Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 10: Law and Politics

JAMES W. ELY Law Section Editor
BRADLEY G. BOND Politics Section Editor
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 456
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture
    Book Description:

    Volume 10 ofThe New Encyclopedia of Southern Culturecombines two of the sections from the original edition, adding extensive updates and 53 entirely new articles. In the law section of this volume, 16 longer essays address broad concepts ranging from law schools to family law, from labor relations to school prayer. The 43 topical entries focus on specific legal cases and individuals, including historical legal professionals, parties from landmark cases, and even the fictional character Atticus Finch, highlighting the roles these individuals have played in shaping the identity of the region.The politics section includes 34 essays on matters such as Reconstruction, social class and politics, and immigration policy. New essays reflect the changing nature of southern politics, away from the one-party system long known as the "solid South" to the lively two-party politics now in play in the region. Seventy shorter topical entries cover individual politicians, political thinkers, and activists who have made significant contributions to the shaping of southern politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-1675-9
    Subjects: Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xviii)

    In 1989 years of planning and hard work came to fruition when the University of North Carolina Press joined the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi to publish theEncyclopedia of Southern Culture. While all those involved in writing, reviewing, editing, and producing the volume believed it would be received as a vital contribution to our understanding of the American South, no one could have anticipated fully the widespread acclaim it would receive from reviewers and other commentators. But theEncyclopediawas indeed celebrated, not only by scholars but also by popular audiences with...

    (pp. xix-xx)

    Law and politics have provided a structure for the southern cultural identity, and they have offered prime expressions of cultural styles and ideologies associated with the American South. The region’s laws sometimes diverged from those of the nation’s, especially in de jure race relations in a white-supremacist South. The paternalistic, patriarchal, and socially hierarchical regional society authorized laws to reflect those outlooks. The region’s religious culture found expression in the legal system, through antiliquor, antievolution, and antiabortion statutes. A court case, the Scopes Trial, is one of the region’s most famous examples of its modern-traditional conflicts. A fictional lawyer, Atticus...

  5. LAW

      (pp. 3-18)

      Scholarly interest in the legal history of the South has grown markedly. Pioneering essays and monographs on specialized subjects have appeared in recent years. Yet many topics have not been explored in a systematic way. The explosion of literature on southern legal history raises a fundamental question. What, if anything, is unique about the legal history of the South? Certainly legal norms and institutions in the South shared much with the nation at large. There were many ties between law in the South and national developments. Like jurisdictions elsewhere, southern states (except Louisiana, with its Spanish/French legal heritage) relied on...

    • Civil Rights Movement
      (pp. 19-23)
      JAMES W. ELY JR.

      After the Civil War, many black leaders worked for equal status between blacks and whites. The most prominent spokesman for this aspiration in the early 20th century was W. E. B. Du Bois. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909, and a year later the National Urban League was organized. InBuchanan v. Warley(1917) the Supreme Court invalidated residential segregation laws as a deprivation of property rights without due process of law. During the 1930s the Court started to condemn the discriminatory administration of criminal justice in the South. Despite these early...

    • Common Law
      (pp. 24-26)

      The reception of English common law by the American colonies along the southern Atlantic Seaboard was largely a consequence of the shared cultural heritage of the dominant English-speaking folk. The continued growth and development of the common law in the South, however, was principally determined by external influences: (1) availability of case reports and law treatises, (2) legal training of the bar, and (3) a common English language. These factors not only resulted in the preservation of the common-law inheritance of the settlers but promoted resistance to Benthamite codification efforts surfacing in New England. These influences also encouraged the transplanting...

    • Convict Lease System and Peonage
      (pp. 26-30)

      The convict lease system was the means by which southern states dealt with their post–Civil War prisoners. Under this regimen, convicts were leased to individuals or corporations, who thus acquired a captive labor force and at the same time agreed to supervise it. As a result, the industrial landscape of the New South was dotted with prison work camps and stockades, home to inmates who were overwhelmingly (roughly 90 percent) African American. At their worst, these facilities afforded examples of human misery that shocked contemporaries and gave southern corrections a bad reputation.

      Apologists pointed out that the state governments...

    • Criminal Justice
      (pp. 30-33)

      The South has a long-standing reputation for violence and criminal disorder. It also has an image as a region where violent white men went unpunished and where, until recently, citizens frequently resorted to vigilantism to maintain order. Scholars have blamed the region’s poverty, its racism, its pessimistic view of human nature, and even its debatable Celtic heritage for this crime and violence. Historians have suggested that an ineffective legal system intensified the combativeness of southern society.

      Two themes from the Old South—frontier individualism and the plantation system—have served most frequently to explain the legal system’s inability to deal...

    • Criminal Law
      (pp. 33-36)

      Criminal law outlines standards of conduct for every member of the community and sets the punishment for violation of those rules. Its substance proscribes behavior that might variously be described as immoral, violent, disruptive of public order, or destructive of property rights and relationships. Its procedures seek to ensure that accused persons receive a fair hearing on the merits of charges against them. Yet, as sociologists, criminologists, and legal scholars have demonstrated in numerous studies, the law in operation at times bears little resemblance to its formal codes, maintaining a close, supportive relationship to the dominant class in society.


    • Family Law
      (pp. 36-42)

      The rules of family law have varied significantly from one southern state to another since the 17th century. From the beginning of English colonization of the southern area of North America, the family law that prevailed there was English in the sense that marriage was monogamous and ordinarily indissoluble, and many, but not all, of the rules of succession followed contemporary English rules. Few disputes, however, turned on familial status, and, unlike England, in the South there was no system of courts of the established church to adjudicate them. Significant French and Spanish colonization in the southwestern region did not...

    • Labor Relations and Law
      (pp. 42-47)

      No other region in the United States has been so affected by labor shortages as the South, and problems stemming from this situation have been reflected in southern law. Early European colonists immediately discovered the need for workers, a need partially satisfied through Indian labor and slavery, European indentured servitude, and finally African slavery. Initial contacts between Europeans and Indians resulted in some work relations, but it did not solve the labor shortage problems for settlers. By the end of the 17th century, British traders in the Carolinas had resorted to an extensive Indian slave trade, particularly in the deerskin...

    • Law Schools
      (pp. 47-51)

      For most of the 19th century, studying in a law school was not the predominant method of preparing for admission to the bar in this country. Although law schools had existed in the South since the founding of the College of William and Mary Law School in 1779, most candidates for admission to the bar prepared by studying in a law office as required in many states by the rules of the local courts. If no such preparation was required, then self-study was the usual method, followed by an exam in open court. Study in a law school, however, conferred...

    • Lawyer, Image of
      (pp. 51-54)

      Two types of lawyers have traditionally appeared in American fiction— conscientious, elite practitioners and predatory shysters. Although southern legal characters tend to conform to these basic stereotypes, they also embody distinctive regional values that set them apart from Yankee and western lawyers.

      The typical antebellum practitioner, such as Philpot Wart in John Pendleton Kennedy’s plantation novelSwallow Barn(1832), is a transplanted English gentleman. Warmhearted, courtly, and a bit eccentric, he can quote passages from the Greek and Latin classics as readily as citations from Coke and Blackstone. With ties of kinship and professional service to the planter class, he...

    • Massive Resistance
      (pp. 54-58)

      Coined originally by U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd from Virginia on 25 February 1956, the words “massive resistance” denoted and embodied the white southerner’s organized and all-out resistance to the effective implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s school desegregation decrees and to the subsequently intensifying civil rights movement in the South. Though the words themselves became the South’s clarion call in the wake of the Supreme Court’s May 1954Brown v. Board of Educationruling and its following implementation order in May 1955, a genuine expression of southern white resistance to the federally initiated civil rights programs, which were destined...

    • Police Forces
      (pp. 58-61)

      Police forces in the South increasingly resemble their counterparts in other regions of the country. The civil rights movement of the 1960s and the influence of national standards of professionalism in law enforcement since the late 1960s combined to eliminate the distinctive features of southern law enforcement. With respect to role, organizational structure, personnel practices, operational procedures, and community relations, police forces in all regions of the United States share a high degree of similarity.

      Prior to the civil rights movement, law enforcement agencies in the South were primary instruments in the maintenance of the racial caste system. Racial discrimination...

    • River Law
      (pp. 61-63)

      River law deals with rights of seamen, harbor workers, shippers, adjoining landowners, and various states where a river constitutes a boundary. Because of the tremendous volume of the waters of the Mississippi River and the relatively soft alluvial floodplain through which it courses, the southern states lying within the lower Mississippi River valley account for a large portion of this body of law. No distinctive “southern” law exists in this field, but the laws of southern states do differ from those elsewhere.

      One of the most important property rights is that of the riparian owner—the person living adjacent to...

    • School Prayer
      (pp. 63-67)

      InThe Provincials, Eli Evans noted that Christian prayer was “a given” in southern public schools throughout most of the 20th century. Southern schoolteachers started off the day by saying a prayer, reading passages from the Bible, and delivering a brief message on godly character and morality before getting to the business of reading, writing, and arithmetic. When southern states expanded public education following the Civil War and up into the 20th century, religion became an integral part of the schoolhouse experience. Advocates of public education claimed that without the spiritual and moral foundation provided by religious activities the education...

    • State Sovereignty Commissions
      (pp. 67-71)

      During the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, a number of administrative commissions and legislative committees were created by southern states’ governments to resist the civil rights crusades in the region. Though their names varied, these official agencies were bound together by common interests and purposes—defending the region’s cherished “segregated southern way of life,” devising both legal and extralegal means to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s desegregation rulings, propagandizing the vindication of states’ rights ideology and racial separation, and suffocating any dissenters and deviators from the South’s racial norms.

      In the early 1950s, both reflective of the...

    • States’ Rights Constitutionalism
      (pp. 71-73)

      States’ rights constitutionalism holds that in the federal system the states retain certain rights and powers that cannot be taken from them, yet generations of southerners have tailored their constitutional views to fit changing social and economic realities.

      Diversity characterized southern attitudes in 1787 toward relations between state and nation. Led by James Madison of Virginia, southern Federalists wanted a strong central government of enumerated powers that was also responsive to local self-interests. Ardent states’ rights proponents, such as Patrick Henry of Virginia, denounced the new Constitution because it left unclear the balance between state and national powers. They also...

    • Supreme Court
      (pp. 73-78)

      Writing more than a half century ago, Charles S. Sydnor observed that the two traditional sources of authority in the South were the Bible and the Constitution. Relying on the Constitution, the region’s leaders developed a cultural constitutionalism intended to protect regional values and institutions from external forces. At the heart of that cultural constitutionalism lay the political theory of states’ rights, which preserved the powers of the states from any encroachment by the national government. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution remained compatible for a century and a half with the region’s dominant values. But since the 1950s...

    • Black, Hugo (1886–1971) U.S. SENATOR AND SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 79-81)

      Through intelligence, grit, determination, and temporary alliance with the Ku Klux Klan, Hugo Lafayette Black rose from simple origins in the Alabama hills to the U.S. Senate (1927–37) and the Supreme Court (1937–71). During 34 years as an associate justice, Black, whose only prior judicial experience had been as judge of Birmingham’s police court, forged a reputation as an eloquent defender of First Amendment freedoms. The seeming paradox of a former Klansman evolving into an ardent civil libertarian remains an intriguing episode in Supreme Court annals.

      Son of a small-town merchant, Black was born 27 February 1886 in...

