Manufacturing Moved South, Then Moved Out

The region embraced industries that soon fell to foreign competition.

Gone for good.

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Southern U.S. was, for the first century of the nation’s existence, a bunch of farms. It was a bunch of farms before then, too, but so was the North. After independence, though, manufacturing began to take off north of the Mason-Dixon line, while the states south of it stuck with agriculture and slavery. The Civil War ended the slavery. And finally, in the 1880s, “New South” boosters such as Atlanta’s Henry W. Grady began pushing the region to shift its focus from crops to industry.

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