Life in the South

Prior to the Civil War

Political Structures

- influenced by "planter aristocracy"

- southern men tended to belong to the Democratic political party

- military and agricultural professions highly respected in society

- white, male plantation owners

Military Profession

Social Structures

- men defended their honor and their lifestyle

- being a planter or employed by the military were the only accepted jobs

- women were similar to middle-class women in the north

- women's roles revolved around jobs in the home such as child bearing

- women did not attend many public activities

- men respect and defend women but women still do not have an equal role to men

- birth rate was extremely high

- infant mortality rate was also extremely high

- limited education

- many colleges were in the south

- poor white trash were known as "crackers"

- diseases

- even the poorest whites felt united and important because everyone looked down on slaves more than them

- less southerners were literate compared to the northerners

- chivalry

The South Before the War (The Civil War: Two Views Part 2)

Economic Structures

- cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco were main exports

- many plantation owners were new to money and power

- cotton gin

- livestock

- poverty

- fertile soil and warm climate made farming and agriculture ideal for industry

- depended on slavery

- no large port cities besides New Orleans

- no use for industries

Family Tree for "Average" Southern Family