Deep South

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Approximate geographic definition of the Deep South and the greater Southern United States. The Deep South is consistently thought to include most or all of the states shown in red and extend into portions of those in orange. While the Census Bureau considers those in yellow to be part of the South, they are not typically attached to the Deep South geographic label. The South and Deep South.png
Approximate geographic definition of the Deep South and the greater Southern United States. The Deep South is consistently thought to include most or all of the states shown in red and extend into portions of those in orange. While the Census Bureau considers those in yellow to be part of the South, they are not typically attached to the Deep South geographic label.
Deep South
Cultural region of the United States
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
StatesFlag of Alabama.svg  Alabama
Flag of Florida.svg  Florida
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg  Georgia (U.S. state)
Flag of Louisiana.svg  Louisiana
Flag of Mississippi.svg  Mississippi
Flag of South Carolina.svg  South Carolina
Flag of Texas.svg  Texas

The Deep South is a cultural and geographic subregion in the Southern United States. Historically, it was differentiated as those states most dependent on plantations and slave societies during the pre-Civil War period. The Deep South is commonly referred to as the Cotton States, given that the production of cotton was a primary cash crop. [1] [2]

A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subregion.

Southern United States Cultural region of the United States

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.

Plantation complexes in the Southern United States

Plantation complexes in the Southern United States refers to the built environment that was common on agricultural plantations in the American South from the 17th into the 20th century. The complex included everything from the main residence down to the pens for livestock. A plantation originally denoted a settlement in which settlers were "planted" to establish a colonial base. Southern plantations were generally self-sufficient settlements that relied on the forced labor of slaves, similar to the way that a medieval manorial estate relied upon the forced labor of serfs.

Contents

Usage

Geographic range of the Black Belt Black belt counties.png
Geographic range of the Black Belt

The term "Deep South" is defined in a variety of ways:

Georgia (U.S. state) State in the United States

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.

Alabama State in the Deep South region of the United States

Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

South Carolina State in the United States

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.

Origins

Though often used in history books to refer to the seven states that originally formed the Confederacy, the term "Deep South" did not come into general usage until long after the Civil War ended. Up until that time, "Lower South" was the primary designation for those states. When "Deep South" first began to gain mainstream currency in print in the middle of the 20th century, it applied to the states and areas of Georgia, southern Alabama, northern Florida, Mississippi, north Louisiana, southern Arkansas and East Texas, all historic areas of cotton plantations and slavery. This was the part of the South many considered the "most Southern". [8] [ page needed ]

Later, the general definition expanded to include all of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and often taking in bordering areas of East Texas and North Florida. In its broadest application today, the Deep South is considered to be "an area roughly coextensive with the old cotton belt from eastern North Carolina through South Carolina west into East Texas, with extensions north and south along the Mississippi". [7]

East Texas cultural, geographic and ecological area in the US federated state of Texas

East Texas is a distinct cultural, geographic, and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.

North Florida Region in Florida

North Florida is a region of the Southern U.S. state of Florida, comprising the northernmost part of the state. It is one of Florida's three most common "directional" regions, along with South Florida and Central Florida. It includes Jacksonville and nearby localities in Northeast Florida, an interior region known as North Central Florida, and the Florida Panhandle.

North Carolina State in the United States

North Carolina is a U.S. state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 23rd-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. The Raleigh metropolitan area is the second-largest metropolitan area in the state, with an estimated population of 1,362,540 in 2018, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park.

Major cities and urban areas

The Deep South is home to eight combined statistical areas (CSAs) with populations exceeding 1,000,000 residents, although the inclusion of these cities and exclusion of others is subject to varying geographic definitions of the region. Houston and Atlanta, with the ninth and eleventh largest CSAs in the United States, respectively, are the Deep South's largest population centers by far.

Combined statistical area (CSA) is a United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) term for a combination of adjacent metropolitan (MSA) and micropolitan statistical areas (µSA) in the United States and Puerto Rico that can demonstrate economic or social linkage. The OMB defines a CSA as consisting of various combinations of adjacent metropolitan and micropolitan areas with economic ties measured by commuting patterns. These areas that combine retain their own designations as metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas within the larger combined statistical area.

