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Wikipedia

Southern United States

This article is about the political and cultural region. For the geographically southern part of the United States, see Sun Belt. For the cultural region of the southern United States, see Dixie.

Coordinates:33°N88°W /33°N 88°W /33; -88

The Southern United States, also referred to as the Southern States, American South or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States. It is 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. It also has major portions that are part of the Eastern United States.

Southern United States
Southern States, American South, the South
Regional definitions vary from source to source. This map reflects the Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau.
Subregions
CountryUnited States
StatesAlabama
Arkansas
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Mississippi
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
West Virginia
Federal districtDistrict of Columbia
Population
(2020)
• Total126,266,107
Demonym(s)Southerner, Southron (historically)
LanguagesLouisiana French
Spanish

Historically, the South was defined as all states south of the 18th century Mason–Dixon line, the Ohio River, and 36°30′ parallel. Within the South are different subregions, such as the Southeast, South Central, Upper South and Deep South. Since an influx of Northern transplants in the mid-to-late 20th century, Maryland, Delaware, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have become more culturally, economically, and politically aligned in certain aspects with that of the Northeast, and are often identified as part of the Mid-Atlantic subregion or Northeast by many residents, businesses, public institutions, and private organizations. However, the United States Census Bureau continues to define them as in the South with regard to Census regions. Due to cultural variations across the region, some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries. The South does not precisely correspond to the entire geographic south of the United States, but primarily includes the south-central and southeastern states. For example, California which is geographically in the southwestern part of the country, is not considered part, while the geographically southeastern Georgia is.

The South, being home to some of the most racially diverse areas in the United States, is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, fashion, architecture, musical styles, and cuisines, which have distinguished it in many ways from other areas of the United States. During 1860 and 1861, eleven Southern states seceded from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America. Following the American Civil War, these states were subsequently added back to the Union. Sociological research indicates that Southern collective identity stems from political, historical, demographic, and cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States. Ethnic groups in the South are the most diverse among American regions, and includes strong European (especially English, Scots-Irish, Scottish, Irish, French, and Spanish), African, and Native American components.

Aspects of the early historical and cultural development of the South were influenced by the institution of slave labor, mainly within the Deep South and coastal plain areas, during the early 1600s to mid-1800s. This includes the presence of a large proportion of African Americans within the population, support for the doctrine of states' rights, and legacy of racism magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction era (1865–1877). Following effects included thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), segregated system of separate schools and public facilities established from Jim Crow laws that remained until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to deny black and poor people the ability to vote or hold office until the 1960s. Scholars have characterized pockets of the Southern United States as being "authoritarian enclaves" from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since the 1970s, due to improved racial relations, a growing economic base and job opportunities in the region, the South has seen increases of African Americans moving from other U.S. regions in a New Great Migration.

When looked at broadly, studies have shown that Southerners tend to be more conservative than most non-Southerners, although liberalism is also predominant in many areas throughout the region. The South is usually reliably Republican in most states; however, both the Republican and Democratic Party are competitive in a handful of Southern states, known as swing 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. Historically, the South relied heavily on agriculture for its main economic base, and was highly rural until after World War II. Since the 1940s, the region has become more economically diversified and urban, helping attract many national and international migrants. Today, it is among the fastest-growing areas in the United States, with Houston being the region's largest city.

Contents

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 areas of 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 due to its climate consistently providing growing seasons of at least six months before the first frost. Another common environment occurs within the bayous and swamplands of the Gulf Coast, especially in Louisiana and in Texas.

Field of yellow wildflowers in Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana
Misty Bluff along the Buffalo River, Ozark Mountains, Arkansas
Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland

The question of how to define the boundaries and subregions in the South has been the focus of research and debate for centuries. As defined by the United States Census Bureau, 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. 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.

Other terms related to the South include:

Historically, the South was defined as all states south of the 18th century Mason–Dixon line, the Ohio River, and 36°30′ parallel. Newer definitions of the South today are harder to define, due to cultural and sub-regional differences throughout the region, however definitions usually refer to states that are in the southeastern and south central geographic region of the United States.

Although not included in the Census definition, two U.S. territories located southeast of Florida (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are sometimes included as part of the Southern United States. The Federal Aviation Administration includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of the South, as does the Agricultural Research Service and the U.S. National Park Service.

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. Paleoindians were hunter-gatherers 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

European immigration caused a die-off of Native Americans, whose immune systems could not protect them from the diseases the Europeans unwittingly introduced.

The predominant culture of the original Southern states was English. 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.

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.

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. 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 PresidentsWashington, 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

1st Maryland Regiment holding the line at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina, 1781
The siege of Yorktown prompted Great Britain's surrender in North America during the American Revolutionary War, 1781

During the American Revolutionary War, the Southern colonies helped embrace the Patriot cause. Virginia would provide leaders such 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. Although there were Loyalists within the Southern colonies, they were concentrated in larger coastal cities, and were not great enough in number to overcome the revolutionaries. 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). Both white and black Loyalists fought for the British at the Battle of Kemp's Landing in Virginia. 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 George Washington, forced Cornwallis to surrender his entire army in Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781, effectively winning the North American part of the war.

The Revolution provided a shock to slavery in the South and other regions of the new country. 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 British Empire. Between 1770 and 1790, there was a sharp decline in the percentage of blacks – from 61% to 44% in South Carolina and from 45% to 36% in Georgia. In addition, some slaveholders were inspired to free their slaves after the Revolution. They were moved by the principles of the Revolution, along with Quaker and Methodist preachers who 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% of all blacks were free by 1810, a significant expansion from pre-war proportions of less than 1% free.

Antebellum years

Slaves on a South Carolina plantation (The Old Plantation, circa 1790)

Cotton 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.

Grove Plantation in Tallahassee, Florida. Known officially as the Call/Collins House at the Grove. Built circa 1840.

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.

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.

The 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. Huguenots were among the first settlers in Charleston, along with the largest number of Orthodox Jews outside of New York City.[citation needed] 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. 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

Historic Southern United States. The states in light red 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, and thus does not show West Virginia (which separated from Virginia in 1863) 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, war broke out. 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, 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. While the Upland border states of Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as the District of Columbia, continued to permit slavery during the Civil War, they remained with the Union. By March 1862, the Union largely controlled all the border state areas, 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.

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 led numerous campaigns into the western 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).

Atlanta's railroad roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War

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 until Lee's army surrendered in April 1865. Once the Confederate forces surrendered, the region moved into the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877), in a partially successful attempt to rebuild the destroyed region and grant civil rights to freed slaves.

Southerners who were against the Confederate cause during the Civil War were known as Southern Unionists. They were also known as Union Loyalists or Lincoln's Loyalists. Within the eleven Confederate states, states such as Tennessee (especially East Tennessee), Virginia (which included West Virginia at the time), and North Carolina were home to the largest populations of Unionists. Many areas of Southern Appalachia harbored pro-Union sentiment as well. As many as 100,000 men living in states under Confederate control would serve in the Union Army or pro-Union guerilla groups. Although Southern Unionists came from all classes, most differed socially, culturally, and economically from the regions dominant pre-war planter class.

The South suffered 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, out of a total white Southern population at the time of around 5.5 million. 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. 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 era

An African American family, photo-graphed by O'Pierre Havens, circa 1868

After the Civil War, the South was devastated in terms of 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, 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. During Reconstruction, these were mostly legally nullified by federal law and anti-Confederate legislatures, which existed for a short time during Reconstruction.

There were thousands of people on the move, as African Americans tried to reunite families separated by slave 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 would also take advantage of the disrupted environment and made money off various schemes, including bonds and financing for railroads.

Secret vigilante organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan – an organization sworn to perpetuate white supremacy – had arisen quickly after the war's end in the 1860s, 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, some upper class 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. 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.

Despite 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. 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.

Child laborers in Bluffton, South Carolina, 1913

Nearly all Southerners, black and white, suffered economically 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. The Chinese became merchants and established stores in small towns throughout the Delta, establishing a place between white and black.

Migrations 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. 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 disenfranchising constitutions or amendments that introduced voter registration barriers – such as poll taxes, residency requirements and literacy tests – that were hard for minorities to meet. Most African Americans, most Mexican Americans, and tens of thousands of poor whites were disenfranchised, 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. 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. 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.

Historian William Chafe has explored the defensive techniques developed inside the African American community to avoid the worst features of Jim Crow as expressed in the legal system, unbalanced economic power, and intimidation and psychological pressure. Chafe says "protective socialization by blacks themselves" was created inside the community in order to accommodate white-imposed sanctions while subtly encouraging challenges to those sanctions. Known as "walking the tightrope," such efforts at bringing about change were only slightly effective before the 1920s, but did build the foundation that younger African Americans deployed in their aggressive, large-scale activism during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Economy from 1880s through 1930s

An illustration from Houston: Where Seventeen Railroads Meet the Sea, 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. Banks were few and small; there was little access to credit. Traditional agriculture persisted across the region. 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.

In 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]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."

By 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. 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.

Business 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 richest 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.

Photo of sharecropper family in Walker County, Alabama, circa 1937

Later, 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. Thousands would leave the region 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.

Economy from 1940s through 20th century

Naval Air Station Miami, circa 1942–43

World War II marked a time of dramatic change within the South from an economic standpoint, as new industries and military bases were developed by the Federal government, providing much 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. During and after the war millions of hard-scrabble farmers, both white and black, left agriculture for other occupations and urban jobs.

The United States began mobilizing for war in a major way in the spring of 1940. The warm weather of the South proved ideal for building 60% of the Army's new training camps and nearly half the new airfields. In all, 40% of spending on new military installations went to the South. For example, in 1940 the small town of 1500 people in Starke, Florida, became the base of Camp Blanding. By March 1941, 20,000 men were constructing a permanent camp for 60,000 soldiers. Money flowed freely for the war effort, as over $4 billion went into military facilities in the South, and another $5 billion into defense plants. Major shipyards were built in Virginia, and Charleston, SC, and along the Gulf Coast. Huge warplane plants were opened in Dallas-Fort Worth and Georgia. The most secret and expensive operation was at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where unlimited amounts of locally generated electricity were used to prepare uranium for the atom bomb. The number of production workers doubled during the war. Most training centers, factories and shipyards were closed in 1945, but not all, and the families that left hardscrabble farms remained to find jobs in the growing urban South. The region had finally reached the take off stage into industrial and commercial growth, although its income and wage levels lagged well behind the national average. Nevertheless, as George B. Tindall notes, the transformation was, "The demonstration of industrial potential, new habits of mind, and a recognition that industrialization demanded community services."

Per capita income jumped 140% from 1940 to 1945, compared to 100% elsewhere in the United States. Southern income rose from 59% to 65%. Dewey Grantham says the war, "brought an abrupt departure from the South's economic backwardness, poverty, and distinctive rural life, as the region moved perceptively closer to the mainstream of national economic and social life."

Farming shifted from cotton and tobacco, to include cattle, rice, 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.

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 industries, 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. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is consistently ranked the #1 cancer research and treatment center in the United States.

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. In 2019, Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Southern states included: Texas with 50, Virginia with 21, Florida with 18, Georgia with 17, North Carolina with 11, and Tennessee with 10. This economic expansion has enabled parts of the South to report some of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States.

Even with certain southern states and areas doing well economically, many southern states and areas still have high poverty rates when compared to the U.S. nationally. In the U.S. top ten poorest big cities of 2010, the South was represented in the rankings by two cities: Miami, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee. In 2011, nine out of ten poorest states were in the South region.

Southern public schools in the past have ranked in the lower half of some national surveys. 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. This comparison does not hold across the board. Mississippi often scores lower than national averages, no matter how statistics are compared. Newer data from 2009 suggests that secondary school education in the South is on par nationally, with 72% of high schoolers graduating compared to 73% nationwide.

