Political Parties And A Complicated History With Race
Black people who could vote tended to support the Republican Party from the 1860s to about the mid-1930s. There were push-and-pull aspects to this. Republicans pledged to protect voting rights. African Americans viewed the party as the only vessel for their goals: Frederick Douglass said, The Republican Party is the ship all else is the sea.
And the sea was perilous. The Democratic Party for most of the 19th century was a white supremacist organization that gave no welcome to Black Americans. A conservative group of politicians known as the Bourbons controlled Southern Democratic parties. For instance, well into the 20th century, the official name of Alabamas dominant organization was the Democratic and Conservative Party of Alabama.
The Bourbons called their Republican opponents radicals, whether they warranted the label or not, Masur said.
The Democrats were often called conservative and embraced that label, she said. Many of them were conservative in the sense that they wanted things to be like they were in the past, especially as far as race was concerned.
In consequence of this intolerance, colored men are forced to vote for the candidate of the Republican Party, however objectionable to them some of these candidates may be, unless they are prevented from doing so by violence and intimidation, he said.
What Was John Quincy Adamss Occupation
John Quincy Adams was a diplomat in the administrations of George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison. He served in the Massachusetts Senate and the United States Senate, and he taught at Harvard. He was secretary of state under James Monroe. After his presidential term, he served in the House of Representatives.
The Roots Of The Parties Racial Switch
Today, Black Americans are the strongest Democratic constituency and White Southerners are the strongest Republican groupbut it used to be the other way around. The usual story places 1960s civil rights policymaking at the center of the switch, but an important prior history in the North and the South made it possible. Keneshia Grant finds that the Great Migration north changed the Democratic Party because Black voters became pivotal in Democratic cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit, leading politicians to respond, including new Black elected officials. Boris Heersink finds that Southern Republican state parties became battles between racially mixed and lily-white factions, mostly for control of patronage due to national convention influence. The lily-white takeovers enabled early Republican gains in the South. These trends predated national civil rights policymaking and help explain how we reached todays divided regional and racial politics.
Photo Credit: Yoichi Okamoto / Public domain
How Did This Switch Happen
Eric Rauchway , professor of American history at the University of California , Davis, pins the transition to the turn of the 20th century, when a highly influential Democrat named William Jennings Bryan blurred party lines by emphasizing the government’s role in ensuring social justice through expansions of federal power traditionally, a Republican stance.
But Republicans didn’t immediately adopt the opposite position of favoring limited government.
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“Instead, for a couple of decades, both parties are promising an augmented federal government devoted in various ways to the cause of social justice,” Rauchway wrote in an archived 2010 blog post for the Chronicles of Higher Education . Only gradually did Republican rhetoric drift toward the counterarguments. The party’s small-government platform cemented in the 1930s with its heated opposition to Roosevelts New Deal.
But why did Bryan and other turn-of-the-century Democrats start advocating for big government?
The Myth Of The Republican
When faced with the sobering reality that Democrats supported slavery, started the Civil War when the abolitionist Republican Party won the Presidency, established the Ku Klux Klan to brutalize newly freed slaves and keep them from voting, opposed the Civil Rights Movement, modern-day liberals reflexively perpetuate rather pernicious myth–that the racist southern Democrats of the 1950s and 1960s became Republicans, leading to the so-called “switch” of the parties.
This is as ridiculous as it is easily debunked.
The Republican Party, of course, was founded in 1848 with the abolition of slavery as its core mission. Almost immediately after its second presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the 1860 election, Democrat-controlled southern states seceded on the assumption that Lincoln would destroy their slave-based economies.
Once the Civil War ended, the newly freed slaves as expected flocked to the Republican Party, but Democrat control of the South from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Era was near total. In 1960, Democrats held every Senate seat south of the Mason-Dixon line. In the 13 states that made up the Confederacy a century earlier, Democrats held a staggering 117-8 advantage in the House of Representatives. The Democratic Party was so strong in the south that those 117 House members made up a full 41% of Democrats’ 283-153 advantage in the Chamber.
So how did this myth of a sudden “switch” get started?
It would not be the last time they used it.
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The Founding Federalists And Anti
To see how the parties have evolved properly from the founders to 2016, we can start by comparing pre-Civil War factions such as the founding Federalists and Anti-Federalists in the First Party System.
Here we can compare figures like the North Eastern Federalists Alexander Hamilton and John Adams to the Virginian Anti-Federalists Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry to get a sense of the two general types of ideologies that color Americas future parties and factions .
