By Jeanette Keith
Utilizing the Tennessee antievolution 'Monkey Law,' authored via an area legislator, as a degree of the way conservatives effectively resisted, co-opted, or missed reform efforts, Jeanette Keith explores conflicts over the which means and value of development in Tennessee's hill kingdom from 1890 to 1925.Until the Nineties, the higher Cumberland used to be ruled via small farmers who favorite constrained executive and enterprise neighborhood regulate of church buildings and faculties. Farm males managed their households' exertions and hostile financial probability taking; farm girls married younger, had huge households, and produced a lot of the family's sustenance. however the arrival of the railroad in 1890 reworked the neighborhood economic system. Farmers battled city dwellers for keep watch over of group associations, whereas Progressives referred to as for cultural, political, and fiscal modernization. Keith demonstrates how those conflicts affected the region's mobilization for global conflict I, and she or he argues that through the Nineteen Twenties transferring gender roles and employment styles threatened traditionalists' cultural hegemony. in line with Keith, faith performed an incredible function within the adjustment to modernity, and native humans united to help the 'Monkey legislation' as a manner of confirming their conventional non secular values.
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Extra resources for Country people in the new south: Tennessee's Upper Cumberland
In Fentress and Cumberland Counties over 95 percent of the population was white. 12 Until the 1890s the river and its tributaries mediated the connections between the land and the people. Commerce traveled on the river, and the best farmland lay along the river banks. The region's terrain made travel by land difficult. Although the center of the region was only eighty miles from Nashville, the Upper Cumberland, like other southern hill-country regions, was outside the mainstream of the southern economy, existing on the periphery of the plantation South before the Civil War and on the periphery of the New South after.
To see how it worked, we can use census materials, county records, and local histories to put together a picture of the economic choices available to the average farm family. Family security depended first on owning land. In assessing the economy of a farm, one always has to make a distinction between landowners and tenants. But throughout the region a majority of farmers owned their land. According to the 1890 census only three Upper Cumberland counties, Jackson, Fentress, and Pickett, had landownership rates of less than 70 percent.
Imagine the commercialization of agriculture as a spectrum. On one end is total family subsistence, with no commercial exchanges. ) At the other end of the spectrum are present-day highly specialized farmers who invest capital in farming with an eye to the world market and who produce crops as manufacturers produce widgets. These farmers sell their crops and buy their food in supermarkets, just like urbanites. On this spectrum the farm families of the Upper Cumberland in the 1890s were somewhere in the middle.