Street musicians in Maynardville, Tennessee, photographed in 1935

Several Southern states (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) were among the British colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the government, along with the Middle and New England colonies, during the Revolutionary War. The basis for much of Southern culture derives from these states being among the original Thirteen Colonies, and from much of the population of the colonial South having ancestral links to colonists who emigrated west. Southern manners and customs reflect the relationship with England that was held by the early population.

Overall, the South has had lower housing values, lower household incomes, and lower cost of living than the rest of the United States. 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, 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.

The predominant culture of the South has its origins with the settlement of the region by large groups of people from parts of southern England such as Sussex, Kent, the West Country, and East Anglia who moved to the Tidewater and the eastern parts of the Deep South in the 17th and early 18th centuries, Northern English, Scots lowlanders and Ulster-Scots (later called the Scotch-Irish) who settled in Appalachia and the Upland South in the mid to late 18th century, 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% 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 Southern states, and has heavily contributed to the cultural blend of religion, food, art, and music (see spiritual, blues, jazz, R&B, soul music, country music, zydeco, bluegrass and rock and roll) that characterize Southern culture today.

In previous censuses, the largest ancestry group identified by Southerners was English or mostly English, 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.

Religion

The South has had a majority of its population adhering to evangelical Protestantism ever since the Second Great Awakening, although the upper classes often stayed Anglican/Episcopalian or Presbyterian. The First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening from about 1742 to about 1850 generated large numbers of Methodists and Baptists, which remain the two main Christian confessions in the South. 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. 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. Statistics show that Southern states have the highest religious attendance figures of any region in the United States, constituting the so-called Bible Belt. Pentecostalism has been strong across the South since the late 19th century.

National and International influences

Apart from its climate, the living experience in the South increasingly resembles the rest of the nation. The arrival of millions of Northerners and Westerners, mainly since the late 20th century, has reshaped the culture of major metropolitan areas and coastal areas. Observers conclude that collective identity and Southern distinctiveness are declining, particularly when defined against "an earlier South that was somehow more authentic, real, more unified and distinct".

While Hispanics have long been a major factor in Texas, millions more have arrived in other Southern states during the 1990s and early 2000s bringing values not rooted in local traditions. Historian Raymond Mohl emphasizes the role of NAFTA in lowering trade barriers and facilitating large-scale population movements. He adds other factors such as ongoing economic crisis in Mexico, new more liberal immigration policies in the United States, labor recruitment and smuggling, that have produced a major flow of Mexican and Hispanic migration to the southeast. That region's low-wage, low-skill economy readily hired cheap, reliable, nonunion labor, without asking applicants too many questions about legal status. Richard J. Gonzales argues that the rise of La Raza (Mexican American community) in terms of numbers and influence in politics, education, and language and cultural rights will grow rapidly in Texas by 2030 when demographers predict Hispanics will outnumber Anglos in Texas. However thus far their political participation and the Latino vote have been low, so the potential political impact is much higher than the actual one thus far.

Scholars have suggested that in the Deep South 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". On the other hand, Southerners have moved west in large numbers, especially to California and to the Midwest. Thus, 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".

Racial integration

During the 1950s and 1960s, the racial integration of all-white collegiate sports teams was high on the regional agenda. Involved in it were issues of racial equality, racism, and the alumni's demand for the top players who it needed in order to win high-profile games. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) would take the lead. First they started to schedule integrated teams from the North. The wake-up call came in 1966, when Don Haskins's Texas Western College team with five black starters, upset the all-white University of Kentucky team to win the NCAA national basketball championship. That happened at a time when there were no black varsity basketball teams in either the Southeastern Conference or the Southwest Conference. Finally ACC schools, typically under pressure from boosters and civil rights groups, integrated their sports teams. With an alumni base that dominated local and state politics, society and business, the ACC flagship schools were successful in their endeavor – as historian Pamela Grundy argues, they had learned how to win:

The widespread admiration that athletic ability inspired would help transform athletic fields from grounds of symbolic play to forces for social change, places where a wide range of citizens could publicly and at times effectively challenge the assumptions that cast them as unworthy of full participation in U.S. society. While athletic successes would not rid society of prejudice or stereotype – black athletes would continue to confront racial slurs...[minority star players demonstrated] the discipline, intelligence, and poise to contend for position or influence in every arena of national life.

American football

Alabama plays Texas in American football for the 2010 BCS National Championship Game

American football is heavily considered 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 almost 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 modern 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 has a growing tradition in the Southern United States. Before league expansion began, the only established professional team based in the South were the Washington Redskins, now called the Washington Football Team. They still retain a large following in most of Virginia, and parts of Maryland. Later on, the National Football League began to expand many teams in the Southern U.S. during 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 during the 1970s, along with the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars during the 1990s. The Houston Oilers were eventually replaced by the Houston Texans, after the Oilers relocated to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans.

Collegiate football teams
Rank Team Sport League Attendance
(avg/game)
1 Alabama Crimson Tide Football NCAA (SEC) 101,562
2 LSU Tigers Football NCAA (SEC) 100,819
3 Texas A&M Aggies Football NCAA (SEC) 99,844
4 Texas Longhorns Football NCAA (Big 12) 97,713
5 Tennessee Volunteers Football NCAA (SEC) 92,984
6 Georgia Bulldogs Football NCAA (SEC) 92,746
7 Oklahoma Sooners Football NCAA (Big 12) 86,735
8 Auburn Tigers Football NCAA (SEC) 84,462
9 Florida Gators Football NCAA (SEC) 82,328
10 Clemson Tigers Football NCAA (ACC) 80,400
11 South Carolina Gamecocks Football NCAA (SEC) 73,628
12 Florida State Seminoles Football NCAA (ACC) 68,288
13 Miami Hurricanes Football NCAA (ACC) 61,469
14 Louisville Cardinals Football NCAA (ACC) 61,290
15 Oklahoma State Cowboys Football NCAA (Big 12) 60,218
16 Arkansas Razorbacks Football NCAA (SEC) 59,884
17 Virginia Tech Hokies Football NCAA (ACC) 59,574
18 West Virginia Mountaineers Football NCAA (Big 12) 58,158
19 Mississippi State Bulldogs Football NCAA (SEC) 58,057
20 Kentucky Wildcats Football NCAA (SEC) 57,572
21 NC State Wolfpack Football NCAA (ACC) 56,855
22 Texas Tech Red Raiders Football NCAA (Big 12) 56,034
23 Ole Miss Rebels Football NCAA (SEC) 55,685
24 Baylor Bears Football NCAA (Big 12) 44,915

Baseball

Houston vs Texas face-off during the 2013 Lone Star Series in the American League West division of Major League Baseball

Baseball has been played in the Southern United States dating back to the mid-19th century. 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. During the late 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, Florida and Texas are commonly at the top of the NCAA's attendance. The South generally produces very successful collegiate baseball teams with Virginia, Vanderbilt, LSU, South Carolina, Florida and Coastal Carolina winning recent College World Series Titles.

The following is a list of each MLB team in the Southern U.S. and the total fan attendance for 2019:

Rank Team League 2019 overall
annual attendance
1 Houston Astros American League 2,857,367
2 Atlanta Braves National League 2,654,920
3 Washington Nationals National League 2,259,781
4 Texas Rangers American League 2,133,004
5 Baltimore Orioles American League 1,307,807
6 Tampa Bay Rays American League 1,178,735
7 Miami Marlins National League 811,302

Auto racing

The Southern states are commonly associated with stock car racing and its most prominent competition level NASCAR, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and Daytona Beach, Florida. The sport was developed in the South during the early 20th century, with stock car racing's historic mecca being Daytona Beach, 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

Basketball is very popular throughout the Southern United States as both a recreational and spectator sport, particularly in the states of Kentucky and North Carolina. Both states are home to several prominent college basketball programs, including the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels.

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 Miami Heat. The Spurs and Heat in particular have become prominent within the NBA, with eight championships won by the two between 1999 and 2013.

Golf

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, one of the four major championships in professional golf. The Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, and has become one of the professional game's most important tournaments. Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina, is also home to a prominent American golf tournament and has several high-quality courses.

Soccer

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, D.C. United, Orlando City, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, Atlanta United and the future Austin FC and Charlotte FC. 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.

Major sports teams in the South

The Southern region is home to numerous professional sports franchises in the "Big Four" leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB), with many championships collectively among them.

Nine Southern states have obesity rates exceeding 30% of the population, the highest in the country. Those states include: Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky and Texas. Rates for hypertension and diabetes for these states are also the highest in the nation. 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. The South has a higher percentage of obese people and diabetics when compared to national regional averages. The region also has the largest number of people dying from stroke complications and the highest rates of cognitive decline. Life expectancy is lower and death rates are higher, when compared to national averages of other regions in the United States. This disparity reflects substantial divergence between the South and other regions since the middle of the 20th century.

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. 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.

For cancer causes, 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, which matches a similar high risk axis in "All Cancers Combined, Death Rates by State, 2011" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the first decades after Reconstruction (1880s–1890s), white Democrats regained power in the state legislatures, and 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 disenfranchisement 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. Scholars have characterized pockets of the Southern United States as being "authoritarian enclaves" from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Act.

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, outside from Southern Republican strongholds within the Appalachian mountain districts. Southern Republicans during this time period would continue to control parts of the Appalachian Mountain areas and compete for power in the former 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. By the 1940s the Supreme Court began to find disenfranchisement measures like the “grandfather clause” and the white primary unconstitutional. Southern legislatures quickly passed other measures to keep blacks disenfranchised, even after suffrage was extended more widely to poor whites. Because white Democrats controlled all the Southern seats in the U.S. Congress, they had outsize power and could sidetrack or filibuster efforts to pass legislation they didn't agree with.

A rally against school integration in Little Rock, 1959.

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.

U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson signs the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The 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. 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. Major resistance to school busing extended into the 1970s.

National 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 southerners 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. 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.

Decline of Southern liberalism during the 20th century

Southern liberals were an essential part of the New Deal coalition – without them Roosevelt lacked majorities in Congress. Typical leaders were Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas, Jim Folsom and John Sparkman in Alabama, Claude Pepper in Florida, Earl Long and Hale Boggs in Louisiana, Luther H. Hodges in North Carolina, and Estes Kefauver in Tennessee. They promoted subsidies for small farmers, and supported the nascent labor union movement. An essential condition for this north–south coalition was for northern liberals to ignore the problem of racism throughout the South and elsewhere in the country. After 1945, however, northern liberals – led especially by young Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota – increasingly made civil rights a central issue. They convinced Truman to join them in 1948. The conservative Southern Democrats – the Dixiecrats – took control of the state parties in half the region and ran Strom Thurmond for president against Truman. Thurmond carried only the Deep South, but that threat was enough to guarantee the national Democratic Party in 1952 and 1956 would not make civil rights a major issue. In 1956, 101 of the 128 southern congressmen and senators signed the Southern Manifesto denouncing forced desegregation. The labor movement in the South was divided, and lost its political influence. Southern liberals were in a quandary – most of them kept quiet or moderated their liberalism, others switched sides, and the rest continued on the liberal path. One by one, the last group was defeated; historian Numan V. Bartley states, "Indeed, the very word 'liberal' gradually disappeared from the southern political lexicon, except as a term of opprobrium."

Presidents from the South

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 produced nine of the country's first twelve Presidents. After Zachary Taylor won the presidential election of 1848, no Southern politician was elected president until Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Andrew Johnson (of Tennessee) who was vice president in 1865, became president after the death of Abraham Lincoln. Out of the last eleven U.S. presidents, six have Southern region ties: Lyndon B. Johnson (of Texas; 1963–69), Jimmy Carter (of Georgia; 1977–81), George H. W. Bush (of Texas; 1989–93), Bill Clinton (of Arkansas; 1993–2001), George W. Bush (of Texas; 2001–2009), and Joe Biden (of Delaware; 2021–present). 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. Similarly, while Joe Biden was born in Pennsylvania, he grew up largely in Delaware (classified as a Southern state by the U.S. Census Bureau) and spent his entire political career there.