Here we can see the roots of progressivism and states rights populism in the Democratic party and the roots of traditional pro-business conservatism in the Federalists. Here we can also note that, despite none of the founders supporting slavery, it is the small government mentality to Democrats that allows for slavery, while the Whig-like conservatism of the Federalists is more geared toward global trade and banking and less tolerant of the nefarious institution.
Although we can put the founders in two big tents and understand American history that way, looking at the nuanced views of the founders allows us to better understand the roots of the different types of liberal and conservative / elite and populist positions that we find in each party system.
Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties.Thomas Jefferson
National debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.Alexander Hamilton
The Founding Fathers Disagree
Differing political views among U.S. Founding Fathers eventually sparked the forming of two factions. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams thus formed The Federalists. They sought to ensure a strong government and central banking system with a national bank. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison instead advocated for a smaller and more decentralized government, and formed the Democratic-Republicans. Both the Democratic and the Republican Parties as we know them today are rooted in this early faction.
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How The Battle Of Stalingrad Marked A Turning Point In Wwii
The Dixie Democrats seceding from the Democratic Party. The rump convention, called after the Democrats had attached President Trumans civil rights program to the party platform, placed Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Governor Fielding L. Wright of Mississippi in nomination.
Up until the post-World War II period, the partys hold on the region was so entrenched that Southern politicians usually couldnt get elected unless they were Democrats. But when President Harry S. Truman, a Democratic Southerner, introduced a pro-civil rights platform at the partys 1948 convention, a faction walked out.
These defectors, known as the Dixiecrats, 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 States Rights ticket. Although Thurmond lost the election to Truman, he still won over a million popular votes.
It was the first time since before the Civil War that the South was not solidly Democratic, Goldfield says. And that began the erosion of the southern influence in the Democratic party.
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 didnt come until President Johnson, another Southern Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Who Are Prominent Democrats
Notable Democrats include Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the only president to be elected to the White House four times, and Barack Obama, who was the first African American president . Other Democratic presidents include John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. The latters wife, Hillary Clinton, made history in 2016 as the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, though she ultimately lost the election. In 1968 Shirley Chisholm won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman elected to Congress, and in 2007 Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to serve as speaker of the House.
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Southern Democratic Presidential Tickets
At various times, registered Democrats from the South broke with the national party to nominate their own presidential and vice presidential candidates, generally in opposition to civil rights measures supported by the national nominees. There was at least one Southern Democratic effort in every presidential election from 1944 until 1968, besides 1952. On some occasions, such as in 1948 with Strom Thurmond, these candidates have been listed on the ballot in some states as the nominee of the Democratic Party. George Wallace of Alabama was in presidential politics as a conservative Democrat except 1968, when he left the party and ran as an independent. Running as the nominees of the American Independent Party, the Wallace ticket won 5 states. Its best result was in Alabama, where it received 65.9% of the vote. Wallace was the official Democratic nominee in Alabama and Hubert Humphrey was listed as the “National Democratic” candidate.
Those Racist Dixiecrats Create Mainstream Republican Policy
By the time they left the Democrats, Dixiecrats Thurmond and Representative Jesse Helms were on the fringes of their party.
But their ideas formed modern GOPs core platform.
In a campaign ad, Democrat-turned-Republican Jesse Helms said racial quotas prevented white people from getting jobs. The lie of racial quotas persists in the GOPs rejection of affirmative action. Racial quotas are illegal.
Take the idea of special interests. Heres Helms view, as a Republican:
But you would think that Ted Cruz would have a clearer understanding of the connections between the Dixiecrats and the Republican Party.
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What Year Did The Democrats And Republicans Switch Platforms
After the end of Reconstruction the Republican Party generally dominated the North while a resurgent Democratic Party dominated the South. By the late 19th century, as the Democratic and Republican parties became more established, party switching became less frequent.
Beside above, when did the South become Republican? Via the Republican Revolution in the 1994 elections, Republicans captured a majority of Southern House seats for the first time. Today, the South is considered a Republican stronghold at the state and federal levels, with Republicans holding majorities in every Southern state after the 2014 elections.
Similarly one may ask, when did Republicans and Democrats switch colors?
Since the 1984 election, CBS has used the opposite scheme: blue for Democrats, red for Republicans. ABC used yellow for Republicans and blue for Democrats in 1976, then red for Republicans and blue for Democrats in 1980 and 1984, and 1988.
What were the views of the Democratic Republican Party?
