North Carolina History: Reconstruction to 1940

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North Carolina History: Reconstruction to 1940 : 

North Carolina History: Reconstruction to 1940 NCST 2000 “Introduction to North Carolina Studies” Tom Shields Fall 2008

20th-Century North Carolina : 

20th-Century North Carolina Some major issues in 20th-century North Carolina: Jim Crow laws and their lingering effects Low voting percentages Little unionization Low literacy rates A one party system (1900-1970) and its lingering effects Two topics in late 19th- and early 20th-century North Carolina history help illustrate these issues: The mill village system The Wilmington Race Riots

Mill Villages : 

Mill Villages North Carolina as a Highly Industrialized, Largely Rural State

Mill Culture : 

Mill Culture After the Civil War, industry grew in North Carolina. What kinds of industries grew? Textiles, wood products (especially furniture), and tobacco Where in the state were these industries located and why? The Piedmont, because of access to raw materials and, just as importantly, power sources (water power available west of the Fall Line)

An Example of Mill Culture : 

An Example of Mill Culture This 1871 broadside to attract Northern investors to Highpoint in Guilford County reveals what went into developing a mill economy in North Carolina after the Civil War (Library of Congress, American Memory) . A transcript of the document is in the “Course Documents” section of the class Blackboard site. It is well worth reading to get a sense of how elements of what we have studied come together in a moment of history.

Rhode Island vs. Waltham Mill Model : 

Rhode Island vs. Waltham Mill Model There were two main models for mills and their workers during the nineteenth century: The Waltham (Massachusetts) Model: Put the mills together in a central area around a power source, usually a series of canals. Workers for the different mills lived together in tenements. The Rhode Island Model: Individual mills, separated from one another Workers lived in villages near the mills, in company owned housing, often with garden plots.

North Carolina: The Rhode Island Model : 

North Carolina: The Rhode Island Model North Carolina used the Rhode Island model predominantly. Allowed for a more rural setting for mills, separated from nearby towns Such a model allowed mill owners to attract workers from rural areas, mainly from farms, to work in the factories.

Life in Mill Villages : 

Life in Mill Villages Life for mill workers was almost exclusively in the mill villages. Depending on economic conditions, companies used the social (including retail) facilities of company owned mill towns to attract workers or to keep control over workers. A good site on life in mill towns is Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. Life for mill workers was almost exclusively in the mill villages. Depending on economic conditions, companies used the social (including retail) facilities of company owned mill towns to attract workers or to keep control over workers. A good site on life in mill towns is Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World.

The Wilmington Race Riots : 

The Wilmington Race Riots A Touchstone for 19th- and 20th-Century North Carolina History

The Wilmington Race Riots as Touchstone : 

The Wilmington Race Riots as Touchstone November 12, 1898—A military-style column of European American men went into the African American part of Wilmington, destroying the African American newspaper office, then burning and killing their way through the rest of that part of town. Understanding what led to this event and what followed it is a good way to understand North Carolina following the Civil War and into the 20th century.

The Race Riots : 

The Race Riots Predominantly New South leaders, not Civil War veterans The New South emphasized industry and sharecropping, opposing itself to the antebellum slave-based economy and culture Three state Democratic Party leaders instigated the riots without participating in them Josephus Daniels—publisher of several newspapers, including the Kinston Free Press and the Raleigh News and Observer Charles Aycock—governor of North Carolina, 1901-1905 Furnifold M. Simmons—U.S. Representative 1887-89, U.S. Senator 1901-1931 Actual riots lead by Colonel Alfred M. Waddell—a colorful character but not a real leader in Wilmington, yet made into the mayor following the riots until 1904 Hugh McCrea—a local Wilmington native with an MIT education and owner of a textile plant

The Riot in Pictures : 

The Riot in Pictures THE REVOLUTION AT WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA (From top left, clockwise) 1. Ex-Congressman Alfred M. Waddell, Revolutionary Mayor of Wilmington. 2. "Manhattan Park," where Shooting Affray took place. 3. Fourth and Harnet, where first Negroes fell. 4. E.G. Parmalee, new Chief of Police. 5. The wrecked "Record" Building and a Group of Vigilantes

Civil War and Reconstruction : 

Civil War and Reconstruction Slavery  Civil War  Reconstruction Two Periods of Reconstruction: 1868-1870—many European Americans would see this as the period of “Negro Domination.” During this period, Republicans would shield African Americans. 1870 on in North Carolina (1877 on in the rest of the United States)—many European Americans would portray this period as the “Redemption.” African Americans in North Carolina are forsaken by the U.S. government and the Democrats are courted, putting them back in power.

1880s : 

1880s During the 1880s, the United States suffered the largest agricultural depression in history, felt particularly strongly in the South Politically, there was no place for Southern poor and lower middle-class European Americans to go Democrats were the party of the politically powerful Republicans were the “Negro” party The Populist Party gave poor and lower middle-class European Americans a political home Populism brought together Midwesterners and Southerners in Farmers' Alliances because of discontent with crop failures, falling prices, poor markets, and lack of credit facilities.

1880s : 

1880s During the 1880s, the United States suffered the largest agricultural depression in history, felt particularly strongly in the South Politically, there was no place for Southern poor and lower middle-class European Americans to go Democrats were the party of the politically powerful Republicans were the “Negro” party The Populist Party gave poor and lower middle-class European Americans a political home Populism brought together Midwesterners and Southerners, who were discontented because of crop failures, falling prices, and poor marketing and credit facilities” (“Populist Movement” Encyclopædia Britannica Online).

