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The New South: A Social & Economic View

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This podcast is part of the series: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought


Marlene Rikard


Alabama Department of Archives and History


ArchiTreats: Food for Thought celebrates the Year of Alabama History through a series of sequential lectures in Alabama history by leading experts in the field. Join us as Marlene Rikard presents The New South: A Social and Economic View. This presentation was held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Post-Reconstruction Alabama experienced major social and economic changes in the era known as the “New South,” a term coined by Henry Grady of the Atlanta Constitution. Emancipation of the slaves and falling cotton prices brought changes in agriculture for plantation owners, African Americans, and poor whites. Although farming remained the occupation of most Alabamians, industrialization became the mantra of new leaders who promised recovery and prosperity though the development of the state’s natural resources in mining and manufacturing. But prosperity proved elusive and change brought conflict in the form of strikes, segregation and Jim Crow laws, political turmoil, and battles over temperance, woman’s suffrage, regulation of public utilities, and convict leasing. The era changed Alabama forever.

Dr. Marlene Hunt Rikard recently retired as Professor of History at Samford University. Following graduation from Auburn University, she began her work life as a graphic designer before returning to school for graduate work in history and teaching for thirty-five years. She was also Director of Samford’s London Programs for over a decade. She has served as president of the Southern Association of Women Historians, the Alabama Association of Historians, and the Alabama Historical Association.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353-4712.

Length: 50:29

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

[SS2010] US10 (10) 16: Explain the transition of the United States from an agrarian society to an industrial nation prior to World War I. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.h., A.1.i., A.1.k.]


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