The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 178
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
refuted assertion of pre-Revolutionary cleavage between tide-
water Virginia and the back country. The Lockean concept of
the natural right of property, says Mr. Simkins, was made more
sacred by the Revolution without attempting to equalize the
holdings, although he maintains that abolition of the laws of
primogeniture and entail "facilitated the break-up of the great
hereditary families of the Colonial South"; and he implies that
"a reordering of society along democratic lines" was a possible
alternative to maintenance of upper-class privileges and control
in a society which drew a sharp distinction between the accepted
republicanism of the time and democracy, suspect and "radical."
The discussion of "Colonial Expansion" in Chapter 3 extends to
1803, but in general there is an unfortunate hiatus in the narra-
tive from the end of the Confederation to Monroe's administra-
tion where the author's first edition began.
These shortcomings, however, are a minor consideration in
what is an important contribution to American as well as to
Southern history. Mr. Simkins has purposely given major empha-
sis to the period since 1865 because for the most part it has been
neglected by historians. It is also his purpose "to show that, de-
spite its assimilation of national ideals and techniques, it [the
New South] survives as a regional entity as distinct in many
respects ,as the Old South." In seven chapters he portrays with
keen perception and understanding the culture of the Old South
-its sectional consciousness, the slave system (an especially fine
essay with well balanced critical evaluation), orthodoxy in reli-
gion, science, and social reform, developments in education and
literature, and the secession movement. Two chapters on the
Southern Confederacy are likewise concerned chiefly with its eco-
nomic and social aspects; the military phase is of course implicit
throughout, but no special attention is given to military history
as such. With this well integrated background the reader is ade-
quately prepared for the complex history of Reconstruction and
the New South. He will lose neither his way nor his interest in
the story, for the author's theme of white supremacy never fails
to command attention for its human essence or respect for its
Historical writing on the South has suffered from the myopic
view which fails to assess developments in this section in relation
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/199/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.