MS Between the World Wars notes

Mississippi Between the World Wars
The Great Migration
1. During World War I and in the years after the
war, large numbers of black Mississippians
moved to the northern and Midwestern cities
of the U.S.
2. They made the move for two reasons:
1. The job opportunities the industries of those
cities provided.
2. To escape the discrimination of the south.
The Great Migration
Effects of the Great Migration
1. White Mississippians used violence and
intimidation to try to force black Mississippians
to remain in the state – it wasn’t very successful.
2. Then white Mississippians began easing up on
segregation laws to encourage black
Mississippians to remain.
3. Black professionals continued to leave, so that
the black population that remained was mostly
poor and uneducated.
Henry Whitfield
1. Henry Whitfield became
governor in 1923 - elected
largely because women
could vote due to the 19th
2. As governor, Whitfield
created a new teachers
college, a mental hospital
and began a reforestation
3. He worked to improve the
lives of black Mississippians,
believing that it was
impossible for the state to
prosper unless black
Mississippians prospered.
1. Dennis Murphree was
governor of MS in 1927
when the state’s worst
flood occurred.
2. After a month of
continuous rainfall, the
levee collapsed, causing
almost 3 million acres of
the MS Delta to be
3. The National Guard helped
evacuate white
Mississippians but black
Mississippians were forced
to live in camps on the
levee because white
Mississippians were afraid
if they left, they wouldn’t
The Flood of 1927
The Flood of 1927
The Flood of 1927
The Flood of 1927
The Flood of 1927
1. Agricultural high schools
were boarding schools
established in the more
rural areas of the state in
an effort to help more
children receive an
2. As the population of the
state grew, they no longer
became necessary.
3. In 1922, they were turned
into junior colleges, where
students could get their
first two years of college
4. This was the first system of
junior colleges in the
entire U.S.
Agricultural High
and Junior Colleges
Theodore Bilbo and the Wisconsin
1. In 1927, Theodore Bilbo is reelected as governor
and his main goal is to improve MS’s higher
educational system.
2. He has a study done that recommends combining
the University of MS, MS A & M, and the MS
Southern College and putting the campus in
3. The state legislature refuses to adopt the plan and
in response, Bilbo fires the presidents of all three
universities (and several faculty members).
4. Several of the universities later lose their
accreditation and Bilbo gets the blame.
1. World War I had brought
prosperity back to MS
because cotton prices rose.
2. After the war, cotton prices
dropped again and MS
farmers began to struggle –
only the Delta planters
continued to thrive.
3. Dairy farms began
developing in some areas of
the state.
4. Canneries were opened in
some areas – factories that
can food products.
5. The lumber industry later
returned because of
governor Whitfield’s
reforestation program.
MS’s Economic
Real Estate
1. The biggest boom industry of the 1920’s in MS was real
2. Many northerners began moving south to escape the
north’s harsh winters.
3. This led to a great deal of investment in MS’s Gulf Coast
1. The Eighteenth
Amendment established
Prohibition in the U.S.
2. During Prohibition, it
was illegal to make, sell
or consume alcohol.
3. Many MS fishermen
used their boats to
smuggle in alcohol from
Cuba during this time.
1. The Great Depression of
the 1930’s was the worst
economic disaster in U.S.
2. Many MS farmers lost
their land during the
3. The state was millions of
dollars in debt and many
state employees were
paid with IOU’s.
The Great
1. To get the state out of
debt, governor Mike
Conner created the state’s
first sales tax.
2. State merchants protested
having to collect the state.
3. One demonstration ended
with a mob attacking the
governor’s office.
4. Conner persisted though
and the sales tax (with
some other measures)
helped get the state out of
Martin Conner and
the Sales Tax
The Great Depression in MS
The Great Depression in MS
FDR and the New
1. President Franklin D.
Roosevelt started the
New Deal to get the U.S.
out of the Great
2. The New Deal was a
series of laws and
programs designed to
improve the economy
and ease the suffering
of the unemployed.
The New Deal in MS
1. The Works Progress Administration (WPA),
the Public Works Administration (PWA) and
the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) hired
the unemployed to build useful public
projects and manage the state’s natural
2. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration
(AAA) provided support to farmers and
introduced new technology in the state.
Black Mississippians during
the Great Depression
1. Only young white men served in the CCC.
2. Black Mississippians were only hired as
3. Payments made to farmers by the AAA were
not shared with black sharecroppers.
4. The new technology introduced by the state
eventually helped phase out sharecropping.
Balance Agriculture With Industry
1. In 1934, Hugh White was
elected governor of MS.
2. He established a program
known as BAWI.
3. Its goal was to draw more
industry into the state in an
effort to diversify MS’s
4. White advertised the state
and offered incentives like
tax breaks but only drew
some light industries that
paid low wages.
1. The New Deal eased the
effects of the Great
Depression but didn’t end
2. The Great Depression
came to an end when the
U.S. entered World War II.
3. On December 7, 1941,
Japan bombed the U.S.
naval base at Pearl Harbor,
4. Military bases opened up
in MS and Ingalls Shipyard
in Pascagoula, MS, began
producing naval ships.
World War II
The Effects of World War II
1. Over a quarter million Mississippians, white
and black, served in World War II.
2. Many of these men left the state for the first
time and experienced new cultures.
3. Many of these men are going to return to the
state looking for change, especially black
Mississippians who served in the military and
now want equality in the south.

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