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Old 06-07-2013, 06:18 PM
 
Location: 'Bout a mile off Old Mill Road
591 posts, read 638,468 times
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I don't know, but Charleston and Savannah are the two best cities in the South, IMO.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:11 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/East Bay and Los Angeles, formerly DC and Boston
2,138 posts, read 3,429,124 times
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Like Charleston, Newport, RI was also once a top 10 city, and was bigger than Providence at the time of the 1st census. But it was more convenient to the ocean, while Providence was more convenient to rail lines and shipping through the interior via Narragansett Bay.

Charleston was losing ground before the Civil War, it lost population in the 1830s. Ocean trade concentrated on New York and Boston, while fall line cities like Baltimore and Philly had huge advantages in manufacturing due to cheap power. This was also the same reason Richmond grew while Charleston fell from around 1830-1860, and by the time of the Civil War those two southern cities were nearly equal. If the Civil War had occurred 50 years earlier, little Richmond would have been too small to be any kind of Confederate capital.

Also had river trade cities like Cincinnati, St. Louis, and New Orleans growing like crazy, which traded goods from the interior, and didn't compete directly w/ocean ports like Charleston and Savannah did.

Charleston, Savannah, and Newport are all great vacation spots now, possibly because they never had to deal with the dirt and grime from industrialization.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Bishkek
1,977 posts, read 1,815,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Savannah escaped any destruction during the Civil War because the city surrendered itself peacefully to Federal troops, then they threw a big part for General Sherman and got him drunk just to make sure he wouldn't repeat what he did to Atlanta.

Charleston on the other hand did not surrender peacefully and was laid to waste.



One interesting foot note in the history of the American Civil war is that while much is made of Atlanta's destruction and the ensuing path of destruction that Sherman created on his march to Savannah, when the Federal troops turned north into South Carolina the destruction was twice as bad. South Carolina was seen by troops and the American public as being the birth place of secession and took it all out on the state.

This leads into the thread topic in that yes climate played a big role in why there were no gigantic Southern cities prior to the middle 20th century, but the destruction caused by the Civil War had long lasting effects on the growth of the region. It was almost 50 years before most Southern cities recovered to a point where they were able to be productive again and by that time they had missed the opportunity to capture a large portion of the immigrants that were streaming in from Europe.

Charleston was a prime example of taking a long road to recovery, and since the infrastructure of South Carolina was so badly damaged during the war, other cities were able to pass it up in prominence by the time it recovered.

For Savannah, their problem was more unique in that Atlanta was quickly rebuilt and became the one of the manufacturing and railroad centers of the Southeast/country. It literally sucked away all the growth that Savannah could have taken advantage of if Atlanta did not exist. Plus there was also cultural resistance to growth in Savannah.
I believe you are wrong about Sherman destroying Charleston. After leaving Savannah he went to Beaufort then on to Columbia where that city was damaged pretty bad. The foto you show is Meeting Street after the earthquake in the late 1800's.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,471 posts, read 7,285,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordtwo View Post
I agree with you 100 percent, but current mindsets does have an effect on a community regardless of its history. If you go visit any particular city you will find that many of the inhabitants are similar. New Orleans is a prime example.

Atlanta was burned badly during the Civil War as well, so what is Charleston's and Savannah's excuse? For one thing the people in Atlanta are not stuck on the Civil War. Atlanta is now past that stage. When you go around Atlanta you will not see as many Confederate flags waving like you would in the other two cities. I am not trying to start a fire with my comment, but SAV and CHAR are still stuck in the past. Therefore human mindsets can either help or hinder any potential growth. Modern Industrialization tends not to involve cities that are stuck on history alone, especially when it is something that will only cause division amongst the people.
I realize this comment is well over a year old, but it still isn't correct.
There are just as many confederate flags flying around Atlanta as there are around Savannah and Charleston. There are also just as many transplants and locals in Atlanta as there are in both Savannah & Charleston.
The latter two cities are definitely NOT stuck in the past and are growing at a moderate pace.

AND... just as a good portion of Intown Atlanta is a haven for liberals, the same applies to Savannah and Charleston.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,851 posts, read 5,586,378 times
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I can't comment much for Charleston but I believe it's situation is probably very similar to Savannahs. After reading the comments I think most people are missing or have missed these points in the development of Savannah.

