readings in rural sociology

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THE OLD SOUTH AND THE NEW SOCIAL CONDITION OF THE OLD AND THE NEW SOUTH1 PHILIP ALEXANDER BRUCE Broadly speaking, no institutions of the South were so profoundly affected by the failure of secession as the social. It is true that it was a great economic revolution to pass from slave labor to free labor, but the ground is still chiefly tilled by the hand of the Negro. The large plantation has been cut up into numerous estates, but the same staples continue to be cultivated. There has been a radical alteration in political conditions, but, on the whole, the representatives of the Southern States in their local legislatures and in the national Congress are drawn from the same general class as they were in times of slavery. The economic and political life of the South has been transformed, but transformed to a degree that falls short of the change that has taken place in its social life; here the change has been complete so far as the rural districts, in which the overwhelming mass of the Southern people reside, are involved. The French Revolution, with its drastic laws touching the ownership of land, did not sweep away the aristocracy of France one-half as thoroughly as the abolition of slavery swept away the old rural aristocracy of the South. The social condition of this part of the Union is now the reverse of what it was before the 'War of the Secession; then all that was best in the social life of the people was to be found in the country; now all that is best is to be found in the city. The close of the great war marked the end of a society that had safely passed through all the vicissitudes of several hundredyears. The peculiar social life of the Southern States, as a body, in consequence of its being coincident with the very existence of these States,...
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