Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Country outlaw country. Waylon: An Autobiography. Warner Brooks. Waylon Jennings. Albums Singles. The Waylors Outlaw country Wanted! Jessi Colter. Authority control MBRG : 71e6bfdf-b4e8-bccfc1b1. Archived from the original on March 9, Retrieved March 31, Archived from the original on September 7, Retrieved October 17, Archived from the original on May 4, Retrieved December 16, Entertainment Weekly.
Archived from the original on December 16, Retrieved December 15, Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, The Phoenix. Archived from the original on March 31, Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 2, Retrieved August 7, The numbers of these all-but-slaves was significant: by the middle of the 17th century, at a time when the population of Virginia was 11,, only were Africans, who were outnumbered by English, Irish and Scots indentured servants.
In New England , one-fifth of the Puritans were indentured servants. More indentured servants were sent to the colonies as a result of insurrections in Ireland. In , the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Transportation Act , which allowed for the penal transportation of tens of thousands of convicts to North America, in order to alleviate overcrowding in British prisons. By the time penal transportation ceased during the American Revolutionary War — , some 50, people had been transported to the New World under the law.
When the American market closed to them, the convicts were then sent to Australia. The British conceived of the American colonies as a "wasteland", and a place to dump their underclass. The term "waste people" gave way to "squatters" and "crackers", used to describe the settlers who populated the Western frontier of the United States and the backcountry of some southern states, but who did not have title to the land they settled on, and had little or no access to education or religious training.
The first use of "white trash" in print to describe this population occurred in In , Fanny Kemble , an English actress visiting Georgia, noted in her journal: "The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as 'poor white trash'". The term achieved widespread popularity in the s,  and by , it had passed into common usage by upper-class whites, and was common usage among all Southerners, regardless of race, throughout the rest of the 19th century.
Stowe wrote that slavery not only produces "degraded, miserable slaves", but also poor whites who are even more degraded and miserable. The plantation system forced those whites to struggle for subsistence.
Beyond economic factors, Stowe traces this class to the shortage of schools and churches in their community, and says that both blacks and whites in the area look down on these "poor white trash". Continued work is needed to understand the material reality of the lives of poor whites and how they influenced surrounding social and political structures. Finding the ways in which their influence radiated through southern society can give us an image of the poor whites that is lost in the biased accounts handed down by elite contemporaries.
The social and cultural history of this period, moreover, needs to be further integrated to disentangle image-making from social reality and show the place of poor whites in the South. While their voices are often unheard, we can gauge the broader importance of their presence through the social, political, and cultural developments of the period.
The Brandeis University historian David Hackett Fischer makes a case for an enduring genetic basis for a "willingness to resort to violence" citing especially the finding of high blood levels of testosterone in the four main chapters of his book Albion's Seed. He proposes that this propensity has been transferred to other ethnic groups by shared culture, whence it can be traced to different urban populations of the United States. During the Civil War , the Confederacy instituted conscription to raise soldiers for its army, with all men between the ages of 18 and 35 being eligible to be drafted — later expanded to all men between 17 and However, exemptions were numerous, including any slave-owner with more than 20 slaves, political officeholders, teachers, ministers and clerks, and men who worked in valuable trades.
Left to be drafted, or to serve as paid substitutes, were poor white trash Southerners, who were looked down on as cannon fodder. Conscripts who failed to report for duty were hunted down by so-called "dog catchers". Poor southerners said that it was a "rich man's war", but "a poor man's fight. When found, deserters could be executed, or humiliated by being put into chains. Despite the war being fought to protect the right of the patrician elite of the South to own slaves, the planter class was reluctant to give up their cash crop, cotton, to grow the corn and grain needed by the Confederate armies and the civilian population.
As a result, food shortages, exacerbated by inflation and hoarding of foodstuffs by the rich, caused the poor of the South to suffer greatly. This led to food riots of angry mobs of poor women, who raided stores, warehouses and depots looking for sustenance for their families. Both the male deserters and the female rioters put the lie to the myth of Confederate unity, and that the war was being fought for the rights of all white Southerners.
Ideologically, the Confederacy claimed that the system of slavery in the South was superior to the class divisions of the North, because while the South devolved all its degrading labor onto what it saw as an inferior race, the black slaves, the North did so to its own "brothers in blood", the white working class.
This the leaders and intellectuals of the Confederacy called "mudsill" democracy, and lauded the superiority of the pure-blooded Southern slave-owning "cavaliers" — who were worth five Northerners in a fight — over the sullied Anglo-Saxon upper class of the North.
Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman , recognized that their fight was not only to liberate slaves, but also the poor white Southerners who were oppressed by the system of slavery. Thus they took steps to exploit the class divisions between the "white trash" population and plantation owners. An Army chaplain wrote in a letter to his wife after the Union siege of Petersburg, Virginia that winning the war would not only result in the end of American slavery, but would also increase opportunities for "poor white trash.
After the war, President Andrew Johnson 's first idea for the reconstruction of the South was not to take steps to create an egalitarian democracy. Instead, he envisioned what was essentially a "white trash republic", in which the aristocracy would maintain their property holdings and an amount of social power, but be disenfranchised until they could show their loyalty to the Union.
The freed blacks would no longer be slaves, but would still be denied essential rights of citizenship and would make up the lowest rung on the social ladder. In between would be the poor white Southerner, the white trash, who while occupying a lesser social position, would essentially become the masters of the South, voting and occupying political offices, and maintaining a superior status to the free blacks and freed slaves.
Emancipated from the inequities of the plantation system, poor white trash would become the bulwark of Johnson's rebuilding of the South and its restoration into the Union. The agency did this despite Johnson's basic lack of concern for the freed slaves the war had supposedly been fought over.
