The Miami Metropolitan Experiment

The Miami Metropolitan Experiment

The Miami Metropolitan Experiment

The Miami Metropolitan Experiment

Excerpt

The politics of greater Miami can be understood best in the broader perspective of state and regional politics.

Florida's "Old South" is composed of the counties of north and west Florida. These counties, which were economically conservative during the pre-Civil War days, had undergone a sufficient change by the 1880's and 1890's to become ardent supporters of the Populist party and the National Farmers' Alliance. Yet, despite their economic liberalism, which some observers say still prevails, these areas continue ultra-conservative on questions of race relations. On the other hand, the areas of present-day economic conservatism, located in south Florida both on the east coast and in the resort counties of the west coast, have a much heavier percentage of white population and consequently are far less concerned with the Negro question. Their economic conservatism is reflected in elections in the heavy votes cast for Republicans and for conservative Democrats. Wealth appears to be a key factor in this conservatism, for in these areas are found the huge citrus groves of the Indian River region, the great cattle ranches of the Kissimee Valley, the truck farms of the Everglades, and large numbers of well-to-do in-migrants from the North.

For the purpose of ascertaining the nature of voter cleavage in Florida, Professor Herbert J. Doherty has examined the record of a number of elections: the Hoover-Smith presidential election of 1928, the state gubernatorial vote of 1948, the Truman-Dewey-Thurmond . . .

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