Subject(s): Computer Science–Artificial Intelligence
Article 1: history.house.gov article on New Deal & Realignment
The realignment of black voters from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party that began in the late 1920s proliferated during this era. This process involved a â€œpush and pullâ€ : the refusal by Republicans to pursue civil rights alienated many black voters, while effortsâ€”shallow though they wereâ€”by northern Democrats to open opportunities for African Americans gave black voters reasons to switch parties.26
The 1932 presidential contest between incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt was something of a turning point. During his first term, Hoover had tried to ingratiate himself with southern segregationists, and his administration had failed to implement economic policies to help African Americans laid low by the Great Depression. Still, Hoover received between two-thirds and three-quarters of the black vote in northern urban wards.27 Most black voters sided with Republicans less out of loyalty than because they were loath to support a candidate whose Democratic Party had zealously suppressed their political rights in the South. African Americans mistrusted FDR because of his party affiliation, his evasiveness about race in the campaign, and his choice of a running mate, House Speaker John Nance Garner of Texas.28
As late as the mid-1930s, African American Republican John R. Lynch, who had represented Mississippi in the House during and after Reconstruction, summed up the sentiments of older black voters and upper middle-class professionals: â€œThe colored voters cannot help but feel that in voting the Democratic ticket in national elections they will be voting to give their indorsement [sic] and their approval to every wrong of which they are victims, every right of which they are deprived, and every injustice of which they suffer.â€ 29
Illinoisâ€™s First Congressional District provides a window into the process of black political realignment in northern cities. Prior to becoming solidly Democratic in 1934, the South Chicago district elected Republican Oscar De Priest in 1928, 1930, and 1932. Southern African Americans, who swelled the cityâ€™s population during that period giving it the second-largest urban black population in the country by 1930, encountered an established Republican machine that courted black voters and extended patronage jobs. The party offered these migrants an outlet for political participation that was unimaginable in the Jim Crow South. African Americans voted in droves for machine politicians like William Hale (Big Bill) Thompson, who regularly corralled at least 60 percent of the vote in the majority-black Second and Third Wards. Mayor Thompson and the machine promoted black politicians such as De Priest who, in 1915, became the cityâ€™s first African-American alderman, the equivalent of a city councilman. Black voters remained exceedingly loyal to the Republican ticket.30 But by the late 1960s, as black politicians began to assemble their own power bases, carving out a measure of independence, they often challenged the machine when party interests conflicted with issues important to the black community. Unlike earlier black Members who relied on the established political machines to launch their careers, these Members, most of whom had grown up in the cities they represented, managed to forge political bases separate from the dominant party structure. By linking familial and community connections with widespread civic engagement, they routinely clashed with the entrenched political powers.31
Discontent with the Hoover administrationâ€™s halting efforts to revive the Depression-era economy also loosened African-American ties to the Republican Party. Nationally, the staggering financial collapse hit black Americans harder than most other groups.
Additionally, black voters nationwide began leaving the Republican Party because of the growing perception that local Democratic organizations better represented their interests. Local patronage positions and nationally administered emergency relief programs in Depression-era Chicago and other cities, for instance, proved crucial in attracting African-American support.39 While the New Deal failed to extend as much economic relief to black Americans as to whites, the tangible assistance they provided conferred a sense that the system was at least addressing a few issues that were important to African Americans. For those who had been marginalized or ignored for so long, even the largely symbolic efforts of the Roosevelt administration inspired hope and renewed interest in the political process.40
As the older generation of black voters disappeared, the Democratic machines that dominated northern city wards courted the next generation of black voters. By 1936 only 28 percent of African Americans nationally voted for Republican nominee Alf Landonâ€”less than half the number who had voted for Hoover just four years before.41 Over time, the party affiliations of black Americans in Congress became equally one-sided. Including Oscar De Priest, just nine black Republicans were elected to Congress between 1929 and 2017â€”about 7 percent of the African Americans to serve in that time span.42
Article 2: history.com article How Party of Lincoln Won Over The Once Democratic South
Need assignment help for this question?
