History, Florida, Plant City, Hillsborough County, Urban development
This study investigates the development of Plant City, Florida as a railroad town developing on the Southwest Florida frontier from 1885-1940. The study chronicles the town's origins and economic, political, and social development in relationship to the broader historical theories of southern urban development, specifically those put forward in David Goldfield's pioneering work, Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers: Southern City and Region 1607-1980. Goldfield contended that southern cities developed differently than their northern counterparts because they were not economically, politically, philosophically and culturally separated from their rural surroundings. Instead, they displayed and retained the positive and negative attributes of southern society and culture, including a commitment to maintaining a biracial society until the 1960s, an affinity for rural lifestyles and values among urban residents, and an economic dependence on outside markets and capital. Since Goldfield derived his findings from research that centered on the cotton producing regions of the Old South, this study sought to determine whether the tenets of his thesis applied to the urbanization process in the frontier areas of Florida, a region often considered an anomaly to the greater South. In the end analysis it was determined that Goldfield's theory generally fits Plant City with some exceptions derived from regional differences found in Florida.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kerlin, Mark W., "Plant City, Florida, 1885-1940: A Study In Southern Urban Development" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 580.