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krazeeboi

If our four largest were gone...

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We can approach this from two directions. First, say that our four largest Southern metros (Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami) never had the advantages that made them grow and prosper like they did. Which other four Southern metros would have grown to the size that these four are today? Secondly, let's say that these four just all of a sudden vanished into thin air without a trace. Which four would fill the voids?

I hope this isn't interpreted as a "versus" or "my city is better than yours" thread, because it's not; it's purely hypothetical in nature.

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Hmm, I like this scenario :D I think it would be a free-for-all. A race almost to see which ones would be the next four largest. Out of metro populations, does anyone know for a fact what the next four largest would be? Im not going to say what I think they would be, but I would be nice for some of the other larger metros to become the biggest :D

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That is an interesting scenario.

If there were no DFW or Houston metro areas, I'm guessing that Austin-San Antonio would pick up the slack as a huge conglomerate.

Similarly, Florida is also "due" for a large metro area. If not for Miami-Ft. L-West Palm , I'll guess that Tampa-Lakeland-Orlando would form a huge mass of humanity.

I'm not as confident in predicting any others.

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After living in Central Texas for 4 years I refuse to call it the South. It feels more Midwest. That being said, I will go with Tampa/St. Pete/Orlando strip.

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I would think that Tampa-Orlando would replace Miami, San Antonio-Austin would replace Dallas or Houston, and probably Charlotte replace Atlanta. As for the other one, it could be Nashville, Memphis, Birmingham, or a Virginia city, like Hampton Roads.

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I think Birmingham, AL has suffered more from Atlanta's tremendous growth than any other city. About 1950, Birmingham was about the same size as Atlanta and poised to possibly become the leading city in Dixie. At that time both Nashville and Charlotte were considerably smaller than Birmingham. Had Birmingham been aggressive and built the leading airport in the southeast, it's possible that the tremendous growth would have been in Birmingham, rather than Atlanta and Birmingham might have become the leading city in the Southeast.

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^^^I totally agree with Birmingham.

If there was no Atlanta, Birmingham would most likely be the capital of the Deep South. I have no doubt whatsoever.

I think the new capital of Florida would be Jacksonville. Jax is already known as the business city of the state. Jax also has enormous space to expand; it's all of Duval County. Orlando and Tampa don't have as much breathing room left.

I'm also convinced Texas' capital would be Austin!

What was the fourth city? :)

btw this is a fun topic:)

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Birmingham had the industry and the materials but it just wasn't quick enough.

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Id like to think that one of the larger Virginia Metros of Alexandria(NOVA), Richmond, or Hampton Roads would be one of them. NOVA is a powerhouse up there!

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yes, but we're not talking about DC. I'd think those would be more connected to DC.

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yes, but we're not talking about DC. I'd think those would be more connected to DC.

I mean it is Virginia still. Places like Arlington, Rosslyn and Alexandria are very much Virginia.

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But we're talking about Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and Dallas. No Virginia city really has close ties to any of those cities.

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But we're talking about Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and Dallas. No Virginia city really has close ties to any of those cities.

But they dont have to be close ties to be big. These are the cities that would be replaced by any other large southern cities.

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One city that was hurt by the tremendous growth of Houston over the past few decades was New Orleans. The city's economy was booming up until about 1965, when the estimated population in the 180 sq. mile parish was as high as 700,000. Two things that greatly attributed to the growth of the Houston area were health care and the oil industry, two things that were booming in New Orleans until about 1965, when jobs and offices were sucked out of New Orleans and moved to Houston. New Orleans' population and economy went downhill after 1965 for a number of reasons, but the major loss of jobs and money from the oil and health care industries to Houston was one thing that got the ball rolling downhill. If Houston had never been around, things in Texas would be extremely different, as is the case along the entire Gulf Coast, but I think the populations and economies of cities along the Louisiana coast would have been much larger today.

BTW, very interesting idea for a topic, krazeeboi. :thumbsup:

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^But then you could probably say that had it not been for that hurricane, it would have been Galveston sucking the life out of NO instead of Houston.

If nothing else, this gives us something to really think about. And I really can't take all of the credit; I snagged the idea from somewhere else and just tailored it a bit for this forum. :)

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I would say New Orleans would be one of the biggest, because of its port. Then, for reasons above, probably Birmingham. Another would be a city in Florida, and last it could easily be either Charlotte, Nashville or Austin.

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But they dont have to be close ties to be big. These are the cities that would be replaced by any other large southern cities.

The idea of the thread is to decide which cities would have replaced the Big 4 if they did not exist and why they would have replaced them. If you can give any valid reason why any of those Virginia cities would have grown and benefitted if those 4 cities didn't exist then I would understand.

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^But then you could probably say that had it not been for that hurricane, it would have been Galveston sucking the life out of NO instead of Houston.

I was thinking about that too. Who knows what SW Texas and the Gulf Coast would look like now if the Galveston Hurricane in 1900 had never occured. Galveston being destroyed was the main factor that caused Houston to begin to really grow and become more important in the early 1900's. In 1900, New Orleans was still a much larger and more important city than Galveston, but again, who knows what Galveston would have looked like if the growth taking place there before the hurricane had continued for the next few decades.

City populations in 1900:

Galveston- 45,000-50,000

Houston- 44,633

New Orleans- 287,104

City populations in 2000:

Galveston- 57,247

Houston- 1,953,631

New Orleans- 484,674

My how things change...