    • Black Codes
      (pp. 81-81)

      One legal response of southern white governments to the end of the Civil War and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment was the adoption of laws purporting to bestow upon the newly freed men and women certain civil rights. Mississippi passed the first of these codes in 1865. They granted rights of blacks to hold personal property, intermarry, sue in state courts, swear out criminal warrants, and testify against whites under certain conditions. The right to vote, however, was not given to blacks under these codes.

      Black codes were in reality promulgated to control a newly fluid black labor force....

    • Brown v. Board of Education
      (pp. 81-83)

      On 17 May 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled inBrown v. Board of Educationthat separate educational facilities for blacks and whites “are inherently unequal.” With that decision the Court overturned the precedent of “separate but equal” set by the 1896Plessy v. Fergusoncase and prepared the way for the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played a major role in the instigation of the case on behalf of Linda Brown, a black child denied admission to a Topeka, Kans., elementary school because of her race.Brownbrought...

    • Buchanan v. Warley
      (pp. 83-84)

      In the 1910s, tens of thousands of African Americans were migrating from rural areas to southern cities. Many of them took up residence in or near areas primarily occupied by whites. Whites, meanwhile, feared their property values would decline if African Americans moved into their neighborhoods, or worse, onto their streets. In some cities, whites used violence to keep African Americans out of their neighborhoods. However, white terrorism could not defeat the combined purchasing power of blacks in their pursuit of housing. Whites therefore turned to the government for assistance.

      In 1910 Baltimore promulgated the first ordinance requiring African Americans...

    • Campbell, John A. (1811–1889) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 84-85)

      John Archibald Campbell served as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1853 until 1861, when he resigned from the Court shortly after the start of the Civil War to return home to his native South and support the Confederacy.

      Born into a prominent Georgia family, Campbell graduated from Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) at age 14 and briefly attended the West Point Military Academy before his admission to the Georgia bar when he was only 18. Campbell soon moved to Alabama, where he quickly became one of the state’s leading attorneys. His Mobile office contained one...

      (pp. 85-87)

      John Catron was Tennessee’s first chief justice and the first Tennessean appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Born John Kettering in either Grayson County or Montgomery County, Va., to Johann Peter Kettering, a German immigrant, and Elizabeth Houch Kettering, Catron recalled late in life that he had been brought up on a farm, that he had been educated in the common schools of western Virginia and Kentucky and “in such academies as the western country afforded,” and that he had been well versed in the Bible and 18th-century English novels, histories, and poetry.

      He changed his surname to Catron and...

    • Daniel, Peter V. (1784–1860) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 87-88)
      JOHN R. VILE

      Peter V. Daniel, who served as a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1842 to 1860, was born on 24 April 1784 in Stafford County, Va., to Travors and Frances Moncure Daniel. Privately tutored, he spent a year at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) before returning to Virginia where he read law under Edmund Randolph. In 1808 he killed a rival in a duel. Throughout his life, Daniel frequently engaged in partisan political disputes, often publishing vitriolic letters in Richmond papers. He married Edmund Randolph’s daughter, Lucy, in 1809.

      Daniel served briefly in the Virginia House of Delegates and...

    • Emigrant Agent Laws
      (pp. 88-90)

      In the first three and a half decades following the Civil War, labor recruiters known as “emigrant agents” played a key role in encouraging and financing African American migration within the United States. In particular, the agents recruited workers from Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to the relatively high-wage, labor-starved “southwestern” states of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Emigrant agents lowered the information costs of migration by using their resources to advertise distant opportunities. Agents also often subsidized the economic costs of migration by either paying for or advancing the money for the migrants’ train tickets.

      Southern plantation owners...

    • Ervin, Sam, Jr. (1896–1985) LAWYER AND U.S. SENATOR.
      (pp. 90-92)

      Samuel James Ervin Jr. graduated at age 26 from Harvard Law School in 1922. He subsequently practiced law with his father in Morganton, N.C., held various local and state offices, and from 1954 to 1974 served in the U.S. Senate.

      Ervin’s Senate career spanned a tumultuous era in the history of the South and the nation. Ervin viewed the South’s dual system of race relations as a social reality that only the individual states could change. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision inBrown v. Board of Education, he joined other southern members of Congress in signing...

    • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
      (pp. 92-93)
      JAMES W. ELY JR.

      Spanning the Lower South from Florida to Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was one of the regional federal circuit courts created in 1891. Following the 1954 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court inBrown v. Board of Education, the Fifth Circuit was called upon to supervise the dismantling of separate schools and the elimination of racial discrimination in the region. Dominated by several prominent liberal judges, notably Elbert P. Tuttle and John Minor Wisdom, the court repeatedly insisted upon compliance with desegregation despite widespread public hostility. Indeed, the Fifth Circuit has been described as “the nation’s greatest civil...

    • Finch, Atticus
      (pp. 93-94)

      A major character in Harper Lee’s novelTo Kill a Mockingbird(1960), Atticus Finch represents the conscience of the white South in the years before the advent of the Warren Court and the civil rights revolution. As a descendant of local slave owners, he well understands the deep-rooted racial prejudices that continue to exist in Maycomb, the small Alabama town in which he practices law during the Depression. Mild-mannered and scholarly, he is a stubborn idealist who believes in equality before the law for everyone, regardless of color or class. When Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of raping...

    • Foreman, Percy (1902–1988) LAWYER.
      (pp. 94-95)

      As a defense lawyer, Percy Eugene Foreman combined his knowledge of law, his courtroom prowess, and his thirst for wealth to achieve legendary status in his native Texas and throughout the nation’s legal community. His own celebrity status has attracted celebrated defendants and, in turn, been enhanced by his association with them.

      Born in Polk County, Tex., in a backwoods area known as the Big Thicket, Foreman was the son of a former county jailer and sheriff. At eight years of age, he began earning money by shining shoes. He soon bought out his sole competitor in the town of...

    • Frank, Leo, Case
      (pp. 95-98)

      Described by Leonard Dinnerstein as “one of the most infamous outbursts of anti-Semitic feeling in the [history of] the United States,” the Leo Frank case inspired formation of both the second Ku Klux Klan and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. The case began on Confederate Memorial Day in 1913 with the murder and mutilation of Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old employee of an Atlanta pencil factory. The mayor and an anxious populace, aroused by yellow journalism, demanded that the police find her killer quickly. They responded by arresting the victim’s boss, Leo Frank. A Jew from New York, Frank rapidly...

    • Greensboro Sit-ins
      (pp. 98-99)
      JAMES W. ELY JR.

      The sit-in demonstrations in Greensboro, N.C., marked an important turning point in the history of the civil rights movement. In February of 1960 four black college students sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and demanded service. Woolworth’s, like other chain stores in the South, sold merchandise to all customers but denied black patrons the use of its lunch counters. The demonstrations rapidly grew in intensity. More black students participated and occupied the lunch-counter seats. White counterdemonstrators soon appeared. The incidents captured national headlines, and within a week sitins had spread to Winston-Salem, Durham, and other cities across the South....

    • Herndon, Angelo, Case
      (pp. 99-100)

      The most famous civil liberties and civil rights case in Georgia during the 1930s centered on Angelo Herndon, a young black Communist. A native of Ohio, Herndon moved to the Deep South in the early Depression years in search of work and traded his fundamentalist Christianity for communism in 1930 while living in Birmingham, Ala. Assigned by the Communist Party to Atlanta, the 19-year-old Herndon organized a large interracial demonstration in June 1932, protesting the suspension of public relief. As a result, Atlanta police eventually arrested Herndon and charged him with attempting “to incite insurrection” against the state of Georgia,...

    • Iredell, James (1751–1799) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 100-101)

      James Iredell was a lawyer, a political essayist, and a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Born in England of humble origins, Iredell came to America in 1768 to be the comptroller of customs at the port of Edenton, N.C. Soon after arriving there, he commenced the study of law under Samuel Johnston, who later became North Carolina’s governor and one of its first two U.S. senators.

      Iredell initially attained prominence as a leading essayist in support of American independence from Great Britain. As expressed by North Carolina’s last royal governor, Iredell took “an open and eager part in rebellion.” His treatise...

    • Jaworski, Leon (1905–1982) LAWYER.
      (pp. 101-102)

      Leon Jaworski, who became nationally recognized as the special prosecutor of the Watergate affair, was born in Waco, Tex., on 19 September 1905. He was the son of Rev. Joseph Jaworski, a Protestant minister of Polish birth, and Marie Jaworski, who was born in Vienna.

      After deciding to devote his life to a career as a trial lawyer, Jaworski attended law school at Baylor University, receiving his LL.B. in 1925; he then spent a year at the George Washington University School of Law and was granted the LL.M. in 1926. Returning to Waco to begin practice as a trial attorney,...

    • Johnson, Frank M., Jr. (1918–1999) FEDERAL JUDGE.
      (pp. 102-105)

      Frank Minis Johnson Jr., was born on 30 October 1918 in rural Winston County, Ala. During the Civil War, Winston and other northwest Alabama hill counties with few slaves had little sympathy for the Confederate cause. After the war, Winston became a lone Republican stronghold in Democratic Alabama. Frank Johnson’s father was active in GOP politics and was elected probate judge and a member of the Alabama legislature on the Republican ticket. Following law school at the University of Alabama and military service in Europe during World War II, Frank Johnson Jr. practiced law in Jasper, Ala., and, like his...

    • Johnson, William (1771–1834) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 105-106)

      Unlike most of his associates on the Supreme Court bench, William Johnson of Charleston was born to parents of relatively modest social position. His father, William Johnson (1741–1818), was a New York blacksmith who had moved to Charleston, S.C., in 1763 and married Sarah Nightingale of Charleston, whose father was the owner of a race track and several famous race horses. William, their second son, was born two days after Christmas in 1771, and shortly after the child’s birth the elder William Johnson began his political career, which would include steady service in the South Carolina assembly, the Provincial...

    • Lamar, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus (1825–1893) POLITICIAN AND U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 106-108)

      L. Q. C. Lamar is best known for advocating sectional reconciliation in the post-Reconstruction Congress. He was elected to Congress from Mississippi in 1872. As one of the few southern Democrats in Congress, he developed and supported a program to harmonize the South with the rest of the Union. Lamar became nationally prominent when, in 1874, he took the occasion of the funeral of Charles Sumner, the radical abolitionist, to plead for rapprochement between North and South. Sumner had been a leading enemy of slavery, but he had also taken the position that the abolition of slavery had ended any...

    • Little Rock Crisis
      (pp. 108-110)

      White southerners invoked the doctrines of states’ rights and interposition to counter the NAACP’S post–World War II campaign against de jure segregation. A few places in the Upper South immediately complied with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1954 case ofBrown v. Board of Education, which overturned the doctrine of separate but equal, but throughout states of the old Confederacy, governments embraced a strategy of “massive resistance.” The first major constitutional test of this strategy grew out of efforts to integrate the Little Rock, Ark., public schools.

      The NAACP in 1956 brought one of its more than 50...

    • Marshall, John (1755–1835) U.S. SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE.
      (pp. 110-111)

      Born in Fauquier County, Va., John Marshall was a prominent member of the Richmond legal profession before he accepted federal office, first as one of the ministers to France during the XYZ affair (1797–98), then as a member of the House of Representatives (1799–1800), and as secretary of state (1800–1801). Appointed chief justice in January 1801, he served for the remaining 34 years of his life during a period of unprecedented institutional change in the Court and unparalleled constitutional growth in American law. Marshall is best remembered for his articulation of the doctrine of judicial review (Marbury...

    • Morgan, Charles, Jr. (b. 1930) CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY.
      (pp. 112-112)
      JAMES W. ELY JR.

      Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1930, Charles Morgan was reared in Kentucky and at age 15 moved with his parents to Birmingham, Ala. He graduated from the University of Alabama and received his law degree from the same institution. Morgan first achieved national prominence when he denounced the September 1963 Birmingham church bombing and blamed community attitudes for the tragedy. In the resulting furor, Morgan left Birmingham. A year later he became the regional director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Atlanta.

      Throughout the 1960s Morgan was involved in much of the litigation that altered political and social...

    • Napoleonic Code
      (pp. 112-114)

      To prevent the complete adoption of the Anglo-American common law after the Louisiana Purchase (1803), the largely French and Spanish residents of Louisiana sought to preserve their Latin legal tradition by the reception and enactment of a civil code modeled after the projet of the Code Napoleon. On 31 March 1808 the territorial legislature of Orleans adopted a “code” drafted by Louis Moreau-Lislet and James Brown, titled theDigest of Civil Laws Now in Force in the Territory of Orleans. Printed in both English and French and patterned after the Napoleonic Code of France, this was indeed a digest, that...

    • Parks, Rosa (1913–2005) CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
      (pp. 114-115)

      The burden of 100 years of discrimination added to the weariness of a difficult day was just too much for the gentle black woman that early December day in 1955. Asked to give up her seat on a crowded Montgomery, Ala., bus to allow whites to sit down, Rosa Parks, once dubbed the civil rights movement’s “most mannerly rebel,” flatly refused.

      Recalling that a year earlier a black teenager, Claudette Colbert, had been removed in handcuffs, kicking and screaming, for a similar offense, Parks felt sure the authorities would not repeat such a disgraceful performance. She was wrong. Summoned by...

    • Plessy v. Ferguson
      (pp. 115-116)

      InPlessy v. Ferguson(1896) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the “separate but equal” principle in public transportation facilities for whites and blacks. In doing so it affirmed the role of states in controlling social discrimination, and, many argue, the decision actually promoted enforced segregation. The number of Jim Crow laws increased rapidly during the following years.

      The case originated in Louisiana, which had a statute requiring separate-but-equal accommodations for whites and blacks on railroad cars. In 1892 Homer Adolph Plessy purchased a train ticket from New Orleans to Covington, La. Plessy, seven-eighths white and one-eighth black,...

    • Powell, Lewis F. (1907–1998) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 116-118)

      A private lawyer possessing no elective or judicial experience is seldom appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lewis Powell, nominated to the Court in 1971 by Richard Nixon, was an exception.

      A lifelong Virginian, Powell was born 19 September 1907 in Suffolk, Va. He received his law degree in 1931 from Washington and Lee University. From 1937 to 1971 Powell was a member of a large, prestigious Richmond law firm. During this period he quietly established a reputation as one of the South’s leading corporation lawyers, earned a handsome income, served as a director of 11 major companies, and was...

    • Prather v. Prather
      (pp. 118-119)

      Prather v. Prather(1809), the first child-custody case in South Carolina that awarded control to a mother, captured the tension between change and continuity that characterized domestic relations law after the American Revolution. Most judges in the early Republic granted custody to women reluctantly because it cut against the grain of the traditional common-law commitment to paternal authority. There was no divorce in South Carolina before the Civil War, but the state’s chancery court did grant legal separations. Jennet Prather petitioned the chancery court for a separation from her husband on the grounds of abuse, and she asked for custody...

    • Roane, Spencer (1762–1822) VIRGINIA JURIST.
      (pp. 119-121)

      Spencer Roane was born 4 April 1762, in Essex County in northern Virginia, the son of William Roane and Elizabeth Ball Roane, well-connected gentry. Roane studied law at the College of William and Mary under George Wythe, sharing Wythe’s Revolutionary sympathies but not his subsequent Federalism. Instead, Roane allied himself with the Anti-Federalist Patrick Henry, marrying Henry’s daughter Anne in 1786. Roane served as a legislator, but his interests were primarily legal. In 1789 he secured appointment to the General Court, which involved riding circuit as a trial judge and hearing criminal appeals. In 1794 he was elected to the...

    • Robinson, Spottswood W., III (1916–1998) JURIST AND CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER.
      (pp. 121-122)
      JAMES W. ELY JR.

      Spottswood Robinson was one of the most prominent black jurists in the United States. Born in 1916 in Richmond, Va., he graduated from Virginia Union University and then studied at Howard Law School, where he earned the highest scholastic average ever achieved at that institution. Robinson remained at Howard in a part-time faculty position for several years, dividing his time between teaching and the private practice of law in Richmond. His legal career was interrupted by military service during World War II.

      Robinson subsequently left Howard and devoted his energies to real-estate law in Richmond and civil rights litigation for...

    • Ruffin, Thomas Carter (1787–1870) JUDGE.
      (pp. 122-123)

      Born to a gentry family in Virginia and educated at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), Thomas Carter Ruffin settled in North Carolina and found early success in politics and law. Although he served in the state legislature and as a presidential elector, disillusionment with politics during the 1820s caused him to focus on his legal practice. He acquired a reputation as an aggressive and effective lawyer, and in 1829 the North Carolina legislature elected him to the state supreme court. There he served until 1853 (from 1833 to 1852 as chief justice) and again briefly in 1859.


    • Scopes Trial
      (pp. 123-126)

      No other event of the 1920s captured the imagination of the public and the press as did the spectacle of the Scopes Trial. Held in the little Tennessee town of Dayton in a sweltering July 1925, the case of thePeople of the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopesis probably the best-known trial in American history.

      With passage of the Butler bill by the Tennessee legislature—a statute outlawing the teaching of evolution—several Dayton civic boosters accepted the offer of the American Civil Liberties Union to defend any teacher held in violation of the new law. Scopes,...

    • Scott, Dred, Case
      (pp. 126-127)

      Captain John Emerson of Missouri in 1833 purchased Dred Scott, an illiterate slave born in Virginia. Emerson took Scott to Illinois, to that portion of Wisconsin Territory embraced in the Missouri Compromise, and then back to Missouri. When Emerson died in 1843, putative ownership of Scott passed to John F. A. Sandford, Emerson’s brotherin-law and executor. Three years later, Scott sued in the lower courts of Missouri claiming that his sojourn in free territory had made him a free man.

      Scott’s litigation consumed more than a decade. The Missouri Supreme Court in 1848 held that the laws of Illinois and...

    • Scottsboro Case
      (pp. 127-128)

      The Scottsboro case was the cause célèbre of American race relations in the 1930s. Touching on both the North’s outrage at southern racism and the South’s defensiveness about northern claims of moral superiority, this trial of nine black youths for rape in Scottsboro, Ala., reminded the nation of its failure to reconcile its image as the world’s leader of democracy with the squalid reality of bigotry and repression daily faced by its black citizens.

      On 25 March 1931 the deputy sheriff of Jackson County, Ala., reacting to reports of a fight among “hobos” on a Southern Railway freight train bound...

    • Slave Codes
      (pp. 128-129)

      The first statute reflecting slavery in the South was adopted by colonial Virginia in 1660. That law recognized a class of Africans as life servants, and it established as a punishment for white servants who ran away with black life servants the service time the black servant would have been required to render. This rather brief and simple act gave way within a generation to a complex code of laws concerning slavery in Virginia, which was a pioneer in this effort. In 1705 the Virginia legislature passed a two-chapter, 50-section slave code, one of the first such codifications in the...

    • Slave Patrols
      (pp. 129-130)

      The first slave patrols appeared in southern colonies during the early or mid-18th century: South Carolina passed its first patrol law in 1702, Virginia followed in 1726, North Carolina enacted laws for patrols in 1753, and Georgia instituted its patrols in 1757. These colonial assemblies drew upon their knowledge of slave control methods used in Caribbean slave societies when they established patrols. Other southern colonies and states would pass laws authorizing patrols until every state had them by the early 19th century. Patrollers (also called “paddyrollers,” or “pattyrollers”) used white-on-black violence to carry out their duties, and in many ways...

    • Stone, George Washington (1811–1894) JURIST.
      (pp. 130-131)

      George Washington Stone served on the Alabama Supreme Court from 1856 until 1865 and again from 1876 until his death in 1894, serving as chief justice from 1884. Reared in Tennessee, Stone read law in a lawyer’s office in Fayetteville before moving to Alabama, where he was admitted to practice in 1834 and where he lived for the remainder of his life.

      Stone’s service on Alabama’s high court spanned nearly four decades, encompassing historical periods that included the late antebellum period, the Civil War, post-Reconstruction, and the industrialization of the state in the final decades of the century. A prodigious...

    • Thomas, Clarence (b. 1948) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 131-133)

      Clarence Thomas was the second African American appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. He replaced Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Court and one of the most significant civil rights lawyers in U. S. history.

      Thomas was born in 1948 in the dirtpoor town of Pin Point, Ga. Abandoned by his father and then given up by his mother, he was raised by his maternal grandparents in a segregated society. Through hard work, sacrifice, and sheer force of will—both his own and that of his grandfather—he graduated with honors from the...

    • Tucker Family
      (pp. 133-135)

      Over several generations, the Tuckers of Virginia produced a number of eminent attorneys, jurists, politicians, legal educators, and authors, binding the family name inextricably to the legal and political culture of the Old Dominion and the South. Bermuda native St. George Tucker (1752–1827), progenitor of the main Tucker line, pursued a lengthy career as a state and federal judge, poet and political essayist, and law professor at the College of William and Mary. On the bench, Tucker’s able decisions set important precedents during the formative years of Virginia jurisprudence. His opinion in Kamper v. Hawkins (1793) forcibly stated the...

    • Tuttle, Elbert P. (1897–1996) FEDERAL JUDGE.
      (pp. 135-136)

      As chief judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals throughout the 1960s, Elbert Parr Tuttle provided leadership in the development of civil rights law comparable to that of Earl Warren on the Supreme Court. In a 1967 tribute to him, Chief Justice Warren praised Tuttle for combining “administrative talents with great personal courage and wisdom to assure justice of the highest quality without delays which might have thrown the Fifth Circuit into chaos.” Tuttle and three other judges—John Minor Wisdom of New Orleans, Richard T. Rives of Montgomery, and John R. Brown of Houston—were disparagingly labeled “The...

    • Tutwiler, Julia (1841–1916) EDUCATOR AND REFORMER.
      (pp. 136-137)

      Julia Strudwick Tutwiler was born 15 August 1841 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., third child of Henry and Julia Ashe Tutwiler. Raised near Havana in the Alabama Black Belt, she was influenced by the atmosphere of the Greene Springs School, run by her father from 1847 to 1884. Famous in its time, Greene Springs was primarily for boys but made no distinction between male and female students. Refusing to inflict corporal punishments, Tutwiler and his faculty urged their students to work for the betterment of humankind. A sincere if discreet critic of slavery, Henry Tutwiler owned slaves but allowed Julia to teach...

    • White, Edward Douglas (1845–1921) U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.
      (pp. 137-139)

      The first sitting Supreme Court justice promoted to the chief justiceship, Edward Douglas White was a jurist who carved a place for himself in legal history because of strong personality and longevity rather than legal brilliance.

      The son and grandson of Irish Catholic judges, White was born in 1845 in Louisiana on his father’s 1,600-acre sugarcane plantation. The young White was educated almost entirely in Jesuit institutions. After a brief, frustrating service as an aide-de-camp in the Confederate army, White apprenticed himself to a distinguished New Orleans lawyer and in 1868 was admitted to the Louisiana bar. White’s affiliation with...

