The introduction seeks to alert the reader to some of the larger questions in the book, including Charleston’s transformation from an Old South city toa center of New South industrialization and the corresponding changes for planter elites and freedpeople. The chapter summarizes the beginning of the phosphate land and river miningand fertilizer manufacturing industries, and it describes the book as a top-down and bottom-up narrative case study of the beginnings of the three industriesthat seeks to understand the actions and motives of the primary actors and the process of southern industrialization itself (including elements of business, economic, labor, local, political, and social history, focusing on the intersections of race, class, and political economy in the two decades after the war).The Introduction highlights the significance within the three industries of southern and northern investors,conservatives, lowcountry planter elite and freedpeople, emancipation, historically invisible workers and their economy, and changes in southern agricultureand the fertilizer industry. Finally, the chapter evaluates the three industries within a historiographical context and previews what became of the three industries.
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