Making Race, Making Power
North Carolina's Road to Disfranchisement
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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In the researching and writing of this book, I have incurred numerous debts. The dissertation from which this book originated benefitted greatly from discussions with and careful readings from Richard Simpson, Judith Blau, and Craig Calhoun, as well as some early methodological help from Kenneth Bollen. Peter Bearman deserves special thanks for his many contributions and support throughout. I would also...
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The U.S. civil rights movement is among the most-studied and best-understood political movements, as scholars have tried to learn how a seemingly powerless group mobilized to challenge racial segregation and retrieve a most fundamental right, the right to vote. It is curious, then, that we know comparatively less about the collective mobilization to implement disfranchisement and segregation in...
1. The Structuring of Southern Voter Turnout
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This chapter attempts to gauge the basic parameters of the franchise in the South1 by analyzing southern voter turnout between 1880, prior to most disfranchisement regulation, and 1912, after basic forms of disfranchisement had been implemented in every southern state. As I examine patterns of voting as turnout declined from nearly 65 percent to less than 30 percent, I will be looking for the trace of...
2. North Carolina Politics and Society in the 1880s: Democratic Control through Localism
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Though often thought of as a “progressive” state relative to its regional counterparts after the turn of the century, North Carolina experienced a significant degree of racial conflict in its political system, most notably in the violent white supremacy campaigns of 1898 and 1900. Viewed from the perspective of the beginning of the twenty-first century, North Carolina’s descent into virulent racial politics at the end of the nineteenth may appear as a rather linear and inevitable result...
3. Making and Blocking Republican Power
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Even as the localist-oriented North Carolina Democratic party was successfully organizing and mobilizing its largely white constituency, it was facing strong challenges to its rule in the 1870s and especially the 1880s. These threats were directed not merely to the party’s control of state and local government but to the very form of political organization by which that control had been achieved. The Democrats had regained power at state and local levels by rebuilding and capitalizing on existing vertical...
4. The Demise of Democratic Localism and the Rise of Populism
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In the decade or so from the end of Reconstruction to the mid-1880s, North Carolina politics had developed certain patterns with respect to party policy and organizational strategies, as discussed in the previous two chapters. The state Republican party had experienced its greatest success in its ability to promote and take advantage of remarkably strong black political activity during and after Reconstruction. The policy basis of that activity and loyalty had weakened by 1885 as Republicans...
5. The Failed Alternatives to Democratic Rule: Movement-Party Disjunctions in Populism
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A core premise of this book has been that the fit between patterns of social relations and mechanisms of political mobilization and established institutions is central to processes of power making. If patterns of social relations, which may or may not conform to preconceived social categories such as race and class, change significantly and power holders fail to adapt to such changes by either altering the ways in which they mobilize support or changing the institutional rules by which...
6. Democrats Transformed, Democracy Undone
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By 1897, the weaknesses in both the Populist and Republican parties and the strains in the relationship between them were becoming more and more manifest. In addition to the disjunctures between the Alliance movement and party organizations of populism, the Republican party also found itself beset with internal organizational problems. Moreover, now that the fusionists had accomplished the primary goal that had initially united them into a marriage of convenience—democratic...
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At the outset, I proposed that new insights into political power could be gained by shifting attention away from standard questions of who and why (who made power and why did they do it, what was their motivation?) to questions of how and when. The analysis suggests that the forces driving North Carolina politics were never a mere product of class position or racial attribute, but developed and became enacted as collectivities formed and struggled to mobilize power...
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Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2003