1. The founders of Savannah early on did have grand designs on Savannah becoming the preeminent city in Georgia if not the whole South. But, they, like so many other Southerners, thought the key to it's prosperity and growth lay in the cotton trade. King Cotton would make the cotton shipping town one of the greatest cities they believed. They and other Southerners did not for see that the entire cotton industry would fall apart due to the bol weevil and other factors. And even if it hadn't cotton was never to be the gold mine they thought it to be. They also did not see (I don't know why) that the greatest wealth lay not in growing cotton but in the textile process (something Northern cities handled more).

2. It's true that Atlanta has long been a major railroad center but Savannah has long been and still is a major port (4th busiest in America). But as cargo statistics will tell you, simply having a busy port by and in itself does not make a city great. If having a lot going on at your port was the most important thing for a city then Tampa and Portland Oregon would be bigger than Chicago and Boston. Its about how you take advantage of having great transportation facilities to foster growth and Industry in different areas. Atlanta has done a lot to take advantage of it's railroads, highways, and airport to bring in all sorts of enterprises. Not the same with Savannah and its booming Port.

3. There seems to be a belief among many posters that Atlanta's success has meant Savannah was destined to be small. As if the two can't be large together. As if every achievement of Atlanta sucks some life out of Savannah. Atlanta is 300 miles away in the largest state east of the Mississippi with lots of resources. That would be like Pittsburgh's success of old meaning Philadelphia would have to be a small town. Or Cincinnati s industrial prowess meaning Cleveland didn't have a chance. The examples go on and on.

4. Savannah missed the industrialization boat big time and that can't be blamed on the Civil War. Manufacturing and Industry is one thing the larger coastal port cities north of Savannah all share in common that Savannah hasn't had much of. A lot of people on city data seem to think that manufacturing is a four letter word and it's what brought down the Rust Belt. Not being competitive with the rest of the world in manufacturing is what brought it down and a return of it is helping that area bounce back today. In fact manufacturing is still so important that lack of it is one of the main reasons America hasn't been able to drag itself out of recession for so many many years. Just a few of the goodies that tend to tag along with big manufacturing include: large banks, finance and investment companies, big research universities (MIT for instance), It raises the income of low skilled workers by giving them something more lucrative than flipping burgers, provides managerial, administrative and engineering jobs for highly educated professionals, high skilled blue collar workers like master machinist, electricians, industrial mechanics, and millwrights can actually make as much or more money than most white collar workers.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:22 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,035 posts, read 34,995,637 times
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One factor that I haven't seen mentioned is the insular nature of Charleston and Savannah societies. It's not that they aren't welcoming to visitors (in fact, they are; famously so), but for a newcomer to assimilate into the old boy network there is a bit more difficult than in Atlanta or Charlotte. Although this may slowly be changing, they have had this reputation for as long as I remember.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:28 AM
 
29,871 posts, read 27,324,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
One factor that I haven't seen mentioned is the insular nature of Charleston and Savannah societies. It's not that they aren't welcoming to visitors (in fact, they are; famously so), but for a newcomer to assimilate into the old boy network there is a bit more difficult than in Atlanta or Charlotte. Although this may slowly be changing, they have had this reputation for as long as I remember.
I'm pretty sure this was even more true of richer cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, NYC, and even New Orleans, all of which grew to be much larger than Charleston and Savannah.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,035 posts, read 34,995,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I'm pretty sure this was even more true of richer cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, NYC, and even New Orleans, all of which grew to be much larger than Charleston and Savannah.
Yes, definitely a factor. However, it did play into the business climates of many of these cities. But the cities that you cite were somewhat more cosmopolitan than the subject cities.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
1,356 posts, read 2,294,446 times
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Isn't it good they didn't?

Both are two of the most beautiful cities in the country. Not saying that Atlanta and Charlotte aren't.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,847 posts, read 11,014,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZonaZoo View Post
I don't know, but Charleston and Savannah are the two best cities in the South, IMO.
Totally agree. Hidden gems. Annapolis has a very similar vibe.
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