Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia, 1884-1984

By Douglas Flamming | Go to book overview
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7
THE CROWN MILL FAMILY

The two decades following World War I witnessed both the climax and the demise of a way of life that had slowly been developing at Crown since the turn of the century. At the beginning of the 1920s, the Crown Mill community was more stable than it had ever been. During the decade that followed, the general prosperity of Dalton and Crown provided a foundation upon which a thriving workers' community emerged in the mill village. It was not a community that defined itself as separate from and antagonistic toward Crown and its managers, but one that was so closely linked to the mill itself that it was scarcely distinguishable from the larger company culture. This reconciliation of interests between the millhands and managers of Crown was based on the paternalism that emerged in the early twentieth century and was further facilitated by the agricultural decline and comparative mill-village prosperity of the 1920s. Critics charged that southern mill villages enslaved impoverished whites and robbed them of individuality and initiative. Apologists countered that southern textile paternalism marked the highest form of harmonious labor relations. Despite their different views, both groups perceptively recognized

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