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  Southern Democrats ... I still don’t get it
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Author Topic: Southern Democrats ... I still don’t get it  (Read 2049 times)
HenryWallaceVP
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2020, 11:45:32 am »

3. Republicans practically only supported civil rights legislation that dealt exclusively with the South's legally protected racism, NOT legislation that looked to make the North more "fair."

I actually think this is really important to understanding the Civil Rights Era.  Republicans hardly had ANY constituents in the South in the 1950s and 1960s.  So, they naturally threw their support hugely behind measures like allowing Blacks to legally vote in the South, removing the poll tax, passing an anti-lynching bill, etc ... but they wanted ALL of this to apply only to the South, obviously not their incredibly segregated suburban districts and states they represented.  What resulted was more or less a collective eye roll from Black leaders; they saw a party (the GOP) that supported them verbally and NOT functionally outside of Dixie, and they saw a party (the Democrats) that did NOT support them verbally (at least to the extent they empowered Southern Democrats in Congress) but DID support them functionally in Northern cities and actually improve their lot ... they made the obvious choice.  I'm a Republican, and I am proud of our party's history, but you cannot look at pro-civil rights Republicans as "liberals" in the sense of today's liberals; they largely weren't.  It cannot be understated how easy and not risky it was for them to support civil rights legislation that outlawed blatantly racist institutions in other states.

Right, Black leaders made the obvious choice ... I guess that's why Adam Clayton Powell endorsed Eisenhower in 1956. And sure, only Democratic supporters of civil rights were liberals, not Republicans. It's not like Nelson Rockefeller was regarded as a liberal even at the time, and one who genuinely believed in civil rights and backed up his actions with deeds. Of course he did! As governor he actively pushed through a pro-civil rights agenda and was given a hero's welcome during a 1960 campaign stop at four Black churches in Brooklyn. By contrast, JFK and his ilk were utterly uninterested in the civil rights movement as such and only in how it could translate into Black votes. His subsequent "embrace" of civil rights was an entirely cynical political calculation, and his famous phone call to Coretta Scott King a complete accident of history that almost didn't happen. I'm a Democrat, and I am proud of our party's history, but you cannot look at JFK Democrats as "liberals" in the sense of today's liberals; they largely weren't.  It cannot be understated how opportunistic and craven it was for JFK to belatedly take a stance on civil rights nearly indistinguishable from that of Nixon's.

I guess I am genuinely not sure what your snark hoped to accomplish ... I will try, in good faith, to respond, but it's hard to do when you are not upfront with a point.

My point was that prior to 1964, the Republicans were overall the more liberal party on civil rights.

Cherry picking Black leaders' endorsements doesn't seem to prove much to me (but again, I don't know what you're trying to prove).  Eisenhower received significant Black support, and I never said otherwise ... however, after signing the first major civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, enforcing Brown v. Board and running against a ticket with a literal segregationist on it, Ike lost the Black vote by over 20% both times.  According to Timothy Thurber, author of Republicans and Race: The GOP's Frayed Relationship With African Americans, 1945-1974, this infuriated many Republican leaders (including Eisenhower) and was effectively the final straw for them in regard to chasing Black voters.  They saw them as "bought and paid for" by the Democrats in a post-New Deal America.

I guess we must be looking at different sources then, because according to Taylor Branch, author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Eisenhower won about 60% of the Black vote in 1956, causing Stevenson to remark "I am quite bewildered about the Negroes."

Regarding Rockefeller, I will first say that obviously there have been bonafide liberals and progressives within the GOP ranks throughout his history; neither NC Yankee, I or anyone else who maintains that there was never this clean "party switch" has ever really disagreed with that ... our disagreement comes usually in the forms of 1) that not meaning that the GOP was necessarily ever, overall, to the "left" politically of the Democratic Party, 2) that these left-of-center Republicans ever outnumbered their centrist and right-of-center peers or 3) that this implied that a majority of left-leaning politicians weren't still Democrats in the contemporary time period of said liberal Republicans.  However, I do not believe this describes Rockefeller.  Even if I accept your assertion that Rockefeller's support for civil rights is inherently "liberal," that does not describe his entire ideology.  In the same way that many Democratic partisans today would not describe Charlie Baker or Larry Hogan as necessarily "liberals" but many partisan conservative Republicans might, Rockefeller was largely "liberal for a Republican."  While seeking the nomination, he said (perhaps agreeing with your assertion that support for civil rights had now become seen as "liberal") that he was an "economic conservative and a human-rights liberal."  I was simply maintaining that your average "liberal Republican" was not necessarily Hubert H. Humphrey with an R next to his name but rather a product of a left-leaning state, district or city in which he had to make concessions to simply be elected.  I really don't think it would have been much different from us calling Phil Scott a "liberal Republican," an assertion that Democrats scoff at today (instead insisting that he is simply a "moderate" and that "liberal Republicans don't exist"), and they scoffed at it back then.  Democrats have been more or less accusing the GOP of betraying its heritage as the "Party of Lincoln" since the second FDR won the Black vote, from what I have seen.

Rockefeller may have called himself an economic conservative, but his actions tell another story. As Governor of New York he was a huge big spender, quadrupling the state budget and quintupling the state debt in his time in office. He also put through a lavish state Medicaid program and in 1968 came out in favor of universal health care. That puts him well to the left of not only the entire Republican party today, but also many Democrats.

All "we" (the various people I recall you conversing with in that thread about party continuity) have ever alleged is that this is a lot more complicated than people make out, and relying on surface-level indicators (e.g., "supporting emancipation is inherently progressive," "supporting segregation is inherently conservative" or the worst, "the GOP used to support big government and the Democrats used to be a small government, states' rights party") will lead one down a path where they perform the wrong type of analysis for the period, giving politicians anachronistic labels that I humbly think they would disagree with.  For every dumbass Republican you see say, "The GOP freed the slaves!  The Democratic Party started the KKK!", you quite honestly see at least three or four nimrods on social media comment sections saying - as if they are bestowing long lost ancient knowledge on the rest of us and nobody has ever heard this hot take before - "ACTUALLY, the GOP used to be a progressive party, and the Democrats used to be the conservatives, and they switched in [insert arbitrary decade or year]."  Few credible historians place the Federalists to the left of the Democratic Republicans, and few place the Whigs to the left of their contemporary Democrats ... so the burden lies on those alleging that the Democratic Party of the mid- and late 1800s was clearly to the right of the GOP of that time period to articulate how exactly that came to be and how exactly it stopped being the case, and my humble opinion is that if that explanation relies too heavily on the rights of Black Americans, it will probably fall flat, especially if it fails to analyze the motives for which each party supports what it does.  Again, even if supporting an end to slavery or segregation IS, though I disagree, inherently progressive or liberal in all situations, that can still lead to a circumstance where there are conservatives supporting it and liberals opposing it.

From my vantage point everything about opposition to slavery and segregation is liberal in nature, from a belief in individual rights, to the equality of man, to opposition to unjustly enforced hierarchies. I just can't see any way in which opposition to these institutions is ideologically conservative, so please explain your position if you will. And no, just because many abolitionists made moral and religious arguments, that doesn't make them conservative. Not to sound too much like Pete Buttigieg, but religion and morality are not exclusive domains of the political right, contrary to what conservative evangelicals would have you think. This is a point I've made a lot with you, but I think it bears repeating. Liberalism as an ideology literally has its roots in radical Protestant theology, and the two often went hand-in-hand well into the 19th century. Finally, I'd like to note that while conservatives did sometimes support an end to segregation, that doesn't make the position itself a conservative one. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. was a conservative who supported liberal racial policies, not for ideological reasons, but because he sought to enfranchise black Republican voters in the South.
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2020, 01:15:51 pm »

3. Republicans practically only supported civil rights legislation that dealt exclusively with the South's legally protected racism, NOT legislation that looked to make the North more "fair."