Other politicians and political movements

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] until he was indicted under criminal charges in 2005 and was forced to step aside by Republican rules.[citation needed] 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. Joe Biden also performed well for a modern Democrat in the South, winning Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Georgia, in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Native Americans

Native Americans had lived in what is the American 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.[citation needed]

Civil rights movement

The 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, Black people left the South to find work in Northern factories and other sectors of the economy.

The migration also empowered the growing Civil Rights Movement. While the movement existed in all parts of the United States, its focus was against disenfranchisement 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 center of the Civil Rights Movement. The 16th Street Baptist Church served as a rallying point for coordinating and carrying out the Birmingham campaign as 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 Historical Park 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.

Congress ends segregation (1964) and guarantees voting rights (1965)

Racial segregation was required by state laws in the South and other U.S. states until 1964.

The decisive action ending segregation came when Congress in bipartisan fashion overcame Southern filibusters to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A complex interaction of factors came together unexpectedly in the period 1954–1965 to make the momentous changes possible. The Supreme Court had taken the first initiative in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) making segregation of public schools unconstitutional. Enforcement was rapid in the North and border states, but was deliberately stopped in the South by the movement called Massive Resistance, sponsored by rural segregationists who largely controlled the state legislatures. Southern liberals, who counseled moderation, were shouted down by both sides and have limited impact. Much more significant was the Civil Rights Movement, especially the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) headed by Martin Luther King Jr.. It largely displaced the old, much more moderate NAACP in taking leadership roles. King organized massive demonstrations, that seized massive media attention in an era when network television news was an innovative and universally watched phenomenon. SCLC, student activists and smaller local organizations staged demonstrations across the South. National attention focused on Birmingham, Alabama, where protesters deliberately provoked Bull Connor and his police forces by using young teenagers as demonstrators – and Connor arrested 900 on one day alone. The next day Connor unleashed billy clubs, police dogs, and high-pressure water hoses to disperse and punish the young demonstrators with a brutality that horrified the nation. It was very bad for business, and for the image of a modernizing progressive urban South. President John F. Kennedy, who had been calling for moderation, threatened to use federal troops to restore order in Birmingham. The result in Birmingham was compromise by which the new mayor opened the library, golf courses, and other city facilities to both races, against the backdrop of church bombings and assassinations.

Confrontations continued to escalate. In summer 1963, there were 800 demonstrations in 200 southern cities and towns, with over 100,000 participants, and 15,000 arrests. In Alabama in June 1963, Governor George Wallace escalated the crisis by defying court orders to admit the first two black students to the University of Alabama. Kennedy responded by sending Congress a comprehensive civil rights bill, and ordered Attorney General Robert Kennedy to file federal lawsuits against segregated schools, and to deny funds for discriminatory programs. Doctor King launched a massive march on Washington in August 1963, bringing out 200,000 demonstrators in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the largest political assembly in the nation's history. The Kennedy administration now gave full-fledged support to the civil rights movement, but powerful southern congressmen blocked any legislation. After Kennedy was assassinated President Lyndon Johnson called for immediate passage of Kennedy civil rights legislation as a memorial to the martyred president. Johnson formed a coalition with Northern Republicans that led to passage in the House, and with the help of Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen with passage in the Senate early in 1964. For the first time in history, the southern filibuster was broken and The Senate finally passed its version on June 19 by vote of 73 to 27. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most powerful affirmation of equal rights ever made by Congress. It guaranteed access to public accommodations such as restaurants and places of amusement, authorized the Justice Department to bring suits does desegregate facilities in schools, gave new powers to the Civil Rights Commission; and allowed federal funds to be cut off in cases of discrimination. Furthermore, racial, religious and gender discrimination was outlawed for businesses with 25 or more employees, as well as apartment houses. The South resisted until the last moment, but as soon as the new law was signed by President Johnson on July 2, 1964, it was widely accepted across the nation. There was only a scattering of diehard opposition, typified by restaurant owner Lester Maddox in Georgia, who became governor, but the great majority of restaurants and hotels in Georgia followed the new law as the business community realized that peaceful integration was the only way forward.

Since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, black people have gone on to hold many offices within the Southern states. Black people have been elected or appointed as mayors or police chiefs in the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Charlotte, Columbia, Dover, Houston, Jackson, Jacksonville, Memphis, Montgomery, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh, Richmond, and Washington. They have also gone on to serve in both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures of Southern states.

New Great Migration

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s ended Jim Crow laws across the South and other areas of the United States. In recent decades, a second migration appears to be underway, this time with African Americans from the North moving to the South in record numbers. While race relations are still a contentious issue in the South and most of the U.S., 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. Southern states tend to have a low disparity in incarceration rates between blacks and whites relative to the rest of the country.

Some Southerners use the Confederate battle flag to identify themselves with the South, states' rights and Southern tradition. Such groups 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. 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 monuments, and the everyday display of Confederate insignia.

Other symbols of the South include the Bonnie Blue Flag, magnolia trees, and the song "Dixie".

The South was heavily rural up until the 1940s, but now the population is increasingly concentrated in metropolitan areas. The following tables show the twenty largest cities, counties, metropolitan and combined statistical areas in the South. Houston is the largest city in the South.

Major cities

Rank City State Population (2021 est.) National Rank
1 Houston TX 2,323,660 4
2 San Antonio TX 1,581,730 7
3 Dallas TX 1,347,120 9
4 Austin TX 1,011,790 11
5 Fort Worth TX 942,323 12
6 Jacksonville FL 929,647 13
7 Charlotte NC 912,096 15
8 Washington, D.C. –– 714,153 20
9 El Paso TX 685,434 22
10 Nashville TN 678,448 23
11 Oklahoma City OK 669,347 24
12 Memphis TN 651,011 28
13 Louisville KY 615,924 29
14 Baltimore MD 575,584 31
15 Atlanta GA 524,067 37
16 Raleigh NC 483,579 40
17 Miami FL 478,251 42
18 Virginia Beach VA 450,224 44
19 Tampa FL 404,636 47
20 Tulsa OK 402,742 48

Major counties

Rank County Seat State Population (2021 est.)
1 Harris County Houston TX 4,779,880
2 Miami-Dade County Miami FL 2,721,110
3 Dallas County Dallas TX 2,647,850
4 Tarrant County Fort Worth TX 2,144,650
5 Bexar County San Antonio TX 2,048,290
6 Broward County Fort Lauderdale FL 1,966,120
7 Palm Beach County West Palm Beach FL 1,524,560
8 Hillsborough County Tampa FL 1,512,070
9 Orange County Orlando FL 1,417,280
10 Travis County Austin TX 1,328,720
11 Wake County Raleigh NC 1,152,740
12 Fairfax County Fairfax VA 1,145,670
13 Mecklenburg County Charlotte NC 1,143,570
14 Collin County McKinney TX 1,095,580
15 Fulton County Atlanta GA 1,091,550
16 Montgomery County Rockville MD 1,055,110
17 Pinellas County Clearwater FL 978,872
18 Duval County Jacksonville FL 975,961
19 Gwinnett County Lawrenceville GA 954,076
20 Denton County Denton TX 944,139

Major metropolitan areas

Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area State(s) Population
(2018 est.)
National Rank
1 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 7,573,136 4
2 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land TX 6,997,384 5
3 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria VA-MD-WV-DC 6,280,487 6
4 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach FL 6,166,488 7
5 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell GA 6,020,364 9
6 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL 3,194,831 18
7 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson MD 2,800,053 21
9 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL 2,608,147 23
8 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia NC-SC 2,636,883 22
10 San Antonio-New Braunfels TX 2,518,036 24
11 Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky* OH-IN-KY 2,190,209 29
12 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos TX 2,168,316 30
San Juan–Caguas–Guaynabo* PR 2,020,000
13 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin TN 1,930,961 36
14 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC 1,676,822 37
15 Jacksonville FL 1,559,514 40
16 Oklahoma City-Norman OK 1,396,445 41
17 Raleigh-Cary NC 1,362,540 42
18 Memphis-Forrest City TN-MS-AR 1,350,620 43
19 Richmond-Petersburg VA 1,291,900 44
20 Louisville-Jefferson County* KY-IN 1,297,310 45

* Asterisk indicates part of the metropolitan area is outside the states classified as Southern by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Major combined statistical areas

Rank Combined Statistical Area State(s) Population (2017 est.)
1 Washington-Baltimore-Arlington DC-MD-VA-WV-PA 9,764,315
2 Dallas-Fort Worth TX 7,846,293
3 Houston-The Woodlands-Baytown TX 7,093,190
4 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie FL 6,828,241
5 Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs GA 6,555,956
6 Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach FL 3,284,198
7 Charlotte-Concord NC-SC 2,684,121
8 Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville OH-KY-IN 2,238,265
9 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill NC 2,199,459
10 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro TN 2,027,489
11 Virginia Beach-Norfolk VA-NC 1,829,195
12 Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC 1,663,532
13 Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka FL-GA 1,631,488
14 Louisville/Jefferson County-Elizabethtown-Madison KY-IN 1,522,112
15 New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond LA-MS 1,510,162
16 Oklahoma City-Shawnee OK 1,455,935
17 Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson SC 1,460,036
18 Memphis-Forrest City TN-MS-AR 1,374,190
19 Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega AL 1,364,062
20 Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville OK 1,160,612

Listed below are states that are defined by the Census Bureau as the Southern United States. Washington, D.C. is located in the Southern United States region as defined by the Census Bureau, but serves as the capital city of the United States, and is not a state.

