor Whites (1979). deals with 20th century.
  • BOOK, David M. Katzman, Black Migration, The Reader's Companion to American History, Houghton Mifflin Company,
  • JOURNAL, James Grossman, Chicago and the 'Great Migration', Illinois History Teacher, 3, 2, 1996,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 3, 2006,
  • McWhiney, Grady. In Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (1988)
  • BOOK, John O. Allen and Clayton E. Jewett, Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History, Greenwood Press, 2004, 978-0-313-32019-4,
  • BOOK, Rayford Logan, The Betrayal of the Negro from Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson, New York, Da Capo Press, 1997, 978-0-306-80758-9,
  • BOOK, William B. Hesseltine, A History of the South, 1607–1936, Prentice-Hall, 1936,
  • Mark, Rebecca, and Rob Vaughan. The South: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004)
  • BOOK, Robert W. Twyman., David C. Roller, Encyclopedia of Southern History, LSU Press, 1979, 978-0-8071-0575-7,
  • BOOK, Charles Reagan Wilson, William Ferris, Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, University of North Carolina Press, 1989, 978-0-8078-1823-7,weblink

Further reading

  • BOOK, Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction, 1993, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-508548-8,
  • BOOK, Monroe Lee Billington, The Political South in the 20th Century, Scribner, 1975, 978-0-684-13983-8,weblink
  • BOOK, Earl Black and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans, 2002, 978-0-674-01248-6, Belknap press,weblink
  • BOOK, W. J. Cash, The Mind of the South, 1935, 978-0-679-73647-9, Vintage Books, New York,
  • BOOK, Pete Daniel, Lost Revolutions: The South in the 1950s, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, 978-0-8078-4848-7,
  • Davis, Donald, and Mark R. Stoll. Southern United States: An Environmental History (2006)
  • Edwards, Laura F. "Southern History as U.S. History," Journal of Southern History, 75 (Aug. 2009), 533–64.
  • Frederickson, Kari. (2013). Cold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
  • BOOK, Michael Kreyling, Inventing Southern Literature, University Press of Mississippi, 1998, 978-1-57806-045-0, 66,
  • JOURNAL, Poetics, Antebellum literary culture and the evolution of American magazines, Heather A. Haveman, 32, 2004, 5–28, 10.1016/j.poetic.2003.12.002,
  • BOOK, Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, 1976, 978-0-394-71652-7, Vintage Books, New York, 41,
  • JOURNAL, Morris, Christopher, A More Southern Environmental History, Journal of Southern History, 75, 3, 2009, 581–598,
  • JOURNAL, Howard N. Rabinowitz, From Exclusion to Segregation: Southern Race Relations, 1865–1890, Journal of American History, 43, September 1976, 325–350,
  • BOOK, Nicol C. Rae, Southern Democrats, 1994, 978-0-19-508709-3, Oxford University Press,
  • BOOK, Jeffrey A. Raffel, Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation: The American Experience, Greenwood Press, 1998, 978-0-313-29502-7,
  • J. Mills Thornton III. Archipelagoes of My South: Episodes in the Shaping of a Region, 1830–1965 (2016) online
  • JOURNAL, Virts, Nancy, Change in the Plantation System: American South, 1910–1945, Explorations in Economic History, 43, 1, 2006, 153–176, 10.1016/j.eeh.2005.04.003,
  • JOURNAL, Wells, Jonathan Daniel, The Southern Middle Class, Journal of Southern History, 75, 3, 2009, 651–,
  • BOOK, C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 1955, 978-0-19-514690-5, Oxford University Press,
  • BOOK, Gavin Wright, Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War, 978-0-8071-2098-9, LSU Press, 1996,

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