I actually think this is really important to understanding the Civil Rights Era.  Republicans hardly had ANY constituents in the South in the 1950s and 1960s.  So, they naturally threw their support hugely behind measures like allowing Blacks to legally vote in the South, removing the poll tax, passing an anti-lynching bill, etc ... but they wanted ALL of this to apply only to the South, obviously not their incredibly segregated suburban districts and states they represented.  What resulted was more or less a collective eye roll from Black leaders; they saw a party (the GOP) that supported them verbally and NOT functionally outside of Dixie, and they saw a party (the Democrats) that did NOT support them verbally (at least to the extent they empowered Southern Democrats in Congress) but DID support them functionally in Northern cities and actually improve their lot ... they made the obvious choice.  I'm a Republican, and I am proud of our party's history, but you cannot look at pro-civil rights Republicans as "liberals" in the sense of today's liberals; they largely weren't.  It cannot be understated how easy and not risky it was for them to support civil rights legislation that outlawed blatantly racist institutions in other states.

Right, Black leaders made the obvious choice ... I guess that's why Adam Clayton Powell endorsed Eisenhower in 1956. And sure, only Democratic supporters of civil rights were liberals, not Republicans. It's not like Nelson Rockefeller was regarded as a liberal even at the time, and one who genuinely believed in civil rights and backed up his actions with deeds. Of course he did! As governor he actively pushed through a pro-civil rights agenda and was given a hero's welcome during a 1960 campaign stop at four Black churches in Brooklyn. By contrast, JFK and his ilk were utterly uninterested in the civil rights movement as such and only in how it could translate into Black votes. His subsequent "embrace" of civil rights was an entirely cynical political calculation, and his famous phone call to Coretta Scott King a complete accident of history that almost didn't happen. I'm a Democrat, and I am proud of our party's history, but you cannot look at JFK Democrats as "liberals" in the sense of today's liberals; they largely weren't.  It cannot be understated how opportunistic and craven it was for JFK to belatedly take a stance on civil rights nearly indistinguishable from that of Nixon's.

I guess I am genuinely not sure what your snark hoped to accomplish ... I will try, in good faith, to respond, but it's hard to do when you are not upfront with a point.

Cherry picking Black leaders' endorsements doesn't seem to prove much to me (but again, I don't know what you're trying to prove).  Eisenhower received significant Black support, and I never said otherwise ... however, after signing the first major civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, enforcing Brown v. Board and running against a ticket with a literal segregationist on it, Ike lost the Black vote by over 20% both times.  According to Timothy Thurber, author of Republicans and Race: The GOP's Frayed Relationship With African Americans, 1945-1974, this infuriated many Republican leaders (including Eisenhower) and was effectively the final straw for them in regard to chasing Black voters.  They saw them as "bought and paid for" by the Democrats in a post-New Deal America.

Regarding Rockefeller, I will first say that obviously there have been bonafide liberals and progressives within the GOP ranks throughout his history; neither NC Yankee, I or anyone else who maintains that there was never this clean "party switch" has ever really disagreed with that ... our disagreement comes usually in the forms of 1) that not meaning that the GOP was necessarily ever, overall, to the "left" politically of the Democratic Party, 2) that these left-of-center Republicans ever outnumbered their centrist and right-of-center peers or 3) that this implied that a majority of left-leaning politicians weren't still Democrats in the contemporary time period of said liberal Republicans.  However, I do not believe this describes Rockefeller.  Even if I accept your assertion that Rockefeller's support for civil rights is inherently "liberal," that does not describe his entire ideology.  In the same way that many Democratic partisans today would not describe Charlie Baker or Larry Hogan as necessarily "liberals" but many partisan conservative Republicans might, Rockefeller was largely "liberal for a Republican."  While seeking the nomination, he said (perhaps agreeing with your assertion that support for civil rights had now become seen as "liberal") that he was an "economic conservative and a human-rights liberal."  I was simply maintaining that your average "liberal Republican" was not necessarily Hubert H. Humphrey with an R next to his name but rather a product of a left-leaning state, district or city in which he had to make concessions to simply be elected.  I really don't think it would have been much different from us calling Phil Scott a "liberal Republican," an assertion that Democrats scoff at today (instead insisting that he is simply a "moderate" and that "liberal Republicans don't exist"), and they scoffed at it back then.  Democrats have been more or less accusing the GOP of betraying its heritage as the "Party of Lincoln" since the second FDR won the Black vote, from what I have seen.

All "we" (the various people I recall you conversing with in that thread about party continuity) have ever alleged is that this is a lot more complicated than people make out, and relying on surface-level indicators (e.g., "supporting emancipation is inherently progressive," "supporting segregation is inherently conservative" or the worst, "the GOP used to support big government and the Democrats used to be a small government, states' rights party") will lead one down a path where they perform the wrong type of analysis for the period, giving politicians anachronistic labels that I humbly think they would disagree with.  For every dumbass Republican you see say, "The GOP freed the slaves!  The Democratic Party started the KKK!", you quite honestly see at least three or four nimrods on social media comment sections saying - as if they are bestowing long lost ancient knowledge on the rest of us and nobody has ever heard this hot take before - "ACTUALLY, the GOP used to be a progressive party, and the Democrats used to be the conservatives, and they switched in [insert arbitrary decade or year]."  Few credible historians place the Federalists to the left of the Democratic Republicans, and few place the Whigs to the left of their contemporary Democrats ... so the burden lies on those alleging that the Democratic Party of the mid- and late 1800s was clearly to the right of the GOP of that time period to articulate how exactly that came to be and how exactly it stopped being the case, and my humble opinion is that if that explanation relies too heavily on the rights of Black Americans, it will probably fall flat, especially if it fails to analyze the motives for which each party supports what it does.  Again, even if supporting an end to slavery or segregation IS, though I disagree, inherently progressive or liberal in all situations, that can still lead to a circumstance where there are conservatives supporting it and liberals opposing it.

I agree with most of what you’ve said here. My only quibble is that I do think that, speaking in terms of political philosophy, a genuine belief in civil rights and racial equality is inherently liberal, if we take liberalism to be the ideology which believes in freedom and equality for all. This does not mean that support for civil rights cannot be paired with conservative positions on other issues, but it is the liberal position on the issue of race. Of course one could argue that pre-1932 both parties fell broadly within the classical liberal tradition, but that is another debate...
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2020, 10:12:13 pm »
« Edited: July 27, 2020, 10:16:24 pm by RINO Tom »

The point is not really whether or not "support for 'civil rights'" is inherently liberal, though; it's about what the people in those times SAW it as, and if they didn't see it the same way we do ... then we can't accurately judge their ideologies based on the issue alone or even call them "liberal" or "conservative" on the issue even by itself.  How is that so controversial?  

