Southern Literature of the Reconstruction Criticism: Old South To New: Continuities In Southern Culture - Essay

Clement Eaton (essay date 1968)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Eaton, Clement. “What Happened to Culture in the Confederacy.” In The Waning of the Old South Civilization, 1860-1880's, pp. 79-109. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968.

[In the following essay, Eaton evaluates the impact of the Civil War on Southern culture.]

The founding of the Southern Confederacy, young Sidney Lanier predicted, would inaugurate a new and glorious era of culture in the Southern states. Having freed themselves from the galling bondage of the old Union, the Southern states would experience a rejuvenation, a sudden burst of prosperity and culture. Macon, Georgia, his birthplace, would become an art center, its streets lined with...

(The entire section is 11074 words.)

Rayburn S. Moore (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Moore, Rayburn S. “The Old South and the New: Paul Hamilton Hayne and Maurice Thompson.” Southern Literary Journal 5, no. 1 (fall 1972): 108-22.

[In the following essay, Moore chronicles the correspondence of poet Paul Hamilton Hayne with author and critic James Maurice Thompson, particularly as their writing touches upon the theme of postwar reconciliation between North and South.]

Paul Hamilton Hayne belonged to a prominent Carolina family, several members of which had made important contributions to the history of the state. One of these, Robert Y. Hayne, governor, senator, and proponent of Nullification, was Paul Hayne's uncle and guardian after the...

(The entire section is 5427 words.)

Arlin Turner (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Turner, Arlin. “Dim Pages in Literary History: The South Since the Civil War.” In Southern Literary Study: Problems and Possibilities, edited by Louis D. Rubin, Jr. and C. Hugh Holman, pp. 36-47. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

[In the following essay, Turner comments on the diversity of the American South, and on the need for further study of lesser Southern authors of the post-Civil War period.]

It would be possible, I suppose, to speak of the American South and mean only a portion of the globe bounded by such and such coordinates of longitude and latitude. I sometimes say to a class or seminar in southern literature that the...

(The entire section is 4213 words.)

Carl R. Osthaus (essay date 1976)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Osthaus, Carl R. “From the Old South to the New South: The Editorial Career of William Tappan Thompson of the Savannah Morning News.The Southern Quarterly 14, no. 3 (April 1976): 237-60.

[In the following essay, Osthaus documents the career of William Tappan Thompson, an influential writer and Savannah journalist who voiced the opinions of conservative, white supremacist, and non-appeasement Southerners throughout the Reconstruction era.]

In 1882 newspapers all over the South reported the death of Colonel William Tappan Thompson, editor of the Savannah Morning News for almost thirty-two years. The New York Times, one of the few...

(The entire section is 9591 words.)

Michael O'Brien (essay date 1981)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: O’Brien, Michael. “Modernization and the Nineteenth-Century South.” In Rethinking the South: Essays in Intellectual History, pp. 112-28. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1981, O'Brien surveys historical treatments of the South from the prewar decades to Reconstruction, emphasizing the theme of historical continuity.]

Students of the South have not infrequently arrived late to historical theory about to go, or just gone, into disrepute. Modernization theory is no exception. Southern historians have begun to flirt with it just when it has come to seem little more than the natural successor...

(The entire section is 7861 words.)

Thomas B. Alexander (essay date 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Alexander, Thomas B. “The Dimensions of Continuity Across the Civil War.” In The Old South in the Crucible of War, edited by Harry P. Owens and James J. Cooke, pp. 81-97. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.

[In the following excerpt, Alexander discusses political continuity and historical change that occurred over the Civil War period.]

… It does not take one long to discover that not only is consensus lacking about the essence of Southernism but that one line of argument denies the existence of anything uniquely Southern and concedes only that Southern traits were exceptional, if at all, in being slight exaggerations of American traits. As...

(The entire section is 5824 words.)