Identifier

etd-07062014-093350

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

1860 was a census year. Census marshals spread out across the United States to record many different aspects of American society, including information on population, agriculture and, most importantly for this study, manufacturing. The antebellum Gulf South has traditionally been viewed as a region with little industrial development. But, both contemporaries and historians based their view of industry in the Gulf South on what was recorded in the census schedules. Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas were portrayed in the census as areas with little industrial development. But, as many historians have discovered, there were errors in the 1860 census, especially errors of omission. The geography, resources, and people of the Gulf South gave the region the potential to create many manufacturing concerns that could have supported economic development and perhaps the future war effort. This dissertation argues that the census understated industry in the Gulf South states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. This has given us a distorted view of the antebellum South. The region was not as agrarian as the census would lead us to believe. Other primary sources, such as newspapers, journals, local histories, city and county directories, and the R. G. Dun credit reports allowed the recovery of many of these missing firms. Census marshals missed almost 20% of the industrial concerns that existed in these three states. Moreover, the Gulf South depended less on imports and industry was more geographically diffuse and locally intensive than historians gave it credit for. The South did not have the industry to win the Civil War, but, perhaps, these missed firms can help explain how the Confederacy persisted through four years of conflict with little outside support.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Paskoff, Paul

Included in

History Commons

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