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The idea of the thread is to decide which cities would have replaced the Big 4 if they did not exist and why they would have replaced them. If you can give any valid reason why any of those Virginia cities would have grown and benefitted if those 4 cities didn't exist then I would understand.

Well sure thats easy. Miami is a major port city and so is Norfolk, Im sure Norfolk(Hampton Roads) would be a much more bustling port if Miami hadnt been there. Virginia Beach(Hampton Roads) is also similar to Maimi Beach in Miami. NOVA could be associated with either Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta. Its going through tons of sprawl up there. Sure, some of it might be due to the proximity to DC, but they are each their own city and the big three(Alexandria, Arlington, Rosslyn, etc..) being so close together surely formed a big metro on their own. The Richmond Metro has a growing population of over 1 million just as the cities I described above have.

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I would say New Orleans would be one of the biggest, because of its port.

That's another interesting thing to think about. You could say that if Houston had never been around, the Port of South Louisiana, which currently, even with the Port of Houston competing, is the largest port in the Western Hemisphere in terms of raw tonnage, would have been absolutely huge, and that Mobile's port would also be much larger. But that takes you back to the other "what if" questions. If Galveston had never been destroyed, could its port have become the equivalent of Houston's port today? Would all other Gulf Coast ports have also become quite a bit bigger, and somewhat leveled out the size of the ports instead of just one or two very large ports? And so on..

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I seem to be the only proponent of Jacksonville here:)

Before World War II Jax was the de facto chief city in the state of Florida. It was the only city with a substantial population.

Back then Miami's population was around 10,000.

Jacksonville and St.Augustine were the destinations of Northern tourists at the time.

The religious element in Jax basically let it be known that Yankees and other heathens were not welcome. A budding film industry in Jacksonville in the early part of the 20th Century was quashed for filming "un christian movies".

So guess where the film industry at the time went to? L*O*S A*N*G*E*L*E*S.

The progressive Northerners started moving further south, further delepleting Jacksonville's diversity and progressivism.

Had Jacksonville been more forward thinking and tolerant, it would still be the powerhouse of the state. AND the film capital of the world.

But even through it all, what a huge potential Jacksonville still has:)

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I think Birmingham, AL has suffered more from Atlanta's tremendous growth than any other city. About 1950, Birmingham was about the same size as Atlanta and poised to possibly become the leading city in Dixie. At that time both Nashville and Charlotte were considerably smaller than Birmingham. Had Birmingham been aggressive and built the leading airport in the southeast, it's possible that the tremendous growth would have been in Birmingham, rather than Atlanta and Birmingham might have become the leading city in the Southeast.

It really had nothing to do with that.

The entire state of Alabama was greatly hurt by its abuses on Black civil rights in the early 1960s. Selma, Rosa Parks, marches on the 1965 voting rights act, Boody Sunday, and the very famous photo of Governer George Wallace standing there with the national guard to stop Blacks from going to high school attended by Whites, thrust Alabama into the global limelight as a national poster child of racism. South Carolina and Mississippi would also carry this label but not nearly as much as Alabama. Racism was a national problem in that period of time, but Alabama made a very public stand to defend it which is what hurt the development of the state.

As a result, most of the post airconditioning reconstruction of the South (1965-1990) bypassed Alabama and went to more moderate states such as NC, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Corporations, investors, incubator money, relocations, and new industries just didn't want anything to do with Alabama because of this perception. This was a period of tremendous growth of the South and most of what you see in the South today happened during this period. By the time that Alabama, SC, and Mississippi recovered from the memories of this bad time, it was too late.

Any analysis of how the South grew to be as it is today, has to consider the effect of race relations from the last 50 years.

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Well sure thats easy. Miami is a major port city and so is Norfolk, Im sure Norfolk(Hampton Roads) would be a much more bustling port if Miami hadnt been there. Virginia Beach(Hampton Roads) is also similar to Maimi Beach in Miami. NOVA could be associated with either Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta. Its going through tons of sprawl up there. Sure, some of it might be due to the proximity to DC, but they are each their own city and the big three(Alexandria, Arlington, Rosslyn, etc..) being so close together surely formed a big metro on their own. The Richmond Metro has a growing population of over 1 million just as the cities I described above have.

Yes, but you're just comparing their characteristics, not their roles as cities- with the exception on Norfolk as a port City, except Norfolk is nowhere near Miami and would not be able to ship to the areas that Miami ships to.

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Yes, but you're just comparing their characteristics, not their roles as cities- with the exception on Norfolk as a port City, except Norfolk is nowhere near Miami and would not be able to ship to the areas that Miami ships to.

Sure, but when Miami is gone, New Orleans and Norfolk could be big! Richmond also has 9 Fortune 500 Companies as of April.

Richmond has 9 Fortune 500 Companies!

(including Meadwestvaco's recent arrival)

1. Dominion Resources - 123

2. Genworth Financial - 223

3. Circuit City Stores - 226

4. Meadwestvaco - 322

5. Performance Food Group - 349

6. Brinks - 295

7. CarMax - 411

8. Owens & Minor - 443

9. LandAmerica - 500

After MeadWestvaco comes to town, greater Richmond with nine Fortune 500 companies will out shadow Charlotte, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and St. Louis, which have seven each. The top five listed cities are New York City with 44 companies, Houston with 23, Atlanta with 14, Dallas with 11 and Chicago with 10.

Thats pretty good for a city Richmond's size.

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