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Political Culture and Texas in Transition - Week 3 - POLS 2312

by: Sera

Political Culture and Texas in Transition - Week 3 - POLS 2312 POLS 2312-006

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > History > POLS 2312-006 > Political Culture and Texas in Transition Week 3 POLS 2312

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About this Document

Notes over the transformation of Texas political culture of the first half of the 20th Century.
State & Local Government
Daniel D Sledge
Class Notes
texas, texasgovernment, Government, state, StateGovernment, local, localgovernment, Politics, politicalculture, sledge, notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sera on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2312-006 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Daniel D Sledge in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see State & Local Government in History at University of Texas at Arlington.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Political Culture  Political culture is the understandings of: o The appropriate relationship between government and the people o The rights and responsibilities of the people o The obligations of government o The limits of government authority Texas Independence  Texas was previously apart of Mexico under the Spanish empire  Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821  Mexico allowed Americans to move into Texas as long as they declared they were Catholic and would abandon slavery - they did neither  Texans eventually declared independence from Mexico, which led to war, which was won by the Texans when they defeated Santa Ana and his army in 1836  Texas was its own independent republic until 1845 when it was admitted into the Union as a slave state  Mexican-American War (1846-1848) – resulting in American capture of the southwest The Rush for New Slave States  “Bloody Kansas” conflict between slavers and non-slavers trying to move to Kansas to vote Kansas to their respective sides, caused a lot of fighting and violence  Free Soilers moved to Kansas in an attempt to make Kansas a free state, but ultimately failed and Kansas became yet another slave state o “Free Soil, Free labor” Reconstruction (1867-1874)  After the Civil War, southern states were divided into military districts and occupied  There was a massive focus on black enfranchisement: freeing them, helping them get jobs, places to live, etc. o Freedman’s bureau was important for this  Many confederation military officers and officials were barred from holding office  Edmond J Davis was the governor of Texas during Reconstruction During this time:  Republican Party: largely African American and German voters (especially in Texas), “the party of Lincoln,” scalawags and carpetbaggers  Democrats: Party of white supremacy and state’s rights The Reconstruction Constitution (1869)  Created a strong central state government o Local governments closely controlled by state authorities  Governor was given broad appointive and policy supervision powers Note taker: Sera POLS 2312  Taxes used to support an extensive system of public elementary and secondary education o School attendance was made compulsory  Republicans subsidized railroads with bonds issues and land grants  This constitution was everything the Democrats were against The “Redemption” Constitution  Eventually, Democrats gained controlled of their states again in a period called “Redemption” and wrote new constitutions  In Texas: o Salaries of state officials were reduced o Governor was stripped of most appointive powers, most offices were made elective o Terms of office were shortened o This constitution went into very explicit detail (it’s very long) in order to make sure their objectives were met o Texas still operates under this constitution today Politics in Transition  Civil War and Reconstruction eras created political alignments that stayed in place for 100 years During this time:  Republican Party: State’s right, slavery  Democratic Party: Emancipation, “party of Lincoln,” Carpetbaggers: people who moved from the North to the South Populism  A response to worsening conditions in the rural, agricultural South and West  Organizations such as the Farmer’s Alliance favored agricultural cooperatives, a “sub- treasury” system, and a looser money supply (made it easier to borrow and pay back money)  Led to the creation of the Texas Railroad Commission (1891) o Meant to regulate railroads and their rates because they charged farmers way too much to move their product  Populism was a challenge to the Democratic dominance in the South  The Populist party would have aligned with the Republican party, but the Democratic party began to adopt some of their policies in order to retain their voters  William Jennings Bryan earned the Populist ticket in 1896 o “Western farmers will not be crucified on a cross of gold” o i.e. They would get rid of the gold standard for currency Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Segregation  Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – the Supreme Court upheld racial segregatthn, arguing that “separate but equal” train cars and other facilities did not violate the 14 amendment’s “equal protection” clause  Democratic Dominance – Political control by white Democrats was secured through the Poll Tax and Whites Only Primaries o If African Americans could pay the Poll Tax, they could vote in the general election but not in the Democratic Primary Democratic Dominance in the South  1904 Election: Roosevelt (R) vs Parker (D) o Stark polarity in voting: North and West were completely Republican, South was completely Democrat  Between 1900 and 1950, Republicans won only 80 of the 2,565 congressional elections in the South  50 victories were in 2 East Tennessee districts, 17 were in West North Carolina and Southwest Virginia, and 6 were in Texas districts covering part of San Antonio and a number of German counties Loose Factionalism and Demagogues  Pappy “Pass the Biscuits” O’Daniel, a flour salesman from Fort Worth had a radio program to promote his flour, talk about Texas news, and play music o He gained a notable following through his radio program that led him to decide to run from government in the 1930’s o He lost the election for governorship but did become a Senator in 1941  Election of 1928 – Al Smith was elected to be the Democratic Party Presidential nominee o He was elected even though he was from the North, opposed to prohibition, and Catholic – everything Democrats hate o Sam