The Underdeveloped South
“The Underdeveloped South” focuses on the status of the economy before and after the annexation. The author examines the impact that the new kingdom’s laissez-faire policy had on the Southern economy. He agrees with recent allegations that without the protection of import tariffs Southern industries were bound to go bankrupt. However, he shows that in the context of the commercial realities of the time, southern methods of production were too antiquated to actually compete in the open market. DiMaria rejects the assumption that if the country had helped manufacturers to refurbish their plants, they could have re-entered the market as competitive players. He argues convincingly that Southern industries could not have accomplished a quick turnaround because the region lacked adequate infrastructure, a literate labor force, and an entrepreneurial mentality.