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Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar SouthWhite Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie$
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Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039034

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039034.001.0001

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The Wages of the “Problem South”

The Wages of the “Problem South”

(p.11) Chapter 1 The Wages of the “Problem South”
Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Ken Fones-Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the social and economic conditions that earned the South its label, “the problem South.” By 1938, the administration of Franklin Roosevelt had identified the “colonial economy” of the South as the nation's number one economic problem. In The Report on Economic Conditions of the South, key southern liberals, under the auspices of the administration's National Emergency Council, identified the paradox of the South—a region “blessed by Nature with immense wealth” whose “people as a whole are the poorest in the country.” The report described the poverty of the region and highlighted the need to embark on a program of economic development to bring the South's economy into convergence with the nation's, but changes were already in the works. Between the issuing of the report and the end of World War II, the South made great strides forward, positioning the region for economic growth at a rate that would surpass that of the nation.

Keywords:   problem South, Franklin Roosevelt, colonial economy, economic problem, National Emergency Council, economic development

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