Class In South

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Millhands, Hillbillies, and Rednecks:Class in the South 1Social Classes in Old South 1860 Census

Out of total U.S. white population of 27 million about 8 million whites lived in the south.

383,637 people owned slaves46,274 owned more than 20 slaves8,000 owned more than 50 slaves2,292 owned more than 100 slaves11 owned more than 500

In 1860, wealthiest 20% of southerners owned 75% of the land of southern white households owned no slaves at all

Southern African-American population in 1860 about 4 million262,000 free blacks lived in the slave states488,000 free blacks in the nation as a whole of slaves lived on plantations with 20 or more slaves of slaves lived on plantations with 50 or more slaves2Portrait of the South in 1880

Whites Occupied 70% of the landBlacks Occupied 30% of the land

Whites FarmersLand owners 74%Tenants 26%

Black FarmersOwners 32%Tenants 68%

3Rise of Tenant Farming

1880 36.2% of all southern farms were operated by tenants

1920 - 49.2% of all southern farms were operated by tenants

1930 - 55.5% of all southern farms were operated by tenants4

Li'l Abner was a satirical American comic strip appearing in many newspapers in the United States and Canada, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909-1979), the strip ran for 43 years, from August 13, 1934 through November 13, 19775

The Real McCoys is a television situation comedy from Danny Thomas Productions. The program aired on the ABC network from 1957 through 1962.6

The original Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960 to 1967.7

The Beverly Hillbillies ran from 1962 to 1971 on CBS.8Norma Rae (1979): Norma Rae is a southern textile worker employed in a factory with intolerable working conditions. This concern about the situation gives her the gumption to be the key associate to a visiting labor union organizer.


Loretta Lynn10

Ernest T. Bass, the Mad Hillbilly11

Easy Rider (1969)12