DemocraticRepublicans were deeply committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Federalists. During the 1790s, the party strongly opposed Federalist programs, including the national bank.
What Was John Quincy Adamss Childhood Like
John Quincy Adams was the eldest son of John and Abigail Adams. Growing up during the American Revolution, he watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from Penns Hill and heard the cannons roar across the Back Bay in Boston. He accompanied his father on diplomatic missions to Europe and studied in Paris and Leiden, Netherlands.
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What Were John Quincy Adamss Achievements
John Quincy Adams signed the Treaty of Ghent and played a leading part in the U.S. acquisition of Florida and establishing the northern boundary of the United States. He successfully defended the mutineers of the slave ship Amistad as freemen before the Supreme Court against efforts to return them to their masters and to inevitable death.
Black People Kept Civil Rights At Gop Forefront In Late 19th Century
African Americans remained active in the Republican Party and, for a time, kept voting and civil rights at the forefront of the party’s agenda. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1875 Civil Rights Act in 1883, several Northern state governments controlled by Republicans created their own civil rights laws. John W.E. Thomas, a former enslaved person who was the first African American elected to the Illinois General Assembly, introduced the 1885 Illinois Civil Rights Act.
But white Southern intransigence made it impossible to enact any meaningful protections at the federal level. That, combined with the rise of a new generation of white Republicans more interested in big business than racial equality, cooled GOP ardor for Black civil rights.
Republicans started taking the Black vote for granted, and the Republicans were always divided, Foner said. There were those who said, Weve really got to defend the Black vote in the South. And others said No, no, weve got to appeal to the business-minded voter in South as the party of business, the party of growth.
The Great Migration of African Americans from the South, which began just before the United States entry into World War I, brought many Black people into cities where they could vote freely and put them in touch with local Democratic organizations that slowly realized the potential of the Black vote.
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How The Republicans Became Socially Conservative
The Fourth Party Republicans began to change when the Progressive Republican Theodore Teddy Roosevelt broke from the party in 1912 . Following the break, the Republicans increasingly embraced social conservatism and opposed social progressivism . From Harding to Hoover, to Nixon, to Bush they increasingly favored classical liberalism regarding individual and states rights over central authority. This attracted some socially conservative Democrats like states rights Dixiecrat Strom Thurmon. It resulted in a Southernization of the Republican party and drove some progressive Republicans from the party over time.
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Why Did The Democratic And Republican Parties Switch Platforms
02 November 2020
Around 100 years ago, Democrats and Republicans switched their political stances.
The Republican and Democratic parties of the United States didnt always stand for what they do today.
During the 1860s, Republicans, who dominated northern states, orchestrated an ambitious expansion of federal power, helping to fund the transcontinental railroad, the state university system and the settlement of the West by homesteaders, and instating a national currency and protective tariff. Democrats, who dominated the South, opposed those measures.
After the Civil War, Republicans passed laws that granted protections for Black Americans and advanced social justice. And again, Democrats largely opposed these apparent expansions of federal power.
Sound like an alternate universe? Fast forward to 1936.
Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt won reelection that year on the strength of the New Deal, a set of Depression-remedying reforms including regulation of financial institutions, the founding of welfare and pension programs, infrastructure development and more. Roosevelt won in a landslide against Republican Alf Landon, who opposed these exercises of federal power.
So, sometime between the 1860s and 1936, the party of small government became the party of big government, and the party of big government became rhetorically committed to curbing federal power.
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After 1964 Most Of The Last Of The Southern Conservatives Finally
|overcame their traditional enmity against Yankees to flee to the conservative party from the Democratic Party that had become dominated by liberals in the 1900s.19th century southern conservative Democrats were Democrats BEFORE creation of the new Republican Party, not because of it. Earlier in the century, when the Whig party broke up, the original ‘ liberal Democratic-Republican party was overrun and taken over by mostly conservative western and southern settlers. Around the time the Republican Party was formed, the conservative-dominated Democratic Party had split into the proslavery Southern Democratic Party and the Northern Democratic Party. Plus, many of the most rabidly proslavery southern conservatives belonged to yet another, even more strongly proslavery party. The Civil War’s outcome of course settled the hash of many of these parties. The defeated pro-slavers mostly consolidated in the broken remnant of what was called again the Democratic Party, but they and it were nearly moribund for the rest of the 1800s, without any real national influence. In the new century, when liberals took the Democratic label back over, its southern conservatives became a perennially unhappy and enraged minority faction who remained only because, being what they were, they still rejected the Yankee party. Which brings us back to the top.