Houston Largest city in Texas

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2018 population of 498,044, it is also the 37th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.9 million people and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. Portions of the city extend eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Metropolitan areas

Metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 people:

Metropolitan area region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated but economically-linked surroundings

A metropolitan area is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metro area usually comprises multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, cities, towns, exurbs, suburbs, counties, districts, states, and even nations like the eurodistricts. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.

RankCityStateCity (2017) MSA (2017) CSA (2017)
1 Houston Texas 2,312,7176,892,4277,093,190
2 Atlanta Georgia 486,2905,884,7366,555,956
4 Jacksonville Florida 892,0621,504,9801,631,488
5 Memphis Tennessee 652,2361,348,2601,510,162
6 New Orleans Louisiana 393,2921,275,7621,459,766
7 Birmingham Alabama 210,7101,149,8071,374,190
8 Greenville South Carolina 68,219895,9231,364,062

People

2000 Census Population Ancestry Map, with African-American ancestry in purple. Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg
2000 Census Population Ancestry Map, with African-American ancestry in purple.

In the 1980 census, of those people who identified solely by one European national ancestry, most European Americans identified as being of English ancestry in every Southern state except Louisiana, where more people identified as having French ancestry. [9] [10] A significant number also have Irish and Scotch-Irish ancestry.

With regards to people in the Deep South who reported only a single European-American ancestry group in 1980, the census showed the following self-identification in each state in this region:

These figures do not take into account people who identified as "English" and another ancestry group. When the two were added together, people who self identified as being of English with other ancestry, made up an even larger portion of southerners. [11] South Carolina was settled earlier than those states commonly classified as the Deep South. Its population in 1980 included 578,338 people out of 1,706,966 people in the state who identified as "English" only, making them 33.88% of the total population, the largest national ancestry group by a large margin.

The map to the right was prepared by the Census Bureau from the 2000 census; it shows the predominant ancestry in each county as self-identified by residents themselves. Note: The Census said that areas with the largest "American"-identified ancestry populations were mostly settled by descendants of colonial English and others from the British Isles, French, Germans and later Italians. Those who are African-descended tended to identify as African American, although many of historically multiracial families also have ancestors of British Isles or Northern European ancestry.

As of 2003, the majority of African-descended Americans in the South live in the Black Belt counties. [12]

Politics

From the 1870s to the early 1960s, conservative whites of the Deep South held control of state governments and overwhelmingly identified as and supported the old version of the Democratic Party. [13] The most powerful leaders belonged to the party's moderate-to-conservative wing. The Republicans also controlled many mountain districts on the fringe of the Deep South. [14]

At the turn of the 20th century, all of the Southern states, starting with Mississippi in 1890, passed new constitutions and other laws that effectively disenfranchised the great majority of blacks and sometimes many poor whites as well. Blacks were excluded subsequently from the political system entirely. [15] The white Democratic-dominated state legislatures passed laws to impose white supremacy and Jim Crow, including racial segregation of public facilities. [16] In politics the region became known for decades as the "Solid South": while this disenfranchisement was enforced, all of the states in this region were one-party states dominated by white Southern Democrats. Southern representatives accrued outsized power in the Congress and the national Democratic Party, as they controlled all the seats apportioned to southern states based on total population but represented only the richer subset of their white populations. [17]

Major demographic changes ensued in the 20th century; during the two waves of the Great Migration, a total of six million African Americans left the South for the Northeast, Midwest, and West in order to escape the oppression and violence in the South. In some areas, white migration increased into the South, especially dating from the late 20th century. Beginning with the Goldwater–Johnson election of 1964, a significant contingent of white conservative voters in the Deep South stopped supporting national Democratic Party candidates and switched to Republicans. They still voted for many Democrats at the state and local level into the 1990s. [18]

