Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Between Slavery and CapitalismThe Legacy of Emancipation in the American South$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Ruef

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162775

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162775.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

Paths to Development

Paths to Development

(p.156) Chapter 7 Paths to Development
Between Slavery and Capitalism

Martin Ruef

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that familiar paths to economic development such as investments in railroad infrastructure, banking, and market centers, produced unpredictable returns for Southern communities in the decades after the war. Confronted with new forms of commerce, boosters faced not only uncertainty in anticipating how much economic and demographic growth to expect from their communities, but also categorical uncertainty in deciding what paths to economic revitalization might be possible. Under conditions of profound change, the most reliable approach for postbellum communities to secure capital investments, attract new residents, and increase the production of local goods was to create organizational forms that were present in other comparable communities, thereby avoiding accusations of idiosyncrasy. This produced a remarkable pattern of economic underdevelopment, and by 1900, most small Southern towns were tied to cotton monocropping and a homogeneous pattern of retailing.

Keywords:   economic development, postbellum communities, commerce, economic revitalization, capital investments, idiosyncrasy, economic underdevelopment, cotton monocropping, retailing

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.