Overview

  The Rural World

  Industry Comes of Age

  The Urban Magnet

  From Jubilee to Jim Crow

  The New Leisure

  The Price of Progress

Biltmore Estate, Asheville
Biltmore House (1895-1900), Asheville

Few would have guessed in 1870 that within fifty years, North Carolina would be the most industrialized state in the South. The Quest for Progress recounts that half-century of turbulent change and growth.

An accelerating pace of life was evident everywhere in North Carolina at the turn of the century, from mill villages to mushrooming towns. Skyscrapers and suburbs, country estates and mountain resorts testified to the state's new wealth. But new conflicts marked the era as well. Farmers plagued by debt fought back in a Populist movement that carried its cause to the nation. Working men and women fought to keep their independence on the factory floor. Black North Carolinians, despite violence and disenfranchisement, built the churches, colleges, and businesses that prepared the next generation to reclaim its rights. By 1920, North Carolina was a state transformed.

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Presented by
The North Carolina Office of Archives & History
in association with
The University of North Carolina Press
2004 All rights reserved.