Re: Does the South Care?
- Stephen, your musings have inspired me to post a few items from
chapter 11 of Kevin Phillip's book THE COUSINS WARS, which I have just
finished. Posted below.
--- In 28191, "aot1952" <aot1952@y...> wrote:
> It was really not until the Post WWII period and really well into
> the 1960's that many areas of the South began to participate in the
> economic plenty that is the USA.
from THE COUSIN'S WARS by Kevin Phillips, pgs. 477-479
"... If the North no longer occupied the South after 1876, Dixie was
kept tributary in an economic sense. ... High tariffs
were enacted to favor northern industry. And ... the politics of
railroad construction [placement of the transcontinental RR]
put a similar twist on the US transportation system.
...Moreover, southern taxpayers had to help pay the interest a
principal on the $2.5 billion federal debt taken on by the
North to beat the South, although nearly all of the bond payments went
to Northerners. Taxpayers below the Mason -Dixon line
also had to help support the huge cost of pensions to federal veterans
and their widows and dependents, though no such
pensions were paid to Confederate veterans. Such disbursements,
obviously, were spent in the North... According to economic
historian Robert Russel, Southerners paid approximately $1.2 billion
to the rest of the Union over a period of half a century - more than
the indemnity Prussia levied on France after the Franco-Prussian War
Besides, most of the South's *capital* was destroyed in the war - or
freed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the
Thirteenth Amendment... The abolition of slavery wiped out at least $2
billion of capital and reduced the value of real
estate by at least that amount... Livestock... [and] thousands of
miles of railroad had been ruined. Professor Albert Moore
of the University of Alabama also added the property rights lost by
postwar repudiation of Confederate currency, the
Confederate bonded debt, and the war debts of the ... Confederate
states. His estimate of $3 billion [is now regarded as] too
high [but] ... on the other hand, free-spending Reconstruction
governments added several hundred million dollars to the debt
level of southern states... Some of the outlay was legitimate, but
part represented waste and graft. Public credit was badly damaged in
the region that obviously needed it most.
Because public expenditures rose so sharply, taxes across the South
increased by 400 to 1600 percent, further reducing property
values...In 1870, tax valuation... was about half of what it was in
1860, despite inflation, while taxes were four times as much.
[He cites in the next paragraph the losses from those who died from
battle and disease, and points out the disproportional loss as a
percentage of population]
James McPherson, in BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM, has assembled data that
parallel Moore's... [including that] the South had contained 30
percent of the national wealth in 1860; ten years later that had
dropped to 12 percent...
... Eight decades after the end of Reconstruction, the National
Emergency Council created to examine the Depression of the 1930s
reported its findings to Franklin D. Roosevelt: The South, it said,
had been reduced to the status of a colony. While this is an
exaggeration, because other rural areas also suffered, it is not a