The post-Civil War South is in shambles. With the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, the American South was in for a shock. How would this affect the culture that relied so heavily on slave-labor on vast plantations? Would the South just wither and be assimilated into the North? The United States government highlighted an ambition reconstruction plan. This would lead to prosperous time for American across the nation, as long as you were white. The Progressive Era would usher in a new attitude, or did it? What would the effects of World War I and II have in this culture and a tradition-rich slice of the Bible belt? There are many factors to consider when analyzing when the American South loses its individuality. When did the American South become less distinctive from the rest of the United States?.
Southern individualism is a broad term. To assess when the American South lost this, first we must find what made the American South distinctive. In the United States, Slavery had a significant role in shaping the south. The climate was beneficial to cultivate tobacco, cotton, and other crops. The unmistakable southern dialect was also a very southern feature. Large plantations with tree-lined driveways and southern belles with their arrogance and virtue. Sights you could only see past the Mason-Dixon. Even the diversity of the diverse South was in itself, unique. The supplemental reader states, "Those who lived in the South Carolina Lowcountry were different in terms of ethnicity, accent, ideology, occupation, religion, music, and language from the people of the southern Appalachians. (Escott, Goldfield, McMillen, & Hayes-Turner, 1999, p. 1)" It was this diversity that would set South apart; every state developed its distinct culture. The causes of the evaporation of this culture would be intertwined with the lost struggle of states' rights that would continue for years.