Puslapio vaizdai

croachments" of Washington on the "sacred domain of States-rights."

Perhaps the most extreme illustration of the influence of economics on politics that has thus far been afforded in America by the Great War is the effort made by the South in 1914 to secure governmental "valorization" of cotton in a manner strikingly analogous to the Brazilian method for governmental control of the coffee crop, which, only three years previously, was denounced as extortionate monopoly. As Professor Alvin Johnson of Cornell has said, the Brazilian method of control of the coffee market consists, in the first place, in the warehousing of the existing supply, and the limitation of shipments from the government warehouses to such amounts as will not depress prices unduly. In the second place, shipments on private account are checked by a heavy export duty. By its control of conditions under which coffee is accepted at the warehouses, the State is able to keep production within bounds.-Four-fifths of the coffee of the world comes from Brazil; not far from three-fourths of the cotton comes from the United States.-The huge coffee crop of 1906-1907 (twenty million bags, as compared with an average crop of twelve millions) forced upon the attention of the Brazilian mercantile community and the state government, the inadequacy of a laissez-faire policy in the matter of this chief staple. The present European war, with its attendant disorganization of markets consuming one-third of the world's cotton supply, is producing a similar effect upon American opinion. This opinion centralizes in the South.

The growth of mill towns in the South, involving as they do the transition of population from iso8 In the New Republic, Nov. 7, 1914.

lated rural life to the solidarity of urban communities, has perceptibly affected politics. Trusting in the leadership of cotton mill managers, and at other times maneuvered by astute and unscrupulous politicians to their own hurt, the mill operatives are beginning to furnish solid masses of votes in a manner that makes them a power. Suddenly torn away as they now are from custom, uprooted from the traditional and unthinking vote-casting of partizanship "back home" in the rural districts, and transplanted into a new economic environment favorable to the explosive force of new ideas as well as to the ferment of political discussion, these mill folk introduce into the "solid South" the thin edge of a wedge that may rift it. Already there are cases of a solid mill population voting the Republican ticket, and of mill managers that are quoted as saying that their operatives are "all Republican without knowing it." Unquestionably an important impetus in the wave of laws for liquor restraint that has recently swept over the South was supplied by far-sighted mill management, anxious to enlist temperance in the interest of efficiency, and inducing operatives to vote for it. Unquestionable also is the more or less ominous fact that a class consciousness is slowly evolving in the mill people, which must profoundly affect the political South of the future. The native clannishness of Southerners, and especially of "mountain whites," intensified as it is now by selfinterest, is provided with a closely knit and compact community life, entirely isolated from contact with the general community, that affords a tilled hot-bed for the growth of class consciousness, as though all the elements had been carefully arranged for that purpose.




NOWHERE has the persistent social contrast between the North and the South been portrayed more vividly or with franker open-mindedness than by a veteran of the Confederate army in a book entitled, "The Brothers' War." Cross the Ohio, he says, and you have entered another country: behind you, a land of corn pone, biscuits, three hot meals a day, and houses tended shiftlessly by negro servants; before you, a land of bakers' bread, with hardly more than one warm meal a day, and the houses kept as "neat as a pin" by the mothers and daughters of the family. Behind you, a crude and feeble rural school system, no government by town meeting, scant direct legislation, great public activity by the county and hardly any on the part of its subdivisions; before you, a common school system energetically improving, government by town meeting instead of representatives, and buoyant energy of the township in public affairs. Southerners are quick to return a blow for insulting words, and are prone to the use of deadly weapons; while Northerners are generally as averse from personal violence as were the Greeks and Romans. "The battle cry of the Confederates was a wild cheering—a foxhunt yell, as we called it; that of the Union soldiers was huzza! huzza! huzza! From the beginning to the end, even at Franklin and Bentonville, and at

1 By John C. Reed: Boston, 1906; p. 60.

Farmville, just two days before I was surrendered at Appomattox, the Confederates always, if possible, took the offensive; the Union soldiers were like the sturdy Englishmen, whose tactics from Hastings to Waterloo have generally been defensive."

The differences of which such contrasts are symptomatic derive largely from the fact that the South, in consequence chiefly of slavery, which debarred immigration, has remained singularly homogeneous, old-fashioned and unchangeable, while the North, stirred by a constant influx of new blood as well as by the stimulus of a diversified economic activity, may lack charm, but certainly possesses efficiency.

The South is beginning to change, however, not only politically, but socially-profoundly and rapidly so. These changes are largely connected with the extensive introduction of manufacture, and chiefly cotton manufacture. All three white classes of the old-time South are involved: the "first families," wealthy planters and former slave-holders; the "poor whites," or small tenants, despised by the ante-bellum negro and widely misapprehended today; and the great middle class who have always existed in the South in spite of an evident determination on the part of many writers to ignore them.

From each of these classes large numbers are "going into business;" keen young scions of "de quality" vying in manufacturing enterprise with the sons of their fathers' overseers, while from the middle class as well as the ranks of "poor whites" the people are flocking to the mills and forsaking country homes for the city. What Holland Thompson says of North Carolina 2 is true, to a greater or less

2 From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill; a Study of the Industrial Transition in North Carolina: New York, 1906; p. 8.

degree, of the South as a whole. "Communities which had altered little since the days of Cornwallis are feeling the modern industrial spirit. 'Business' is being exalted to a position heretofore unknown. A type of shrewd, far-sighted business man is being developed. The 'Southern Yankees' devote themselves exclusively to their work and need ask no favors in any contest of commercial strategy. Social lines are shifting. Families which have decidedly influenced the spirit of the community become less important, unless they take part in the new movement. There are signs of class distinctions based upon wealth and business success. The whole attitude of mind has changed more during the last fifteen years than in the fifty preceding."

A discussion of the amazing development of cotton manufacture largely responsible for this change is reserved for the last section of this book. Meanwhile it may not come amiss to attempt a portrait of the Southern leader as he is to-day: cotton mill president or manager, banker or attorney or editor -the man who, more than any other, is making "the new South" and being made by it.

It would be folly to question his Americanism; to himself it never occurs that this could be open to question. His loyalty to the flag and the Union, being quietly unconscious of itself, is an ingrained habit of thought. Perhaps his sires fought in the Revolution, so that all of his earlier family traditions are interwoven with Union patriotism; while the Civil War he is likely to regard as a final arbitrament of issues inherent in the Federal Constitution, issues as between States-rights and a centripetal sovereignty, which had to be determined in

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