THE PERVERSION OF POPULISM

After snatching away the ten-year-old Reconstruction-born democracy of the South, the region's overlords sought to sugarcoat the new order of slavocracy with visions of a "New South" of prosperity based upon industrialization. Leading press agent for this mirage was Henry Woodfin Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, whose "New South" address before the New England Society made a tremendous hit with Northern financiers. It called for Northern capital to tap with railroads the raw materials of the South, Northern capital to build Southern factories, protective tariffs--and perpetual racial segregation.

The capital was forthcoming, the railroads snaked southward, factories arose, and Southern industry and commerce boomed. But while the "New South" had a way of paying handsome dividends to Northern capital and its Southern representatives, Southern labor received only starvation wages. Outstanding critic of the "New South" was Georgia's Thomas E. Watson. For the "Southern apologists of the capitalist masters with their glib editorials" he had only contempt. "You teach me nothing whatever when you tell me that the people have built more railroads, raised more cotton, manufactured more cloth," he said. "To all your bombast upon that subject I will answer by the query: who got the increased wealth after it was made?...

"Just as the English maintain their conquest of India by taking into copartnership with themselves a certain percentage of Hindus," he continued, "so the North holds the South in subjugation by enlisting Southern capitalists and politicians. They put their

-37-

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