poli363,week2,notes

poli363,week2,notes - POLI 363: Southern Politics September...

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Unformatted text preview: POLI 363: Southern Politics September 9, 2009 The Antebellum South 1 The Southern Transformation 1.1 What is battlefield sectionalism? • Sectional political cultures, narrow interests, and identities develop on the battlefield • Completely separate and distinct cultures, interests, orientations toward government, and political identities developed in the North and the South. • Was how southerners sorted into political parties – solidified for generations • Explains how Republicans (founded on sectional rather than national interests) re- mained in political power from 1860-1930. 1.1.1 The Lincoln Strategy • The goal was to obtain control of the national government for an extended period of time • This would be achieved by writing off the South as a winnable region • Strategy was to attack the South and slave states in presidential and congressional elections and unite the Northern states • Resulted in the Republican Party’s dominance of national government and politics from 1860-1930. 1.1.2 The Dissolution of the Lincoln Strategy • Demographics were rapidly changing at the turn of the twentieth century • Republicans were having difficulty dealing with the diversification of the Northern population, economic changes, industrialization – all led to a more diverse environment for one-party to control • The Great Depression ended Republican control of the national government – lost ground in the North and could not compete in the South (for obvious reasons) 1.2 Why is the southern transformation important? The southern transformation is one of the most significant political changes in U.S. history, from a solidly Democratic South to the rise of Republicanism (the party of Lincoln and Reconstruction) in the South. 1 • A very slow change – what we will see is the size of the black population in a given Southern state – distinguished former slave states – where there was a greater attach- ment to the Democratic Party among southern whites. 2 2 The Antebellum South This section is based largely on Wright’s (1978, 1996) comprehensive work on the transfor- mation of the southern economy. If you are interested, please see The Political Economy of the Cotton South (1978) or Old South, New South (1996). 2.1 The Cotton-Slave Economy 2.1.1 Economic Logic of Slavery • The logic of slavery in an area of land abundance – if land is available to all comers, and if cultivation may be practiced at any scale without major loss of efficiency, then there will be no way for an entrepreneur to achieve a large absolute profit except with unfree labor. • What do we mean by unfree labor? – Those work relations in which people are employed against their will by the threat of destitution, detention, violence (death), or other extreme hardships – Free labor, on the other hand, is when workers and employers freely exchange labor/services for a form of payment – Under a free labor system, wages would rise (why?) because employers wouldUnder a free labor system, wages would rise (why?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2011 for the course POLI 363 taught by Professor Parsons during the Fall '09 term at South Carolina.

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poli363,week2,notes - POLI 363: Southern Politics September...

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