The Republican Party in the South had been crippled by the disenfranchisement of blacks, and the national party was unable to relieve their injustices in the South. During the Great Depression and the administration of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, some New Deal measures were promoted as intending to aid African Americans across the country and in the poor rural South, as well as poor whites. In the post-World War II era, Democratic Party presidents and national politicians began to support desegregation and other elements of the Civil Rights Movement, from President Harry S. Truman's desegregating the military, to John F. Kennedy's support for non-violent protests. [19] These efforts culminated in Lyndon B. Johnson's important work in gaining Congressional approval for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. [20] Since then, upwards of ninety percent of African Americans in the South and the rest of the nation have voted for the Democratic Party, [21] including 93 percent for Obama in 2012 and 88 percent for Hillary Clinton in 2016. [22]

White southern voters consistently voted for the Democratic Party for many years, in order to hold onto Jim Crow Laws. Once Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to power in 1932, however, the limited southern electorate found itself supporting Democratic candidates who frequently did not share its views.

The weird thing about Jim Crow politics is that white southerners with conservative views on taxes, moral values, and national security would vote for Democratic presidential candidates who didn't share their views. They did that as part of a strategy for maintaining white supremacy in the South. (Yglesias 2007) [23]

One opinion piece attributed the political and cultural changes, along with the easing of racial tensions, as the reason why southern voters began to vote for Republican national candidates, in line with their political ideology. [24] Since then, white Southern voters have voted for Republican candidates in every presidential election except in the 1976 election when Georgia native Jimmy Carter received the Democratic nomination, the 1980 election when Carter won Georgia, the 1992 election when Arkansas native and former governor Bill Clinton won Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and the 1996 election when the incumbent president Clinton again won Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas. In 1995, Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich was elected by representatives of a Republican-dominated House as Speaker of the House.

Since the 1990s the white majority has continued to shift toward Republican candidates at the state and local levels. This trend culminated in 2014, when the Republicans swept every statewide office in the region midterm elections. As a result, the Republican party came to control all the state legislatures in the region, as well as all House seats that were not representing majority-minority districts. [25]

Presidential elections in which the Deep South diverged noticeably from the Upper South occurred in 1928, 1948, 1964, 1968, and, to a lesser extent, in 1952, 1956, 1992, and 2008. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee fared well in the Deep South in 2008 Republican primaries, losing only one state (South Carolina) while running (he had dropped out of the race before the Mississippi primary). [26] [ page needed ]

See also

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Dixiecrat political party

The States' Rights Democratic Party was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States, active primarily in the South. After President Harry S. Truman ordered integration of the military in 1948 and other actions to address civil rights of African Americans, Southern conservative white politicians who objected to this course organized this party as a breakaway faction of the Democratic Party, determined to protect Southern states' rights to maintain racial segregation.

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In United States history, scalawags were white Southerners who supported Reconstruction after the American Civil War.

Carpetbagger Southern slave owners turned politicians who moved back to the South after the Civil War .

In the history of the United States, carpetbagger was a derogatory term applied by former Confederates to any person from the Northern United States who came to the Southern states after the American Civil War; they were perceived as exploiting the local populace. The term broadly included both individuals who sought to promote Republican politics, and those individuals who saw business and political opportunities because of the chaotic state of the local economies following the war. In practice, the term carpetbagger was often applied to any Northerner who was present in the South during the Reconstruction Era (1863–1877). The term is closely associated with "scalawag", a similarly pejorative word used to describe native White southerners who supported the Republican Party-led Reconstruction.

Solid South Electoral support of the Southern United States for Democratic Party candidates from 1877 to 1964

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History of the Southern United States

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In United States history, the Redeemers were a political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction Era that followed the Civil War. Redeemers were the Southern wing of the Bourbon Democrats, the conservative, pro-business faction in the Democratic Party. They sought to regain their political power and enforce white supremacy. Their policy of Redemption was intended to oust the Radical Republicans, a coalition of freedmen, "carpetbaggers", and "scalawags". They generally were led by the rich former planters, businessmen, and professionals, and they dominated Southern politics in most areas from the 1870s to 1910.

Politics of the Southern United States

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White primaries were primary elections held in the Southern United States in which only white voters were permitted to participate. Statewide white primaries were established by the state Democratic Party units or by state legislatures in South Carolina (1896), Florida (1902), Mississippi and Alabama, Texas (1905), Louisiana and Arkansas (1906), and Georgia (1908). The white primary was one method used by white Democrats to disenfranchise most black and other minority voters. They also passed laws and constitutions with provisions to raise barriers to voter registration, completing disenfranchisement from 1890 to 1908 in all states of the former Confederacy.

Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era in the United States of America was based on a series of laws, new constitutions, and practices in the South that were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering to vote and voting. These measures were enacted by the former Confederate states at the turn of the 20th century, and by Oklahoma when it gained statehood in 1907, although not by the former border slave states. Their actions were designed to frustrate the objective of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which sought to protect the suffrage of freedmen after the American Civil War.

1964 United States presidential election in Georgia

The 1964 United States presidential election in Georgia took place on November 3, 1964, as part of the 1964 United States presidential election, which was held on that day throughout all fifty states and The District of Columbia. Voters chose twelve representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. This would mark the first time ever that Georgia was carried by the Republican nominee on a presidential election.

1948 United States presidential election in Georgia

The 1948 United States presidential election in Georgia took place on November 2, 1948, as part of the wider United States Presidential election. Voters chose twelve representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1956 United States presidential election in Mississippi

The 1956 United States presidential election in Mississippi was held on November 6, 1956. Mississippi voters chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1928 United States presidential election in Arkansas


The 1928 United States presidential election in Arkansas was held on November 6, 1928. Arkansas voters chose nine electors, or representatives to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice-President.

References

  1. Fryer, Darcy. "The Origins of the Lower South". Lehigh University. Retrieved December 30, 2008.[ unreliable source? ]
  2. Freehling, William (1994). "The Editorial Revolution, Virginia, and the Coming of the Civil War: A Review Essay". The Regeneration of American History. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 10. ISBN   978-0-19-508808-3 . Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  3. 1 2 "Deep South". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Neal R. Pierce, The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven States of the Deep South (1974), pp 123-61
  5. Williard B. Gatewood Jr.; Jeannie M. Whayne, eds. (1996). The Arkansas Delta: Land of Paradox. University of Arkansas Press. p. 3.
  6. Diane D. Blair; Jay Barth (2005). Arkansas Politics and Government. U of Nebraska Press. p. 66.
  7. 1 2 John Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South, Doubleday, 1996
  8. The Encyclopedia of Southern History. Edited by David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979
  9. Grady McWhiney, Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (1989)
  10. David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989) pp 605–757.
  11. Frank D. Bean; Gillian Stevens. America's Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity. p. 213. doi:10.7758/9781610440356. ISBN   978-1-61044-035-6. JSTOR   10.7758/9781610440356.
  12. Michael Perman, Pursuit of unity: a political history of the American South (U of North Carolina Press, 2010).
  13. 6 J. Morgan Kousser, The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Rise of the One-Party South, 1880–1910 (Yale UP, 1974).
  14. Michael Perman, Struggle for mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888–1908 (U of North Carolina Press, 2003).
  15. Gabriel J. Chin & Randy Wagner, "The Tyranny of the Minority: Jim Crow and the Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty,"43 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 65 (2008)
  16. Richard M. Valelly, The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement University of Chicago Press, 2009, pp. 146-147
  17. Earl Black and Merle Black, The rise of southern Republicans (Harvard University Press, 2009).
  18. Harvard Sitkoff, "Harry Truman and the Election of 1948: The Coming of Age of Civil Rights in American Politics." Journal of Southern History 37.4 (1971): 597-616
  19. Mark Stern, Calculating visions: Kennedy, Johnson, and civil rights (Rutgers UP, 1992).
  20. Brad Lockerbie, "Race and religion: Voting behavior and political attitudes." Social Science Quarterly 94.4 (2013): 1145–1158.
  21. Tami Luhby and Jennifer Agiesta, "Exit polls: Clinton fails to energize African-Americans, Latinos and the young" CNN Nov, 9, 2016
  22. Yglesias, "Why did the South turn Republican?", The Atlantic
  23. Opinion: "It's Not Dixie's Fault", The Washington Post, 17 July 2015
  24. "Demise of the Southern Democrat is Now Nearly Complete". The Sydney Morning Herald . December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  25. Charles S. Bullock III and Mark J. Rozell, eds. The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics (2009)

Further reading