The Confederate South - America's Deep South

The South is a distinctive cultural and geographic region of the US corresponding to the former Confederate States and their neighbours. The term has cultural, historical, political, musical, literary and culinary connotations and is rich in meaning; simultaneously loved and reviled. The region is affectionately known as Dixie.

History

The southern slave states of the US developed an agrarian economy characterised by large plantations overseen by a sophisticated gentry. The ‘Gone with the Wind’ image springs to most people’s minds, yet the south was much more than that, and actually most of its inhabitants were neither slaves nor slave owners. As the economies of the north prospered with the development of mechanisation during the Industrial Revolution, the south remained wedded to labour intensive and non-mechanised agriculture; consequently the economic rift between the regions widened. At the same time, slavery began to lose its popularity and many believers began to question its acceptability within Christian practices. The political pimple of slavery burst with the election of Abraham Lincoln on a platform unsympathetic to the southern slave states. South Carolina became the first state to secede from the union and the cotton states of the south joined them, forming the Confederate State of America on 4th February 1861 with its capital in Richmond, Virginia.

 

The Confederate attack on South Carolina’s Fort Sumter on 12th April was the first shot of the War between the States, better known at the American Civil War. The Union prevailed with the defeat of the Confederacy which surrendered on 9th April 1865.

With the emancipation of the slaves the south’s economic importance waned and the region struggled to get back on its feet following the devastation of war. The Ku Klux Klan was formed by veterans of the war attempting to preserve the old order. Their name comes from the sound of a rifle being reloaded, the three piece movement making a Ku Klux Klan type sound as the bullet is loaded into the breach. Images of white robed men lunching Negros and ceremonial cross burnings are an ugly reminder of this time. The final desegregation of The South came in the 1950’s and 1960’s following the crusading efforts of the Martin Luther King with his ultimate reward being the election of the nation’s first Afro-American, Barak Obama in 2008.

Today

The South today incorporates much of the Bible Belt with its conservative muscle flexed in the Republican Party. The South is generally economically weak and also prone to many of the nation’s regular natural disasters including hurricanes, twisters and floods. Without the ability to diversify its economy from agriculture, natural resources or services the regions current economic forecast does not look bright.

 

Tourism

Visitors to The South are rewarded with plenty of exciting attractions, warm and friendly people and wonderful memories. The South has two distinct musical epicentres. Nashville’s place as world Country music capital is beyond doubt and New Orleans claim as home of Jazz provide two very different menus for music lovers to dine from. And in the realm of cuisine The South has the nation’s most exciting flavours to get your taste buds salivating. From the spicy Cajun and Creole kitchens of Louisiana to the fiery chillies of Texmex Texas, there is something for everyone. History buffs, nature lovers, outdoor adventure fun lovers and casino punters are all spoilt for choice in the Deep South. And don’t forget the sun, surf and shopping of sexy Florida, a mecca for heat seekers. Visiting The South is an unforgettable experience you’ll be glad you made. You’ll never know unless you go.