Alabama Government & Politics

Alabama Government & Politics

Alabama Government & Politics

Alabama Government & Politics

Synopsis

For most of the nation, Alabama government is emblemized by Governor George Wallace blocking the entry to the University of Alabama, defying court-ordered integration and championing states'-rights slogans. But Wallace's return to power in the 1980s witnessed sweeping social and political changes in Alabama. Today the state for the most part enjoys the aura of "the new South." James D. Thomas and William H. Stewart, both natives of Alabama, bring a detailed sense of its colorful past to their forward-looking book about its government and political institutions.

In the course of writing about Alabama's legislative, administrative, and judiciary branches; its local politics; and its historic relations with the federal government, Thomas and Stewart reveal much about life today in this southern state. Low taxes, industrialization and urbanization, the civil rights movement, and a trend toward two-party politics have helped to usher in dramatic changes. Although continued change is in the wind, the authors do not think that Alabama's political institutions will soon lose their distinctive Alabama character, and no book has ever described that better than Alabama Government and Politics.

Excerpt

This study of Alabama government and politics is an outgrowth of a little volume that James D. Thomas prepared, a number of years ago now, for the University of Alabama Bureau of Public Administration. That volume was entitled Government in Alabama. the Bureau and its publication program were discontinued in a reorganization in the early 1980s. Because the old volume had no chance of being revised and republished, we began to think of using it as the starting point for a more substantial study of Alabama's political system.

As we were working on the manuscript, Daniel J. Elazar, Director of the Center for the Study of Federalism at Temple University, raised with William H. Stewart the possibility of submitting a study of Alabama government and politics for inclusion in the series of state studies sponsored by the center and published by the University of Nebraska Press. We are very grateful to Professor Elazar and the University of Nebraska Press for the opportunity to contribute our study to the series. Because of the passage of time and the nature of this study, there is relatively little of the original material in it. Nevertheless, language used in the earlier work appears in this study, and we also relied on other works we prepared for the Bureau of Public Administration. We are grateful to the individuals at the University of Alabama who permitted us to use material from our previous works, as well as other bureau publications, in the preparation of this study. We owe a debt of gratitude also to Robert L. McCurley, Jr., Director of the Alabama Law Institute, for permission to use material from publications issued by the Law Institute. We thank Malcolm M. MacDonald, Director of the University of Alabama Press, for permission to use material from books published by the . . .

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