    • Wisdom, John Minor (1905–1999) FEDERAL JUDGE.
      (pp. 139-140)

      The “scholar” on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals during the turbulent battle over civil rights in the 1960s, Judge John Minor Wisdom “transformed the face of school desegregation law” in the absence of Supreme Court leadership. Born 17 May 1905 in New Orleans, Wisdom received a B.A. degree from Washington and Lee and an LL.B. from Tulane. As a young man, the New Orleans aristocrat became one of a handful of Republicans in Louisiana who openly argued that Huey Long’s dictatorial control threatened democratic principles in the state. In 1952 Wisdom served as chairman of the 15-member Southern Conference...


      (pp. 143-166)

      During the 1970s southern political practices came to resemble more closely national norms. The election of a Deep South resident to the presidency in 1976 seemingly confirmed the region’s newfound respectability. In earlier years, the South’s political image had been a distinctive and largely negative one. Indeed, the region’s long-established reputation as the home of demagogues, Dixiecrats, and disfranchisement contributed to making it a subject of endless interest, scorn, and puzzlement. V.O. Key’s classic studySouthern Politics in State and Nation, which appeared in 1949, began with the statement: “The South may not be the nation’s number one political problem,...

    • Cold War
      (pp. 167-169)

      The Cold War was the period of nuclear-armed competition between the United States and the Soviet Union, lasting from the end of World War II until the withdrawal of Soviet military forces from Eastern Europe in 1989 and the disappearance of the Soviet Union itself in 1991. Americans considered themselves the leaders of what they called the “free world,” the noncommunist nations of Europe and the Americas. Much of the Cold War served as a contest between the Soviets and Americans for friendly relations and alliances with the new Third World nations of Asia and Africa, which emerged out of...

    • Congress
      (pp. 169-173)

      Southern concern for protecting distinctive regional interests has often focused on Congress, and the South has sent some of its greatest talent to that institution. South Carolina congressman and later senator John C. Calhoun, for example, developed a major American political theory for protection of minority rights in Congress. He maneuvered for decades in Washington, in a losing battle, to protect slave plantation interests. The growing antebellum North-South conflict erupted into outright violence on the floor of Congress in 1856, when South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks beat Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner with his cane as a stunned gallery watched. Southerners...

    • County Politics
      (pp. 173-176)

      Few if any popular perceptions of southern politics are more deeply ingrained than that of the courthouse “clique” or “ring.” Film and fiction, scholarly tomes, and journalistic exposés have united in fostering an image of county governments dominated by self-serving officials closely aligned with business and agricultural wealth and exercising arbitrary, undemocratic control over local affairs. As with other generalizations about the South, this stereotype is more accurate for some eras than others, more applicable to some states and counties than to their neighbors. Nevertheless, a survey of the region’s historical experience offers much support for this uncomplimentary appraisal of...

    • Culture Wars
      (pp. 177-182)

      In 1990 University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter described the ideological “struggle to define America” as “culture wars.” After presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan told the 1992 Republican National Convention that his campaign was a willing participant in “a religious and cultural war . . . for the soul of America,” journalists had found a new term. Alluding to the fascist elements in Buchanan’s use of the term, columnist Molly Ivins quipped that “it sounded better in the original German.” Right language, wrong leader. Hunter had actually borrowed the term from Bismarck’s 19th-century termKulturkampf, applying it to the competing...

    • Demagogues
      (pp. 182-185)

      Political demagoguery is at least as old as the early Greek term (fromdemos, for “people,” andagog, for “leader”) for unscrupulous politicians who gain power by appealing to the electorate’s emotions, passions, and prejudices. Throughout Western history, demagogues have symbolized the fear of privileged elites that expanding democracy inevitably degenerates into rabble-rousing. In America, no era or region has been free of demagogues, but the classic southern variety flourished with unusual vigor during the six decades between Reconstruction and World War II.

      The term has been applied to successful southern politicians as diverse as Benjamin Tillman, Tom Watson, Jeff...

    • Democratic Party
      (pp. 185-189)

      The Democratic Party in the American South began the 21st century fairly ominously. The first two presidential elections were Republican sweeps of the South, and they were followed by the publication of a politically fashionable book that argued that the national Democratic Party would be wise to “Whistle Past Dixie” and just forget the South. Even though three Democratic sons of the South, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, gave the Democrats their only presidential victories since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Democratic Party in the South was often perceived as fading almost to the sorry state...

    • Dixiecrats
      (pp. 189-190)

      In 1948 several southern Democrats rejected the liberal leadership of their national party and pursued an independent course. At issue was President Harry Truman’s proposal on civil rights that advocated an antilynching law, a permanent fair employment practices commission, desegregation of the armed forces, and elimination of the poll tax. After a special committee of the Southern Governors’ Conference unsuccessfully sought concessions on civil rights from the Democratic National Committee, many southerners, fearing the destruction of their regional traditions, considered a revolt against the national party. Under the guidance of Fielding Wright of Mississippi, Frank Dixon of Alabama, Strom Thurmond...

    • Emancipation
      (pp. 191-194)

      Emancipation troubles southern culture, raising issues that make many, regardless of race, uncomfortable. Emancipation is a story of liberation and loss, of identities gained and identities shattered, a history that places conflict and domination at the center of the region’s past. Representing the promise of freedom and equality on one hand and the broken dream of plantation slavery on the other, Emancipation is above all else a shared history of conflict. Yet where does a revolution—one that pitted southerner against southerner—fit in the construction of a common southern identity or a shared southern culture? This dilemma so challenges...

    • Foreign Policy
      (pp. 195-201)

      The southern experience in world affairs reflects variations on a set of ideas common to much of the American experience. Southerners have identified with internationalism especially through multilateral organizations focused on European matters and Anglo-American cooperation. Southerners also have shown signs of isolationism: a “nonentangling” outlook usually aimed at Europe and Britain but sometimes at Latin America, Africa, or the Pacific. Finally, a strong strain of expansionism persisted through much of the South’s antebellum as well as postbellum experience. This belief in the justice of southerners’ increasing their influence over foreign places has often appeared in conjunction with territorial growth...

    • Government Administration
      (pp. 201-203)

      Government administration in the South has traditionally been considered less professional, less vigorous, less accountable, and more affected by personalized political influences than administration in other regions. To a considerable extent, this distinctiveness can be attributed to southern governments’ having typically had a much smaller revenue base on which to finance public programs. The administrative establishment had fewer employees per capita, salaries were lower, merit systems were less feasible, and professionalism and administrative effectiveness were less developed. However, much of what has been distinctive about southern government administration is not a simple result of the traditionally low level of personal...

    • Ideology, Political
      (pp. 204-207)

      American political ideology is celebrated in the catchwords of our everyday life—“freedom,” “democracy,” and “equality.” The political culture of the United States includes both the noble ideas of the founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (particularly the first 10 amendments), and the reality of conflict among citizens based on race, ethnicity, class, and region. The development of a distinctive southern political ideology was part of this broader culture. At times in open conflict with theoretical national sentiments, it was based on regional conflict with the North and eventually overrode the subcultures and bands of dissenters within...

    • Immigration Policy and Politics
      (pp. 207-213)

      As the 21st century begins, the United States has become an immigrant destination once again. In 2005, according to U. S. Census statistics, the immigrant population of the nation—legal and illegal—stood at 35.2 million people, or about 12 percent of the total U. S. population of 300 million. In 1910 immigrants made up about 15 percent of the nation’s population, but the current immigrant proportion represents a dramatic increase compared to immigration patterns over most of the 20th century.

      Latino immigrants from Mexico and Central America comprise the largest group among the new immigrants. As a result of...

    • Jacksonian Democracy
      (pp. 213-217)

      The source of the political division of antebellum America into Jacksonian and Whig parties lay in the expansion of the market economy in the years between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Acceptance of the values of the marketplace and resistance to those values each implied a conception of the meaning of freedom. For Jacksonians—dedicated to defending the ideal of economic and social self-sufficiency and fearful of being exploited by centers of power in the society—freedom was something the citizenry had by right, although evil, antidemocratic forces were attempting to take it away. People were free...

    • Jeffersonian Tradition
      (pp. 217-221)

      Thomas Jefferson is invariably linked in the American mind with such concepts as liberty, freedom, and democracy. Indeed, the Jeffersonian tradition, as a general pattern of recognizable beliefs and behavior, provides much of the basis for America’s liberal tradition. Through Jefferson, Charles M. Wiltse writes inThe Jeffersonian Tradition in American Democracy(1960), “the political liberalism of accumulated centuries passed into the American democratic tradition, where it helped to mold the American way of life.” To basic liberal tenets Jefferson added his own strain of agrarian thought, which praised the superiority of a self-sufficient, agricultural lifestyle. The independent yeoman farmer...

    • Legislatures, State
      (pp. 221-224)

      Though governors and senators have been famous as individuals, the office of state legislator has best embodied the stereotype of the southern politician. The white male lawyer cum country bumpkin who rants against Yankee capitalists, spouts racial slurs, and is careless toward public policy embodies the stereotype. Whatever the validity of that image in the past, it is far from accurate in the 21st century. Southern legislatures as institutions and legislators as members have been in the midst of changes for a good while. Although some of these changes reduce regional differences, others underscore the distinctiveness of the South. Much...

    • National Politics
      (pp. 225-230)

      Alexis de Tocqueville, the oft-quoted French visitor to the young American Republic in the 1830s, observed inDemocracy in America(1835), “Two branches may be distinguished in the great Anglo-American family, which have hitherto grown without entirely comingling; the one in the South, the other in the North.” Politically, that was not entirely true at the time, but it would soon become so. The South had been an integral part of national life in its first half century, providing talented leaders such as Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, and Marshall, and during the 1840s and early 1850s southern politics were intertwined with...

    • New Deal
      (pp. 230-232)

      Agriculture was the South’s major economic activity in the 1930s; and New Deal farm programs—such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933), the Resettlement Administration (1935), and the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act (1937)—by cutting production, raising farm income, and pushing southerners from farm poverty to southern and nonsouthern cities, created the basis for the sweeping change soon to come to the largely rural South. Along with the agricultural revolution, the New Deal infusion of federal money disrupted the cycle of poverty, and the region’s economy began to merge with that of the nation. New Deal labor legislation, such as...

    • One-Party Politics
      (pp. 232-235)

      The disfranchisement of practically all blacks and many white have-nots in the period between 1890 and 1910 decimated the Republican and Populist Parties in the South and left the region with only a single important political party. In the era of classic one-party politics, roughly 1910–50, Democrats monopolized state offices and deterred serious opposition in general elections. The national political interests of white southerners were likewise managed exclusively by Democrats; the region regularly cast all of its electoral college votes for Democratic presidential candidates and sent virtually only Democrats to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

      As a...

    • Partisan Politics
      (pp. 236-241)

      The dominance of a one-party political system in the South after the Civil War and into the mid-20th century belies the existence of earlier two-party systems in the South. Party systems before the Civil War were influenced by the same concerns of personality, ideology, and organization as elsewhere in the country.

      The first partisan conflict in the southern United States emerged in the 1790s and led to the appearance of the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalists in the South were strongest in South Carolina and, to a lesser degree, Virginia and North Carolina. It was a party...

    • Politician, Image of
      (pp. 241-246)

      American popular culture has long conveyed stereotypes of the American South, and politics is no exception. Fred Allen’s nationally broadcast radio program of the 1940s, for example, included a frequent appearance by Senator Beauregard Claghorn, “from the deep South, that is.” He made puns and bellowed, “That’s a joke, son!” This unreconstructed southerner claimed “the only train ah ride is the Chattanooga Choo-Choo”; when he passed Grant’s tomb “ah shut both eyes.” He never, of course, went to Yankee Stadium, and he never went to the New York Giants field, the Polo Grounds, “unless a southpaw’s pitchin’.” TheRichmond Times...

