±

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

"Old South" states and "New South" states

105 posts in this topic

Posted

These days, there seems to be two Souths--the "Old South" states and the "New South" states. The differences are rather apparent; the New South states have pretty much transitioned from the old economic paradigm of manufacturing and are investing heavily into education and skills (i.e., human capital). The "Old South" states still tend to go after manufacturing jobs, usually offering huge incentives for companies to do so while failing to invest in its people as they should in terms of education and skills. Most would say the "New South" states are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas, while the "Old South" states consist of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. Would these portrayals of both groups be accurate? What exactly are "New South" states doing that "Old South" states seem to be missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Posted

this will be divisive.

it's a two-pronged issue: economics and urbanization (the case could be made that urbanization is also an economic issue.) people will say it's leadership, or cultural values (conservatism vs. liberalism), but those are functions of where a state is 'at' economically. a poor state in the south is largely a rural state. mississippi does not have a wachovia or a delta or some similar economic megalith that, by its nature, tends to cultivate urban centers. so it does what it can - offers incentives to heavy industry to locate in the state and build upon its economy and present standard of living. states that are past that stage (or were fortunate enough to bypass it altogether) do not have such worries, and they can afford to attack those segments of the economy that the poorer states cannot.

my limited knowledge would lead me to place south carolina and alabama equally in both of the categories you define. there is a recent push in both for manufacturing-based labor, but there is (at least in alabama - and my fuzzy memory makes me think the same of SC) also a 'cleaner,' more transparent component to the states' economies (in AL, bio-tech, aerospace, and high-level services such as finance and media).

other states may straddle your line as well (arkansas? tennessee?), but i am not knowledgable enough about their economies to comment further. georgia, save atlanta, swims in the same water as alabama and south carolina when it comes to wooing manufacturers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'd need to see some statistics- such as percentage of population employed in manufacturing, per capita GDP growth, etc.- to back the division of states into Old vs. New.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A lot of that info can be found here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I may be wrong, but Virginia isnt a state, its a Commonwealth. :silly: And therefore wouldnt fall under the "New South" group of states, its in a class of its own. :lol:

One major difference between the two is the comparison of the major urban areas within the states. NC has Raleigh-Durham, the Piedmont Triad, and Charlotte. VA has Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Northern Virginia. TN has Nashville, GA has Atlanta. All of which are more dynamic and diverse in nature than any in the Old South States. Also, I think the role of Higher Education is a component. The New South overall has better Universities and Colleges, many of which are academic powerhouses with national reputations. This cannot be overlooked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Weird, I always thought of Arkansas as "New South", though it's a lot different in a lot of ways as it has more Southwestern and Midwestern influence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

These days, there seems to be two Souths--the "Old South" states and the "New South" states. The differences are rather apparent; the New South states have pretty much transitioned from the old economic paradigm of manufacturing and are investing heavily into education and skills (i.e., human capital). The "Old South" states still tend to go after manufacturing jobs, usually offering huge incentives for companies to do so while failing to invent in its people as they should in terms of education and skills. Most would say the "New South" states are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas, while the "Old South" states consist of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. Would these portrayals of both groups be accurate? What exactly are "New South" states doing that "Old South" states seem to be missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

What influences? Please explain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

this will be divisive.

it's a two-pronged issue: economics and urbanization (the case could be made that urbanization is also an economic issue.) people will say it's leadership, or cultural values (conservatism vs. liberalism), but those are functions of where a state is 'at' economically. a poor state in the south is largely a rural state. mississippi does not have a wachovia or a delta or some similar economic megalith that, by its nature, tends to cultivate urban centers. so it does what it can - offers incentives to heavy industry to locate in the state and build upon its economy and present standard of living. states that are past that stage (or were fortunate enough to bypass it altogether) do not have such worries, and they can afford to attack those segments of the economy that the poorer states cannot.

my limited knowledge would lead me to place south carolina and alabama equally in both of the categories you define. there is a recent push in both for manufacturing-based labor, but there is (at least in alabama - and my fuzzy memory makes me think the same of SC) also a 'cleaner,' more transparent component to the states' economies (in AL, bio-tech, aerospace, and high-level services such as finance and media).

other states may straddle your line as well (arkansas? tennessee?), but i am not knowledgable enough about their economies to comment further. georgia, save atlanta, swims in the same water as alabama and south carolina when it comes to wooing manufacturers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Ultimately, it's a perception thing: which states have most successfully reshaped how they are perceived? To do that, you have to back it up with something, like educational or infrastructure improvements, but from VA down to AR and LA you can find some of both. The contrast between SC Upstate and the Pee Dee, or between NC east of I-95 vs NC along I-85, or between NoVA vs SW VA is pretty stark. Economically, there are stretches of SW VA/NE TN/SE KY that might well recall the Delta region, with some mountains added in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not sure how easily we can classify entire states as "new south" or "old south." I think more in terms of metro areas, and in South Carolina alone, I would consider Charleston more "old south" and Greenville and Columbia more "new south." In Georgia, Savannah is more "old south" while Atlanta is "new south."

