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Nation within a NationThe American South and the Federal Government$
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Glenn Feldman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049878

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049878.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Getting Farmers—and Tourists—“Out of the Mud”

Getting Farmers—and Tourists—“Out of the Mud”

Alabama's Nineteenth-Century Experience with Public Projects and Its Response to the Federal Road Aid Acts of 1916 and 1921

(p.229) 8 Getting Farmers—and Tourists—“Out of the Mud”
Nation within a Nation

Martin T. Olliff

University Press of Florida

Martin T. Olliff informs us that, like the epic railroad construction of the nineteenth century, a system of roads and highways that were sturdy enough to serve heavy automobile and truck traffic required enormous outlays and concentration of capital—far more than could be supplied by private industry or state governments alone. Alabamians had consistently refused to support the railroads with public money but everything changed in 1916 with the first Federal Road Aid Act, a law that provided matching federal funds to states for post roads and highways. Predictably, Alabama and other southern states scrambled for the federal money. In 1921 a second Federal Road Aid Act supplied additional matching funds for a rudimentary interstate system. The Alabama Legislature passed a $25 million bond issue (huge for the time). Famous for its aversion to taxation, and fearful and hostile to the federal government, Alabama's government showed itself to be quite pragmatic, and persistent, when it came to securing federal money to build a decent system of state roads.

Keywords:   Alabama, Highways, Post Roads, Federal Road Aid Act of 1916, Federal Road Aid Act of 1921, Railroads, Taxation

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