Rank State Capital Population (2020) National Rank
1 Texas Austin 29,145,505 2
2 Florida Tallahassee 21,538,187 3
3 Georgia Atlanta 10,711,908 8
4 North Carolina Raleigh 10,439,388 9
5 Virginia Richmond 8,631,393 12
6 Tennessee Nashville 6,910,840 16
7 Maryland Annapolis 6,177,224 18
8 South Carolina Columbia 5,118,425 23
9 Alabama Montgomery 5,024,279 24
10 Louisiana Baton Rouge 4,657,757 25
11 Kentucky Frankfort 4,505,836 26
12 Oklahoma Oklahoma City 3,959,353 28
13 Arkansas Little Rock 3,011,524 33
14 Mississippi Jackson 2,961,279 34
15 West Virginia Charleston 1,793,716 39
16 Delaware Dover 989,948 45
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  144. "Diabetes Most Prevalent In Southern United States, Study Finds", Science Daily, September 25, 2009
  145. "Southern Diet Might Explain the 'stroke Belt'", HealthDay, February 7, 2013
  146. Rick Nauert, "U.S. South Has Higher Risk of Cognitive Decline", Psych Central, May 27, 2011
  147. Cullen, Mark R.; Cummins, Clint; Fuchs, Victor R. (2012). "Geographic and Racial Variation in Premature Mortality in the U.S.: Analyzing the Disparities". PLOS ONE. 7 (4): e32930. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...732930C. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032930. PMC3328498. PMID 22529892.
  148. CDC. "Death in the United States".
  149. Fenelon, A. (2013). "Geographic Divergence in Mortality in the United States". Population and Development Review. 39 (4): 611–634. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00630.x. PMC4109895. PMID 25067863.
  150. Wiess, AJ and Elixhauser A (October 2014). "Overview of Hospital Utilization, 2012". HCUP Statistical Brief #180. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  151. Torio CM, Andrews RM (September 2014). "Geographic Variation in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Acute and Chronic Conditions, 2005–2011". HCUP Statistical Brief #178. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  152. Matt Stiles, "The State of the Cancer Nation", NPR, April 17, 2015.
  153. 2nd map in "Cancer Prevention and Control, Cancer Rates by State", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 25, 2014.
  154. Michael Perman, Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South (2009)
  155. Key; Southern Politics State and Nation (1984)
  156. Gordon B. McKinney (2010); Southern Mountain Republicans 1865–1900. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-9724-9
  157. The classic study is V.O. Key, Southern politics in State and Nation (1949)
  158. Numan V. Bartley, The New South, 1945–1980 (1995) pp 455–70
  159. Bernard Cosman, Five States for Goldwater Continuity and Change in Southern Presidential Voting Patterns (1966)
  160. David M. Chalmers, Backfire: how the Ku Klux Klan helped the civil rights movement (2003)
  161. Bartley, The New South pp 408–11
  162. Earl Black and Merle Black, The Rise of Southern Republicans (2003)
  163. William C. Martin, With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (2005)
  164. Brent J. Aucoin, "The Southern Manifesto and Southern Opposition to Desegregation." Arkansas Historical Quarterly 55.2 (1996): 173-193 Online.
  165. Numan V. Bartley, The New South, 1945-1980: the story of the South's modernization (1995) pp 61, 67-73, 92, 101; quoting p. 71.
  166. Romney Bus Tour Charts Course for Battlegrounds Obama Won”. Businessweek. August 10, 2012.
  167. Katzman, 1996
  168. Graham Allison, Framing the South: Hollywood, television, and race during the Civil Rights Struggle (2001).
  169. Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (2001)
  170. Dewey W. Grantham, The South in Modern America (1994) 228-234.
  171. Dan T. Carter,The politics of rage: George Wallace, the origins of the new conservatism, and the transformation of American politics (LSU Press, 2000).
  172. Robert E. Gilbert, "John F. Kennedy and civil rights for black Americans." Presidential Studies Quarterly 12.3 (1982): 386-399. Online
  173. Garth E. Pauley, "Presidential rhetoric and interest group politics: Lyndon B. Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Southern Journal of Communication 63.1 (1997): 1-19.
  174. Grantham, The South in Modern America (1994) 234-245.
  175. David Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1989).
  176. Jeanne Theoharis, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History (2018).
  177. For primary sources see John A. Kirk, ed., The Civil Rights Movement: A Documentary Reader (2020).
  178. "Gallup Poll: U.S. race relations by region; The South" Archived May 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. November 19, 2002.
  179. "Tracking New Trends in Race Migration". News & Notes. National Public Radio. March 14, 2006. RetrievedApril 4, 2008.
  180. "Study shows Memphis among most integrated cities". Memphis Business Journal. January 13, 2003.
  181. Mauer, Marc; Ryan S. King (July 2007). "Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity"(PDF). Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project. p. 16. RetrievedApril 20, 2010. (Report.)
  182. "Core Beliefs Statement of The League of the South". League of the South. June 1994. RetrievedJanuary 23, 2020.
  183. Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic (1998)
  184. Martinez, James Michael; Richardson, William Donald; McNinch-Su, Ron, eds. (2000). Confederate Symbols. University Press of Florida. ISBN 9780813017587.
  185. "The 200 Largest Cities in the United States by Population 2021". WorldPopulationReview. RetrievedFebruary 13, 2021.
  186. "US County Populations 2021". WorldPopulationReview. RetrievedFebruary 13, 2021.
  187. "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.
  188. The 2012 Census population estimate for the part within the South (Kentucky) is 431,997.
  189. [2][dead link] San Juan–Caguas–Guaynabo, PR. Datausa.io. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  190. The 2010 Census population for the part within the South (Kentucky) is 973,271.
  191. "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. RetrievedMarch 31, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  • Allen, John O. and Clayton E. Jewett (2004). Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32019-4.
  • Ayers, Edward L. What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History (2005)
  • Ayers, Edward L. (1993). The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508548-8.
  • Billington, Monroe Lee (1975). The Political South in the 20th Century. Scribner. ISBN 978-0-684-13983-8.
  • Black, Earl & Black, Merle (2002). The Rise of Southern Republicans. Belknap press. ISBN 978-0-674-01248-6.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Flynt, J. Wayne Dixie's Forgotten People: The South's Poor Whites (1979). deals with 20th century.
  • Frederickson, Kari. (2013). Cold War Dixie: Militarization and Modernization in the American South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
  • Eugene D. Genovese (1976). Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Vintage Books. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-394-71652-7.
  • Grantham, Dewey W. The South in modern America (2001) survey covers 1877–2000.
  • Grantham, Dewey W. The life and death of the Solid South: A political history (1992).
  • Johnson, Charles S. Statistical atlas of southern counties: listing and analysis of socio-economic indices of 1104 southern counties (1941). excerpt
  • David M. Katzman (1996). "Black Migration". The Reader's Companion to American History. Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Key, V.O. Southern Politics in State and Nation (1951) classic political analysis, state by state. online free to borrow
  • Kirby, Jack Temple. Rural Worlds Lost: The American South, 1920-1960 (LSU Press, 1986) major scholarly survey with detailed bibliography; online free to borrow.
  • Michael Kreyling (1998). Inventing Southern Literature. University Press of Mississippi. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-57806-045-0.
  • Rayford Logan (1997). The Betrayal of the Negro from Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80758-9.
  • McWhiney, Grady. In Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (1988)
  • Mark, Rebecca, and Rob Vaughan. The South: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004)
  • Morris, Christopher (2009). "A More Southern Environmental History". Journal of Southern History. 75 (3): 581–598.
  • Odem, Mary E. and Elaine Lacy, eds. Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South (U of Georgia Press, 2009).
  • Rabinowitz, Howard N. (September 1976). "From Exclusion to Segregation: Southern Race Relations, 1865–1890". Journal of American History. 43 (2): 325–350. doi:10.2307/1899640. JSTOR 1899640.
  • Nicol C. Rae (1994). Southern Democrats. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508709-3.
  • Jeffrey A. Raffel (1998). Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation: The American Experience. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29502-7.
  • Rivers, Larry E., and Canter Brown, eds. The Varieties of Women's Experiences: Portraits of Southern Women in the Post-Civil War Century (UP of Florida, 2010).
  • Thornton III, J. Mills. Archipelagoes of My South: Episodes in the Shaping of a Region, 1830–1965 (2016) online
  • Tindall, George B. The emergence of the new South, 1913-1945 (1967) online free to borrow
  • Robert W. Twyman.; David C. Roller, eds. (1979).Encyclopedia of Southern History. LSU Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-0575-7.
  • Virts, Nancy (2006). "Change in the Plantation System: American South, 1910–1945". Explorations in Economic History. 43 (1): 153–176. doi:10.1016/j.eeh.2005.04.003.
  • Wells, Jonathan Daniel (2009). "The Southern Middle Class". Journal of Southern History. 75 (3): 651–.
  • Charles Reagan Wilson; William Ferris, eds. (1989). Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-1823-7.
  • Woodward, C. Vann (1955). The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514690-5.
  • Woodward, C. Vann. Origins of the New South, 1877–1913: A History of the South (1951)
  • Gavin Wright (1996). Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War. LSU Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-2098-9.
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Southern United States
Southern United States Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Southern US This article is about the political and cultural region For the geographically southern part of the United States see Sun Belt For the cultural region of the southern United States see Dixie Coordinates 33 N 88 W 33 N 88 W 33 88 The Southern United States also referred to as the Southern States American South or simply the South is a geographic and cultural region of the United States It is 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 It also has major portions that are part of the Eastern United States Southern United States Southern States American South the SouthRegionRegional definitions vary from source to source This map reflects the Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau 1 SubregionsSoutheastern United StatesSouth Central United StatesDeep SouthUpland SouthSouth AtlanticEast South CentralWest South CentralMid AtlanticCountryUnited StatesStatesAlabama Arkansas Delaware Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Mississippi North Carolina Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia West VirginiaFederal districtDistrict of ColumbiaPopulation 2020 2 Total126 266 107Demonym s Southerner Southron historically LanguagesCreole languages Kouri ViniGullah English variants African American EnglishAppalachian EnglishHigh TiderMiddle AtlanticNew Orleans EnglishSouthern American EnglishTexan English Indigenous Languages AlabamaCaddoCatawbanComancheCherokeeChickasawChoctawKickapooKosatiMikasukiMuskogean languagesSolanoSouthern TiwaTunicaTuscaroraLouisiana French Spanish Historically the South was defined as all states south of the 18th century Mason Dixon line the Ohio River and 36 30 parallel 3 Within the South are different subregions such as the Southeast South Central Upper South and Deep South Since an influx of Northern transplants in the mid to late 20th century Maryland Delaware Northern Virginia and Washington D C have become more culturally economically and politically aligned in certain aspects with that of the Northeast and are often identified as part of the Mid Atlantic subregion or Northeast by many residents businesses public institutions and private organizations 4 However the United States Census Bureau continues to define them as in the South with regard to Census regions 5 Due to cultural variations across the region some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries 6 7 The South does not precisely correspond to the entire geographic south of the United States but primarily includes the south central and southeastern states For example California which is geographically in the southwestern part of the country is not considered part while the geographically southeastern Georgia is 8 9 10 The South being home to some of the most racially diverse areas in the United States is known for its culture and history having developed its own customs fashion architecture musical styles and cuisines which have distinguished it in many ways from other areas of the United States During 1860 and 1861 eleven Southern states seceded from the Union forming the Confederate States of America Following the American Civil War these states were subsequently added back to the Union Sociological research indicates that Southern collective identity stems from political historical demographic and cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States Ethnic groups in the South are the most diverse among American regions and includes strong European especially English Scots Irish Scottish Irish French and Spanish African and Native American components 11 Aspects of the early historical and cultural development of the South were influenced by the institution of slave labor mainly within the Deep South and coastal plain areas during the early 1600s to mid 1800s This includes the presence of a large proportion of African Americans within the population support for the doctrine of states rights and legacy of racism magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction era 1865 1877 Following effects included thousands of lynchings mostly from 1880 to 1930 segregated system of separate schools and public facilities established from Jim Crow laws that remained until the 1960s and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to deny black and poor people the ability to vote or hold office until the 1960s Scholars have characterized pockets of the Southern United States as being authoritarian enclaves from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 12 13 14 15 Since the 1970s due to improved racial relations a growing economic base and job opportunities in the region the South has seen increases of African Americans moving from other U S regions in a New Great Migration 16 When looked at broadly studies have shown that Southerners tend to be more conservative than most non Southerners although liberalism is also predominant in many areas throughout the region 17 18 The South is usually reliably Republican in most states however both the Republican and Democratic Party are competitive in a handful of Southern states known as swing 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 Historically the South relied heavily on agriculture for its main economic base and was highly rural until after World War II Since the 1940s the region has become more economically diversified and urban helping attract many national and international migrants Today it is among the fastest growing areas in the United States with Houston being the region s largest city 19 Contents 1 Geography 2 History 2 1 Native American