Front Porch: Winter 1997

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Front Porch: Winter 1997

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 4: Winter 1997

"Dixie, the song reminds us, is the place where old times are not forgotten."

Dixie, the song reminds us, is the place where old times are not forgotten. Even before the terrible swift sword of the Union army put a premium on southern nostalgia, regional apologists encouraged the idea that southerners were a people of the past, renouncing the mad rush of Yankee progress to retain a slower pace of life and the values of an older time. In the world of the plantation romances, worship of tradition and disdain for the grubby go-getting of modernity were predictable as the moonlight and indispensable as excuses for the slave South’s inability to keep up with the growing wealth and power of its free-labor competitor.