1890s : 

1890s In 1894, North Carolina Republicans and Populists struck a deal for political convenience, becoming the Fusionists Members of either party did not lose their party affiliation, but the two parties worked as a coalition 1894—Fusionists won the North Carolina General Assembly 1896—Fusionists gained control of virtually all other state offices The first act of the Fusionists was to put in place political reforms No land ownership requirements for voting, use of secret ballots, use of poll watchers, etc. Democrats feared they would never be able to win back the government

1898 : 

1898 Daniels, Aycock, and Simmons decided that violence was the only way to undermine Fusionist power Rhetorical Battle Fed stories about such things as African American men raping European American women, especially to newspapers Played up fears of a non-segregated society in political speeches Economic Battle Credit (for such things as fertilizer, seed, etc.) given only to store owners who were registered Democrats Enforced boycotts against Fusionist store owners (Democrat employers would fire a worker for buying a hat from a Fusionist store owner, etc.) (cont.)

1898 (cont.) : 

1898 (cont.) Physical Battle By election day (November 10, 1898), systematic violence had been instigated throughout the state A typical example was Elizabeth City, where the African American newspaper had been burned down, guards were posted on every corner, and after the election, every leading Fusionist was forced out of town. The riots occurred in Wilmington after the election (November 12, 1898) and became much more violent because its government was controlled by Fusionists and not all were up for reelection in 1898. The Democrats forced the European American Fusionists out of town and told African Americans they would not be allowed to hold certain jobs, such as being doctors, lawyers, etc.

Interesting Online Sources : 

Interesting Online Sources The Political Graveyard—brief biographies of politicians: <http://politicalgraveyard.com/index.html>. For the Record: Representations of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898—contemporary newspaper articles and photographs, no longer on the web, but available through the Internet Archive: <http://web.archive.org/web/20070804091551/http://www.mith.umd.edu/courses/amvirtual/wilmington/wilmington.html>. 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission—established by the North Carolina General Assembly, their final report of May 31, 2006, has raised questions about possible reparations. <http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/1898-wrrc/default.htm>. A WUNC Radio/NPR story on the riots and reparations can be found at either of these links: WUNC or NPR.

Changes In Early20th-Century North Carolina : 

Changes In Early20th-Century North Carolina From the Race Riots and Beyond

Social Changes : 

Social Changes During the period of 1898-1900, Democrats put into place social ordinances—Jim Crow Laws—that created a division between African and European Americans Even into the 1890s, musical events, church revivals, baseball games, etc., were desegregated. Jim Crow laws, pioneered in Winston-Salem, put an end to this sort of social mixing of the races Many of these laws continued in place until the 1970s

Political Changes : 

Political Changes Along with Jim Crow Laws, Democrats put election reforms into place to disenfranchise African American voters (poll taxes, literacy requirements, etc.) These reforms not only disenfranchised African American voters, but poor European American voters as well (despite the grandfather clause) Voter turnout fell—96% in 1896, 53% in 1900, and it continued to fall even to the present The result was a one-party state, with little investment in programs that might help the poor.

Early 20th Educational Reforms : 

Early 20th Educational Reforms In 1900, only two-thirds of the state’s children of school age were enrolled in school, and less than half of these children attended regularly Starting in 1901, Governor Charles B. Aycock pushed for universal education, at least for European American children Aycock improved education, but had as at least one motive enfranchising more Whites and while continuing to disenfranchising Blacks (segregated school systems) With literacy requirements for voting, these reforms would create a larger base for the Democratic Party Economically, Aycock was an early proponent of the idea that a well-educated worker is a more productive worker (cont.)

Educational Reforms (cont.) : 

Educational Reforms (cont.) Rural areas had the most trouble providing schooling 1901 program of distributing state funds to schools, giving poorer counties a larger portion of funds 1907 rural high school law established high schools in rural areas By the mid-1920s, many rural schools consolidated in order to provide better services, consolidation made possible through newly available school busses Many reforms were not available to African American students, whose segregated schools received less than did European American ones.

Agriculture and Labor : 

Agriculture and Labor Some issues connected with the Race Riots and Mill Villages intersect Agriculture Agriculture’s link to the Fusionists hurt it politically The Farmer’s Union kept an apolitical stance and made various reforms in agriculture, with mixed results Labor Attempts to organize labor had limited success Particularly harvest/agriculturally-based industries were difficult to organize—textiles, tobacco, furniture Child Labor In 1900, 24% of the workers in the state’s textile mills were children Significant change did not occur until federal law abolished child labor in 1933

Woman Suffrage : 

Woman Suffrage Early Attempts The organized push for woman suffrage in North Carolina began in 1894 with the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association in Buncombe County In 1897, the General Assembly voted down a woman suffrage bill Later Attempts New suffrage organizations began to organize in 1913, first in Morganton, then in Greenville, with 16 local organizations by 1916 In 1917, the General Assembly rejected woman suffrage The Nineteenth Amendment In 1920, the General Assembly was called into special session to consider the 19th Amendment, but rejected it In August 1920, Tennessee became the state that gave the amendment its needed last approval North Carolina finally ratified the amendment in 1971, the second to last state to do so

Reform and Conservatism : 

Reform and Conservatism North Carolina from the Civil War through the first half of the 20th century is marked by two impulses, a desire for reform and an attachment to a conservative culture Reform is attached to mostly economic needs, from improving education to improve the workforce to building better roads Conservatism is attached to social issues, from woman suffrage to racial equality even to the teaching of evolution