College Life in the Old South

College Life in the Old South

College Life in the Old South

College Life in the Old South

Excerpt

Plantations and politics have been raised to such a high position in the civilization of the Old South that most people consider its history to be written when these institutions and performances have been set down and explained. Yet back of Southern development lay an institution, whose effects were profound and widespread, even though it was not an institution of the masses. This was the college with the college community.

Leadership in the Old South was largely a development from the top downward rather than from the bottom upward. The sons of the more fortunate and ambitious classes attended college, where they came in contact with a social and intellectual system which largely remade them and which sent them back to the people as leaders in politics, religion, medicine, and in most other honorable activities -- to the cities, the villages, and the plantations. The college occupied the position of greatest strategy in the making of Southern leadership. It was basic and fundamental -- not in the people it reached directly, but in the influence it exerted through its students.

The leaders of the Old South to a great extent were either trained in colleges, and for the most part in Southern colleges, or were in somewise identified with colleges and college communities. Robert Toombs left the University of Georgia stamped with the character he was later to fulfill as a statesman. As strikingly true was it that Alexander H. Stephens, the student, was father to the man.

Human nature was as intense in the college student as . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.