The South: Its Economic-Geographic Development

The South: Its Economic-Geographic Development

The South: Its Economic-Geographic Development

The South: Its Economic-Geographic Development

Excerpt

This volume is an attempt to describe the civilization of the South, mainly in its economic-geographic aspects, and to interpret this civilization in terms of its regional setting and its historical antecedents. In brief, it is a study of the evolution of Southern civilization.

To develop the theme thus outlined the author considers his task to be:

First, to describe the Southern environment, i.e., natural and man-modified--the surface features, the climate, the biota, the soils, the mineral and power resources, and the natural transportational facilities.

Second, to describe, interpret, and explain, in so far as possible, the cultural features and patterns and institutions that Europeans and their descendants have evolved, in their occupancy of this region, the South. Cultural features and patterns as here used embrace means of transportation and communication, cities, rural and industrial landscape, types of agriculture, mines, factories and workshops, and what not. Some of the cultural characteristics are to be read from the cultural landscapes; others do not exist or have not existed in material forms, perhaps merely in the mind of man as an idea, ideal, tendency, or pattern of thinking. The author has made no conscious effort to keep the material presented in this volume within the recognized boundaries of any one or two academic subject-matter fields.

Archeology and history show that cultures in the course of time undergo changes, which as a rule may be correlated with advances made in man's economic development, i.e., the improvements he makes in his attempt to wrest a living from his environment. Economic goods with which he satisfies his needs are produced in increasing amounts and with a relative decrease in the expenditure of human and physical energy. Stages, steps, eras, periods, or epochs are recognized and so recorded in the advancing order. The writer (along with many other geographers) recognizes a normal order of economic development and a corresponding normal order of cultural development. Such an order is considered normal because the majority of regions in their economic evolution seem to have followed this order. Departures from this nor-

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