The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History

The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History

The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History

The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History

Excerpt

Most writing about the outlawing of the white primaries in the South has been concerned with the legal aspects. About these legal aspects there is an abundance of published material. On the other hand, there has been surprisingly little research on the actual voting behavior of Southern Negroes since the most important of the legal barriers to their voting has fallen. This able study by Mr. H. D. Price attempts to fill this void.

True, Mr. Price's book is a case study of only one Southern state; but unquestionably many of the observations and conclusions Mr. Price has made about voting behavior of Negroes in Florida will be found applicable to the voting behavior of Negroes in other Southern states.

The outlawing of the white primaries by the federal courts and the desegregation decision of the United States Supreme Court are the most significant specific measures of a general movement, now in full process, that might well be called the Second Era of Reconstruction.

The First Reconstruction ended with the "Thermidorian Reaction" of 1876, when the North washed its hands of "the Southern question" and allowed the white people of the South to restore "home rule." For a quarter of a century, however, the Reaction was relatively mild. Indeed, from the end of the First Reconstruction to about 1900 Negroes continued to vote in relatively large numbers, and in some areas Negroes continued to be elected to local offices and to the state legislatures. In the early and middle 1890's the Populist split in the Democratic party of the South and the consequent bidding by both white Populists and white Conservatives for the Negro . . .

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