THROUGHOUT the decade preceding the Civil War, Southern. newspapers, like those in the rest of the nation, were growing rapidly both in numbers and in circulation. A rapidly expanding population, a declining illiteracy rate, and a steady reduction in the price of papers all contributed to the great strides which Southern journalism made during the period. In 1850 the eleven states of the future Confederacy possessed only 503 newspapers and periodicals, with a combined annual circulation of about 11 issues per white person. Ten years later the number of journals in the same states had increased to 847, and their per capita circulation had grown to approximately 19 per white person.1
Although the growth of Southern journalism was impressive, the circulation figures of Southern papers and periodicals scarcely compared with those in certain other sections of the nation. The newspaper and periodical circulation of the entire future Confederacy in 1860 was 103,041,436; that of the remainder of the nation 824,910,112. The eleven states which would soon fly the "stars and bars" thus produced about one of every eight newspapers and periodicals sold in the country -- not a very good record, considering that
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Publication information: Book title: Editors Make War:Southern Newspapers in the Secession Crisis. Contributors: Donald E. Reynolds - Author. Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press. Place of publication: Nashville, TN. Publication year: 1970. Page number: 3.
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