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Old South

This article is about the geographic region. For the orange juice brand, see Old South (orange juice).
File:US map-Old South.PNG
Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are usually included, though their modern boundaries differ from the boundaries of the Thirteen Colonies.

Geographically, the Old South is a subregion of the American South, differentiated from other states by being limited to those Southern states represented among the original thirteen British colonies which became the first thirteen U.S. states.

Culturally, "Old South" is used to describe the rural, agriculturally-based, pre-Civil War economy and society in the Southern United States.[1]

Geographic usage

The Southern Colonies were 5 of the 13 original English colonies lying south of the Mason-Dixon Line: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. In the chronological sense, "Old South" can be used to refer to these original Southern states which emerged from the American Revolution.

Other usage

However, the most frequent usage of the "Old South" is in relation to the antebellum plantation agricultural system, as well as its origins, its expansion, and its pervasive influence on the region known today as the American South. Pre-Civil War Americans regarded Southerners as a distinct people, who possessed their own values and ways of life. During the decades preceding the Civil War, popular writers created a stereotype, now known as the plantation legend, that described the South as a land of aristocratic planters, beautiful southern belles, poor white trash, faithful household slaves, and superstitious fieldhands. This image of the South as "a land of cotton where old times are not forgotten" received its most popular expression in 1859 in a song called "Dixie," written by a Northerner named Dan D. Emmett to enliven shows given by a troupe of blackfaced minstrels on the New York stage.

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External links

Scholarly References

  • Smith, Mark M., "The Old South" (Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishers, 2001).