Many factors lead to the failure of the “ New South” campaign. The lack of credit and cash for wages gave rise to ownership and sharecropping which lead to hardship, and debt peonage. That left most poor black and white farmers hopelessly in debt. Environmental resources were reduced and the South could simply not keep up with the Northeast techniques.
Another factor is that education was lacking of knowledgeable human resources and the region’s low wages encouraged educated workers to leave the South for higher pay. This pushed the labor force into isolation and concealed from outside resources to avoid discontentment. It was difficult to attract skilled labor and outside capital to help the South develop a more diversified economy. Segregation was used for social control to preserve the social and economic superiority of white southerners. Southerners not only rebuilt the region’s economy after the Civil War, they found a new way replace slavery. In other words, laws kept blacks and whites from engaging in almost any public place. Blacks remained an inferior status which was not considered unjust from the government.
Keeping blacks separate it controlled economic competition and left many higher paying and fluent jobs for the whites. Southern social life was separated along gender as well as racial lines. Most social activities fell into male and female domains.
For example, when men were not working they loved to hunt, gamble, and court danger. Women socialized around more domestic activities like quilting. The church was at the center of Southern life. Here too, services were generally divided along gender lines.
Besides spiritual inspiration, church provided a welcome chance to socialize with the opposite sex. American Indians lost their independence by force, violence and mistreatment. The greed of white Americans enforced them off their land to dig for gold and hunt the animals.
For example, the white settlers spread diseases, and slaughter of the buffalo that all undermine Indian cultures. Under the Dawes Act, Reformers tried to draw Indians out of their tribe cultures and turn them into independent farmers. That shifted Indian life as some Indian’s cut their hair, abandoning the old ways and adopting the ways of white man. Still other tribes turned to cults and movements to revive Indian culture. Wounded knee was a final act of violence against an independent Indian way of life. For instance, their bison were being replaced by herded cattle and sheep, nomadic tribes by prairie sodbusters, and sacred hunting grounds by gold fields.
Indians were determined to preserve their tribal ways and separateness as a people. Many mining and cattle ranching changed into large scale operations in the decades after the Civil War. Silver and gold strikes brought fortune hunters into West.
The railroads came next connecting to urban markets in the East and Europe. The builders often resorted to cruel and dishonorable means, to abuse the Chinese and Irish labors, as they raced to connect West to East. The railroad companies had control of transportation that gave them a huge impact over economic and political life. Westerns realized that rail roads were important for the cattle industry. Which made cattle ranchers move huge herds and drove them along the cattle trails into railheads. Large railroads corporations came to dominate the cattle industry. Violence sometimes flared up between sheep and cattle interest. In the end, nature proved to be more violent than humans for blizzards and drought helped end the boom in the cattle business.
There were many problems farmers faced when they settle in the west. One of the problem was the land. The soil could not break the sod which they needed new machines. Finding food was always a problem but unlike Indians, framers and ranchers rooted themselves in a single place. Problems often erupted as farmers and ranchers each tried to impose their ways on the land. In the end, the farmers and ranchers eventually faced realities.
The best lands were expensive, and farmers needed expensive equipment in order to overcome conditions of the western environment. For example, droughts, grasshopper plagues, prairie fires, and blizzards. In result many farmers and ranchers were left defeated, but those who stayed the church offered some comfort and a social life.