Southern United States

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The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.


  • We can't conceive how far the idea that work is dishonourable has entered the spirit of the Americans of the south. No enterprise in which negroes cannot serve as the inferior agents can succeed in that part of the Union ... I remember that a representative from the south being at my table in Washington could not keep from expressing his astonishment at seeing white domestics occupied in serving us. He said to Mrs. [Louisa] Adams, 'I find it a degradation of the human race to use whites for domestics. When one of them comes to change my plate, I am always tempted to offer him my place at table.
  • To my friends from the South, I would refresh you on the words of a great Georgian named Henry W. Grady. On December 22, 1886, he was asked to respond to a toast to the new South at the New England society dinner. His words were dramatic and explosive. He began his toast by saying: "There was a South of slavery and secession—that South is dead." There is a South of union and freedom—that South thank God is living, breathing, growing every hour.
    • Everett Dirksen, speech in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as quoted in Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement (2007), p. 27
  • When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially our equals. My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of whites will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment is not the sole question, if indeed it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot then make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted, but for their tardiness in this I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South.
  • Never since the days of the Spartan Helots has history recorded such brutality as has been ever since the war and as is now being perpetrated upon the Negro in the South. How easy for us to go to Russia and drop a tear of sympathy over the persecuted Jew. But a step across Mason’s and Dixon’s line will bring us upon a scene of horrors before which those of Russia, bad as they are, pale into insignificance! No irresponsible, blood-thirsty mobs prowl over Russian territory, lashing and lynching its citizens.
  • In all of the sanctimony about protecting the rights of minorities, let us understand fully that the bill is aimed at what has become the most despised and mistreated minority in the country—namely, the white people of the Southern States. The approach is more subtle and hypocritical in this bill, but its purposes are identical with those that prompted Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, and Ben Wade in the reconstruction legislation of the 1860's. Mr. President, the people of the South are citizens of this Republic. They are entitled to some consideration. It seems to me that fair men should recognize that the people of the South, too, have some rights which should be respected. And though, Mr. President, we have failed in this fight to protect them from a burgeoning bureaucracy that is already planning and organizing invasion after invasion of the South, preceded by thousands of young people who have been recruited in the greatest crusade since the Children's Crusade of the Middle Ages, our failure cannot be ascribed to lack of effort. Our ranks were too thin, our resources too scanty, but we did our best. I say to my comrades in arms in this long fight that there will never come a time when it will be necessary for any one of us to apologize for his conduct or his courage.
    • Richard B. Russell Jr., as quoted in Stathis, S. W. 2009. Civil Rights Act of 1964 ∗ 1964 ∗. In: 2009. Landmark Debates in Congress: From the Declaration of Independence to the War in Iraq, Washington, DC: CQ Press. pp. 377-386
  • We shall laugh to scorn your power that now holds the South in awe;
    We shall trample on your customs, we shall spit upon your law;
    We shall outrage all your temples, we shall blaspheme all your gods.-
    We shall turn your slavepen over the plowman turns the clods!.
    • Covington Hall, "Us the Hoboes and Dreamers" (1912), Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology, p. 260
  • For one hundred years, southern politics had remained frozen in time. The Democratic Party had been the party of John Caldwell Calhoun, the Yale-educated South Carolinian who fought in the decades leading up to the Civil War for the southern plantation/slave-owning way of life under the banner of states' rights. To white southerners, the Republican Party was the hated Yankee party of Abraham Lincoln that had forced them to release their Negro property. After Reconstruction, neither party had much to offer the Negroes, so for another century white southerners stayed true to their party and the Democrats could count on a solid block of Democratic states in the South. The point George Wallace was making in his independent run for president was that southern Democrats wanted something different from what the Democratic Party was offering, even though they were not going to become Republicans. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was expressing the same idea as early as 1948 when he ran against Truman as the candidate for president for a party significantly named the States' Rights Party.
  • Southern man better keep your head.
    Don't forget what your good book said.
    Southern change gonna come at last
    Now your crosses are burning fast.
    Southern man.

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