I think there are too many variances in attitudes, customs, and vibes within a state (in most cases, at least) to classify it as one or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not sure how easily we can classify entire states as "new south" or "old south." I think more in terms of metro areas, and in South Carolina alone, I would consider Charleston more "old south" and Greenville and Columbia more "new south." In Georgia, Savannah is more "old south" while Atlanta is "new south."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Most would say the "New South" states are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas, while the "Old South" states consist of Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you disagree with the categorizations, then just give your reasons for doing so; it will make for a worthwhile contribution to the topic at hand instead of just being overly nit-picky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I am usually a black and white person, but not on this. I don;t think you can "stamp" a whole state as "Old South" and "New South." I think there are certain cities that show new south characteristics in each state while there are some that do not. To go on further, I also think you have to look at the way states handle job growth, population growth, or change in general. If you look at Kentucky, for example, one might argue that it is a "New South" thing to ban smoking in Louisville and Lexington, while it is an "Old South" thing for Murfreesboro to ban electronic signs, outside vendors, or Clarksville to limit the height of new buildings no taller than the courthouse. In summary, I do not think you can just label a state one or the other. Georgia is a classic case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

^Good points, but I think that even if we use an "Old South-New South" continuum, most of the states I listed as "New South" would be more on that side of the continuum and the same would go for the "Old South" states.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I see it as difficult to lump states into certain categories. I identify the "new south" mentality with being more urban, less rural, and therefore more educated more economically diverse, etc. Typically this comes with the presence of larger cities. But just because a state has a large city doesn't mean it should be "new south." you can look at any state and see varying degrees of success within that state.

For example, Georgia has Atlanta- but the rest of the state is no different than South Carolina or Alabama, IMO. South Carolina has its half dozen cities or so that seem to stand out above the rest of the state. Texas has its large cities, but what of the rest of the state? The rural parts of any Southern state are no different than the rural parts of any other Southern state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I see it as difficult to lump states into certain categories. I identify the "new south" mentality with being more urban, less rural, and therefore more educated more economically diverse, etc. Typically this comes with the presence of larger cities. But just because a state has a large city doesn't mean it should be "new south." you can look at any state and see varying degrees of success within that state.

For example, Georgia has Atlanta- but the rest of the state is no different than South Carolina or Alabama, IMO. South Carolina has its half dozen cities or so that seem to stand out above the rest of the state. Texas has its large cities, but what of the rest of the state? The rural parts of any Southern state are no different than the rural parts of any other Southern state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

^The flaw in your argument above is that you compare municipal city limits which we don't do here on UrbanPlanet because these are political boundaries that are subject to inconsistent local and state laws that vary greatly amongst the states. If you insist on doing a population comparison then the only fair way to do it is to look at either county or metropolitan population statistics. I will point out the Atlanta metro area has more people than the entire state of Alabama so it doesn't really make sense to make a comparison such as this.

Every state in the south has some bastions of new age industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

From what I gather so far, it seems as though some are implying that because a metro area is of a certain size, that in itself makes it "New South." I don't think I'd agree with that.

Even when accounting for the rural parts of any state (which tend to be poorer and less educated), one may still look at indicators such as per capita income to see how that state as a whole is doing.

Specifically, what seems to be the attributes of "New South" metro areas, and what role does the state and state governmental policy play when it comes to "New South" areas within that state versus the rest of the state?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This is divisive & so may my views. But I consider the influence of 'new south' or 'old south' based on the primary economy or class of the cities. I think it can be said that all southeastern cities have by now developed technology parks, suburbs, & other 'new south' features. But some cities in the southeast are more dramatic than others - whereas there are still, at least based on a stereotype - provincial & regional cities. Montgomery, Jackson, Macon & Albany are a few towns that I would consider different than Huntsville, Greenville or Durham. So that defines how I view regions as new or old south - I consider most of southern GA, AL & the majority of Mississippi as old south while the Piedmont regions tend to be new south.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The interesting part to me is that "Old South" carries such a negative connotation, and specifically

that so-called "progressive urbanists" tend to lump together the areas (AL-MS, for instance) that are the

most "poor, rural, and black" as an inferior subregion to be avoided. Isn't this the same sort

of class warfare and "white flight" that urbanists haughtily blast the "evil suburbanites" for,

just on a grander scale ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

From what I gather so far, it seems as though some are implying that because a metro area is of a certain size, that in itself makes it "New South." I don't think I'd agree with that.

Even when accounting for the rural parts of any state (which tend to be poorer and less educated), one may still look at indicators such as per capita income to see how that state as a whole is doing.

Specifically, what seems to be the attributes of "New South" metro areas, and what role does the state and state governmental policy play when it comes to "New South" areas within that state versus the rest of the state?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

No, all of that contributes to a lively, thought-provoking discussion. Continue to share your thoughts. :)

DruidCity, I don't know where you got the impression about poor, rural areas with high Black populations being inferior areas to be avoided, but being that this is UrbanPlanet, our focus is necessarily on places of significant population and all that comes along with that. This thread in particular is designed, in part, to see how some areas in the South (some rather recently) overcame those obstacles to the exclusion of others. No sort of class warfare going on here at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The interesting part to me is that "Old South" carries such a negative connotation, and specifically

that so-called "progressive urbanists" tend to lump together the areas (AL-MS, for instance) that are the

most "poor, rural, and black" as an inferior subregion to be avoided. Isn't this the same sort

of class warfare and "white flight" that urbanists haughtily blast the "evil suburbanites" for,

just on a grander scale ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

±