Just as modern liberals do not consider the rights of the unborn/fetuses to fall under the umbrella of "civil rights," and conservatives who are pro-life are likely not taking that position from a "liberal" point of view, simply trying to extend universal rights to as many as possible ... 19th Century Democrats did not consider Black Americans to be part of the conversation on "equality," and they (correctly IMO) viewed the Republicans that supported including them in said conversation as doing so with ulterior motives, none of which carried the inherently liberal spirit of extending rights to those who deserve them but cannot attain them (e.g., Northern business interests or trying to rid society of sin).  Democrats of the era very clearly DID see themselves as more "liberal" on "civil rights issues" ... they just considered those issues to only encompass White immigrants of a different ethnic background or religion.  While I will not be able to produce the exact quote until I visit my parents' house again in a few weeks (from the book Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of the Civil War by Bruce Levine), Stephen Douglas declared before the 1860 election that a winning strategy for the Democrats was to make the election one about TOLERANCE, emphasizing that only the Democratic Party would stand by ALL White Americans, regardless of their ancestral origin, household structure or religious beliefs - phrasing the GOP as an intolerant bunch of religious fanatics, xenophobes and shills for Wall Street.  In a society where so few saw Black Americans as anything approaching equals, I would argue it's quite intellectually dishonest (if the ultimate objective is to try to objectively identify the contemporary "left" and "right" of the day) to look at the struggle for Black rights through the same framework that it was pitched in the mid-20th Century or today.  Again, if we are actively trying to discern THEIR ideologies, OUR contemporary ideologies can't get too far in the way.  We HAVE to look at why they supported what they did, not just what they supported.  Opposing slavery for "liberal" or "progressive" reasons (as many Republicans did) is indeed "liberal" ... doing so for non-liberal reasons is NOT, and ignoring slavery the same way you ignore your liberal calling to support the fetuses who are aborted (i.e., you think it's a ridiculous comparison ... I'm pro-choice, but I'm making a point here; you won't be "not a liberal" in 200 years if society views legal abortion as a backward black mark on our political history) does not make one a "conservative" on that issue.

In fact, I would largely argue that we only really began to associate supporting civil rights with being a "liberal" view after the Democratic Party itself (the clearly more liberal party by ANY stretch of the imagination by the 1930s and 1940s...) picked up the issue.  It's anachronistic to apply that framework to people decades and decades earlier, making a statement like "the GOP was more 'liberal' on civil rights before 1964" ridiculous in my mind (for the reasons I just stated, but also because the GOP position on civil rights was no different in 1964 than in 1960 or 1954).  A hypothetical Puritan-minded Republican who supported gay marriage being legalized in the 1920s as a ploy to get the government entirely out of marriage is neither "liberal" on that issue nor supporting what we now consider a "liberal" stance for anything approaching a "liberal" reason; frankly, the fact that we see it as "liberal" now (and it undeniably is) is irrelevant.

RE: Rockefeller ... come on, dude.  Is George W. Bush not an economic conservative because he ran up the debt?  Is Charlie Baker's ideology explained overly well by seeing what he thinks he can get away with in Massachusetts?
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Unconditional Surrender Truman
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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2020, 10:58:48 pm »

From my vantage point everything about opposition to slavery and segregation is liberal in nature, from a belief in individual rights, to the equality of man, to opposition to unjustly enforced hierarchies. I just can't see any way in which opposition to these institutions is ideologically conservative, so please explain your position if you will. And no, just because many abolitionists made moral and religious arguments, that doesn't make them conservative. Not to sound too much like Pete Buttigieg, but religion and morality are not exclusive domains of the political right, contrary to what conservative evangelicals would have you think. This is a point I've made a lot with you, but I think it bears repeating. Liberalism as an ideology literally has its roots in radical Protestant theology, and the two often went hand-in-hand well into the 19th century. Finally, I'd like to note that while conservatives did sometimes support an end to segregation, that doesn't make the position itself a conservative one. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. was a conservative who supported liberal racial policies, not for ideological reasons, but because he sought to enfranchise black Republican voters in the South.
I haven't played much of a role in this thread, but there's so much wrong with this that I couldn't pass it by. The first two sentences essentially state, it is impossible to be a conservative and anti-slavery/anti-racist, or at the very least, it is impossible to oppose slavery or racism for conservative reasons —but this is clearly false, and betrays a massive failure of imagination on your part. A Northern capitalist who opposed slavery for purely economic reasons (and there were many of them) and an anti-amalgamationist who opposed slavery because it forced whites to live in close proximity with blacks surely don't conform to any version of egalitarian liberalism —yet both were important constituencies in the Republican party of the 1850s. For every Frémont or Hamlin, there was a Preston Blair who didn't give a sh*t about black people but saw opposing slavery as in their economic self-interest. It really should not be terribly difficult to see how someone who supports free markets, corporate interests, and "traditional family values" would be anti-slavery.

Both Radicals and liberals flocked to the Republican party in the early years of its existence because it's foundational issue (limiting the spread of slavery) has obvious egalitarian connotations. These elements held a controlling share in the party during the 1856 campaign and remained a powerful contingent until 1876, surviving in some form until the 1960s. Meanwhile, those Republicans who were conservatives (a rapidly-growing majority after 1876) were Northern conservatives —and while certainly not "woke" by any modern standard, were at least friendlier to the idea of political equality for blacks than were Southern conservatives (who were, in fact, Democrats during this period). But this is a cultural distinction rather than an ideological one. As has already been noted, Phil Scott is obviously not conservative in the way Brian Kemp are Greg Abbot are conservatives; but that does not make him a liberal, except perhaps in a relative sense. The realignment of American politics along cultural lines has helped push these New England Yankees into the Democratic fold, but as we saw in Massachusetts this year, not every New England Democrat is on the left of the party.

There's a lot more that could be said (particularly with regard to equating Radicalism with Liberalism, the two being closely related but not identical movements), but it's late and this post is long enough already. Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2020, 09:58:18 pm »
« Edited: July 28, 2020, 10:03:46 pm by Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee »

From my vantage point everything about opposition to slavery and segregation is liberal in nature, from a belief in individual rights, to the equality of man, to opposition to unjustly enforced hierarchies. I just can't see any way in which opposition to these institutions is ideologically conservative, so please explain your position if you will. And no, just because many abolitionists made moral and religious arguments, that doesn't make them conservative. Not to sound too much like Pete Buttigieg, but religion and morality are not exclusive domains of the political right, contrary to what conservative evangelicals would have you think. This is a point I've made a lot with you, but I think it bears repeating. Liberalism as an ideology literally has its roots in radical Protestant theology, and the two often went hand-in-hand well into the 19th century. Finally, I'd like to note that while conservatives did sometimes support an end to segregation, that doesn't make the position itself a conservative one. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. was a conservative who supported liberal racial policies, not for ideological reasons, but because he sought to enfranchise black Republican voters in the South.
I haven't played much of a role in this thread, but there's so much wrong with this that I couldn't pass it by. The first two sentences essentially state, it is impossible to be a conservative and anti-slavery/anti-racist, or at the very least, it is impossible to oppose slavery or racism for conservative reasons —but this is clearly false, and betrays a massive failure of imagination on your part. A Northern capitalist who opposed slavery for purely economic reasons (and there were many of them) and an anti-amalgamationist who opposed slavery because it forced whites to live in close proximity with blacks surely don't conform to any version of egalitarian liberalism —yet both were important constituencies in the Republican party of the 1850s. For every Frémont or Hamlin, there was a Preston Blair who didn't give a sh*t about black people but saw opposing slavery as in their economic self-interest. It really should not be terribly difficult to see how someone who supports free markets, corporate interests, and "traditional family values" would be anti-slavery.