But even though they provided relief to them, the Bureau did not accept Johnson's vision of poor whites as the loyal and honorable foundation of a reconstructed South. Northern journalists and other observers maintained that poor white trash, who were now destitute refugees, "beggars, dependents, houseless and homeless wanderers", were still victimized by poverty and vagrancy.
They were "loafers" dressed in rags and covered in filth who did no work, but accepted government relief handouts. They were seen as only slightly more intelligent than blacks. One observer, James R. Gilmore, a cotton merchant and novelist who had traveled throughout the South, wrote the book Down in Tennessee , published in , in which he differentiated poor whites into two groups, "mean whites" and "common whites".
While the former were thieves, loafers, and brutes, the latter were law-abiding citizens who were enterprising and productive. It was the "mean" minority who gave white trash their bad name and character. A number of commentators noted that poor white Southerners did not compare favorably to freed blacks, who were described as "capable, thrifty, and loyal to the Union.
Sidney Andrews saw in black a "shrewd instinct for preservation" which poor whites did not have, and Whitelaw Reid , a politician and newspaper editor from Ohio, thought that black children appeared eager to learn. Atlantic Monthly went so far as to suggest that government policy should switch from "disenfranchis[ing] the humble, quiet, hardworking Negro" and cease to provide help to the "worthless barbarian", the "ignorant, illiterate, and vicious" white trash population.
So, during the Reconstruction Era, white trash were no longer seen simply as a freakish, degenerate breed who lived almost invisibly in the backcountry wilderness, the war had brought them out of the darkness into the mainstream of society, where they developed the reputation of being a dangerous class of criminals, vagrants and delinquents, lacking intelligence, unable to speak properly, the "Homo genus without the sapien", an evolutionary dead end in the Social Darwinist thinking of the time.
Plus, they were immoral, breaking all social codes and sexual norms, engaging in incest and prostitution, pimping out family members, and producing numerous in-bred bastard children. One of the responses of Southerners and Northern Democrats after the war to Reconstruction was the invention of the myth of the " carpetbaggers ", those Northern Republican scoundrels and adventurers who invaded the South to take advantage of its people, but less well known is that of the " scalawags ", those Southern white who betrayed their race by supporting the Republican Party and Reconstruction.
The scalawag, even if they came from a higher social class, was often described as having a "white trash heart". They were accused of easily mingling with blacks, inviting them to dine in their homes, and inciting them by encouraging them to seek social equality. The Democrats retaliated with Autobiography of a Scalawag , a parody of the standard " self-made man " story, in which a white trash southerner with no innate ambition nevertheless is raised to a position of middling power just by being in the right place at the right time or by lying and cheating.
Around , the term "redneck" began to be widely used for poor white southerners, especially those racist followers of the Democratic demagogues of the time.
Rednecks were found working in the mills, living deep in the swamps, heckling at Republican rallies, and were even occasionally elected to be a state legislator. Such was the case with Guy Rencher, who claimed that "redneck" came from his own "long red neck".
Also around , the American eugenics movement turned its attention to poor white trash. As always, they were stigmatized as being feeble-minded and promiscuous, having incestuous and inter-racial sex, and abandoning or mistreating the children of those unions.
Eugenicists campaigned successfully for laws which would allow rural whites fitting these descriptions to be involuntarily sterilized by the state, in order to "cleanse" society of faulty genetic heritages. In , Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U. Bell , the U. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of , allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions.
The beginning of the 20th century brought no change of status for poor white southerners, especially after the onset of the Great Depression. The condition of this class was presented to the public in Margaret Bourke-White 's photographic series for Life magazine, and the work of other photographers made for Roy Stryker 's Historical Section of the federal Resettlement Agency.
A number of Franklin D. Roosevelt 's New Deal agencies tried to help the rural poor to better themselves and to break through the social barriers of Southern society which held them back, reinstating the American Dream of upward mobility.
Programs such as those of the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department of the Interior ; its successor, the Resettlement Administration, whose express purpose was to help the poor in rural areas; and its replacement, the Farm Security Administration which aimed to break the cycle of tenant farming and sharecropping and help poor whites and black to own their own farms, and to initiate the creation of the communities necessary to support those farms.
The agencies also provided services for migrant workers, such as the Arkies and Okies , who had been devastated by the Dust Bowl — the condition of which was well-documented by photographer Dorothea Lange in An American Exodus — and been forced to take to the road, jamming all their belongings into Ford motorcars and heading west toward California. Important in the devising and running of these programs were politicians and bureaucrats such as Henry Wallace , the Secretary of Agriculture ; Milburn Lincoln Wilson , the first head of the Subsistence Homesteads Division, who was a social scientist and an agricultural expert; and Rexford G.
Tugwell , a Columbia University economics professor who managed to be appointed the first head of the Resettlement Agency, despite refusing to present himself with a "homely, democratic manner" in his confirmation hearings. Tugwell understood that the status of tenant farmers would not change if they could not vote, so he campaigned against poll tax , which prevented them voting, since they could not afford to pay it.
His agency's goals were the four "R's": "retirement of bad land, relocation of rural poor, resettlement of the unemployed in suburban communities, and rehabilitation of farm families.
Other individuals important in the fight to help the rural poor were Arthur Raper , an expert on tenancy farming, whose study Preface to Peasantry explained why the south's system held back the region's poor and caused them to migrate; and Howard Odum , a University of North Carolina sociologist and psychologist who founded the journal Social Forces , and worked closely with the Federal government.
Journalist Gerald W.
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