culture 2 2 European colonization 2 3 American Revolution 2 4 Antebellum years 2 5 Civil War 2 6 Reconstruction and Jim Crow era 2 7 Economy from 1880s through 1930s 2 8 Economy from 1940s through 20th century 3 Modern economy 4 Education 5 Culture 5 1 Religion 5 2 National and International influences 6 Sports 6 1 Racial integration 6 2 American football 6 3 Baseball 6 4 Auto racing 6 5 Basketball 6 6 Golf 6 7 Soccer 6 8 Major sports teams in the South 7 Health 8 Politics 8 1 Decline of Southern liberalism during the 20th century 8 2 Presidents from the South 8 3 Other politicians and political movements 9 Race relations 9 1 Native Americans 9 2 Civil rights movement 9 3 Congress ends segregation 1964 and guarantees voting rights 1965 9 4 New Great Migration 10 Symbolism 11 Population centers 11 1 Major cities 11 2 Major counties 11 3 Major metropolitan areas 11 4 Major combined statistical areas 12 Southern states 13 See also 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External linksGeography EditThe 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 areas of 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 due to its climate consistently providing growing seasons of at least six months before the first frost Another common environment occurs within the bayous and swamplands of the Gulf Coast especially in Louisiana and in Texas Texas Hill Country Bluegrass region Kentucky Glass Mountains Oklahoma North Carolina s Appalachian Mountains Field of yellow wildflowers in Saint Bernard Parish Louisiana Pearl River backwater in Mississippi Misty Bluff along the Buffalo River Ozark Mountains Arkansas Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland Cherry River in West Virginia The highlands of Grayson County in Southwest Virginia The question of how to define the boundaries and subregions in the South has been the focus of research and debate for centuries 20 21 As defined by the United States Census Bureau 1 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 22 The Census Bureau defined three smaller divisions The South Atlantic States Delaware Florida Georgia Maryland North Carolina South Carolina Virginia and West Virginia The East South Central States Alabama Kentucky Mississippi and Tennessee The West South Central States Arkansas Louisiana Oklahoma and Texas 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 23 Other terms related to the South include The Old South Can mean either southern states that were among the Thirteen Colonies Virginia Delaware Maryland Georgia North Carolina and South Carolina or all southern slave states before 1860 which also includes Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana and Texas 24 The New South All southern states following the American Civil War post Reconstruction era 25 Southeastern United States Usually includes the Carolinas the Virginias Tennessee Kentucky Georgia Alabama Mississippi and Florida 26 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 27 Upper South Usually includes Kentucky Virginia West Virginia Tennessee North Carolina and on rare occasions Missouri Maryland and Delaware 28 When combined with the southern Appalachian Mountains its sometimes referred to as Greater Appalachia following Ulster Protestant migrations to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries 29 Deep South Various definitions usually includes Alabama Georgia Louisiana Mississippi and South Carolina 30 Border States Includes Missouri Kentucky Maryland Delaware and West Virginia These were states on the outer rim of the Confederacy that did not secede from the U S in the 1860s but had large numbers of residents who joined both the Union and 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 Confederacy 31 Dixie Nickname applied to Southern U S region various definitions include certain areas more than others but most commonly associated with the eleven former Confederate States Solid South Electoral voting bloc largely controlled by the Democratic Party from 1877 to 1964 largely resulting from disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction era in the late 19th century Disfranchisement effectively denied most of the black and sometimes poor white population from voting or holding public office during this time period 32 Gulf Coast Includes Gulf coasts of Florida Louisiana Mississippi Texas and Alabama Tidewater Low lying Atlantic coastal plain regions of Maryland Delaware Virginia and North Carolina Mid South Various definitions includes states within the Census Bureau of the East and West South Central United States 33 In another informal definition Tennessee Arkansas and Mississippi are included with adjoining areas of other states 34 35 36 37 Historically the South was defined as all states south of the 18th century Mason Dixon line the Ohio River and 36 30 parallel 38 Newer definitions of the South today are harder to define due to cultural and sub regional differences throughout the region however definitions usually refer to states that are in the southeastern and south central geographic region of the United States 39 Although not included in the Census definition two U S territories located southeast of Florida Puerto Rico and the U S Virgin Islands are sometimes included as part of the Southern United States The Federal Aviation Administration includes Puerto Rico and the U S Virgin Islands as part of the South 40 as does the Agricultural Research Service and the U S National Park Service 41 42 History EditMain article History of the Southern United States Native American culture Edit 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 43 Paleoindians were hunter gatherers 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 43 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 43 Some noted explorers who encountered and described the Mississippian culture by then in decline included Panfilo de Narvaez 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 Edit European immigration caused a die off of Native Americans whose immune systems could not protect them from the diseases the Europeans unwittingly introduced 44 The predominant culture of the original Southern states was English 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 45 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 46 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 47 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 48 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 amp 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 Edit Main article Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War 1st Maryland Regiment holding the line at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina 1781 The siege of Yorktown prompted Great Britain s surrender in North America during the American Revolutionary War 1781 During the American Revolutionary War the Southern colonies helped embrace the Patriot cause Virginia would provide leaders such 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 Although there were Loyalists within the Southern colonies 49 they were concentrated in larger coastal cities and were not great enough in number to overcome the revolutionaries 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 50 Both white and black Loyalists fought for the British at the Battle of Kemp s Landing in Virginia 51 52 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 George Washington forced Cornwallis to surrender his entire army in Yorktown Virginia in October 1781 effectively winning the North American part of the war 53 The Revolution provided a shock to slavery in the South and other regions of the new country 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 British Empire Between 1770 and 1790 there was a sharp decline in the percentage of blacks from 61 to 44 in South Carolina and from 45 to 36 in Georgia 54 In addition some slaveholders were inspired to free their slaves after the Revolution They were moved by the principles of the Revolution along with Quaker and Methodist preachers who 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 of all blacks were free by 1810 a significant expansion from pre war proportions of less than 1 free 55 Antebellum years Edit Slaves on a South Carolina plantation The Old Plantation circa 1790 Cotton 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 56 Grove Plantation in Tallahassee Florida Known officially as the Call Collins House at the Grove Built circa 1840 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 57 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 Horse race meeting at Jacksonville Alabama 1841 The 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 Huguenots were among the first settlers in Charleston along with the largest number of Orthodox Jews outside of New York City citation needed 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 58 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 Edit Main articles American Civil War and Confederate States of America Historic Southern United States The states in light red 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 and thus does not show West Virginia which separated from Virginia in 1863 59 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 war broke out 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 60 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 While the Upland border states of Kentucky Missouri West Virginia Maryland and Delaware as well as the District of Columbia continued to permit slavery during the Civil War they remained with the Union By March 1862 the Union largely controlled all the border state areas 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 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 led numerous campaigns into the western 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 Atlanta s railroad roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War 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 until Lee s army surrendered in April 1865 Once the Confederate forces surrendered the region moved into the Reconstruction Era 1865 1877 in a partially successful attempt to rebuild the destroyed region and grant civil rights to freed slaves Southerners who were against the Confederate cause during the Civil War were known as Southern Unionists They were also known as Union Loyalists or Lincoln s Loyalists Within the eleven Confederate states states such as Tennessee especially East Tennessee Virginia which included West Virginia at the time and North Carolina were home to the largest populations of Unionists Many areas of Southern Appalachia harbored pro Union sentiment as well As many as 100 000 men living in states under Confederate control would serve in the Union Army or pro Union guerilla groups Although Southern Unionists came from all classes most differed socially culturally and economically from the regions dominant pre war planter class 61 The South suffered 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 62 out of a total white Southern population at the time of around 5 5 million 63 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 64 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 era Edit Main articles Reconstruction Era Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era and Voting rights in the United States An African American family photo graphed by O Pierre Havens circa 1868 After the Civil War the South was devastated in terms of 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 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 During Reconstruction these were mostly legally nullified by federal law and anti Confederate legislatures which existed for a short time during Reconstruction 65 There were thousands of people on the move as African Americans tried to reunite families separated by slave 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 A Home on the Mississippi by Currier and Ives 1871 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 would also take advantage of the disrupted environment and made money off various schemes including bonds and financing for railroads 66 Secret vigilante organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan an organization sworn to perpetuate white supremacy had arisen quickly after the war s end in the 1860s 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 some upper class 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 67 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 68 Despite 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 69 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 70 Child laborers in Bluffton South Carolina 1913 Nearly all Southerners black and white suffered economically 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 71 The Chinese became merchants and established stores in small towns throughout the Delta establishing a place between white and black 72 Migrations 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 73 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 disenfranchising constitutions or amendments that introduced voter registration barriers such as poll taxes residency requirements and literacy tests that were hard for minorities to meet Most African Americans most Mexican Americans and tens of thousands of poor whites were disenfranchised 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 74 75 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 76 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 Historian William Chafe has explored the defensive techniques developed inside the African American community to avoid the worst features of Jim Crow as expressed in the legal system unbalanced economic power and intimidation and psychological pressure Chafe says protective socialization by blacks themselves was created inside the community in order to accommodate white imposed sanctions while subtly encouraging challenges to those sanctions Known as walking the tightrope such efforts at bringing about change were only slightly effective before the 1920s but did build the foundation that younger African Americans deployed in their aggressive large scale activism during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s 77 Economy from 1880s through 1930s Edit Main article Great Migration African American An illustration from Houston Where Seventeen Railroads Meet the Sea 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 78 Banks were few and small there was little access to credit Traditional agriculture persisted across the region 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 79 In 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 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 80 By 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 81 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 82 Business 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 richest economic expansion after the Civil War 83 84 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 Photo of sharecropper family in Walker County Alabama circa 1937 Later 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 85 Thousands would leave the region 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 Economy from 1940s through 20th century Edit Further information United States home front during World War II Naval Air Station Miami circa 1942 43 World War II marked a time of dramatic change within the South from an economic standpoint as new industries and military bases were developed by the Federal government providing much 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 During and after the war millions of hard scrabble farmers both white and black left agriculture for other occupations and urban jobs 86 87 88 The United States began mobilizing for war in a major way in the spring of 1940 The warm weather of the South proved ideal for building 60 of the Army s new training camps and nearly half the new airfields In all 40 of spending on new military installations went