Thursday, January 28, 2010
What Role Did Railroads Play in Changing Southern Society?
The expansion of railroad systems in the South helped advance the industrialization happening in the South, that as argued last week was crucial for the rebuilding during Reconstruction. Railroad construction in the post-Civil War era was greatest in the South. The railroads connected southern businesses with northern and western markets that otherwise would not be reasonably accessible. The railroads transformed Birmingham, Alabama into the "Pittsburgh of the South," as it became a southern hub for coal, limestone, and metal mining. Atlanta also became a major railroad city during Reconstruction. The New South would not have emerged had it not been for railroad expansion in the south; they helped end the southern agrarian society.