Rayburn, a Texas Representative, backed Al Smith, saying that voting for Republican was essentially reason o The South mostly maintained to vote Democratic, but Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928 and then the Great Depression happened  Great Depression (1932) o Everyone (but New York and 5 other Northeastern states) voted for Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal coalition, which was an unprecedented voting pattern in the US o During the New Deal coalition, white Southerners and urban Northerners were brought together under the Democratic party The New Deal  “Banking holiday” – banks shut down and new regulations would be written in the meantime Note taker: Sera POLS 2312  Civilian Conservation Corps (1933-1942) – gave people jobs for public upkeep and environmental benefit  Tennessee Valley Authority (1933) - to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley  Rural electrification – provide electricity to rural areas of the US  Works Program (1935) – paid people to build bridges, buildings, and other infrastructure  Agricultural Adjustment Act – solved the problem of overproduction of cash crops by paying farmers to not grow certain crops like cotton  Social Security Act (1935) – pension system for those 65 and older to provide security for those coming out of the workforce The South and the New Deal  The South had been the core of the Democratic party since the 1860s  Because of this regional solidarity in the South, they had the ability to block legislature that might affect the region’s social, political, and economic status quo until the New Deal coalition  During the New Deal coalition, federal money was given to local levels through certain programs for specific uses which increase federal control, thus affect the power of white supremacy in the South o This caused some upset in the South, but not enough in the beginning to prevent FDR’s re-election o Eventually, party loyalty would be reinforced for rural Texans and other southerners  After 1932, the most important faction of the Democratic Party were the southern Democrats who had seniority and power within the party  There was an emergence of recognizably “Conservative” and “Liberal” factions within the Democratic Party  In 1937, FDR attempted to add new members to the Supreme court in order to put new programs into effect, as well, the US entered another recession, leading southern Democrats to finally speak out against FDR and the New Deal  FDR was not reelected in 1940- he was replaced by Henry Wallace During this time:  Republican Party: Party of the Great Depression, of Herbert Hoover  Democratic Party: Party of states’ rights, white supremacy, and Franklin Roosevelt South Texas Jefes  The Hispanic counties of south Texas were typically controlled by jefes, or local bosses  These jefes made deals with politicians to get votes  They would pay for people’s poll tax and transport them to polls to vote for whatever politician had offered the best deal Note taker: Sera POLS 2312  Archie Parr, the “Duke of Duval” country and surrounding countries was one of the most famous jefes Lyndon B. Johnson’s Road to Office  LBJ ran for Texas Senate in 1941 as a man who understand how Washington D.C. works and a man who could bring back results; he lost  In 1948, he ran for Senate again against Coke Stevenson th o In the Democratic Primary, Steven was way ahead in votes until a 13 Precinct was “discovered” along with several Southern Texas counties suddenly all voting for Johnson, causing him to win the Senate seat by 87 votes Texas in Transition  Big growth in Hispanic Population  Growth of new industries all over Texas  45.4% urban in 1940; 62.7% in 1950  Urbanization caused a destabilization in traditional political culture  Discovery of oil in the 1920s and 30s transformed Texas from rural agriculture to urban oil industry  Economy of Texas became very mixed between agricultural and urban  White plantation Democrats began to dwindle in numbers In the 1940s  Mobilization of the country for World War II caused a massive tech boom in Texas  Lots of people moved to Texas for these new urbanizing industries  Adherence to the Democratic Party was effected by urbanization because a lot of people moving to Texas were Republicans  “Texas Regulars” (1944) – the men that argued FDR should not run for a 4 term and were against the massive increase in national government power o They attempted to gain control of the Democratic party but failed  FDR was re-elected in 1944 but died the next year; Harry S Truman became president o FDR never supported anti-lynching legislation because he did not want to alienate his southern white Democrat voters, Truman was more than willing to embrace civil rights and demanded that the Democratic Party embrace it too  When the Democratic Party did begin to adopt this platform, many in the party left to form their own group: The States’ Rights Democrats o Presidential candidate: Strom Thurmond; VP Candidate: Fielding Wright o Known as “Dixiecrats” o Although they broke from the Democratic party, they were still unwilling to associate with Republicans in anyway, and even still called themselves Democrats in their party name Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Election of 1948: Truman vs Dewey vs Thurmond  Most of the country voted for Truman (Democrat)  Dewey (Republican) won some states in the North and East  Thurmond (Dixiecrat) won in Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina Election of 1952: Eisenhower vs Stevenson  Almost the whole country voted for Eisenhower (Republican) because he was the Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII (i.e. he had just won WWII)  Only the deep South voted for Stevenson (Democrat) o Even Texas voted Republican  Pretty important election due to the break from regular voting patterns, but at the same time, it’s kind of a fluke because Eisenhower was a beloved war hero Factors Working For a Two Party System in Texas  Partisan identification is highly resilient once locked in  Texas Democrats had a lot of power in Washington o Congress was Democratic for a few election cycles, giving Texas Democrats more power to get stuff done, so more people ran as a voted for Democrat  There was difficulty recruiting high quality candidates for the Republican party because everyone ran as a Democrat because that was the only way to win office in Texas  Texans has a very negative image of Republicans: Northwestern elites who worked against the interest of the states, carpetbaggers


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