Sample Topic: Southern States



Why have the Southern states been gaining population in the last two decades?

The social, economic and political changes that occurred in the Southern States during the last two decades provided sufficient impetus for Americans to move to the Southern States. The Federal government and Supreme Court changes, which happened in the 1950s and 60s saw Southern States surge in population in later years (Stack 43). The Jim Crow laws, which prejudiced people of color, were dismantled thus creating a good environment for settlement. The laws had entrenched vices such as discrimination in housing and employment, outright violence, denial of civil rights and segregation for African American (Stack 53).

Another factor that prompted population gain in the South is the family. The exodus that happened in the Southern States during the 1880s to 1930s affected mostly the African Americans (Stack 61). In the recent past, the African Americans migrated to the South from the Northern states where they had gone to seek better opportunities. A survey carried out in 1994 indicated that the return of migrants to cities such as Alabama and Birmingham was due to the family connection in South (McLeod 36).

Frey (69) also notes that economic reasons drew many Americans to the South. Though many moved due to hospitable social environment in the South, economic matters seemed to motivate many to move. The South, unlike the North, was experiencing massive economic transformation. The economic outlook in the North was on the decline. The South, on the other hand, was experiencing massive economic transformation occasioned by a thriving manufacturing industry. Frey (84) further explains that cheap labor, affordable land, temperate weather, tax rebates and attractive government incentives made many manufacturers move their investments to the South. The South has been experiencing an economic boom never experienced before (McLeod 96). As a result, more than 103,000 moved South in the 1990s, with the number rising to 221,000 between 1995 and 2000 (Menifield 87).

In conclusion, several reasons motivated many people to move to the South, leading to an upsurge in population in recent years. The South is conducive for settlement due to favorable government legislation, growing manufacturing industry and need to reunite with family.

Works Cited

Frey, William H. "Black Migration to the South Reaches Record Highs in the 1990s." Population Today 26 (1998): 1-3. Print.

McLeod, Ramon G. "Blacks Returning to the South in a New Migration Trend." San Francisco Chronicle 30 (1998): 1-5. Print.

Menifield, Charles E. Politics in the New South: Representation of African Americans in Southern State Legislatures. New York: Suny Press, 2012. Print.

Stack, Carol. Call to Home: African Americans Reclaim the Rural South. New York: Basic Books, 1996. Print.


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