Both Radicals and liberals flocked to the Republican party in the early years of its existence because it's foundational issue (limiting the spread of slavery) has obvious egalitarian connotations. These elements held a controlling share in the party during the 1856 campaign and remained a powerful contingent until 1876, surviving in some form until the 1960s. Meanwhile, those Republicans who were conservatives (a rapidly-growing majority after 1876) were Northern conservatives —and while certainly not "woke" by any modern standard, were at least friendlier to the idea of political equality for blacks than were Southern conservatives (who were, in fact, Democrats during this period). But this is a cultural distinction rather than an ideological one. As has already been noted, Phil Scott is obviously not conservative in the way Brian Kemp are Greg Abbot are conservatives; but that does not make him a liberal, except perhaps in a relative sense. The realignment of American politics along cultural lines has helped push these New England Yankees into the Democratic fold, but as we saw in Massachusetts this year, not every New England Democrat is on the left of the party.

There's a lot more that could be said (particularly with regard to equating Radicalism with Liberalism, the two being closely related but not identical movements), but it's late and this post is long enough already. Tongue

Its only two paragraphs. Tongue long enough? That is like Grant calling it quits after day one at Shiloh. P

Yes, this gets back to the point that I made with regards to RP McM about one dimensional narratives.

To add to what Truman has said, you have to consider the Cultural Imperialist Yankees.

This is the oft cited example for most every Lost Cause whataboutery usual involving Native Americans. That being said, the fact that it is drawn attention to does not make them non-existent, though they do exaggerate for obvious reasons.

There were a number of very zealous protestants who wanted to remake the world and the country in "God's Image" and it was to this element that they sought to "Civilize" the "lesser" cultures and turn them into "Civilized Christian Citizens". This is inherently white, cultural and religious supremacist in its fundamental basis. The reason why they opposed slavery was because 1. they believe it hindered civilizing the slaves and 2. The South passed restrictions on "dangerous" religious instruction after Nat Turner's rebellion in the 1830's.

It is in reaction to this very pious element that you see pro-slavery politicians like Jefferson Davis begin to promote on a much wider scale a view that slavery is "endorsed by the bible" and that slavery itself is a "civilizing force" of its own and a "much better one" at that then the Yankee's Puritanical zealotry.

The historiography completely eliminated this Northern pious element by the mid 2000s and this was to the point where many were saying things like "atheists led the charge for abolition, while Christians justified its continued existence", something that was common in many areas of discussion on this during the mid 2000s when I was in school. Of course this is a one dimensional narrative and yes there were atheists pushing for abolition and their were Christians defending the institution.

But this narrative completely ignores the large number of pious protestant sects in the NE who on some level embraced this zealous desire to "save the souls of the 'lesser' races". Yes there is a certain egalitarian aspect to this at least superficially in terms of their objective, but that doesn't change the fact that this is still cultural imperialism, white supremacy and religious intolerance, that is then being channeled towards abolition of slavery.

For all of the atheists and transcendentalists and such forth, and the Unitarians (which I should point out were themselves much more Conservative in the 19th century then they are now), these were tiny fractions usually centered in small pockets or elite urban segments. Compared to the very large numbers of Congregationalists, Northern Baptists and other similar groups of mostly Calvinist teachings, that formed the back bone of the GOP in the 19th century and held views that would place them on par with the Evangelicals of today in their fervor.

I must caveat not everyone of these pious types was how do I say it, consciously motivated by white supremacy, many were motivated by a strong sense of right and wrong though how much of that is framed by the religious angle and thus impossible to unpack from the supremacist dynamic in question is hard to say and would need a more in depth analysis.
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« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2020, 05:18:00 am »

From my vantage point everything about opposition to slavery and segregation is liberal in nature, from a belief in individual rights, to the equality of man, to opposition to unjustly enforced hierarchies. I just can't see any way in which opposition to these institutions is ideologically conservative, so please explain your position if you will. And no, just because many abolitionists made moral and religious arguments, that doesn't make them conservative. Not to sound too much like Pete Buttigieg, but religion and morality are not exclusive domains of the political right, contrary to what conservative evangelicals would have you think. This is a point I've made a lot with you, but I think it bears repeating. Liberalism as an ideology literally has its roots in radical Protestant theology, and the two often went hand-in-hand well into the 19th century. Finally, I'd like to note that while conservatives did sometimes support an end to segregation, that doesn't make the position itself a conservative one. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. was a conservative who supported liberal racial policies, not for ideological reasons, but because he sought to enfranchise black Republican voters in the South.
I haven't played much of a role in this thread, but there's so much wrong with this that I couldn't pass it by. The first two sentences essentially state, it is impossible to be a conservative and anti-slavery/anti-racist, or at the very least, it is impossible to oppose slavery or racism for conservative reasons —but this is clearly false, and betrays a massive failure of imagination on your part. A Northern capitalist who opposed slavery for purely economic reasons (and there were many of them) and an anti-amalgamationist who opposed slavery because it forced whites to live in close proximity with blacks surely don't conform to any version of egalitarian liberalism —yet both were important constituencies in the Republican party of the 1850s. For every Frémont or Hamlin, there was a Preston Blair who didn't give a sh*t about black people but saw opposing slavery as in their economic self-interest. It really should not be terribly difficult to see how someone who supports free markets, corporate interests, and "traditional family values" would be anti-slavery.

Both Radicals and liberals flocked to the Republican party in the early years of its existence because it's foundational issue (limiting the spread of slavery) has obvious egalitarian connotations. These elements held a controlling share in the party during the 1856 campaign and remained a powerful contingent until 1876, surviving in some form until the 1960s. Meanwhile, those Republicans who were conservatives (a rapidly-growing majority after 1876) were Northern conservatives —and while certainly not "woke" by any modern standard, were at least friendlier to the idea of political equality for blacks than were Southern conservatives (who were, in fact, Democrats during this period). But this is a cultural distinction rather than an ideological one. As has already been noted, Phil Scott is obviously not conservative in the way Brian Kemp are Greg Abbot are conservatives; but that does not make him a liberal, except perhaps in a relative sense. The realignment of American politics along cultural lines has helped push these New England Yankees into the Democratic fold, but as we saw in Massachusetts this year, not every New England Democrat is on the left of the party.

There's a lot more that could be said (particularly with regard to equating Radicalism with Liberalism, the two being closely related but not identical movements), but it's late and this post is long enough already. Tongue

Its only two paragraphs. Tongue long enough? That is like Grant calling it quits after day one at Shiloh. P

Yes, this gets back to the point that I made with regards to RP McM about one dimensional narratives.

To add to what Truman has said, you have to consider the Cultural Imperialist Yankees.

This is the oft cited example for most every Lost Cause whataboutery usual involving Native Americans. That being said, the fact that it is drawn attention to does not make them non-existent, though they do exaggerate for obvious reasons.

There were a number of very zealous protestants who wanted to remake the world and the country in "God's Image" and it was to this element that they sought to "Civilize" the "lesser" cultures and turn them into "Civilized Christian Citizens". This is inherently white, cultural and religious supremacist in its fundamental basis. The reason why they opposed slavery was because 1. they believe it hindered civilizing the slaves and 2. The South passed restrictions on "dangerous" religious instruction after Nat Turner's rebellion in the 1830's.

It is in reaction to this very pious element that you see pro-slavery politicians like Jefferson Davis begin to promote on a much wider scale a view that slavery is "endorsed by the bible" and that slavery itself is a "civilizing force" of its own and a "much better one" at that then the Yankee's Puritanical zealotry.

