Alabama in the Twentieth Century (Modern South) by Wayne Flynt

By Wayne Flynt

An authoritative well known background that areas the kingdom in neighborhood and nationwide context.Alabama is a country choked with contrasts. at the one hand, it has elected the bottom variety of girls to the nation legislature of any kingdom within the union; but based on historians it produced of the 10 most crucial American ladies of the twentieth century—Helen Keller and Rosa Parks. Its everyone is fanatically dedicated to conservative spiritual values; but they freely idolize tarnished soccer courses because the resource in their heroes. voters who're questioned by way of Alabama's maddening resistance to alter or its highly robust feel of culture and group will locate vital clues and new realizing inside of those pages.Written by means of passionate Alabamian and complete historian Wayne Flynt, Alabama within the 20th Century deals aiding arguments for either detractors and admirers of the nation. a local son who has lived, enjoyed, taught, debated, and grieved in the kingdom for 60 of the a hundred years defined, the writer doesn't balk from stating Alabama's mess ups, comparable to the woeful yoke of a 1901 nation structure, the oldest one within the country; nor is he limited in calling realization to the state's triumphs opposed to nice odds, reminiscent of its extraordinary variety of army heroes and talented athletes, its excellent array of writers, folks artists, and musicians, or its haunting actual good looks regardless of a long time of abuse.Chapters are prepared by means of topic—politics, the economic system, schooling, African american citizens, girls, the army, recreation, faith, literature, paintings, journalism—rather than chronologically, so the reader can digest the entire sweep of the century on a specific topic. Flynt’s writing sort is enticing, descriptive, freed from litter, but in line with sound scholarship. This ebook bargains academics and readers alike the giant variety and complexity of Alabama's triumphs and occasional issues in a defining century.

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As each new funding crisis struck Alabama, public of¤cials desperately sought another bandage to stop the bleeding. After much of the state’s school system closed in 1933 for lack of funding, educators lobbied legislators to allocate speci¤c new taxes exclusively for education. As a consequence of this practice, called “earmarking,” Alabama ended the century with the highest percentage of state spending restricted by law (Alabama earmarked 87 percent of its revenue, compared to Nevada, in second place with 65 percent, or the national average of 22 percent).

Timber and farm owners with property worth $500,000 market value paid $1,475 in Alabama compared to $3,150, $7,250, and $5,625 in the three neighboring states. But the advantage in property taxes translated into an equally huge disadvantage in comparisons of per pupil expenditures for education. As each new funding crisis struck Alabama, public of¤cials desperately sought another bandage to stop the bleeding. After much of the state’s school system closed in 1933 for lack of funding, educators lobbied legislators to allocate speci¤c new taxes exclusively for education.

When the school system was unable to balance its books, the superintendent proposed a 12 mill increase in property taxes (the increase would have cost $58 a year more on a house valued at $48,600). Angry voters defeated the referendum by a three to one margin. County commissioners, under terms of the 1901 constitution, had the authority to obtain the needed money by raising sales taxes without a public referendum. But in addition to requiring more political courage than most commissioners had, there was only one grocery store and one hardware store in the entire rural county (and no Wal-Mart), so sales taxes were not a realistic option either.

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