By 1860 the South ranked high among developed countries of the world in per capita income and life expectancy and in the number of railroad miles , telegraph lines, and institutions of higher learning. Only the major European powers and the North had more cotton and woolen spindles.
While the Confederacy mobilized its mills for military purposes, the North systematically planned their destruction. The Union blockade ended the effectiveness of importing goods, and under the Union Army’s General Order 100 Confederate Industry was crushed.
Scarcity and impoverishment in the postbellum South brought manufacturers to the forefront of leadership. Former Confederate Generals, newspaper editors and educators became allied for the cause of Southern development.
Against this postwar mania to rebuild, this book tests old assumptions.