to the South For example in 1940 the small town of 1500 people in Starke Florida became the base of Camp Blanding By March 1941 20 000 men were constructing a permanent camp for 60 000 soldiers Money flowed freely for the war effort as over 4 billion went into military facilities in the South and another 5 billion into defense plants Major shipyards were built in Virginia and Charleston SC and along the Gulf Coast Huge warplane plants were opened in Dallas Fort Worth and Georgia The most secret and expensive operation was at Oak Ridge Tennessee where unlimited amounts of locally generated electricity were used to prepare uranium for the atom bomb 89 The number of production workers doubled during the war Most training centers factories and shipyards were closed in 1945 but not all and the families that left hardscrabble farms remained to find jobs in the growing urban South The region had finally reached the take off stage into industrial and commercial growth although its income and wage levels lagged well behind the national average Nevertheless as George B Tindall notes the transformation was The demonstration of industrial potential new habits of mind and a recognition that industrialization demanded community services 90 91 Per capita income jumped 140 from 1940 to 1945 compared to 100 elsewhere in the United States Southern income rose from 59 to 65 Dewey Grantham says the war brought an abrupt departure from the South s economic backwardness poverty and distinctive rural life as the region moved perceptively closer to the mainstream of national economic and social life 92 Farming shifted from cotton and tobacco to include cattle rice 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 93 Modern economy EditIn 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 industries 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 94 The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center is consistently ranked the 1 cancer research and treatment center in the United States 95 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 amp 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 In 2019 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Southern states included Texas with 50 Virginia with 21 Florida with 18 Georgia with 17 North Carolina with 11 and Tennessee with 10 96 This economic expansion has enabled parts of the South to report some of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States 97 Even with certain southern states and areas doing well economically many southern states and areas still have high poverty rates when compared to the U S nationally In the U S top ten poorest big cities of 2010 the South was represented in the rankings by two cities Miami Florida and Memphis Tennessee 98 In 2011 nine out of ten poorest states were in the South region 99 Education EditSouthern public schools in the past have ranked in the lower half of some national surveys 100 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 101 This comparison does not hold across the board Mississippi often scores lower than national averages no matter how statistics are compared Newer data from 2009 suggests that secondary school education in the South is on par nationally with 72 of high schoolers graduating compared to 73 nationwide 102 Culture EditMain article Culture of the Southern United States Street musicians in Maynardville Tennessee photographed in 1935 Several Southern states Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia were among the British colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the government along with the Middle and New England colonies during the Revolutionary War 103 The basis for much of Southern culture derives from these states being among the original Thirteen Colonies and from much of the population of the colonial South having ancestral links to colonists who emigrated west Southern manners and customs reflect the relationship with England that was held by the early population Overall the South has had lower housing values lower household incomes and lower cost of living than the rest of the United States 104 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 105 106 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 107 The predominant culture of the South has its origins with the settlement of the region by large groups of people from parts of southern England such as Sussex Kent the West Country and East Anglia who moved to the Tidewater and the eastern parts of the Deep South in the 17th and early 18th centuries Northern English Scots lowlanders and Ulster Scots later called the Scotch Irish who settled in Appalachia and the Upland South in the mid to late 18th century 108 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 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 Southern states and has heavily contributed to the cultural blend of religion food art and music see spiritual blues jazz R amp B soul music country music zydeco bluegrass and rock and roll that characterize Southern culture today In previous censuses the largest ancestry group identified by Southerners was English or mostly English 48 109 110 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 48 109 110 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 111 Religion Edit The South has had a majority of its population adhering to evangelical Protestantism ever since the Second Great Awakening 112 although the upper classes often stayed Anglican Episcopalian or Presbyterian The First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening from about 1742 to about 1850 generated large numbers of Methodists and Baptists which remain the two main Christian confessions in the South 113 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 114 115 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 116 Statistics show that Southern states have the highest religious attendance figures of any region in the United States constituting the so called Bible Belt 117 Pentecostalism has been strong across the South since the late 19th century 118 National and International influences Edit Apart from its climate the living experience in the South increasingly resembles the rest of the nation The arrival of millions of Northerners and Westerners mainly since the late 20th century has reshaped the culture of major metropolitan areas and coastal areas 119 Observers conclude that collective identity and Southern distinctiveness are declining particularly when defined against an earlier South that was somehow more authentic real more unified and distinct 120 While Hispanics have long been a major factor in Texas millions more have arrived in other Southern states during the 1990s and early 2000s bringing values not rooted in local traditions 121 122 123 Historian Raymond Mohl emphasizes the role of NAFTA in lowering trade barriers and facilitating large scale population movements He adds other factors such as ongoing economic crisis in Mexico new more liberal immigration policies in the United States labor recruitment and smuggling that have produced a major flow of Mexican and Hispanic migration to the southeast That region s low wage low skill economy readily hired cheap reliable nonunion labor without asking applicants too many questions about legal status 124 125 Richard J Gonzales argues that the rise of La Raza Mexican American community in terms of numbers and influence in politics education and language and cultural rights will grow rapidly in Texas by 2030 when demographers predict Hispanics will outnumber Anglos in Texas 126 However thus far their political participation and the Latino vote have been low so the potential political impact is much higher than the actual one thus far 127 128 Scholars have suggested that in the Deep South 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 120 On the other hand Southerners have moved west in large numbers especially to California and to the Midwest Thus 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 129 Sports EditRacial integration Edit During the 1950s and 1960s the racial integration of all white collegiate sports teams was high on the regional agenda Involved in it were issues of racial equality racism and the alumni s demand for the top players who it needed in order to win high profile games The Atlantic Coast Conference ACC would take the lead First they started to schedule integrated teams from the North The wake up call came in 1966 when Don Haskins s Texas Western College team with five black starters upset the all white University of Kentucky team to win the NCAA national basketball championship 130 That happened at a time when there were no black varsity basketball teams in either the Southeastern Conference or the Southwest Conference Finally ACC schools typically under pressure from boosters and civil rights groups integrated their sports teams 131 132 With an alumni base that dominated local and state politics society and business the ACC flagship schools were successful in their endeavor as historian Pamela Grundy argues they had learned how to win The widespread admiration that athletic ability inspired would help transform athletic fields from grounds of symbolic play to forces for social change places where a wide range of citizens could publicly and at times effectively challenge the assumptions that cast them as unworthy of full participation in U S society While athletic successes would not rid society of prejudice or stereotype black athletes would continue to confront racial slurs minority star players demonstrated the discipline intelligence and poise to contend for position or influence in every arena of national life 133 American football Edit Alabama plays Texas in American football for the 2010 BCS National Championship Game American football is heavily considered 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 almost 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 modern 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 has a growing tradition in the Southern United States Before league expansion began the only established professional team based in the South were the Washington Redskins now called the Washington Football Team They still retain a large following in most of Virginia and parts of Maryland 134 Later on the National Football League began to expand many teams in the Southern U S during 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 during the 1970s along with the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars during the 1990s The Houston Oilers were eventually replaced by the Houston Texans after the Oilers relocated to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans Collegiate football teams Rank Team Sport League Attendance avg game 135 1 Alabama Crimson Tide Football NCAA SEC 101 5622 LSU Tigers Football NCAA SEC 100 8193 Texas A amp M Aggies Football NCAA SEC 99 8444 Texas Longhorns Football NCAA Big 12 97 7135 Tennessee Volunteers Football NCAA SEC 92 9846 Georgia Bulldogs Football NCAA SEC 92 7467 Oklahoma Sooners Football NCAA Big 12 86 7358 Auburn Tigers Football NCAA SEC 84 4629 Florida Gators Football NCAA SEC 82 32810 Clemson Tigers Football NCAA ACC 80 40011 South Carolina Gamecocks Football NCAA SEC 73 62812 Florida State Seminoles Football NCAA ACC 68 28813 Miami Hurricanes Football NCAA ACC 61 46914 Louisville Cardinals Football NCAA ACC 61 29015 Oklahoma State Cowboys Football NCAA Big 12 60 21816 Arkansas Razorbacks Football NCAA SEC 59 88417 Virginia Tech Hokies Football NCAA ACC 59 57418 West Virginia Mountaineers Football NCAA Big 12 58 15819 Mississippi State Bulldogs Football NCAA SEC 58 05720 Kentucky Wildcats Football NCAA SEC 57 57221 NC State Wolfpack Football NCAA ACC 56 85522 Texas Tech Red Raiders Football NCAA Big 12 56 03423 Ole Miss Rebels Football NCAA SEC 55 68524 Baylor Bears Football NCAA Big 12 44 915Baseball Edit Houston vs Texas face off during the 2013 Lone Star Series in the American League West division of Major League Baseball Baseball has been played in the Southern United States dating back to the mid 19th century 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 136 137 During the late 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 Florida and Texas are commonly at the top of the NCAA s attendance 138 The South generally produces very successful collegiate baseball teams with Virginia Vanderbilt LSU South Carolina Florida and Coastal Carolina winning recent College World Series Titles The following is a list of each MLB team in the Southern U S and the total fan attendance for 2019 Rank Team League 2019 overall annual attendance 139 1 Houston Astros American League 2 857 3672 Atlanta Braves National League 2 654 9203 Washington Nationals National League 2 259 7814 Texas Rangers American League 2 133 0045 Baltimore Orioles American League 1 307 8076 Tampa Bay Rays American League 1 178 7357 Miami Marlins National League 811 302Auto racing Edit The start of the 2015 Daytona 500 the biggest race in NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Florida The Southern states are commonly associated with stock car racing and its most prominent competition level NASCAR which is headquartered in Charlotte North Carolina and Daytona Beach Florida The sport was developed in the South during the early 20th century with stock car racing s historic mecca being Daytona Beach 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 Edit Basketball is very popular throughout the Southern United States as both a recreational and spectator sport particularly in the states of Kentucky and North Carolina Both states are home to several prominent college basketball programs including the Kentucky Wildcats Louisville Cardinals Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels 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 Miami Heat The Spurs and Heat in particular have become prominent within the NBA with eight championships won by the two between 1999 and 2013 Golf Edit 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 one of the four major championships in professional golf The Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta Georgia and has become one of the professional game s most important tournaments Hilton Head Island in South Carolina is also home to a prominent American golf tournament and has several high quality courses Soccer Edit 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 D C United Orlando City Inter Miami CF Nashville SC Atlanta United and the future Austin FC and Charlotte FC 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 Major sports teams in the South Edit The Southern region is home to numerous professional sports franchises in the Big Four leagues NFL NBA NHL and MLB with many championships collectively among them Dallas Fort Worth Cowboys NFL Rangers MLB Mavericks NBA Stars NHL Washington D C Washington Football Team NFL Nationals MLB Wizards NBA Capitals NHL Miami Fort Lauderdale Dolphins NFL Marlins MLB Heat NBA Panthers NHL Houston Texans NFL Astros MLB Rockets NBA Atlanta Falcons NFL Braves MLB Hawks NBA Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Rays MLB Lightning NHL Baltimore Ravens NFL Orioles MLB Charlotte Panthers NFL Hornets NBA Nashville Titans NFL Predators NHL New Orleans Saints NFL Pelicans NBA Orlando Magic NBA San Antonio Spurs NBA Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Memphis Grizzlies NBA Raleigh Hurricanes NHL Health EditNine Southern states have obesity rates exceeding 30 of the population the highest in the country Those states include Mississippi Louisiana West Virginia Alabama Oklahoma Arkansas South Carolina Kentucky and Texas 140 141 Rates for hypertension and diabetes for these states are also the highest in the nation 141 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 142 The South has a higher percentage of obese people 143 and diabetics when compared to national regional averages 144 The region also has the largest number of people