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Stinking Stones and Rocks of GoldPhosphate, Fertilizer, and Industrialization in Postbellum South Carolina$
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Shepherd W. McKinley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049243

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049243.001.0001

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Conclusions and Epilogue

Conclusions and Epilogue

(p.153) Conclusions and Epilogue
Stinking Stones and Rocks of Gold

Shepherd W. Mckinley

University Press of Florida

This chapter summarizes the importance of the three industries. They preceded the cotton mills and set in motion two separate chains of reaction, one agricultural and the other industrial. Abundant and cheaper commercial fertilizer increased cotton production in the southeast andhad a significant impact on farmers, sharecroppers, merchants, and the American fertilizer industry. Lowcountryelites transformed themselves into Yankee-like industrialists and converted former plantations into industrial districts. Freedpeople transformed themselves into industrial workers capable of striking. They jointly shaped industrialization and led the region towards modernization. This case study provides evidence that southern industrialization was a distinctly southern process, led initially by patriotic planter elites and strongly influenced by the black labor force. Southern industrialization was vastly different than the northern model;that it came later, was weaker, had fewer linkages, and was less-transformative than its northern cousin does not mean than it was not a significant. The epilogue argues that the industries constituted much more than the temporary “boom” some historians have described and that they led to sustained economic development. Although mining began to die in the 1890s, fertilizer manufacture continued well into the next century.

Keywords:   Commercial fertilizer, Cotton, American fertilizer industry, Southern industrialization

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