The historiography completely eliminated this Northern pious element by the mid 2000s and this was to the point where many were saying things like "atheists led the charge for abolition, while Christians justified its continued existence", something that was common in many areas of discussion on this during the mid 2000s when I was in school. Of course this is a one dimensional narrative and yes there were atheists pushing for abolition and their were Christians defending the institution.

But this narrative completely ignores the large number of pious protestant sects in the NE who on some level embraced this zealous desire to "save the souls of the 'lesser' races". Yes there is a certain egalitarian aspect to this at least superficially in terms of their objective, but that doesn't change the fact that this is still cultural imperialism, white supremacy and religious intolerance, that is then being channeled towards abolition of slavery.

For all of the atheists and transcendentalists and such forth, and the Unitarians (which I should point out were themselves much more Conservative in the 19th century then they are now), these were tiny fractions usually centered in small pockets or elite urban segments. Compared to the very large numbers of Congregationalists, Northern Baptists and other similar groups of mostly Calvinist teachings, that formed the back bone of the GOP in the 19th century and held views that would place them on par with the Evangelicals of today in their fervor.

I must caveat not everyone of these pious types was how do I say it, consciously motivated by white supremacy, many were motivated by a strong sense of right and wrong though how much of that is framed by the religious angle and thus impossible to unpack from the supremacist dynamic in question is hard to say and would need a more in depth analysis.

What is interesting is that these Puritans’ views, while not themselves liberal, had a profound influence on liberalism in both the UK and the US, with as you mentioned a strong sense of fairness/morality and a certain egalitarian and ‘common good’ spirit.
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« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2020, 10:35:41 am »
« Edited: July 29, 2020, 10:50:56 am by HenryWallaceVP »

From my vantage point everything about opposition to slavery and segregation is liberal in nature, from a belief in individual rights, to the equality of man, to opposition to unjustly enforced hierarchies. I just can't see any way in which opposition to these institutions is ideologically conservative, so please explain your position if you will. And no, just because many abolitionists made moral and religious arguments, that doesn't make them conservative. Not to sound too much like Pete Buttigieg, but religion and morality are not exclusive domains of the political right, contrary to what conservative evangelicals would have you think. This is a point I've made a lot with you, but I think it bears repeating. Liberalism as an ideology literally has its roots in radical Protestant theology, and the two often went hand-in-hand well into the 19th century. Finally, I'd like to note that while conservatives did sometimes support an end to segregation, that doesn't make the position itself a conservative one. Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. was a conservative who supported liberal racial policies, not for ideological reasons, but because he sought to enfranchise black Republican voters in the South.
I haven't played much of a role in this thread, but there's so much wrong with this that I couldn't pass it by. The first two sentences essentially state, it is impossible to be a conservative and anti-slavery/anti-racist, or at the very least, it is impossible to oppose slavery or racism for conservative reasons —but this is clearly false, and betrays a massive failure of imagination on your part. A Northern capitalist who opposed slavery for purely economic reasons (and there were many of them) and an anti-amalgamationist who opposed slavery because it forced whites to live in close proximity with blacks surely don't conform to any version of egalitarian liberalism —yet both were important constituencies in the Republican party of the 1850s. For every Frémont or Hamlin, there was a Preston Blair who didn't give a sh*t about black people but saw opposing slavery as in their economic self-interest. It really should not be terribly difficult to see how someone who supports free markets, corporate interests, and "traditional family values" would be anti-slavery.

Both Radicals and liberals flocked to the Republican party in the early years of its existence because it's foundational issue (limiting the spread of slavery) has obvious egalitarian connotations. These elements held a controlling share in the party during the 1856 campaign and remained a powerful contingent until 1876, surviving in some form until the 1960s. Meanwhile, those Republicans who were conservatives (a rapidly-growing majority after 1876) were Northern conservatives —and while certainly not "woke" by any modern standard, were at least friendlier to the idea of political equality for blacks than were Southern conservatives (who were, in fact, Democrats during this period). But this is a cultural distinction rather than an ideological one. As has already been noted, Phil Scott is obviously not conservative in the way Brian Kemp are Greg Abbot are conservatives; but that does not make him a liberal, except perhaps in a relative sense. The realignment of American politics along cultural lines has helped push these New England Yankees into the Democratic fold, but as we saw in Massachusetts this year, not every New England Democrat is on the left of the party.

There's a lot more that could be said (particularly with regard to equating Radicalism with Liberalism, the two being closely related but not identical movements), but it's late and this post is long enough already. Tongue

Its only two paragraphs. Tongue long enough? That is like Grant calling it quits after day one at Shiloh. P

Yes, this gets back to the point that I made with regards to RP McM about one dimensional narratives.

To add to what Truman has said, you have to consider the Cultural Imperialist Yankees.

This is the oft cited example for most every Lost Cause whataboutery usual involving Native Americans. That being said, the fact that it is drawn attention to does not make them non-existent, though they do exaggerate for obvious reasons.

There were a number of very zealous protestants who wanted to remake the world and the country in "God's Image" and it was to this element that they sought to "Civilize" the "lesser" cultures and turn them into "Civilized Christian Citizens". This is inherently white, cultural and religious supremacist in its fundamental basis. The reason why they opposed slavery was because 1. they believe it hindered civilizing the slaves and 2. The South passed restrictions on "dangerous" religious instruction after Nat Turner's rebellion in the 1830's.

It is in reaction to this very pious element that you see pro-slavery politicians like Jefferson Davis begin to promote on a much wider scale a view that slavery is "endorsed by the bible" and that slavery itself is a "civilizing force" of its own and a "much better one" at that then the Yankee's Puritanical zealotry.

The historiography completely eliminated this Northern pious element by the mid 2000s and this was to the point where many were saying things like "atheists led the charge for abolition, while Christians justified its continued existence", something that was common in many areas of discussion on this during the mid 2000s when I was in school. Of course this is a one dimensional narrative and yes there were atheists pushing for abolition and their were Christians defending the institution.

But this narrative completely ignores the large number of pious protestant sects in the NE who on some level embraced this zealous desire to "save the souls of the 'lesser' races". Yes there is a certain egalitarian aspect to this at least superficially in terms of their objective, but that doesn't change the fact that this is still cultural imperialism, white supremacy and religious intolerance, that is then being channeled towards abolition of slavery.

For all of the atheists and transcendentalists and such forth, and the Unitarians (which I should point out were themselves much more Conservative in the 19th century then they are now), these were tiny fractions usually centered in small pockets or elite urban segments. Compared to the very large numbers of Congregationalists, Northern Baptists and other similar groups of mostly Calvinist teachings, that formed the back bone of the GOP in the 19th century and held views that would place them on par with the Evangelicals of today in their fervor.

I must caveat not everyone of these pious types was how do I say it, consciously motivated by white supremacy, many were motivated by a strong sense of right and wrong though how much of that is framed by the religious angle and thus impossible to unpack from the supremacist dynamic in question is hard to say and would need a more in depth analysis.

What is interesting is that these Puritans’ views, while not themselves liberal, had a profound influence on liberalism in both the UK and the US, with as you mentioned a strong sense of fairness/morality and a certain egalitarian and ‘common good’ spirit.

