Forging a Reform Coalition
Texas and Georgia, 1901-1908
The Constitutional Amendment has
been submitted and is satisfactory
to us. It is carefully framed so as to
protect every white man, and will, I
am sure, disfranchise at least 95%
of the negro vote—in fact about all
of them. —Thomas W. Hardwick to
Tom Watson, 17 August 1907
While Maryland was floundering in its attempt to ratify an amendment between 1905 and 1911, Texas and Georgia became the last of the southern states to launch successful disfranchisement campaigns. Although they can be paired because of the lateness of their decisions, the two states were actually polar opposites. Texas was on the western edge of the South; in fact, it soon became more closely identified with the West than with the cotton-growing former Confederate states. Although its economy was predominantly agricultural, cattle ranching as well as manufacturing and railroads were becoming more significant by the century's end. Similarly varied was the state's population, which included large numbers of Mexicans and their descendants in the southern counties adjacent to the Rio Grande, a distinctive cluster of German settlers in central Texas, and a muchlarger group of African Americans concentrated in the southeastern section. This black population numbered about 620,000 in 1900, which was probably ten times the number of Germans, nearly four times the number of Mexicans, and just over 20 percent of the state's rapidly growing
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Publication information: Book title: Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888-1908. Contributors: Michael Perman - Author. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 2001. Page number: Not available.
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