08 June 2011

A Historical Development Perspective: Civil War Edition

I was struck by this passage from UNC Professor Peter Coclanis's answer on the Freakonomics blog as to why the South, who lost the Civil War, continues to celebrate 150 years later:
[A]s impressive as it was, the economic growth of the South lacked qualitative development. It wasn’t moving up the value-added chain. While innovation flourished in the industrial North, it wasn’t exactly stagnant in the South, but channeled into narrow agricultural lines. The voracious global demand for cotton and tobacco masked economic weaknesses that would have huge long-term consequences.