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Published 1974 | v2
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The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880-1910


This book is an attempt to explain the origins of the political system Key described. A complex topic with wide ramifications, it has received less attention than it deserves. As Sheldon Hackney remarked in a recent review article, "One of the unsolved, even unposed riddles of twentieth-century southern politics is why a two-party system did not develop after disfranchisement." The solution to this riddle, I suggest, lies not in the period after disfranchisement and the establishment of the direct, statewide white primary, but in a study of the movements which sought to bring about those electoral changes. If so, then questions about the genesis of the electoral changes are important to political scientists and historians investigating not only the nineteenth century but also the twentieth. I have attempted in this book to cover in detail the movements for suffrage restriction in each of the eleven ex-Confederate states. I have also treated intensively the changes in Northern opinion toward suffrage and the South, the identity and objectives of the restrictionists and their opponents, and the purposes and efficacy of the particular alterations in the political rules. My interpretation of the change from the post-Reconstruction Southern political system to the twentieth-century system rests on a thorough analysis of election statistics using a technique heretofore rarely used by historians—Leo Goodman's ecological regression method. By employing Goodman's method, I have been able to obtain estimates of the percentages of blacks and whites who voted for each candidate, as well as the proportion who did not vote, in every presidential and gubernatorial election and in many primaries and referenda in the South from 1880 to 1910. For most of these elections, these are the first estimates based on a relatively sophisticated statistical procedure that have ever been made. These statistics allow the most firmly based answers that we have so far to such questions as: to what extent did blacks and whites, respectively, favor the Populists? What percentage of voters from each party favored disfranchisement in the various referenda? To what extent did the massive declines in votes turnout represent only the disfranchisement of blacks? To what extent did whites also stop voting?

Additional Information

© J. Morgan Kousser. I dedicate this book to my mother, Alice Morgan Kousser, who is responsible for any virtue in me. My faults are mine alone. Originally published with assistance from the Mary Cady Tew Memorial Fund.

Attached Files

Published - TR000573-14_index.pdf

Published - TR000573.pdf

Published - TR000573_00_front-matter.pdf

Published - TR000573_00_introduction.pdf

Published - TR000573_01_chapter-1.pdf

Published - TR000573_02_chapter-2.pdf

Published - TR000573_03_chapter-3.pdf

Published - TR000573_04_chapter-4.pdf

Published - TR000573_05_chapter-5.pdf

Published - TR000573_06_chapter-6.pdf

Published - TR000573_07_chapter-7.pdf

Published - TR000573_08_chapter-8.pdf

Published - TR000573_09_chapter-9.pdf

Published - TR000573_10_appendix-a.pdf

Published - TR000573_11_appendix-b.pdf

Published - TR000573_12_critical-biblography.pdf

Published - TR000573_13_alphabetical-listing.pdf


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August 22, 2023
January 17, 2024