If you need assistance with writing your essay, we are ready to help you!
Why Choose Us: Cost-efficiency, Plagiarism free, Money Back Guarantee, On-time Delivery, Total Сonfidentiality, 24/7 Support, 100% originality
The night that Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his special assistant Bill Moyers was surprised to find the president looking melancholy in his bedroom. Moyers later wrote that when he asked what was wrong, Johnson replied, â€œI think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.â€
It may seem a crude remark to make after such a momentous occasion, but it was also an accurate prediction.
To understand some of the reasons the South went from a largely Democratic region to a primarily Republican area today, just follow the decades of debate over racial issues in the United States.
The Republican party was originally founded in the mid-1800s to oppose immigration and the spread of slavery, says David Goldfield, whose new book on American politics, The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good, comes out in November.
â€œThe Republican party was strictly a sectional party, meaning that it just did not exist in the South,â€ he says. â€œThe South couldnâ€™t care less about immigration.â€ But it did care about preserving slavery.
After the Civil War, the Democratic partyâ€™s opposition to Republican Reconstruction legislation solidified its hold on the South.
â€œThe Democratic party came to be more than a political party in the Southâ€”it came to be a defender of a way of life,â€ Goldfield says. â€œAnd that way of life was the restoration as much as possible of white supremacy â€¦ The Confederate statues you see all around were primarily erected by Democrats.
The Dixie Democrats seceding from the Democratic Party. The rump convention, called after the Democrats had attached President Trumanâ€™s civil rights program to the party platform, placed Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Governor Fielding L. Wright of Mississippi in nomination. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)
Up until the post-World War II period, the partyâ€™s hold on the region was so entrenched that Southern politicians usually couldnâ€™t get elected unless they were Democrats. But when President Harry S. Truman, a Democratic Southerner, introduced a pro-civil rights platform at the partyâ€™s 1948 convention, a faction walked out.
These defectors, known as the â€œDixiecrats,â€ held a separate convention in Birmingham, Alabama. There, they nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond, a staunch opposer of civil rights, to run for president on their â€œStatesâ€™ Rightsâ€ ticket. Although Thurmond lost the election to Truman, he still won over a million popular votes.
It â€œwas the first time since before the Civil War that the South was not solidly Democratic,â€ Goldfield says. â€œAnd that began the erosion of the southern influence in the Democratic party.â€
After that, the majority of the South still continued to vote Democratic because it thought of the Republican party as the party of Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction. The big break didnâ€™t come until President Johnson, another Southern Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Though some Democrats had switched to the Republican party prior to this, â€œthe defections became a floodâ€ after Johnson signed these acts, Goldfield says. â€œAnd so the political parties began to reconstitute themselves.â€
The change wasnâ€™t total or immediate. During the late 1960s and early â€˜70s, white Southerners were still transitioning away from the Democratic party (newly enfranchised black Southerners voted and continue to vote Democratic). And even as Republican Richard Nixon employed a â€œSouthern strategyâ€ that appealed to the racism of Southern white voters, former Alabama Governor George Wallace (whoâ€™d wanted â€œsegregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation foreverâ€ ) ran as a Democrat in the 1972 presidential primaries.
By the time Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, the Republican partyâ€™s hold on white Southerners was firm. Today, the Republican party remains the party of the South. Itâ€™s an ironic outcome considering that a century ago, white Southerners wouldâ€™ve never considered voting for the party of Lincoln.
Article 1 Questions:
What does party realignment mean?
When did Black voters start transitioning away from the Republican party?
What city were Black people voting Democrat in large numbers early on? Same city Oscar De Priest was elected in.
What were two reasons this article gives for Black people leaving the Republican party?
Article 2 Questions:
Why do you think Johnson said what he said when signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964
What did the Democratic Party mean for southerners during Reconstruction?
Which president introduced a pro-civil rights platform in 1948?
What are Dixiecrats?
What do you think Richard Nixonâ€™s â€œSouthern Strategyâ€ is?