    • Populist Party
      (pp. 246-250)

      Adherents of the People’s Party, launched formally in 1892, were commonly known as Populists. The nucleus of the third party was the combined strength of the southern and northern branches of the Farmers’ Alliance, which had grown from a local protective association of Texas cattlemen and farmers, formed in 1875 to combat cattle and horse thieves, into a formidable national body. Local, county, state, and national chapters developed coordinated programs designed to achieve economic reform and benefit the agricultural classes. Southern Alliance warehouses, exchanges, and stores engaged in numerous ventures in cooperative buying and selling. As its lecturers and newspapers...

    • Progressivism
      (pp. 250-252)

      A far-flung series of movements encompassing diverse aspects of early 20th-century public life rather than a single phenomenon, Progressivism profoundly affected the modern South. Occurring across the United States, this social movement arose in response to industrialism, urbanism, and a new sense of nationhood; it also embraced the post–Civil War economy of railroads and an internationalized market economy. Viewing industrialism positively, members of the middle classes of the newly emerging towns and cities dominated Progressive movements. Rejecting the localism of 19th-century rural America and accepting the realities of the industrialized world, these urban reformers sought to restructure politics and...

    • Protest Movements
      (pp. 253-259)

      When Tom Watson, the onetime Georgia Populist, was asked the difference between his campaign and the one run by William Jennings Bryan, he replied, “Bryan had no everlasting and overshadowing Negro Question to hamper and handicap his progress: I had.” Historians may quarrel about what makes the South different from the rest of the nation—a Lost Cause, secession, poverty, an agrarian tradition, race. But most would agree, along with Tom Watson, that the issue of race relations has dominated, hindered, and shaped protest movements in southern society.

      The South emerged from the Civil War as a region committed politically...

    • Race and Southern Politics
      (pp. 259-266)

      Race in the American South is the single biggest divisor in politics, education, and culture. Today the South is still home to the nation’s largest African American population. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, roughly 54 percent of all American blacks live in the South, about 15.8 million of the 30 million in total. Political schisms based on race are not a new phenomenon for the South. Largely because of slavery and race, southern political history includes war, Reconstruction, and a long era of second-class citizenship.

      Black southern political history fits into six distinct epochs: slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction,...

    • Reconstruction
      (pp. 266-271)

      Reconstruction was the period from 1865 to 1877 when national efforts were concentrated on incorporating the South back into the Union after the Civil War. The period involved important constitutional and political issues, but from the viewpoint of cultural history Reconstruction’s underlying significance was its effort to remake southern culture. Neither before nor since have Americans had the opportunity to refashion a particular region within the nation. Some northerners approached this in a spirit of vengeance, seeking to punish southerners for the war; others had political motives for wanting to reduce southern influence and ensure Republican Party dominance and patronage...

    • Redemption
      (pp. 271-275)

      Over the past half century, the term “Redemption” has gained currency among historians of the South. When a historical term appears frequently in the literature, it usually means that it is becoming accepted as the most accurate or appropriate way of describing a particular historical period, episode, event, development, or trend. In this way, terms like “the Progressive Era,” “the Civil War,” “the Early Republic” become orthodox terminology for the thing they refer to. In the case of Redemption, however, the term is now employed generally, but the episode it categorizes is not agreed upon. Redemption can allude to two...

    • Religion and Southern Politics
      (pp. 275-278)

      To the extent that there has ever been any truth to the term “Solid South,” it has come from the distinctive relationship between religion and politics that has been a defining feature of the region. Pervasively Protestant, dominated from early times by evangelical groups, southern religion has tended strongly toward tradition and orthodoxy, being more biblical in belief, more emotional in practice, and more moralistic in its attitudes about the world than religion in other parts of the country. Over the last century, this conservative religion has contributed to the conservative politics of the region, as an alliance between evangelical...

    • Republican Party
      (pp. 278-284)

      The Republican Party in the American South, now dominant in most national elections in the region, took a long, hard road to achieve this position. For nearly 100 years following the Civil War, the Republican Party was unwelcome in the South, but a party realignment in the middle portion of the 20th century reversed the party’s fortunes. It is now stronger and deeper than its Democratic Party rival is, but it is not dominant in the same manner the Democratic Party once was during the days of the Solid South.

      Following the Civil War, the Republican Party had little support...

    • Segregation, Defense of
      (pp. 284-289)

      The 17 May 1954 Supreme Court decision inBrown v. Board of Educationis frequently perceived as the start of both the Second Reconstruction and the white South’s struggle to maintain the racial status quo. To be sure, theBrowndecision had the type of crystallizing impact in the South that the Court’s ruling a century earlier inDred Scott v. Sandfordhad had in the North. Both decisions were followed by regional efforts to thwart the law of the land. Still, the perception that the Supreme Court in 1954 inaugurated a new era of federal involvement on behalf of...

    • Social Class and Southern Politics
      (pp. 289-294)

      Class patterns imported from England took root in the South back in the colonial era. The earliest settlers included few members of the British aristocracy or large-landed proprietor class; the organizers of these expeditions were for the most part adventurous, ambitious, talented people from the middle ranks of British society who sought opportunities not open to them at home in 17thcentury Britain. A combination of circumstances made large-scale agriculture—or the plantation economy—not only possible but highly desirable. The planter “aristocrat” (later designated “cavalier”) became the southern upper class and was the natural source of political leadership. A pattern...

    • Taxing and Spending
      (pp. 294-297)

      Southern state governments were long distinguished by their relatively low levels of government spending and taxation and by the often regressive nature of their tax systems. Southern states spent, for example, an average of $ 1,657 per pupil for education in 1977–78, while the national average was $ 2,002. The average southern state spent 0.11 percent of its total expenditures on land and water quality control during the same year while the national average was 0.31 percent. In another example, the average southern state’s Aid to Families with Dependent Children grant received an “adequacy score” of 8.09 percent in...

    • Violence, Political
      (pp. 297-301)

      No other major section of the country can match the South’s record of violence, political and otherwise. Southern political violence, like organized violence nationally, has featured repression by social and political elites of those who threatened (or were perceived to threaten) their control. The rare colonial insurrections—Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1675–76) and Culpepper’s Rebellion in North Carolina (1677–78)—were in the main middle-class or upperclass revolts against ruling factions in their respective colonies and involved very little bloodshed. The Regulator movements of North and South Carolina in the 1760s and 1770s arose out of frontier conditions in...

    • Voting
      (pp. 301-305)

      “Among the great democracies of the world,” V. O. Key Jr. noted in 1949, “the Southern states remain the chief considerable area in which an extremely small proportion of citizens vote.” Yet the South has not always been the most backward, least democratic region in the Western world. Although other countries have, gradually or in sudden spurts, expanded the proportion of their citizens who enjoy and exercise the right to vote, the United States has followed a zigzag, not a linear, path. Born comparatively free, America contracted as well as expanded its suffrage thereafter. In its patterns of voting participation,...

    • Women in Southern Politics
      (pp. 305-310)

      The South has added distinctive connotations to the definition of women’s “proper sphere” in the United States. An examination of southern politics confirms that, even though constrained by powerful cultural, legal, social, economic, and psychological forces, women have steadily moved from a predominantly private family role into public political activities. Historians have recently expanded the understanding of “political” beyond electoral activities, suggesting organized women’s groups have had political significance.

      The culture of the Old South, although never monolithic, generally restricted women to a narrow orbit circumscribed by the ascendant symbol of “the lady.” Inspired by a variety of literary and...

    • All the King’s Men
      (pp. 311-313)

      The 1946 novelAll the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren, is one of the most significant creative expressions about politics in the American South. The story of the rise of Willie Stark from a small-town idealistic do-good reformer to a demagogic governor parallels the fortunes of Louisiana governor Huey P. Long, but Warren also highlights another character, Jack Burden, the descendant of old Delta money who becomes Stark’s aide and is caught up in the complex moral and political issues that Warren explores.

      Warren began teaching at Louisiana State University in 1933 and observed close at hand Long’s political...

    • Ames, Jessie Daniel (1883–1972) SOCIAL REFORMER.
      (pp. 313-314)

      Jessie Daniel Ames, born 2 November 1883, had moved three times in Texas by the time she was a teenager. Her father, a stern Victorian eccentric, migrated from Indiana to Palestine, Tex., where he worked as railroad stationmaster, and in 1893 the Daniels moved to Georgetown, Tex., the site of Southwestern University, from which Ames later graduated.

      The brutal Indian Wars and vigilantism of the period created a violent atmosphere, which strongly affected the sensitive young Jessie. A strong-willed child, she had resisted the perfect table manners expected of her and often was sent to the kitchen. In the Daniels’...

    • Baker, Ella Jo (1903–1986) CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
      (pp. 314-315)

      Ella Jo Baker, the daughter of Georgianna and Blake Baker, was born in 1903 in Norfolk, Va. When she was seven, Baker’s family moved to Littleton, N.C., to live with her maternal grandparents, who owned a plantation where they had previously worked as slaves. The absence of adequate public schools for blacks in rural North Carolina and her mother’s concern that she be properly educated resulted in Baker’s attending Shaw University in Raleigh. There, she received both her high school and college education. Following her graduation in 1927, she moved to New York City to live with a cousin, where...

    • Baker, Howard, Jr. (b. 1925) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 315-316)
      DAVID D. LEE

      Howard Baker Jr. is the heir to a rich tradition of Republican politics. His family has lived in mountainous east Tennessee since the 1700s, and Baker still makes his home in the small town of Huntsville. Both his father and his stepmother served in the House of Representatives, and Baker’s father-in-law, Republican Everett Dirksen of Illinois, was Senate minority leader in the 1950s and 1960s. Republicans have won every congressional election since 1858 in Baker’s native second district. A World War II veteran, he returned from the war to earn a law degree at the University of Tennessee and began...

    • Barnett, Ross (1898–1987) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 316-318)

      Ross Robert Barnett became a symbol of resistance to integration as governor of Mississippi (1960–64) because he precipitated a riot on the campus of the University of Mississippi against federal marshals attempting to register the first black in a “white” Mississippi educational institution. Born the last of a Civil War veteran’s 10 children in the Standing Pine community of Leake County, Barnett struggled against poverty to educate himself. While a student of the county agricultural high school, he worked as a janitor and a barber. He continued those occupations and sold aluminum cookware in the summer during his years...

    • Bilbo, Theodore (1877–1947) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 318-319)

      Theodore Gilmore Bilbo was born at Juniper Grove in Pearl River County, Miss., on 13 October 1877. He attended public school in Pearl River County and took courses but never earned a degree at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Michigan. He first entered politics in 1903 but was defeated for county clerk by a one-armed Confederate veteran. Displaying a sense of humor that would be a part of his political style, Bilbo confided to friends that he “started to vote for him myself.”

      Bilbo’s 40-year political career was punctuated by victories and defeats. He served as state...

    • Boggs, Lindy (b. 1916) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 319-320)

      Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne was born 13 March 1916 at Brunswick Plantation, near New Roads, in Pointe Coupee Parish, La. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy at New Roads in 1931 and earned her B.A. from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1935, after which she became a teacher. She married Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. and, after his presumed death in an airplane that disappeared, she was selected in a special election in 1973 to succeed him as Democratic U.S. Representative from the Second District in New Orleans. Boggs was elected, with 82 percent of the vote, to a...

