Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of The Cotton Plantation South since the Civil War

The Cotton Plantation South since the Civil War

Charles S. Aiken

Publication Date
Binding Type

Winner of the J. B. Jackson Prize from the Association of American Geographers

Originally published in 1998. "The plantation," writes Charles Aiken, "is among the most misunderstood institutions of American history. The demise of the plantation has been pronounced many times, but the large industrial farms survive as significant parts of, not just the South's, but the nation's agriculture."In this sweeping historical and geographical account, Aiken traces the development of the Southern cotton plantation since the Civil War—from the emergence of tenancy after 1865, through its decline during...

Winner of the J. B. Jackson Prize from the Association of American Geographers

Originally published in 1998. "The plantation," writes Charles Aiken, "is among the most misunderstood institutions of American history. The demise of the plantation has been pronounced many times, but the large industrial farms survive as significant parts of, not just the South's, but the nation's agriculture."In this sweeping historical and geographical account, Aiken traces the development of the Southern cotton plantation since the Civil War—from the emergence of tenancy after 1865, through its decline during the Depression, to the post-World War Two development of the large industrial farm.

Tracing the geographical changes in plantation agriculture and the plantation regions after 1865, Aiken shows how the altered landscape of the South has led many to the false conclusion that the plantation has vanished. In fact, he explains, while certain regions of the South have reverted to other uses, the cotton plantation survives in a form that is, in many ways, remarkably similar to that of its antebellum predecessors.

Aiken also describes the evolving relationship of African-Americans to the cotton plantation during the thirteen decades of economic, social, and political changes from Reconstruction through the War on Poverty—including the impact of alterations in plantation agriculture and the mass migration of Southern blacks to the urban North during the twentieth century.

Richly illustrated with more than 130 maps and photographs (many original and many from FSA photographers), The Cotton Plantation South is a vivid and colorful account of landscape, geography, race, politics, and civil rights as they relate to one of America's most enduring and familiar institutions.

Reviews

Reviews

A brief review can only hint at Aiken's exciting, original, and insightful contributions. This splendid book deserves to be read, discussed, and debated among all serious students of southern history.

Any serious student of the geography of the United States will want to have it in their library.

Charles Aiken has written a book in clear, readable prose that should be read by anyone with an interest in or opinion about the American South.

By far the best analysis of the plantation ever written by a geographer. Beyond that, it fills an important gap in conventional social science scholarship. No one, to my knowledge, has ever before attempted to show that the civil rights movement had a geography that grew directly out of the geography of the plantation system.

A tour de force of information, understanding, and interpretation of the cotton region, its economy, and the society that it bred following the Civil War. Its author is a mature, lifelong student of the subject, and historians, geographers, sociologists, and demographers, especially, must forever be in his debt.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
472
ISBN
9781421436111
Illustration Description
82 b&w photos, 54 maps
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Part I: The Cotton Plantation Landscape, 1865 to 1970
Chapter 1. Overview of the Southern Plantation
Chapter 2. From Old South to New South Plantation
Chapter 3. The Demise of the

Preface
Acknowledgements
Part I: The Cotton Plantation Landscape, 1865 to 1970
Chapter 1. Overview of the Southern Plantation
Chapter 2. From Old South to New South Plantation
Chapter 3. The Demise of the Plantation
Chapter 4. Mechanization of the Plantation
Chapter 5. The World of Plantation Blacks
Part II: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954 to 1998
Chapter 6. Mobilization
Chapter 7. Confrontation
Chapter 8. The War on Poverty
Chapter 9. School Desegregation
Part III: The Contton Plantation Regions in the Modern South
Chapter 10. The RIght to Vote-An Illusive Black Power
Chapter 11. New Settlement Patterns
Chapter 12. Quest for a Nonagrarian Economy
Chapter 13. Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Charles S. Aiken

Charles S. Aiken is professor of geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.