dying from stroke complications 145 and the highest rates of cognitive decline 146 Life expectancy is lower and death rates are higher when compared to national averages of other regions in the United States 147 148 This disparity reflects substantial divergence between the South and other regions since the middle of the 20th century 149 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 150 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 151 For cancer causes 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 152 which matches a similar high risk axis in All Cancers Combined Death Rates by State 2011 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 153 Politics EditMain article Politics of the Southern United States In the first decades after Reconstruction 1880s 1890s white Democrats regained power in the state legislatures and 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 disenfranchisement 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 154 Scholars have characterized pockets of the Southern United States as being authoritarian enclaves from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Act 12 13 14 15 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 outside from Southern Republican strongholds within the Appalachian mountain districts 155 156 Southern Republicans during this time period would continue to control parts of the Appalachian Mountain areas and compete for power in the former 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 157 By the 1940s the Supreme Court began to find disenfranchisement measures like the grandfather clause and the white primary unconstitutional Southern legislatures quickly passed other measures to keep blacks disenfranchised even after suffrage was extended more widely to poor whites Because white Democrats controlled all the Southern seats in the U S Congress they had outsize power and could sidetrack or filibuster efforts to pass legislation they didn t agree with A rally against school integration in Little Rock 1959 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 158 U S president Lyndon B Johnson signs the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 The 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 159 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 160 Major resistance to school busing extended into the 1970s 161 National 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 southerners 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 162 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 163 Decline of Southern liberalism during the 20th century Edit Southern liberals were an essential part of the New Deal coalition without them Roosevelt lacked majorities in Congress Typical leaders were Lyndon B Johnson in Texas Jim Folsom and John Sparkman in Alabama Claude Pepper in Florida Earl Long and Hale Boggs in Louisiana Luther H Hodges in North Carolina and Estes Kefauver in Tennessee They promoted subsidies for small farmers and supported the nascent labor union movement An essential condition for this north south coalition was for northern liberals to ignore the problem of racism throughout the South and elsewhere in the country After 1945 however northern liberals led especially by young Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota increasingly made civil rights a central issue They convinced Truman to join them in 1948 The conservative Southern Democrats the Dixiecrats took control of the state parties in half the region and ran Strom Thurmond for president against Truman Thurmond carried only the Deep South but that threat was enough to guarantee the national Democratic Party in 1952 and 1956 would not make civil rights a major issue In 1956 101 of the 128 southern congressmen and senators signed the Southern Manifesto denouncing forced desegregation 164 The labor movement in the South was divided and lost its political influence Southern liberals were in a quandary most of them kept quiet or moderated their liberalism others switched sides and the rest continued on the liberal path One by one the last group was defeated historian Numan V Bartley states Indeed the very word liberal gradually disappeared from the southern political lexicon except as a term of opprobrium 165 Presidents from the South Edit 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 produced nine of the country s first twelve Presidents After Zachary Taylor won the presidential election of 1848 no Southern politician was elected president until Woodrow Wilson in 1912 Andrew Johnson of Tennessee who was vice president in 1865 became president after the death of Abraham Lincoln Out of the last eleven U S presidents six have Southern region ties Lyndon B Johnson of Texas 1963 69 Jimmy Carter of Georgia 1977 81 George H W Bush of Texas 1989 93 Bill Clinton of Arkansas 1993 2001 George W Bush of Texas 2001 2009 and Joe Biden of Delaware 2021 present 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 Similarly while Joe Biden was born in Pennsylvania he grew up largely in Delaware classified as a Southern state by the U S Census Bureau and spent his entire political career there Other politicians and political movements Edit 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 until he was indicted under criminal charges in 2005 and was forced to step aside by Republican rules citation needed 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 166 Joe Biden also performed well for a modern Democrat in the South winning Maryland Delaware Virginia and Georgia in the 2020 United States presidential election Race relations EditMain article Racism in the United States Native Americans Edit Native Americans had lived in what is the American 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 citation needed Civil rights movement Edit Main articles Civil rights movement Montgomery bus boycott and Martin Luther King Jr The 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 Black people left the South to find work in Northern factories and other sectors of the economy 167 The migration also empowered the growing Civil Rights Movement While the movement existed in all parts of the United States its focus was against disenfranchisement 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 center of the Civil Rights Movement The 16th Street Baptist Church served as a rallying point for coordinating and carrying out the Birmingham campaign as 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 Historical Park 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 Congress ends segregation 1964 and guarantees voting rights 1965 Edit Main articles Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 Racial segregation was required by state laws in the South and other U S states until 1964 The decisive action ending segregation came when Congress in bipartisan fashion overcame Southern filibusters to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 A complex interaction of factors came together unexpectedly in the period 1954 1965 to make the momentous changes possible The Supreme Court had taken the first initiative in Brown v Board of Education 1954 making segregation of public schools unconstitutional Enforcement was rapid in the North and border states but was deliberately stopped in the South by the movement called Massive Resistance sponsored by rural segregationists who largely controlled the state legislatures Southern liberals who counseled moderation were shouted down by both sides and have limited impact Much more significant was the Civil Rights Movement especially the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC headed by Martin Luther King Jr It largely displaced the old much more moderate NAACP in taking leadership roles King organized massive demonstrations that seized massive media attention in an era when network television news was an innovative and universally watched phenomenon 168 SCLC student activists and smaller local organizations staged demonstrations across the South National attention focused on Birmingham Alabama where protesters deliberately provoked Bull Connor and his police forces by using young teenagers as demonstrators and Connor arrested 900 on one day alone The next day Connor unleashed billy clubs police dogs and high pressure water hoses to disperse and punish the young demonstrators with a brutality that horrified the nation It was very bad for business and for the image of a modernizing progressive urban South President John F Kennedy who had been calling for moderation threatened to use federal troops to restore order in Birmingham The result in Birmingham was compromise by which the new mayor opened the library golf courses and other city facilities to both races against the backdrop of church bombings and assassinations 169 170 Confrontations continued to escalate In summer 1963 there were 800 demonstrations in 200 southern cities and towns with over 100 000 participants and 15 000 arrests In Alabama in June 1963 Governor George Wallace escalated the crisis by defying court orders to admit the first two black students to the University of Alabama 171 Kennedy responded by sending Congress a comprehensive civil rights bill and ordered Attorney General Robert Kennedy to file federal lawsuits against segregated schools and to deny funds for discriminatory programs Doctor King launched a massive march on Washington in August 1963 bringing out 200 000 demonstrators in front of the Lincoln Memorial the largest political assembly in the nation s history The Kennedy administration now gave full fledged support to the civil rights movement but powerful southern congressmen blocked any legislation 172 After Kennedy was assassinated President Lyndon Johnson called for immediate passage of Kennedy civil rights legislation as a memorial to the martyred president Johnson formed a coalition with Northern Republicans that led to passage in the House and with the help of Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen with passage in the Senate early in 1964 For the first time in history the southern filibuster was broken and The Senate finally passed its version on June 19 by vote of 73 to 27 173 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most powerful affirmation of equal rights ever made by Congress It guaranteed access to public accommodations such as restaurants and places of amusement authorized the Justice Department to bring suits does desegregate facilities in schools gave new powers to the Civil Rights Commission and allowed federal funds to be cut off in cases of discrimination Furthermore racial religious and gender discrimination was outlawed for businesses with 25 or more employees as well as apartment houses The South resisted until the last moment but as soon as the new law was signed by President Johnson on July 2 1964 it was widely accepted across the nation There was only a scattering of diehard opposition typified by restaurant owner Lester Maddox in Georgia who became governor but the great majority of restaurants and hotels in Georgia followed the new law as the business community realized that peaceful integration was the only way forward 174 175 176 177 Since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 black people have gone on to hold many offices within the Southern states Black people have been elected or appointed as mayors or police chiefs in the cities of Atlanta Baltimore Birmingham Charlotte Columbia Dover Houston Jackson Jacksonville Memphis Montgomery Nashville New Orleans Raleigh Richmond and Washington They have also gone on to serve in both the U S Congress and state legislatures of Southern states 178 New Great Migration Edit The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s ended Jim Crow laws across the South and other areas of the United States In recent decades a second migration appears to be underway this time with African Americans from the North moving to the South in record numbers 179 While race relations are still a contentious issue in the South and most of the U S 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 180 Southern states tend to have a low disparity in incarceration rates between blacks and whites relative to the rest of the country 181 Symbolism EditSome Southerners use the Confederate battle flag to identify themselves with the South states rights and Southern tradition Such groups 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 182 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 monuments and the everyday display of Confederate insignia 183 Other symbols of the South include the Bonnie Blue Flag magnolia trees and the song Dixie 184 Population centers EditThe South was heavily rural up until the 1940s but now the population is increasingly concentrated in metropolitan areas The following tables show the twenty largest cities counties metropolitan and combined statistical areas in the South Houston is the largest city in the South Major cities Edit Houston Dallas Jacksonville Charlotte Washington D C Nashville Oklahoma City Atlanta Rank City State Population 2021 est 185 National Rank1 Houston TX 2 323 660 42 San Antonio TX 1 581 730 73 Dallas TX 1 347 120 94 Austin TX 1 011 790 115 Fort Worth TX 942 323 126 Jacksonville FL 929 647 137 Charlotte NC 912 096 158 Washington D C 714 153 209 El Paso TX 685 434 2210 Nashville TN 678 448 2311 Oklahoma City OK 669 347 2412 Memphis TN 651 011 2813 Louisville KY 615 924 2914 Baltimore MD 575 584 3115 Atlanta GA 524 067 3716 Raleigh NC 483 579 4017 Miami FL 478 251 4218 Virginia Beach VA 450 224 4419 Tampa FL 404 636 4720 Tulsa OK 402 742 48Major counties Edit Rank County Seat State Population 2021 est 186 1 Harris County Houston TX 4 779 8802 Miami Dade County Miami FL 2 721 1103 Dallas County Dallas TX 2 647 8504 Tarrant County Fort Worth TX 2 144 6505 Bexar County San Antonio TX 2 048 2906 Broward County Fort Lauderdale FL 1 966 1207 Palm Beach County West Palm Beach FL 1 524 5608 Hillsborough County Tampa FL 1 512 0709 Orange County Orlando FL 1 417 28010 Travis County Austin TX 1 328 72011 Wake County Raleigh NC 1 152 74012 Fairfax County Fairfax VA 1 145 67013 Mecklenburg County Charlotte NC 1 143 57014 Collin County McKinney TX 1 095 58015 Fulton County Atlanta GA 1 091 55016 Montgomery County Rockville MD 1 055 11017 Pinellas County Clearwater FL 978 87218 Duval County Jacksonville FL 975 96119 Gwinnett County Lawrenceville GA 954 07620 Denton County Denton TX 944 139Major metropolitan areas Edit Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area State s Population 2018 est 187 National Rank1 Dallas Fort Worth Arlington TX 7 573 136 42 Houston The Woodlands Sugar Land TX 6 997 384 53 Washington Arlington Alexandria VA MD WV DC 6 280 487 64 Miami Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach FL 6 166 488 75 Atlanta Sandy Springs Roswell GA 6 020 364 96 Tampa St Petersburg Clearwater FL 3 194 831 187 Baltimore Columbia Towson MD 2 800 053 219 Orlando Kissimmee Sanford FL 2 608 147 238 Charlotte Concord Gastonia NC SC 2 636 883 2210 San Antonio New Braunfels TX 2 518 036 2411 Cincinnati Northern Kentucky 188 OH IN KY 2 190 209 2912 Austin Round Rock San Marcos TX 2 168 316 30 San Juan Caguas Guaynabo PR 2 020 000 189 13 Nashville Davidson Murfreesboro Franklin TN 1 930 961 3614 Virginia Beach Norfolk Newport News VA NC 1 676 822 3715 Jacksonville FL 1 559 514 4016 Oklahoma City Norman OK 1 396 445 4117 Raleigh Cary NC 1 362 540 4218 Memphis Forrest City TN MS AR 1 350 620 4319 Richmond Petersburg VA 1 291 900 4420 Louisville Jefferson County 190 KY IN 1 297 310 45 Asterisk indicates part of the metropolitan area is outside the states classified as Southern by the U S Census Bureau Major combined statistical areas Edit Rank Combined Statistical Area State s Population 2017 est 191 1 Washington Baltimore Arlington DC MD VA WV PA 9 764 3152 Dallas Fort Worth TX 7 846 2933 Houston The Woodlands Baytown TX 7 093 1904 Miami Fort Lauderdale Port St Lucie FL 6 828 