Road to the new South: South Carolina and the debate over I-95
Mark Evans (University of South Carolina)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines how South Carolinians responded to Interstate-95, the principle north-south artery of the United States Interstate Highway System. Construction of I-95 commenced during the 1950s, a period when Southerners promoted a regional identity of cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States. Disdain for federal intervention in state affairs was the hallmark of this Southern identity, and South Carolina was arguably the most vocal champion of Southern exceptionalism. I-95, which required millions of dollars in federal funding and drew the regions together, was--contrary to rhetorical posturing and historiographical emphases--widely accepted by South Carolinians. This case will be made through an investigation of a heated debate between two cities over the highway's route through the state. Ultimately, South Carolina's response to I-95 speaks to the birth of the New South--one culturally similar to the rest of the nation.
Thinking about roads, movement, and environment