Mississippi between the world wars
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Mississippi Between the World Wars. The Great Migration. During World War I and in the years after the war, large numbers of black Mississippians moved to the northern and Midwestern cities of the U.S. They made the move for two reasons:

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The great migration
The Great Migration

  • During World War I and in the years after the war, large numbers of black Mississippians moved to the northern and Midwestern cities of the U.S.

  • They made the move for two reasons:

    • The job opportunities the industries of those cities provided.

    • To escape the discrimination of the south.

Effects of the great migration
Effects of the Great Migration

  • White Mississippians used violence and intimidation to try to force black Mississippians to remain in the state – it wasn’t very successful.

  • Then white Mississippians began easing up on segregation laws to encourage black Mississippians to remain.

  • Black professionals continued to leave, so that the black population that remained was mostly poor and uneducated.

Henry whitfield
Henry Whitfield

  • Henry Whitfield became governor in 1923 - elected largely because women could vote due to the 19th Amendment.

  • As governor, Whitfield created a new teachers college, a mental hospital and began a reforestation program.

  • He worked to improve the lives of black Mississippians, believing that it was impossible for the state to prosper unless black Mississippians prospered.

The flood of 1927
The Flood of 1927

  • Dennis Murphree was governor of MS in 1927 when the state’s worst flood occurred.

  • After a month of continuous rainfall, the levee collapsed, causing almost 3 million acres of the MS Delta to be flooded.

  • The National Guard helped evacuate white Mississippians but black Mississippians were forced to live in camps on the levee because white Mississippians were afraid if they left, they wouldn’t return.

Agricultural high schools and junior colleges
Agricultural High Schoolsand Junior Colleges

  • Agricultural high schools were boarding schools established in the more rural areas of the state in an effort to help more children receive an education.

  • As the population of the state grew, they no longer became necessary.

  • In 1922, they were turned into junior colleges, where students could get their first two years of college work.

  • This was the first system of junior colleges in the entire U.S.

Theodore bilbo and the wisconsin report
Theodore Bilbo and the Wisconsin Report

  • In 1927, Theodore Bilbo is reelected as governor and his main goal is to improve MS’s higher educational system.

  • He has a study done that recommends combining the University of MS, MS A & M, and the MS Southern College and putting the campus in Jackson.

  • The state legislature refuses to adopt the plan and in response, Bilbo fires the presidents of all three universities (and several faculty members).

  • Several of the universities later lose their accreditation and Bilbo gets the blame.

Ms s economic development
MS’s Economic Development

  • World War I had brought prosperity back to MS because cotton prices rose.

  • After the war, cotton prices dropped again and MS farmers began to struggle – only the Delta planters continued to thrive.

  • Dairy farms began developing in some areas of the state.

  • Canneries were opened in some areas – factories that can food products.

  • The lumber industry later returned because of governor Whitfield’s reforestation program.

Real estate
Real Estate

  • The biggest boom industry of the 1920’s in MS was real estate.

  • Many northerners began moving south to escape the north’s harsh winters.

  • This led to a great deal of investment in MS’s Gulf Coast area.


  • The Eighteenth Amendment established Prohibition in the U.S. (1919).

  • During Prohibition, it was illegal to make, sell or consume alcohol.

  • Many MS fishermen used their boats to smuggle in alcohol from Cuba during this time.

The great depression
The Great Depression

  • The Great Depression of the 1930’s was the worst economic disaster in U.S. History.

  • Many MS farmers lost their land during the Depression.

  • The state was millions of dollars in debt and many state employees were paid with IOU’s.

Martin conner and the sales tax
Martin Conner and the Sales Tax

  • To get the state out of debt, governor Mike Conner created the state’s first sales tax.

  • State merchants protested having to collect the state.

  • One demonstration ended with a mob attacking the governor’s office.

  • Conner persisted though and the sales tax (with some other measures) helped get the state out of debt.

Fdr and the new deal
FDR and the New Deal

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt started the New Deal to get the U.S. out of the Great Depression.

  • The New Deal was a series of laws and programs designed to improve the economy and ease the suffering of the unemployed.

The new deal in ms
The New Deal in MS

  • The Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) hired the unemployed to build useful public projects and manage the state’s natural resources.

  • The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) provided support to farmers and introduced new technology in the state.

Black mississippians during the great depression
Black Mississippians duringthe Great Depression

  • Only young white men served in the CCC.

  • Black Mississippians were only hired as laborers.

  • Payments made to farmers by the AAA were not shared with black sharecroppers.

  • The new technology introduced by the state eventually helped phase out sharecropping.

Balance agriculture with industry
Balance Agriculture With Industry

  • In 1934, Hugh White was elected governor of MS.

  • He established a program known as BAWI.

  • Its goal was to draw more industry into the state in an effort to diversify MS’s economy.

  • White advertised the state and offered incentives like tax breaks but only drew some light industries that paid low wages.

World war ii
World War II

  • The New Deal eased the effects of the Great Depression but didn’t end it.

  • The Great Depression came to an end when the U.S. entered World War II.

  • On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

  • Military bases opened up in MS and Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, MS, began producing naval ships.

The effects of world war ii
The Effects of World War II

  • Over a quarter million Mississippians, white and black, served in World War II.

  • Many of these men left the state for the first time and experienced new cultures.

  • Many of these men are going to return to the state looking for change, especially black Mississippians who served in the military and now want equality in the south.