2415 Atlanta Athens Clarke County Sandy Springs GA 6 555 9566 Orlando Deltona Daytona Beach FL 3 284 1987 Charlotte Concord NC SC 2 684 1218 Cincinnati Wilmington Maysville OH KY IN 2 238 2659 Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill NC 2 199 45910 Nashville Davidson Murfreesboro TN 2 027 48911 Virginia Beach Norfolk VA NC 1 829 19512 Greensboro Winston Salem High Point NC 1 663 53213 Jacksonville St Marys Palatka FL GA 1 631 48814 Louisville Jefferson County Elizabethtown Madison KY IN 1 522 11215 New Orleans Metairie Hammond LA MS 1 510 16216 Oklahoma City Shawnee OK 1 455 93517 Greenville Spartanburg Anderson SC 1 460 03618 Memphis Forrest City TN MS AR 1 374 19019 Birmingham Hoover Talladega AL 1 364 06220 Tulsa Muskogee Bartlesville OK 1 160 612Southern states EditListed below are states that are defined by the Census Bureau as the Southern United States Washington D C is located in the Southern United States region as defined by the Census Bureau but serves as the capital city of the United States and is not a state Rank State Capital Population 2020 2 National Rank1 Texas Austin 29 145 505 22 Florida Tallahassee 21 538 187 33 Georgia Atlanta 10 711 908 84 North Carolina Raleigh 10 439 388 95 Virginia Richmond 8 631 393 126 Tennessee Nashville 6 910 840 167 Maryland Annapolis 6 177 224 188 South Carolina Columbia 5 118 425 239 Alabama Montgomery 5 024 279 2410 Louisiana Baton Rouge 4 657 757 2511 Kentucky Frankfort 4 505 836 2612 Oklahoma Oklahoma City 3 959 353 2813 Arkansas Little Rock 3 011 524 3314 Mississippi Jackson 2 961 279 3415 West Virginia Charleston 1 793 716 3916 Delaware Dover 989 948 45See also EditAlbion s Seed Antebellum architecture Black Belt in the American South Cuisine of the Southern United States Culture of honor Southern United States List of plantations in the United States Lost Cause of the Confederacy Rice Belt Southern American English Southern art Southern hip hop Southern hospitality Southernization Southern literature Southern rock Southern strategyReferences Edit a b Census Regions and Divisions of the United States PDF U S Census Bureau Archived from the original PDF on June 17 2016 Retrieved June 9 2016 a b Change in Resident Population of the 50 States the District of Columbia 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Savannah Georgia PDF Southern Rural Sociology 24 1 223 239 Smith M G 1982 Ethnicity and ethnic groups in America the view from Harvard PDF Ethnic and Racial Studies 5 1 1 22 doi 10 1080 01419870 1982 9993357 Archived from the original PDF on July 21 2015 David Hackett Fischer Albion s Seed Four British Folkways in America New York Oxford University Press 1989 pp 633 639 a b 1 Table 3a Persons Who Reported a Single Ancestry Group for Regions Divisions and States 1980 Check url value help census gov a b Table 1 Type of Ancestry Response for Regions Divisions and States 1980 PDF census gov Wilson Charles Reagan Ferris William R Encyclopedia of Southern culture p 556 Christine Leigh Heyrman Southern Cross The Beginnings of the Bible Belt 1998 Donald G Mathews Religion in the Old South 1979 Edward L Queen In the South the Baptists Are the Center of Gravity Southern Baptists and Social Change 1930 1980 1991 Baptists as a Percentage of all Residents Department of Geography and Meteorology Valparaiso University 2000 Archived from the original on May 22 2010 Samuel S Hill Charles H Lippy and Charles Reagan Wilson eds Encyclopedia of Religion in the South 2005 The most and least religious states in the US Mississippi comes out top Vermont is bottom Christian News on Christian Today christiantoday com Blanton Anderson Hittin the Prayer Bones Materiality of Spirit in the Pentecostal South University of North Carolina Press 2015 Marc Egnal Divergent paths how culture and institutions have shaped North American growth 1996 p 170 a b Edward L Ayers What Caused the Civil War Reflections on the South and Southern History 2005 p 46 Rebecca Mark and Robert C Vaughan The South 2004 p 147 Cooper and Knotts Declining Dixie Regional Identification in the Modern American South p 1084 Christopher A Cooper and H Gibbs Knotts eds The New Politics of North Carolina 2008 Raymond A Mohl Globalization Latinization and the Nuevo New South Journal of American Ethnic History 2003 22 4 31 66 online Jaycie Vos et al Voices from the Southern Oral History Program New Roots Nuevas Raices Stories from Carolina del Norte Southern Cultures 22 4 2016 31 49 online Richard J Gonzales 2016 Raza Rising Chicanos in North Texas University of North Texas Press p 111 ISBN 9781574416329 Charles S Bullock and M V Hood A Mile Wide Gap The Evolution of Hispanic Political Emergence in the Deep South Social Science Quarterly 87 5 2006 1117 1135 online Mary E Odem and Elaine Lacy eds Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U S South U of Georgia Press 2009 Michael Hirsh April 25 2008 How the South Won This Civil War Archived December 11 2008 at the Wayback Machine Newsweek accessed November 22 2008 Don Haskins and Dan Wetzel My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever 2006 Charles H Martin The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow in Southern College Sports The Case of the Atlantic Coast Conference North Carolina Historical Review 76 3 1999 253 284 online Richard Pennington Breaking the Ice The Racial Integration of Southwest Conference Football McFarland 1987 Pamela Grundy Learning to win Sports education and social change in twentieth century North Carolina U of North Carolina Press 2003 p 297 online Meyer Robinson September 5 2014 Here Is Every U S County s Favorite Football Team According to Facebook The Atlantic 2018 National College Football Attendance PDF Writers Program of the Work Projects Administration on the State of Texas 1942 Houston A History and Guide American Guide Series The Anson Jones Press p 215 LCCN 87890145 OL 2507140M Base Ball Club The Weekly Telegraph April 16 1861 Retrieved December 10 2012 Cutler Tami March 31 2014 2014 Division I Baseball Attendance PDF National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Retrieved January 20 2015 MLB Attendance ESPN Retrieved March 19 2020 Adult Obesity Facts Overweight and Obesity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention August 13 2012 a b Baird Joel Banner June 30 2010 Study Vermont among least obese states The Burlington Free Press Burlington VT pp 1A 4A Retrieved May 12 2013 The Six Worst States for Sleep 247wallst com Retrieved June 29 2016 Rachel Pomerance Most and Least Obese U S States U S News amp World Report August 16 2012 Diabetes Most Prevalent In Southern United States Study Finds Science Daily September 25 2009 Southern Diet Might Explain the stroke Belt HealthDay February 7 2013 Rick Nauert U S South Has Higher Risk of Cognitive Decline Psych Central May 27 2011 Cullen Mark R Cummins Clint Fuchs Victor R 2012 Geographic and Racial Variation in Premature Mortality in the U S Analyzing the Disparities PLOS ONE 7 4 e32930 Bibcode 2012PLoSO 732930C doi 10 1371 journal pone 0032930 PMC 3328498 PMID 22529892 CDC Death in the United States Fenelon A 2013 Geographic Divergence in Mortality in the United States Population and Development Review 39 4 611 634 doi 10 1111 j 1728 4457 2013 00630 x PMC 4109895 PMID 25067863 Wiess AJ and Elixhauser A October 2014 Overview of Hospital Utilization 2012 HCUP Statistical Brief 180 Rockville MD Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Torio CM Andrews RM September 2014 Geographic Variation in Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Acute and Chronic Conditions 2005 2011 HCUP Statistical Brief 178 Rockville MD Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Matt Stiles The State of the Cancer Nation NPR April 17 2015 2nd map in Cancer Prevention and Control Cancer Rates by State Centers for Disease Control and Prevention August 25 2014 Michael Perman Pursuit of Unity A Political History of the American South 2009 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 The classic study is V O Key Southern politics in State and Nation 1949 Numan V Bartley The New South 1945 1980 1995 pp 455 70 Bernard Cosman Five States for Goldwater Continuity and Change in Southern Presidential Voting Patterns 1966 David M Chalmers Backfire how the Ku Klux Klan helped the civil rights movement 2003 Bartley The New South pp 408 11 Earl Black and Merle Black The Rise of Southern Republicans 2003 William C Martin With God On Our Side The Rise of the Religious Right in America 2005 Brent J Aucoin The Southern Manifesto and Southern Opposition to Desegregation Arkansas Historical Quarterly 55 2 1996 173 193 Online Numan V Bartley The New South 1945 1980 the story of the South s modernization 1995 pp 61 67 73 92 101 quoting p 71 Romney Bus Tour Charts Course for Battlegrounds Obama Won Businessweek August 10 2012 Katzman 1996 Graham Allison Framing the South Hollywood television and race during the Civil Rights Struggle 2001 Diane McWhorter Carry Me Home Birmingham Alabama The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution 2001 Dewey W Grantham The South in Modern America 1994 228 234 Dan T Carter The politics of rage George Wallace the origins of the new conservatism and the transformation of American politics LSU Press 2000 Robert E Gilbert John F Kennedy and civil rights for black Americans Presidential Studies Quarterly 12 3 1982 386 399 Online Garth E Pauley Presidential rhetoric and interest group politics Lyndon B Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Southern Journal of Communication 63 1 1997 1 19 Grantham The South in Modern America 1994 234 245 David Garrow Bearing the Cross Martin Luther King Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1989 Jeanne Theoharis A More Beautiful and Terrible History The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History 2018 For primary sources see John A Kirk ed The Civil Rights Movement A Documentary Reader 2020 Gallup Poll U S race relations by region The South Archived May 27 2016 at the Wayback Machine November 19 2002 Tracking New Trends in Race Migration News amp Notes National Public Radio March 14 2006 Retrieved April 4 2008 Study shows Memphis among most integrated cities Memphis Business Journal January 13 2003 Mauer Marc Ryan S King July 2007 Uneven Justice State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity PDF Washington D C The Sentencing Project p 16 Retrieved April 20 2010 Report Core Beliefs Statement of The League of the South League of the South June 1994 Retrieved January 23 2020 Tony Horowitz Confederates in the Attic 1998 Martinez James Michael Richardson William Donald McNinch Su Ron eds 2000 Confederate Symbols University Press of Florida ISBN 9780813017587 The 200 Largest Cities in the United States by Population 2021 WorldPopulationReview Retrieved February 13 2021 US County Populations 2021 WorldPopulationReview Retrieved February 13 2021 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 The 2012 Census population estimate for the part within the South Kentucky is 431 997 2 dead link San Juan Caguas Guaynabo PR Datausa io Retrieved June 30 2020 The 2010 Census population for the part within the South Kentucky is 973 271 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 Retrieved March 31 2018 permanent dead link Further reading EditAllen John O and Clayton E Jewett 2004 Slavery in the South A State by State History Greenwood Press ISBN 978 0 313 32019 4 Ayers Edward L What Caused the Civil War Reflections on the South and Southern History 2005 Ayers Edward L 1993 The Promise of the New South Life after Reconstruction Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 508548 8 Billington Monroe Lee 1975 The Political South in the 20th Century Scribner ISBN 978 0 684 13983 8 Black Earl amp Black Merle 2002 The Rise of Southern Republicans Belknap press ISBN 978 0 674 01248 6 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 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 Flynt J Wayne Dixie s Forgotten People The South s Poor Whites 1979 deals with 20th century Frederickson Kari 2013 Cold War Dixie Militarization and Modernization in the American South Athens GA University of Georgia Press Eugene D Genovese 1976 Roll Jordan Roll The World the Slaves Made New York Vintage Books p 41 ISBN 978 0 394 71652 7 Grantham Dewey W The South in modern America 2001 survey covers 1877 2000 Grantham Dewey W The life and death of the Solid South A political history 1992 Johnson Charles S Statistical atlas of southern counties listing and analysis of socio economic indices of 1104 southern counties 1941 excerpt David M Katzman 1996 Black Migration The Reader s Companion to American History Houghton Mifflin Company Key V O Southern Politics in State and Nation 1951 classic political analysis state by state online free to borrow Kirby Jack Temple Rural Worlds Lost The American South 1920 1960 LSU Press 1986 major scholarly survey with detailed bibliography online free to borrow Michael Kreyling 1998 Inventing Southern Literature University Press of Mississippi p 66 ISBN 978 1 57806 045 0 Rayford Logan 1997 The Betrayal of the Negro from Rutherford B Hayes to Woodrow Wilson New York Da Capo Press ISBN 978 0 306 80758 9 McWhiney Grady In Cracker Culture Celtic Ways in the Old South 1988 Mark Rebecca and Rob Vaughan The South The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures 2004 Morris Christopher 2009 A More Southern Environmental History Journal of Southern History 75 3 581 598 Odem Mary E and Elaine Lacy eds Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U S South U of Georgia Press 2009 Rabinowitz Howard N September 1976 From Exclusion to Segregation Southern Race Relations 1865 1890 Journal of American History 43 2 325 350 doi 10 2307 1899640 JSTOR 1899640 Nicol C Rae 1994 Southern Democrats Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 508709 3 Jeffrey A Raffel 1998 Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation The American Experience Greenwood Press ISBN 978 0 313 29502 7 Rivers Larry E and Canter Brown eds The Varieties of Women s Experiences Portraits of Southern Women in the Post Civil War Century UP of Florida 2010 Thornton III J Mills Archipelagoes of My South Episodes in the Shaping of a Region 1830 1965 2016 online Tindall George B The emergence of the new South 1913 1945 1967 online free to borrow Robert W Twyman David C Roller eds 1979 Encyclopedia of Southern History LSU Press ISBN 978 0 8071 0575 7 Virts Nancy 2006 Change in the Plantation System American South 1910 1945 Explorations in Economic History 43 1 153 176 doi 10 1016 j eeh 2005 04 003 Wells Jonathan Daniel 2009 The Southern Middle Class Journal of Southern History 75 3 651 Charles Reagan Wilson William Ferris eds 1989 Encyclopedia of Southern Culture University of North Carolina Press ISBN 978 0 8078 1823 7 Woodward C Vann 1955 The Strange Career of Jim Crow Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 514690 5 Woodward C Vann Origins of the New South 1877 1913 A History of the South 1951 Gavin Wright 1996 Old South New South Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War LSU Press ISBN 978 0 8071 2098 9 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Southern United States Wikiquote has quotations related to Southern United States Southern United States travel guide from Wikivoyage DocSouth Documenting the American South multimedia collections from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for the Study of Southern Culture the research center at the University of Mississippi with a graduate program and undergraduate major in southern studies University of Mississippi Libraries Southern Studies Library Guides University of North Carolina Southern Studies Southern Studies Jumpgate Annotated list of sites Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Southern United States amp oldid 1052870066, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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