Maybe the 19th century Puritans weren't liberal, but the earlier generations certainly were. Compared to the High Church Anglican royalists of the 17th century and the Tory loyalists of the 18th, the English and American Puritans were downright revolutionary. But even in the 19th century, there were still bona fide political radicals like William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown who descended from the Puritan tradition, and the Populist movement of the 1890s was also home to many Pietistic Protestants, including William Jennings Bryan himself. I feel like RINO Tom is too influenced by modern associations with Puritanism, rather than how it was actually perceived at the time. To quote this review of a history of the Puritan political tradition,

Quote
For several centuries the term "Puritan" was synonymous with democracy, enlightenment, rebellion against tyranny, freedom, and much else that was laudable. In the last century an entire reversal has occurred, making the term to mean repressive, hypocritical, censorious, prudish, and worse ... From 1620 to 1900 the great majority of commentators, including such non-Calvinists as Emerson, Thoreau, and Unitarians and liberals generally, expressed their profuse admiration of the Puritans.

Conversely, many defenders of the slave power and the Confederacy were unabashed in their conservatism; to the point that their political thought has been described as the "Reactionary Enlightenment". Look at the first sentence in that preview, where the Confederate George Fitzhugh states his belief in "a conservative reaction" and "rolling back the Reformation". One of the main anti-Reconstruction parties in post-war Virginia was also called the Conservative Party - a mere coincidence?
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« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2020, 11:30:10 am »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).
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« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2020, 12:07:56 pm »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

A lot of times politics is defined by the opposition in one form or another. Perceptions therefore internally may well have been positive, but externally, there would be more criticism hence why the South would tend to view Puritanical New England in a certain lens. It is no accident that Jefferson, the champion of separation of Church and state is from he South and meanwhile Connecticut is one of the few people taxing people to support a state church. Likewise, the immigrants and thus challengers to this "established" puritan/calvinist political dynamic end up in a political alliance with the South. These same general patterns hold up for a good long while too.

One of the main anti-Reconstruction parties in post-war Virginia was also called the Conservative Party - a mere coincidence?

Likewise in NC but in NC it was led by an ex Whig, Zebulon Vance. These people don't just melt into the sand, the cultural elites are still the cultural elites. Many of these same "Conservatives" are the bourbon Democrats fighting back against populist/progressive (economically speaking) Democrats in the 1890s and 1900s.

Let us not forget, there was a Whig and before that a Federalist element in the South. They are drawn into the one party establishment of the Jim Crow era South and in some cases ended up leading it until they were overthrown by internal revolutions or their descendants ended up revolting themselves such as in 1948.
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« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2020, 01:02:29 pm »
« Edited: July 29, 2020, 06:21:12 pm by HenryWallaceVP »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

A lot of times politics is defined by the opposition in one form or another. Perceptions therefore internally may well have been positive, but externally, there would be more criticism hence why the South would tend to view Puritanical New England in a certain lens. It is no accident that Jefferson, the champion of separation of Church and state is from he South and meanwhile Connecticut is one of the few people taxing people to support a state church. Likewise, the immigrants and thus challengers to this "established" puritan/calvinist political dynamic end up in a political alliance with the South. These same general patterns hold up for a good long while too.

That may have been true for Jefferson and his cohort, but Fitzhugh's criticism of the Puritans is very, very different, and I think is more indicative of the post-Jeffersonian South's view on New England. In this revealing chapter on the Reformation from his notorious book Cannibals All!, Fitzhugh savages the Puritans for allowing "liberty of the press, liberty of speech, freedom of religion, or rather freedom from religion, and the unlimited right of private judgment." Ironically, if Jefferson was still alive he would’ve been forced to agree with the Puritans and take their side against Fitzhugh.
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2020, 06:19:01 pm »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

A lot of times politics is defined by the opposition in one form or another. Perceptions therefore internally may well have been positive, but externally, there would be more criticism hence why the South would tend to view Puritanical New England in a certain lens. It is no accident that Jefferson, the champion of separation of Church and state is from he South and meanwhile Connecticut is one of the few people taxing people to support a state church. Likewise, the immigrants and thus challengers to this "established" puritan/calvinist political dynamic end up in a political alliance with the South. These same general patterns hold up for a good long while too.

That may have been true for Jefferson and his cohort, but Fitzhugh's criticism of the Puritans is very, very different, and I think is more indicative of the post-Jeffersonian South's view on New England. In this revealing chapter on the Reformation from his notorious book Cannibals All!, Fitzhugh savages the Puritans for believing in "Liberty of the press, liberty of speech, freedom of religion, or rather freedom from religion, and the unlimited right of private judgment." Ironically, Jefferson must have found these Puritan principles to be virtues rather than vices, and if alive would’ve rushed to their defense against Fitzhugh.
Fitzhugh is an interesting character. As you'll know if you've read Cannibals All!, he contends that 19/20 men are unfit to govern themselves and flirts with a race-blind version of slavery in which poor whites would also be enslaved. But to your point with regard to Jefferson: there was, in fact, a theme among some slavery appologists of denouncing Jefferson, or at least disavowing his ideas concerning the equality of all men. Alexander Stephens in his Cornerstone Speech portrays Jefferson as a sort of John the Baptist to John C. Calhoun's Christ, an enlightened teacher who fell short of realizing the "great truth" that slavery is a "positive good." Indiana's John Petit went still further, declaring the famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence to be a "self-evident lie." So there's certainly some merit to the contention that the most extreme defenders of slavery understood themselves to be at odds with the more radical parts of Jefferson's legacy.
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« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2020, 09:27:04 pm »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

A lot of times politics is defined by the opposition in one form or another. Perceptions therefore internally may well have been positive, but externally, there would be more criticism hence why the South would tend to view Puritanical New England in a certain lens. It is no accident that Jefferson, the champion of separation of Church and state is from he South and meanwhile Connecticut is one of the few people taxing people to support a state church. Likewise, the immigrants and thus challengers to this "established" puritan/calvinist political dynamic end up in a political alliance with the South. These same general patterns hold up for a good long while too.

That may have been true for Jefferson and his cohort, but Fitzhugh's criticism of the Puritans is very, very different, and I think is more indicative of the post-Jeffersonian South's view on New England. In this revealing chapter on the Reformation from his notorious book Cannibals All!, Fitzhugh savages the Puritans for believing in "Liberty of the press, liberty of speech, freedom of religion, or rather freedom from religion, and the unlimited right of private judgment." Ironically, Jefferson must have found these Puritan principles to be virtues rather than vices, and if alive would’ve rushed to their defense against Fitzhugh.
Fitzhugh is an interesting character. As you'll know if you've read Cannibals All!, he contends that 19/20 men are unfit to govern themselves and flirts with a race-blind version of slavery in which poor whites would also be enslaved. But to your point with regard to Jefferson: there was, in fact, a theme among some slavery appologists of denouncing Jefferson, or at least disavowing his ideas concerning the equality of all men. Alexander Stephens in his Cornerstone Speech portrays Jefferson as a sort of John the Baptist to John C. Calhoun's Christ, an enlightened teacher who fell short of realizing the "great truth" that slavery is a "positive good." Indiana's John Petit went still further, declaring the famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence to be a "self-evident lie." So there's certainly some merit to the contention that the most extreme defenders of slavery understood themselves to be at odds with the more radical parts of Jefferson's legacy.

Stephens disagreed with Jefferson in that he would insert a "white" into the phrase "all men are created equal.."    He believed a society that subjugated the black man to the white man was more moral than one which subjugated one white man to another. 

