AP US History
NEW SOUTH AND OLD SOUTH
Preparing for the AP US History Exam
Henry Grady, a newspaper editor in Atlanta, Georgia, coined the phrase “New South” in 1874. Grady called for a “New South” that would be home to thriving cities, bustling factories, and rewarding business opportunities. By 1890, about 40,000 miles of new railroad lines crisscrossed the South. In addition, textile mills in the Carolinas and steel mills in Birmingham, Alabama helped spur industrial growth. It is important to stress that despite pockets of industrial development, Grady’s goal of a diversified Southern economy remained elusive. Agriculture and sharecropping continued to dominate the Southern economy. In addition, Grady’s vision of a New South did not include integrating African Americans into Southern society. It is interesting to note that the process of economic change in the South in the late 1800s, can be compared with the economic investment in the Sun Belt beginning in the 1950s.