    • Bush, George W. (b. 1948) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 320-321)

      Texas governor and 43rd president of the United States, George Walker Bush was born in New Haven, Conn., on 6 July 1946. Two years later Bush moved with his family to Texas where he grew to maturity in the conservative, oil-producing town of Midland. The grandson of a U.S. senator and son of the 41st president, Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Yale University, and Harvard Business School. He served in the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War, then opened an oil company, and later was the managing partner of the Texas Rangers Major League baseball team....

    • Byrd Machine
      (pp. 321-321)

      The Byrd machine of Virginia (1922–65) was an expression of the unique cultural and political heritage of the Old Dominion, which cherished elitist and traditional values. Created by Harry Flood Byrd Sr. and other members of the state Democratic Party during the 1920s, the machine took advantage of restrictive electoral regulations that made it possible for a small percentage of conservative rural and small-town white voters to control elective offices. Byrd served successively as state party chairman, governor, and U.S. senator (1933–65). At his retirement in 1965, Byrd arranged to have his Senate seat passed to his son,...

    • Calhoun, John C. (1782–1850) POLITICIAN AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER.
      (pp. 321-322)

      Born of Scots-Irish ancestry in the South Carolina upcountry in the wake of the American Revolution, John Caldwell Calhoun traveled north for his education. He graduated from Yale and read law with Federalist judge Tapping Reeve in Litchfield, Conn. Calhoun returned home, practiced law, won a seat in the state legislature, and then was elected to represent South Carolina in the U.S. Congress from 1811 to 1817. A devout nationalist during this phase of his career, Calhoun was a war hawk and an avid supporter of the War of 1812. He voted for a protective tariff in 1816 and introduced...

    • Carter, Jimmy (b. 1924) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 322-324)
      GARY M. FINK

      “I am a Southerner and an American,” Jimmy Carter wrote in his campaign autobiography,Why Not the Best?It would be difficult to quarrel with either assertion. Born and reared in the heart of the southwest Georgia Black Belt, James Earl (“Jimmy”) Carter Jr. could trace both his American and southern ancestry back to the early 17th century when the first Carters arrived in Virginia. By the decade of the 1780s, ancestors of the future president had made their way to Georgia, eventually settling in Sumter County, where Jimmy Carter was born and raised.

      The son of a moderately wealthy...

    • Carter, Lillian (1898–1983) PUBLIC FIGURE.
      (pp. 324-325)

      Born in Richland, Ga., on 15 August 1898, Lillian Jackson Carter was the daughter of James Jackson, a Richland postmaster from whom she inherited an active interest in social justice and liberal politics. She remembers, for example, her father bringing meals from the local hotel, which served whites only, to blacks who waited at the post office.

      In 1923 she married James Earl Carter. The Carters had four children: James Earl Jr., Gloria, Ruth, and William Alton. A trained nurse, Lillian Carter worked in a Plains, Ga., hospital during the 1920s and 1930s, helped with the Carter family business, served...

    • Clinton, Bill (b. 1946) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 325-327)

      William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was born on 19 August 1946 in “a place called Hope,” a small town in southwestern Arkansas. His father, William Jefferson Blythe III, died in a car accident just three months before his birth. While his mother, Virginia Cassidy Blythe, studied nursing in Louisiana to help provide for her son, his grandparents, who ran a country store in Hope, cared for him. When Billy, as he was called, was in early grade school, his mother returned, and they moved to Hot Springs, where Virginia married Roger Clinton. Because of Roger’s gambling and alcohol addiction, Billy and...

    • Crump, E. H. (1874–1954) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 327-328)
      DAVID D. LEE

      Born and raised in Holly Springs, Miss., Edward Hull Crump moved to Memphis as a young man. His business efforts prospered, especially his insurance firm, and Crump eventually built a sizable personal fortune. Politically active almost from his arrival in Memphis, Crump was elected mayor in 1909, 1911, and 1915, but his refusal to enforce Tennessee’s Prohibition law prompted the state to initiate legal proceedings, which resulted in his resignation in 1916. Despite the setback, Crump continued to build a political machine that, by the mid-1920s, utterly dominated the large Shelby County vote. In 1932 the Crump-backed candidate for governor...

    • Davis, Jefferson (1808–1889) CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 328-329)

      “The man and the hour have met,” a distinguished secessionist proclaimed when Jefferson Davis became president of the Confederate States of America. In most ways Davis seemed ideally suited to directing the South’s struggle for independence. Born in Fairview, Ky., in 1808, Davis moved with his family to Wilkinson County, Miss., when he was still a boy. Experienced in warfare and politics, he had attended the U. S. Military Academy (graduating in 1828), participated in the Black Hawk War, commanded a regiment of Mississippi volunteers and been wounded in the Mexican War, served as President Franklin Pierce’s secretary of war,...

    • Durr, Virginia (1903–1999) SOCIAL REFORMER.
      (pp. 329-331)

      Born on 6 August 1903, Virginia Foster Durr spent childhood summers on her grandmother’s plantation in Union Springs, Ala., where antebellum customs were preserved virtually intact. Her father had been destined to inherit the mantle of the slave-owning aristocracy; instead he was reduced to genteel poverty, first as a Presbyterian minister and then as an insurance salesman in Birmingham. Although an inheritance from her grandmother eventually allowed the family to pursue a fashionable social life in Birmingham, they were never altogether secure. “You see,” she recalls, “we lived in this half way stage between being benevolent despots . . ....

    • Edelman, Marian Wright (b. 1939) CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER.
      (pp. 331-333)

      Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, based in Washington, D. C. Born 6 June 1939 to a Bennettsville, S. C., Baptist minister and his wife (who also raised her four brothers, her sister, and 14 foster children), Edelman in 1983 was named byLadies’ Home Journalone of the “100 most influential women in America.” In 1985 she received a Mac-Arthur Foundation award of $ 228,000, which she promptly devoted to her Children’s Defense Fund to make the needs of children—especially poor children—a top priority on America’s agenda. She is a voice...

    • Faubus, Orval (1910–1994) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 333-334)

      Six-term governor of Arkansas (1955–67), Orval Eugene Faubus gained notoriety around the world in 1957 for his defiance of the federal government in preventing the integration of Little Rock Central High School. Faubus quickly became one of the powerful symbols of southern resistance to desegregation, embodying in his person—and especially in his rhetoric—much that was of value to the South. Of humble origins, Faubus communicated effectively his distaste for the city and for the “Cadillac brigade” that wielded power there. He was a strong individualist who spoke the language of the states’ rights advocates and the opponents...

    • Felton, Rebecca (1835–1930) POLITICIAN AND WRITER.
      (pp. 334-335)

      Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton was a strong-willed, outspoken individual who defied the tradition that women should not become involved in politics. She played an active role in the career of her husband, Dr. William H. Felton, an early leader of Georgia’s Independent Democrat Party. She managed his campaigns, helped draft bills, advised him on legislative strategy, and responded to his critics with innumerable letters to newspapers. She was perfectly capable of vehemently attacking male opponents, but when they responded she condemned them for criticizing a woman. The extent of her role in her husband’s career is illustrated by the comment...

    • Folsom, James (1908–1987) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 335-337)

      James Elisha “Big Jim” Folsom won the Alabama governorship in 1946 and 1954. He introduced classic southern Populist campaign techniques to the state, using country music, powerful symbols, and humorous parables to appeal directly to the voters. Folsom used campaigns as a platform from which to educate the electorate about the need to fight for their rights against the “Big Mules,” meaning the elite. He spoke of the evils of racial discrimination, the need for reapportionment on a one-person, onevote basis, women’s rights, improved education, and better roads.

      His forthright and principled campaign speeches were followed by vigorous but mainly...

    • Fulbright, J. William (1905–1995) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 337-338)

      James William Fulbright moved to Fayetteville, Ark., from Summer, Mo., in 1906, a year after his birth on 9 April 1905. He spent his childhood in the University of Arkansas town, eventually attending college there and graduating with a B. A. in political science in 1925. His father, a highly successful businessman, owned the local newspaper, as well as a bank, a lumberyard, and a bottling company. His mother, a journalist and businesswoman, worked as editor of the family paper.

      The fall after his graduation from Arkansas, Fulbright enrolled at Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship and received...

    • Gingrich, Newt (b. 1943) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 338-340)

      Born in Harrisburg, Pa., on 17 June 1943, Newton Leroy Gingrich moved to Georgia in 1960 with his family. As the civil rights movement swept across Georgia and the South, Gingrich became a Republican Party activist while a student at Emory University in Atlanta. Gingrich earned a doctorate in European history from Tulane University and returned to Georgia to teach at West Georgia College in Carrollton.

      The social revolutions of the 1960s had a profound effect upon Gingrich, like many white southerners. Embracing conservative values, Gingrich deplored federal welfare programs and excessive government regulation. As a staunch Republican, he longed...

      (pp. 340-341)

      Albert A. “Al” Gore Jr. was born in Washington, D. C., on 31 March 1948 to a politically prominent family. Gore’s father was a Democrat who served the State of Tennessee as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives and then of the U. S. Senate. The senior Gore served in Washington for over 30 years, and the young Al Jr. spent most of his early years living there with his parents.

      In 1969 Gore received a B. A. degree in government from Harvard University. During the Vietnam War he was an army reporter stationed in Vietnam. After...

    • Hamer, Fannie Lou (1917–1977) CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
      (pp. 341-343)

      Fannie Lou Townsend Hamer was the last of 20 children born to Jim and Ella Townsend, sharecroppers in Montgomery County, Miss. The family moved two years after her birth to Sunflower County, where she worked in the cotton fields from the age of six and attended public school through junior high. In 1945 she married Perry Hamer, a tractor driver on the W. D. Marlon plantation located four miles east of Ruleville. She labored as a field hand on the Marlon plantation until it was discovered that she could read and write. Then she was promoted to timekeeper. She was...

      (pp. 343-344)

      Born in Charleston, S.C., Wade Hampton III grew up as a member of one of the wealthiest families in the South and went on to become a Confederate military commander and the epitome of the late 19th-century Lost Cause politician.

      Hampton may have been the wealthiest planter in the antebellum South, with large holdings in South Carolina and Mississippi. He served in the South Carolina legislature from 1852 until 1861, advocating economic development and supporting railroads and manufacturing. He thought secession unnecessary for the protection of southern rights, but when South Carolina left the Union he raised his own regiment,...

    • Hays, Brooks (1898–1981) POLITICIAN AND RELIGIOUS LEADER.
      (pp. 344-344)

      Brooks Hays personified, during his more than 50 years in public service, the Christian layman in politics. Born 9 August 1898 near Russellville, Ark., to Sallie Butler and Steele Hays, he graduated from the University of Arkansas (B.A., 1919) and George Washington University (LL. D., 1922). After serving in World War I, he married in 1922, the year he was admitted to the bar.

      Hays was an assistant attorney general of Arkansas, twice an unsuccessful reform candidate for governor of that state and once for Congress, before he went to Washington as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Agriculture...

    • Helms, Jesse (b. 1921) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 345-346)

      Jesse Alexander Helms Jr. was born 18 October 1921 in the Piedmont North Carolina community of Monroe, the son of the town’s police and fire chief. Following a Tom Sawyer childhood, a summer at a tiny Baptist college, and a year at Wake Forest, Helms dropped out of college to become a sports reporter with theRaleigh News and Observer. During World War II he served with the naval reserve. After the war he was briefly city editor with the Raleigh Times and then worked as a reporter with a Roanoke Rapids radio station before returning to Raleigh as news...