Quote
its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

In that sense for Stephens the Confederacy was a fundamentally radical project, even while conserving Southern civilization.
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« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2020, 12:20:09 am »
« Edited: August 01, 2020, 10:26:54 am by HenryWallaceVP »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

I think there is some truth to that, but here's why I ultimately disagree. Even if we accept that the urban Catholic Democrat was the liberal to the Wasp Republican's conservative, things are very different when we look outside the North. In the third party system, the Midwest and Northeast were both heavily contested regions with many swing states, while the West and South provided the backbone of support for the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. The reason I can't call the Republicans in this period a conservative party is because their main base of support, the West, was by far the most liberal region in the country. You've probably heard of the Frontier thesis, of how the Wild West was the most free, liberty-loving (and lawless) part of the country due to its distance from the power base in the East. And indeed, the Wild West was remarkably egalitarian. In the mid-19th century it was a hotbed of Free Soil and early GOP radicalism as typified by John C. Frémont. Years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the West led the nation in women's suffrage by leaps and bounds. Economically, it was the region most strongly opposed to the gold standard. All this is not to say the West was some paradise of tolerance - it was full of nasty anti-Chinese racism -  but overall the region was far and away the most liberal in the United States of the 19th century (also, guess who was perceived as the more anti-Chinese candidate in 1880 - you might be surprised).

Now let's look at the Democrats' main bastion of support, the South. In the 19th century, the Southern United States was without a doubt the most reactionary, hierarchical, and backward part of the country. I don't think that really needs explaining. So to recap ... in the North, we have liberal Catholic Democrats versus conservative Protestant Republicans. In the West and South, the most Republican and Democratic regions respectively, we have progressive Republican governors granting women the right to vote on the one hand, and tyrannical Bourbon Democrats disenfranchising blacks and poor whites alike on the other. This evident lack of ideological consistency is why I cannot call either party definitively liberal or conservative. The only thing making one man a Republican and another a Democrat could be, say, their view on the tariff. Thus both parties ended up with liberal and conservative wings that might agree on one issue, but disagree on everything else and often spend more time fighting each other than the other party. So then, when did the Democrats become the obviously more liberal party? I say it happened with FDR. Under Franklin Roosevelt, the Democrats instituted expansive and clearly left-wing programs that went far beyond the progressive reforms of either Teddy or Wilson. It was at this moment that the Democratic Party ceased to be a fundamentally Southern organization with semi-independent branches in Northern cities, and became a truly national liberal party.
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« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2020, 11:08:26 am »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

I think there is some truth to that, but here's why I ultimately disagree. Even if we accept that the urban Catholic Democrat was the liberal to the Wasp Republican's conservative, things are very different when we look outside the North. In the third party system, the Midwest and Northeast were both heavily contested regions with many swing states, while the West and South provided the backbone of support for the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. The reason I can't call the Republicans in this period a conservative party is because their main base of support, the West, was by far the most liberal region in the country. You've probably heard of the Frontier thesis, of how the Wild West was the most free, liberty-loving (and lawless) part of the country due to its distance from the power base in the East. And indeed, the Wild West was remarkably egalitarian. In the mid-19th century it was a hotbed of Free Soil and early GOP radicalism as typified by John C. Frémont. Years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the West led the nation in women's suffrage by leaps and bounds. Economically, it was the region most strongly opposed to the gold standard. All this is not to say the West was some paradise of tolerance - it was full of nasty anti-Chinese racism -  but overall the region was far and away the most liberal in the United States of the 19th century (also, guess who was perceived as the more anti-Chinese candidate in 1880 - you might be surprised).

Now let's look at the Democrats' main bastion of support, the South. In the 19th century, the Southern United States was without a doubt the most reactionary, hierarchical, and backward part of the country. I don't think that really needs explaining. So to recap ... in the North, we have liberal Catholic Democrats versus conservative Protestant Republicans. In the West and South, the most Republican and Democratic regions respectively, we have progressive Republican governors granting women the right to vote on the one hand, and tyrannical Bourbon Democrats disenfranchising blacks and poor whites alike on the other. This evident lack of ideological consistency is why I cannot call either party definitively liberal or conservative. The only thing making one man a Republican and another a Democrat could be, say, their view on the tariff. Thus both parties ended up with liberal and conservative wings that might agree on one issue, but disagree on everything else and often spend more time fighting each other than the other party. So then, when did the Democrats become the obviously more liberal party? I say it happened with FDR. Under Franklin Roosevelt, the Democrats instituted expansive and clearly left-wing programs that went far beyond the progressive reforms of either Teddy or Wilson. It was at this moment that the Democratic Party ceased to be a fundamentally Southern organization with semi-independent branches in Northern cities, and became a truly national liberal party.

1. In what world the West was the primary base of support of Republicans when Western states were still few and sparsely populated?

2. Western Republicans were not definitely liberal only for expanding they expanded the right to vote, even if expanding the right to vote is liberal.

3. Southern Democrats - many of whom were not Bourbon, starting with Pitchfork Ben - were not definitely conservative only for terrorizing Black people and restricting voting rights, even if restricting the right to vote is conservative.

4. You may be forgetting that during your time frame more than half of the population and much more than half of the voters were in the North.

5. The view of the tariff was a freaking important thing!

I'll leave the rest of the rebuttal (I am sure there is a rest) to posters more competent than me.
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Statilius the Epicurean
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2020, 11:53:17 am »

Richard Bensel's Yankee Leviathan: The Origins of Central State Authority in America, 1859-1877 has an interesting analysis of the Republican coalition which relates slightly to what's been discussed above. I'll quote the wiki summary:

Quote
Finance capitalists' primary interest was in the overall stability of the financial system. This interest militated against continued Reconstruction for several reasons.

The potential for monetary instability as a result of Treasury incompetence made finance capitalists skeptical of state intervention in the economy. Finance capitalists supported a return to the gold standard, which would re-expose the United States economy to international influence, especially the British sterling, widely seen as more trustworthy and stable than US Treasury regulation. Finance capitalists' general suspicion toward the central state also meant they opposed practically every measure that would increase state revenue and supported tax reductions. A permanent military occupation of the South by federal troops would be extremely expensive, and would require increased extraction from the private economy, a slower return to the gold standard, and impeded the stabilization of the national debt.

Reconstruction threatened to continue the disruption of cotton production. Because most cotton exported for the international market went through Northeastern ports, Northern financiers had a strong interest in uninterrupted cotton production.

Supporters of Radical Reconstruction (notably, a Reconstruction bill sponsored by Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens) aimed to enact a highly redistributive program for the South in order to create an economically independent base for the Republican Party. Under such a program, on the basis of loyalty to the Union, Freedmen and poor yeomen Southern white Unionists would receive wealth directly confiscated from Southern separatists. This had the potential to transform a race-based cleavage between Blacks and Whites into a class-based cleavage between poor farmers and landholding elites. At this point, it was difficult to see how this conflict could be contained in the South. Northern labor would almost certainly begin to make demands for eligibility in the transfer of Southern wealth to the lower classes, since they had remained loyal to the Union as well. This was an unattractive option for Northern capitalist members of the Republican coalition, both because of the disruptive effect on Southern agricultural production and the potential for an increase in generalized class conflict.

Bensel shows that Republican politicians representing banking districts voted closely in line with the interests of finance capital; a large part of the Republican coalition was thereby put against the project of Reconstruction and the state-enhancing measures that would have come with it, while other Northern sections of the Republican Party did not have deep enough interests in Reconstruction to constitute a veto over the influence of finance capitalists. In other words, the client-group formation path of state-building had a strong self-limiting character, wherein further state-building was stymied by this client group.

