Unit 6 – The New South



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UNIT 6 – The New South



SS8H7 The student will evaluate key political, social, and economic changes that occurred in Georgia between 1877 and 1918.

  1. Evaluate the impact the Bourbon Triumvirate, Henry Grady, International Cotton Expositions, Tom Watson and the Populists, Rebecca Latimer Felton, the 1906 Atlanta Riot, the Leo Frank Case, and the county unit system had on Georgia during this period.





    • The “New South” was a movement that emphasized the need for Georgia to rely, not on agriculture, but on business & industry. It was, therefore, concerned with changing Georgia economically.




    • Three men dominated the Democratic Party and Georgia politics during the New South era. They emphasized the need for farmers to diversify (growing crops other than cotton) and for the state to look to industry as a means to attain prosperity. Because they were so powerful, they were called the Bourbon Triumvirate (after the powerful French ruling family). The three members of this group were:

Joseph Brown - the Civil War Governor of Georgia
John B. Gordon - a popular Civil War General, and later the leader of Georgia’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan.
Alfred H. Colquitt - a licensed Methodist minister


    • For the next 120 years, Georgia would be dominated by the Democratic Party.




    • In order to showcase Georgia’s new focus on business, Georgia hosted the International Cotton Exposition (ICE) on three occasions, in 1881, 1887 and 1895 (the 1887 event was the largest).

    • The influential newspaper editor of the Atlanta Constitution who supported the New South leaders and was called the “voice of the New South,” was Henry Grady.




    • Farmers resisted this new emphasis on industry and formed an organization, the Farmers Alliance, in order to protect their interests. They later formed a political party, called the People’s (Populist) Party. The leader of this party in Georgia was Tom Watson who, in 1890, startled the Democrats by winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives.




    • In 1922, when Senator Thomas Watson died in office, he was replaced by Rebecca Latimer Felton (for only 24 hours), the first female U.S. Senator in history.




    • The controversial election campaign of 1906 sparked a great deal of racial tension in Georgia. When sensational newspaper articles insisted that black men had assaulted white women, the Atlanta race riot broke out, lasting for several days and resulting in the death in as many as 40 African-Americans.




    • In 1913, a Jewish factory supervisor was accused of murdering a young girl, Mary Phagan, who worked in the factory. Though there was little evidence, the supervisor was found guilty and was later murdered by a lynch mob. This incident was known as the Leo Frank case. It illustrates anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews).




    • In 1917, Georgia adopted the county unit system in which counties would receive no more than 3 votes, regardless of population, for certain state offices. This system kept power in the hands of rural farmers. Later, the Federal Courts ruled that it was unconstitutional, violating the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment.
  1. Analyze the denial of rights to African-Americans through Jim Crow laws, Plessy





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