    • Hobby, Oveta Culp (1905–1995) GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATOR.
      (pp. 347-348)

      Born 19 January 1905, in Kileen, Tex., Oveta Culp Hobby achieved renown as the first commander of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the publisher of theHouston Post. Hobby’s father was a lawyer and Texas state legislator who educated her in his interests. He was elected to the legislature in 1919, and the 14-year-old Oveta accompanied him to Austin and frequently observed the legislative activities. She read widely in history and the law at an early age, and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives appointed her...

    • Hull, Cordell (1871–1955) DIPLOMAT.
      (pp. 348-349)

      It is a long way from the Tennessee mountains to the State Department corridors, and there was little in Cordell Hull’s Overton County roots that prepared him to be the leading diplomat in Franklin Roosevelt’s foreign-policy entourage. In fact, in his memoirs Hull mentioned two experiences that prepared him for world affairs; both were outside Tennessee. One was a year and a half of college in Ohio, where he was able to meet people with different habits and ideas; the other was his Spanish-American War service in Cuba, where he became aware of the wider world in which the United...

    • Jackson, Andrew (1767–1845) U.S. PRESIDENT, FRONTIERSMAN, PLANTER.
      (pp. 349-350)

      Born near the border of North and South Carolina—the exact spot is in dispute—Andrew Jackson moved to frontier Tennessee in 1788 at the age of 19, an early pioneer in a significant migration pattern that eventually redrew the boundaries of “the South.” Tennessee at the time, and throughout Jackson’s life, was more western than southern. Although he developed substantial landholdings near Nashville, held slaves, and lived the life of a gentleman planter at “The Hermitage,” Jackson as late as the 1840s considered himself a westerner and a nationalist, never a southerner, and he was so perceived by his...

      (pp. 350-352)

      Called “the most famous Black man in America today” by one admiring biographer, a position confirmed by the more scientific conclusions of major national polls, Jesse Louis Jackson was born 8 October 1941 in Greenville, S.C. His mother was Helen Burns, and his father was Noah Louis Robinson, to whom his mother was never married. Charles Henry Jackson became the husband of Jesse’s mother, and young Jackson’s stepfather provided him with a comfortable home and stable family life. Jackson grew up in Greenville, where he was sensitive to the racism and segregation of the times and exhibited an inquisitive mind,...

    • Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) U.S. PRESIDENT, WRITER, PLANTER, SCIENTIST, ARCHITECT.
      (pp. 353-354)

      Thomas Jefferson was born on the edge of the frontier in colonial Virginia. He went on to acquire as fine an education as America offered, graduating from the College of William and Mary in 1726. He studied law under George Wythe and practiced at the bar until the Revolution. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1769. Already the inheritor of large landholdings, he increased his property greatly through the dowry of his wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, whom he married in 1772. They had two daughters who survived to maturity.

      In 1774 Jefferson drew political attention with...

    • Johnson, Andrew (1808–1875) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 354-356)

      Andrew Johnson was born on 29 December 1808 in Raleigh, N.C. Raised in poverty and informally educated while working as a tailor’s apprentice, Johnson left home at a young age, eventually settling in Greeneville, Tenn., and opening his own tailor shop. He married Eliza McCardle on 17 May 1827 and began participating in debates at the local academy. As his business improved, Johnson’s tailor shop became a local meeting place for lively discussions on politics. Encouraged by his wife and his debating success, Johnson entered politics.

      Within two years Johnson became mayor of Greeneville, and by 1835 he was elected...

      (pp. 356-357)

      Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson was born on 22 December 1912 near Karnack, a small east Texas town. Her parents were Thomas Jefferson Taylor, a landowner and country storekeeper, and Minnie Lee Pattillo, both Alabama natives. Lady Bird, so named by a nursemaid, was the youngest of three children and the only daughter. When she was five, her mother died and her Aunt Effie Pattillo, a genteel Alabamian, moved to “the Brick House,” the family home in Karnack, to care for her. Lady Bird Taylor was educated in local public schools, graduating from Marshall High School in 1928. She attended St....

    • Johnson, Lyndon B. (1908–1973) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 357-358)

      Convinced that a southerner could not be elected to the presidency in his lifetime, Lyndon Baines Johnson sought to minimize his southern credentials. Describing himself as an American, a westerner, a Texan, and, only lastly, a southerner, he attempted to divorce himself from the region and its conservative racial and social image. As a southerner, a congressional leader with a mixed civil rights record, and the successor to a slain president whose reform image loomed larger in death than in life, Lyndon B. Johnson sensed a special need to convince the nation that he too was dedicated to the cause...

    • Jordan, Barbara (1936–1996) LAWYER AND POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 358-360)

      Barbara Charline Jordan first came to national prominence in November 1972 when she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th Congressional District in Houston, Tex. She and Andrew Young, who was elected that same year from Atlanta, Ga., were the first two blacks from the Deep South to win national office since the turn of the century.

      Born 21 February 1936, the youngest of three daughters, to the Ben Jordans in Houston, Barbara Jordan grew up in a devoutly religious environment. Her parents and grandparents were lifelong members of the Good Hope Baptist Church in Houston’s...

    • Kefauver, Estes (1903–1963) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 360-361)

      Carey Estes Kefauver, U.S. senator from Tennessee for 14 years and Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1956, is credited with having influenced incorporation of more direct popular appeal in presidential campaign methods, as contrasted with traditional reliance on local political organizations. Less tangible but probably more important was his possible influence on elimination of the customary stance and image of the southern senator.

      Before Kefauver’s consistently controversial career in the U.S. Senate, the image of the verbose gentleman with flowing hair and tie—like his first Tennessee senate colleague, K. D. McKellar—was not universally applicable to southern politicians, but...

    • Key, V. O., Jr. (1908–1963) POLITICAL SCIENTIST.
      (pp. 361-362)

      V. O. (Valdimer Orlando) Key Jr. was born on 11 March 1908 in Austin, Tex. Key was known as one of the early pioneers in the behavioral movement in American political science for his studies of the American electorate, public opinion, and voting behavior.

      Key received his undergraduate education at McMurray College and then at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his B.A. in government with high honors in 1929 and his M.A. in government in 1930. He spent the next four years studying in the political science department at the University of Chicago, where he received...

      (pp. 362-364)
      J. TODD MOYE

      Born in rural Pike County, Ala., John R. Lewis rose from his sharecropper origins to become one of the most effective voices for nonviolent social change in the United States during the 1960s and beyond. He attended college at the American Baptist Theological Seminary and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., where he joined hundreds of other college students in the local sit-in movement. Lewis first received widespread national attention in 1961 when, as one of the Nashville students who had traveled to Alabama to revive the integrated Freedom Rides, television and newspaper cameras captured his vicious beating outside of...

    • Long, Huey P. (1893–1935) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 364-365)

      Governor of Louisiana, U.S. senator, and popular leader during the Great Depression, Huey Pierce Long emerged from the relatively poor hill country of northern Louisiana to transform forever the politics of his state. After eight years as a member of the Public Service Commission, he was elected governor in 1928 as the champion of the common people against the Old Guard, the oil interests, and the planter elite. Although his opponents often decried his radicalism, Long was in many respects a rather conventional progressive reformer. He oversaw a massive public works program, an improvement of state educational and health facilities,...

    • Lott, Trent (b. 1941) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 365-367)

      Born 9 October 1941 in Grenada, Miss., Chester Trent Lott is the only child of Chester Paul and Iona Watson Lott. Lott’s father was a laborer and farmer and later a worker at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, while his mother taught elementary school. Lott was educated in the public schools of Pascagoula and at the University of Mississippi, where he earned an undergraduate degree in public administration (1963) and a law degree (1967). At Ole Miss he was a member and president of the Sigma Nu social fraternity and a varsity cheerleader. Lott’s Ole Miss friends have remained trusted associates...

    • Lynch, John Roy (1847–1939) POLITICIAN AND LAWYER.
      (pp. 367-368)

      Lynch was born on 10 September 1847 in Concordia Parish, La., the son of an Irishman, Patrick Lynch, and a slave, Catherine White. His father bought and intended to set free his whole family, but death and the treachery of a friend intervened, so that Lynch was not freed until 1863 by the Union army in Natchez. Lynch was self-educated, except for four months of formal schooling in 1866. He early became active as a Republican, and in 1869 Governor Adelbert Ames appointed him a justice of the peace. That same year Lynch was elected to the Mississippi House of...

    • Maddox, Lester (1915–2003) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 368-369)

      In January 1967, with the South in the midst of dramatic change initiated by the civil rights movement, Lester Garfield Maddox was elected governor of Georgia. For a decade prior to his election, he had made himself a symbol of white resistance to integration. Each Saturday in the Atlanta newspapers he advertised his fried chicken restaurant, the Pickrick, and purchased space for a political column that attacked liberals as enemies of America, God, individual freedom, and states’ rights. His particular brand of right-wing thinking combined religious fundamentalism with racism and classical laissez-faire doctrines. The combination proved to be appealing to...

    • Madison, James (1751–1836) U.S. PRESIDENT AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER.
      (pp. 369-370)

      James Madison defended the interests of Virginia and the South within the framework of the federal government that he helped create. Educated by private tutors at plantation schools in Orange County, Va., and at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), he became an effective spokesman for his state and region. In the Continental Congress, 1780–83 and 1787–88, he worked to ensure Virginia’s cession of western lands to the Confederation government on conditions favorable to his state. He urged that the United States secure navigation rights to the Mississippi River—then controlled by Spain—which he recognized...

    • Monroe, James (1758–1831) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 370-372)

      James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Va., in 1758. In 1774 he entered the College of William and Mary. When the American Revolution erupted, the young Monroe enlisted in the Third Virginia Infantry in 1776 and soon found himself participating in the fighting in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Monroe served with General George Washington and the Continental Army until 1778, rising to the rank of major. Following his tour of duty, Monroe returned to Virginia, where he became the military commander for Virginia.

      Monroe then left military life and entered politics, first as a state assembly-man in...

    • Moral Majority
      (pp. 372-374)

      The Moral Majority was an educational, lobbying, and fund-raising organization dedicated to conservative Christian causes. Founded in 1979 with the assistance of “New Right” leaders, the Moral Majority was led by Jerry Falwell, pastor of the 18,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va.

      Nationally, Moral Majority maintained a legislative office near the capitol in Washington, D.C., monitored legislation, issued regular appeals to its members for political action through letter writing, lobbied Congress on behalf of specific legislation, and published the MoralMajority Report, a small monthly newspaper. Legally, Moral Majority was comprised of three separate organizations: Moral Majority, a...

    • New South Governors
      (pp. 374-375)

      In southern politics, 1970 marked a watershed. That year saw the election of moderate governors across the South who changed the way the nation looked at the region and at southern state chief executives. Southern politicians of a new style were elected governor: from the ranks of Democrats came a “no-liquor-no-tobacco Panhandle Presbyterian elder” named Reubin Askew in Florida; John C. West, a racial moderate who rose through the ranks of the South Carolina Democratic Party; a self-styled “country lawyer” in Arkansas’s Dale Bumpers; peanut farmer Jimmy Carter of Georgia; and Terry Sanford and James Hunt of North Carolina. Republicans...

    • Pepper, Claude (1900–1989) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 375-376)

      The oldest of four children, Claude Denson Pepper was born on the family farm near Dudleyville, Ala. “Full grown” before he had ever traveled on a paved road, when he accompanied his debate team to Chapel Hill, N.C., as a college freshman, it was the farthest north he had ever been. A southerner, a Baptist, and a lifelong unwavering Democrat, a New Deal liberal who in a 1950 smear campaign was branded a “leader of radicals” and “advocate of treason,” Pepper was nevertheless hailed as a representative American, “the nearest thing this country has to a national congressman.” Pepper’s wide...

