MS STUDIES: Chapter 7

Report
The dawn of the 20th
Century
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The adoption of the 1890 constitution, the
white ruling class used its power to protect it’s
own interest. The state began creating new
laws to separated the racesViolations of this rigid system often sparked
violent punishment or LYNCHING. Between
1889-1945 Mississippians lynched 476 people24 of these people were white. 14 were black
females and the majority were black males.
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A weak economy and racism caused MS to
neglected the education of it’s children.
There was no public education system in the state
prior to Reconstruction
Teachers were not educated. White teachers were
paid $130 a year. Black Teachers were paid $90 a
year. 75% of all teachers studied in the rural
schools were they taught.
Educational opportunities varied by counties.
A portion of the school funding came from paying
the $2 poll tax. Poll tax was used to keep poor
whites and blacks from voting.
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After Civil War credit was tight.
Farmers did not have $ to pay workers wages.
Poor Farmers did not have $ to buy land
As a result Poor White Farmers and Freedmen
turned to Sharecropping.
A sharecropper did NOT own the land, the house
he/she lived in, or the tools they used.
They worked the land and paid rent in the form of
a portion of the yearly crop.
In 1890 60% of all farm families were
sharecroppers
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BOLL WEEVIL: Beetle that attacks cotton
before it’s fibers open.
Devastated the crops for several years
Farmers in the SW portion of the state started
farming tung trees, dairy coms and tomatoes.
The Boll Weevil is still a pest today.
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1880-1930 White pine forest of Mississippi were
clear cut
The area known as the Piney Woods
Cities such as Hattiesburg, Laurel and Moss
Point developed because of the Timber
Industry.
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After CW Federal Gov’t was controlled by
Republicans. They favored business over
farmers. Passed higher taxes on manufactured
goods.
Farmers suffered because nation was on gold
standard instead of Silver. Silver was more
plentiful.
Money was scarce – cost of borrowing was
high.
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Farmers needed cheap $ to buy equipment and
supplies. Wanted $ backed by silver
Issue caused nationwide Political Revolt
Mississippi it was called MS Farmers Alliance.
Was organized to help small farmers
challenged the most powerful insiders. (James
George)
1891: MS Farmers Alliance endorsed Ethelbert
Barksdale Editor of Jackson
Newspaper/George was elected
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1891 Populist Party was formed to help small
farmers
Demanded
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Tariff reform
Graduated income tax
Regulation of Railroad
The use of silver $
Election of Senators instead of appointment
The election of 1891 The Democrats played the race
card and won.
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1903 James Vardaman was elected Governor.
He represented the poor whites of the Hills and
Piney Woods. His racism, showmanship and
populism won their votes.
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Progressives believed that Government was best
equipped to correct the ills of society.
1911 election Vardaman elected Senator Bilbo LT.
Governor.
1915 Bilbo elected Governor: Man of the People:
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Created:
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State Tax Commission
Developed pardons board
Tuberculosis hospital
Charity hospital
Training school for delinquents
Passed a Compulsory school attendance law
Anti-lobby law
Education received highest appropriation in history

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