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  • Henry Grady: The Spokesman of the South

    A passionate journalist and charismatic public speaker, Henry Woodfin Grady was known as the “The Spokesman of the New South.” In the late 19th Century, he engaged in a near one-man campaign to bring prosperity to Atlanta and the rest of the South, so damaged and depressed from the recent American Civil War. Grady’s movement fixed fast-growing Atlanta as the hub of the New South, and it spurred the economic growth of the entire region.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why is Henry Grady referred to as the "Spokesman of the South"?

    2. Describe the kind of impact newspapers had on Georgia elections during this time.

    3. Why would Grady have downplayed the situation of African Americans in Georgia during the late 1800s?

    Expansion

    1. Pretend your class has gone back in time to the Reconstruction era. Engage in a class debate on whether or not industrialization should be brought to the South following the Civil War. You should research your position and present them to the class.

    Vocabulary

    prosperity: the state of being successful usually by making a lot of money
    campaign: a series of activities designed to produce a particular result
    investment: the act of using money to earn more money
    industrialization: to build and operate factories and businesses in a city, region, country, etc.

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why is Henry Grady referred to as the "Spokesman of the South"?
    Henry Grady led a one-man campaign to bring prosperity to the south. In a speech delivered in New York, Grady brought together key ideas for the New South, including northern investment in the south and southern industrial growth. As the editor for The Atlanta Constitution, Grady touted Atlanta as the ideal location for industry and investment. 

    2. Describe the kind of impact newspapers had on Georgia elections during this time. 
    As the editor for The Atlanta Constitution and a staunch supporter of the Atlanta Ring (a group of democrats advocating for new southern industries) Henry Grady used the newspaper as a platform to voice his political views. He was successful in helping elect several Ring members to high office, including the US Senate and the Georgia Governor. This success demonstrates the power and influence of the media. 

    3. Why would Grady have downplayed the situation of African Americans in Georgia during the late 1800s?
    Henry Grady wanted to bring northern industries to the south. If northerners were aware of the poor conditions that African Americans faced, they likely would not have invested in the south. 

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