    • Polk, James Knox (1795–1849) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 377-378)

      For most Americans, James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States, is an obscure historical personality whose administration is remembered because he waged an unpopular war with Mexico—but did little else.

      That is unfair to him. He did a great deal more. Surely he is the nation’s most unappreciated president. In a single term in office he engineered the annexation of Texas, bluffed the British out of the Oregon Territory, waged that unpopular war with Mexico to win California and New Mexico, and, with all of that, enlarged the nation’s landmass by a full third. It was,...

    • Prohibition
      (pp. 378-379)

      Although closely identified with the southern ethos in the 20th century, the movement to limit the sale and use of alcoholic beverages has never been an exclusively southern endeavor. The first areas touched by this effort were in the East and Midwest in the antebellum period. Prohibition, as an ideal, originated in the voluntarism of the early temperance movement. After the Civil War more advocates adopted the policy of abstinence, or “teetotalism,” and followed the legislative example of the state of Maine. Such groups as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League of America organized for the fight....

    • Radical Republicans
      (pp. 379-381)

      “Radical Republicans” was a frequently used, but often imprecisely defined, term applying to one faction of the Republican Party in the South after the Civil War. In 1867, at the outset of the congressional program of Reconstruction, the nature of southern Radicalism was reasonably clear: Radicals favored guaranteed equal rights for the freedmen, the establishment of public schools, and fairly sweeping disfranchisement of former Confederates. In some states the Radicals insisted that schools be nonsegregated and that public accommodations be open to both races. The Radicals’ opponents, the moderate Republicans, would extend political and civil equality, but nothing more, to...

    • Randolph, John (1773–1833) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 381-381)

      John Randolph of Roanoke represented the interests of traditional slaveholding Virginians in Congress and expressed the aristocratic style of the Virginia past in American public life from the early Republic through the Jacksonian period. Randolph entered public life as part of the Jeffersonian opposition to the Adams administration and was a prominent member of the congressional leadership in Jefferson’s first administration. He broke with Jefferson and, along with purist republicans, formed an extreme group called the “tertium quids” within the party.

      Beginning with an uncompromising assertion of states’ rights, in time they became suspicious of democracy as well as American...

    • Rayburn, Sam (1882–1961) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 381-382)

      Sam Taliaferro Rayburn, congressman from a rural northeast Texas district from 1913 until his death in 1961, was one of the most powerful congressmen in the 20th century. Born in Roane County, Tenn., on 6 January 1882, the son of a Confederate soldier, he moved to Fannin County, Tex., at the age of five. He was educated in country schools and attended Mayo College in Commerce, Tex. After a brief stint as a schoolteacher, Rayburn was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1906. In 1911 he was elected Speaker of the Texas House, and during reapportionment in that...

    • Richards, Ann (1933–2006) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 382-384)

      Ann Richards, the energetic and quick-witted feminist Texas Democrat, first burst onto the national political stage when she delivered the keynote address during the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Speaking of the wealthy incumbent U.S. vice president George H. W. Bush, who also called Texas his home, Richards quipped, “Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” The line would prove to become one of her most memorable, and the popularity she gained from it perhaps helped propel her to the highest office in the state of Texas.

      Born Dorothy Ann...

    • Russell, Richard B. (1897–1971) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 385-386)

      Richard Brevard Russell, a dominant force in the U.S. Senate for almost four decades, was born in Winder, Ga., on 2 November 1897. After earning a law degree at the University of Georgia in 1918, he began practicing law in his hometown.

      The son of a state legislator who became the chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, Russell began his public career in 1921 when he won election to the Georgia House of Representatives. By the time he was 30 he was the Speaker of that assembly, and in 1931 he became Georgia’s youngest chief executive. His two years...

    • Secession
      (pp. 386-387)

      The politics of secession consisted of the separate actions of individual southern states in late 1860 and early 1861 and did not represent a unified South acting as a concerted whole. Secession was triggered in November 1860 by the election of Lincoln to the presidency, at the head of a sectionalized Republican Party that was publicly committed to prohibiting the expansion of slavery into the federal territories and pledged—though recognizing slavery in the states where it already existed—to the ultimate extinction of slavery. Secession itself occurred in two distinct waves; in each it generally received its strongest support...

    • Smith, Frank (1918–1997) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 387-388)

      Frank Smith represented white southerners who rejected segregation during the 1950s and 1960s. Despite being born and reared in the Mississippi Delta, where segregation of the races was the unquestioned social system, Smith developed “liberal” social and political attitudes. Educated at Sunflower Junior College and the University of Mississippi, Smith went to war in 1942 as a private and returned a captain, a veteran of General Patton’s Third Army. He came back to the Delta, to Greenwood, to help establish the liberalMorning Starand entered the state senate in 1947. Leaving the newspaper, he worked in John Stennis’s Senate...

    • Southern Governors’ Association
      (pp. 388-389)

      The Southern Governors’ Association was born at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for an organization that would foster cooperation among southern states in a unified effort to address the economic conditions of the South, judged in the 1930s to be the nation’s top problem. The association was created after five southern governors met with Roosevelt to discuss the inequitable railroad rate-differential system. Within a few weeks following the 1934 meeting, the association started up with five charter members. By 2006 membership included Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky,...

    • Southern Strategy
      (pp. 389-390)

      Southern politics underwent a watershed in the 1960s with the congruence of several factors. The landmark legislation of the civil rights movement, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the thousands of African Americans who registered with and voted for the Democratic Party, transformed the southern political landscape. White southern conservatives reached the conclusion that “their” party was changing, and they sought other outlets for their political support.

      In 1950 not a single Republican could be found among the region’s U.S. Senate delegation. In 1964 Barry Goldwater’s defeat of Lyndon Johnson in...

    • Talmadge, Eugene (1884–1946) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 390-393)

      Born in Forsyth, Monroe County, Ga., the son of Thomas and Carrie Talmadge and father of U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge, Eugene Talmadge served several terms as governor of Georgia during the period of ferment in which he dominated Georgia politics (1926–46). He was known for his fiery political style that evoked fanatical loyalty from thousands of agrarian supporters who responded to his appeals in celebration and defense of rural Georgia’s embattled culture and lifestyle.

      As his political style evolved from populistic agrarianism to virulent racism, Talmadge gained notoriety as the stereotype of a southern demagogue, a “Cracker buffoon,” a...

      (pp. 393-394)

      John Taylor, born in December 1753 in Caroline County, Va., is referred to as “John Taylor of Caroline”; he was one of the fathers of southern politics. He was more famous in his own time than later; his prestige was such that he was several times elected U.S. senator from what was then the most powerful state in the Union without campaigning and against his wishes. He was a soldier in the American Revolution who died regretting that the Revolution had ended in the construction of a federal government more dangerous to the colonies than that of Great Britain. He...

    • Taylor, Zachary (1784–1850) GENERAL AND U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 394-396)

      Although Zachary Taylor was a landed southerner and slaveholder, he was a fervent nationalist, and during his brief yet tumultuous tenure as U.S. president preceding the Civil War he was prepared to hold the Union together at any cost.

      Taylor grew up on a plantation in the frontier settlement of Louisville, Ky., after his family relocated there from Virginia when he was still an infant. During his early childhood, his family home was a modest cabin in the woods, but as his father grew more prosperous he accumulated a substantial amount of land and slaves, eventually building his family a...

    • Thurmond, Strom (1902–2003) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 396-398)

      Born in Edgefield, S.C., on 5 December 1902 of a prominent political family, Strom Thurmond was active in politics for more than half a century. Personifying the conservative nature of the region, Thurmond was an ageless institution reminiscent of W. J. Cash’s metaphorical South, “a tree with many age rings . . . bent and twisted by all the winds of the years, but with roots in the Old South.”

      The formative influences on Thurmond began with his father and were enhanced by the deep political and historical forces of his native Edge-field. William Watts Ball, editor of theCharleston...

    • Tillman, Benjamin Ryan (1847–1918) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 398-399)

      Born in the Edgefield district of upcountry South Carolina, Ben Tillman grew up in a well-off farm family and went on to become the prototype of the southern rural demagogue. As a youth, he lived through the turmoil of the Civil War but first made his political mark during Reconstruction. He was a member of a rifle club movement, later known as the Red Shirts, which worked to restore white rule. Tillman took part in the Hamburg Massacre in July of 1876, during which whites murdered black militia members. It fractured peace between Democrats and Republicans and contributed to the...

    • Voting Rights Act (1965)
      (pp. 399-402)

      Two things have changed the modern South: Air-conditioning and the Voting Rights Act. Unfortunately, Americans have a better understanding of how air-conditioning functions than they do the Voting Rights Act.

      Because discriminatory administration of state laws and constitutional amendments undermined federal protection of the rights of minority voters, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The act changed the landscape of electoral politics in America, overthrowing three generations of disfranchisement. After the Civil War and Emancipation, Reconstruction brought to formerly enslaved African Americans freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote under the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Yet, when...

    • Wallace, George (1919–1998) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 402-404)

      No other person had as much impact on Alabama politics in the 20th century as George Wallace. Born the son of a farmer on 25 August 1919 in Clio, Ala., Wallace attended Barbour County High School, where he developed his skill at boxing. He later won the state bantam weight Golden Gloves championship, a feat that provided him fodder for his political rhetoric years later—often referring to himself as the “fighting little judge.”

      In 1937, at the age of 18, Wallace enrolled in the University of Alabama Law School and supported himself by waiting tables, driving a taxicab, and...

    • Washington, George (1732–1799) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 404-405)

      George Washington was born into a well-established and prosperous Virginia family in 1732. By his own efforts and by his marriage to Martha Dandridge Custis he entered the ranks of the First Families of Virginia. In his youth his loyalties were to Virginia and the British Empire. He became a surveyor as a young man and at 19 became a commander of one of the military districts in Virginia, later playing a prominent military role in the French and Indian Wars. Convinced that it was wrong for one people to have power to tax and to dominate another, he came...

    • Watson, Tom (1856–1922) POLITICIAN.
      (pp. 405-406)

      Thomas Edward Watson spent most of his life in the village of Thomson, Ga. As a young man he taught in country schools, later becoming a highly successful lawyer who practiced in small towns. He succeeded in part because he knew country people well and spoke in a colorful, rural idiom. For Watson the ideal society embraced the life he had known as a young boy, when his grandfather had owned a valuable plantation. After the Civil War his family lost that estate and sank into poverty. Although Watson became a wealthy lawyer, he knew that many southern farmers—plagued...

    • Wilson, Woodrow (1856–1924) U.S. PRESIDENT.
      (pp. 406-407)

      Born in Virginia and raised in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, Woodrow Wilson was one of the South’s most influential leaders in American history. His first memories, he once said, were of the news of Lincoln’s election and the outbreak of the Civil War. The most important influence on his early life was his father, Joseph R. Wilson, a prominent Presbyterian minister who helped form the Presbyterian Church in the United States and ardently defended slavery. Woodrow Wilson later declared that “the only place in the country, the only place in the world, where nothing has to be explained...

      (pp. 407-410)

      Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born 12 March 1932 in New Orleans to the middle-class household of Andrew Jackson Young Sr., a dentist, and Daisy Fuller Young. He attended Dillard University (1947–48) and Howard University, where he received his B.S. in biology (1951). After leaving Howard, Young attended Hartford Theological Seminary, where he received a degree in divinity (1955). He was ordained by the Congregational Church before returning south to pastor churches in Georgia (Beachton and Thomasville) until 1957. That year, unfulfilled with his small-town ministry, he became executive director of the National Council of Churches’ New York–based...

    (pp. 411-412)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 413-432)