Tl;dr: the Republican coalition was split between Radicals who wanted to enact a redistributive programme in the South and those linked to Northern financial interests who feared the financial cost and class conflict blowback on the North. The latter won out and ended Reconstruction.
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HenryWallaceVP
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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2020, 01:38:39 pm »
« Edited: August 01, 2020, 02:13:42 pm by HenryWallaceVP »

^ I don't think the assertion that the slave power in the South was fundamentally right wing in any way necessitates that the Republicans opposing them in the North, and therefore looking to curb slavery's expansion and existence, were therefore in any way left wing (or that the Democrats in the North that apologized for said Southerners weren't left-of-center, themselves).  Which is kind of the broader point.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence from primary sources that suggest the basic dynamic of the Nineteenth Century North was a pro-immigration, more-pro-separation-of-church-and-state and economically left-leaning Democratic Party and a rather xenophobic, moralist and pro-business Republican Party ... then you had the Southern planters, who happened to be in the same party as the Northern Democrats, effectively making division over slavery a "Democrats problem."

And I do appreciate that being "Puritanical" has a more complicated history than a direct line back from modern day Evangelicals screaming about the culture wars, but I think that from what I have read about this period, the Democrats did in fact see these moralist Republicans as fundamentally "right wing" in this sense (which I again maintain is more important than our analysis with modern lens).

I think there is some truth to that, but here's why I ultimately disagree. Even if we accept that the urban Catholic Democrat was the liberal to the Wasp Republican's conservative, things are very different when we look outside the North. In the third party system, the Midwest and Northeast were both heavily contested regions with many swing states, while the West and South provided the backbone of support for the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. The reason I can't call the Republicans in this period a conservative party is because their main base of support, the West, was by far the most liberal region in the country. You've probably heard of the Frontier thesis, of how the Wild West was the most free, liberty-loving (and lawless) part of the country due to its distance from the power base in the East. And indeed, the Wild West was remarkably egalitarian. In the mid-19th century it was a hotbed of Free Soil and early GOP radicalism as typified by John C. Frémont. Years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the West led the nation in women's suffrage by leaps and bounds. Economically, it was the region most strongly opposed to the gold standard. All this is not to say the West was some paradise of tolerance - it was full of nasty anti-Chinese racism -  but overall the region was far and away the most liberal in the United States of the 19th century (also, guess who was perceived as the more anti-Chinese candidate in 1880 - you might be surprised).

Now let's look at the Democrats' main bastion of support, the South. In the 19th century, the Southern United States was without a doubt the most reactionary, hierarchical, and backward part of the country. I don't think that really needs explaining. So to recap ... in the North, we have liberal Catholic Democrats versus conservative Protestant Republicans. In the West and South, the most Republican and Democratic regions respectively, we have progressive Republican governors granting women the right to vote on the one hand, and tyrannical Bourbon Democrats disenfranchising blacks and poor whites alike on the other. This evident lack of ideological consistency is why I cannot call either party definitively liberal or conservative. The only thing making one man a Republican and another a Democrat could be, say, their view on the tariff. Thus both parties ended up with liberal and conservative wings that might agree on one issue, but disagree on everything else and often spend more time fighting each other than the other party. So then, when did the Democrats become the obviously more liberal party? I say it happened with FDR. Under Franklin Roosevelt, the Democrats instituted expansive and clearly left-wing programs that went far beyond the progressive reforms of either Teddy or Wilson. It was at this moment that the Democratic Party ceased to be a fundamentally Southern organization with semi-independent branches in Northern cities, and became a truly national liberal party.

1. In what world the West was the primary base of support of Republicans when Western states were still few and sparsely populated?

2. Western Republicans were not definitely liberal only for expanding they expanded the right to vote, even if expanding the right to vote is liberal.

3. Southern Democrats - many of whom were not Bourbon, starting with Pitchfork Ben - were not definitely conservative only for terrorizing Black people and restricting voting rights, even if restricting the right to vote is conservative.

4. You may be forgetting that during your time frame more than half of the population and much more than half of the voters were in the North.

5. The view of the tariff was a freaking important thing!

I'll leave the rest of the rebuttal (I am sure there is a rest) to posters more competent than me.

1. Look at presidential election maps from the Third Party System and tell me which region out of the South, Northeast, Midwest, and West most consistently voted Republican. Maybe I shouldn't have said "base of support" since they were so small, but the Western states were the most strongly Republican in the country.

2. I've given examples of liberal views held by Western Republicans (opposition to slavery, support for women's suffrage, opposition to the gold standard), and provided evidence that the West was viewed as liberal-minded at the time (the Frontier thesis), so what else do you want me to prove?

3. It is no coincidence that many anti-Reconstruction parties in the South were self-described "Conservative Parties" that quite explicitly advocated reactionary and anti-equality beliefs. If that's not conservative, then I don't know what is. In regard to the Populists, most Southern Populists during and after Reconstruction ran on fusion tickets with the Republicans in order to oppose the Democratic ruling class. Seeking to protect Reconstruction and redistribute wealth to the impoverished of both races, these were genuinely radical efforts. Predictably, they were violently driven out of power across the South by conservative Bourbon Democrats, with the Wilmington Insurrection being a primary example. Once back in power, the Democrats set about dismantling Reconstruction and disenfranchising the poor and the Black in order to ensure that true equality would never reach the South.

4. I haven't forgotten that, but it's important to remember where the parties came from and what shaped their ideologies. The Democrats were fundamentally a party of the South and Southern interests, while the Republicans were birthed in (Mid) Western states. I will grant however that post-1896, the Northeast rather than the West was the most pro-Republican region.

5. Yes, but it need not define whether one be a liberal or conservative. The Greenbacks, who I tend to agree with, had varying views on trade but were all regarded as leftists of some sort. They also rightly contended that trade was mostly a distraction used by both parties to avoid talking about more pressing issues for the working class like currency reform, government farm relief, and public ownership of utilities. When William Jennings Bryan made currency reform the centerpiece of his 1896 campaign, he was attacked by the National (Gold) Democrats for not emphasizing free trade enough when he could've made it the defining issue separating him from the ardent protectionist McKinley.
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Battista Minola 1616
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« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2020, 02:27:46 pm »


1. In what world the West was the primary base of support of Republicans when Western states were still few and sparsely populated?

2. Western Republicans were not definitely liberal only for expanding they expanded the right to vote, even if expanding the right to vote is liberal.

3. Southern Democrats - many of whom were not Bourbon, starting with Pitchfork Ben - were not definitely conservative only for terrorizing Black people and restricting voting rights, even if restricting the right to vote is conservative.

4. You may be forgetting that during your time frame more than half of the population and much more than half of the voters were in the North.

5. The view of the tariff was a freaking important thing!

I'll leave the rest of the rebuttal (I am sure there is a rest) to posters more competent than me.

1. Look at presidential election maps from the Third Party System and tell me which region out of the South, Northeast, Midwest, and West most consistently voted Republican. By the Fourth Party System the Republican base of support had shifted to the Northeast, but in the Third it was still clearly the West.

2. I've given examples of liberal views held by Western Republicans (opposition to slavery, support for women's suffrage, opposition to the gold standard), and provided evidence that the West was viewed as liberal-minded at the time (the Frontier thesis), so what else do you want me to prove?

3. It is no coincidence that many anti-Reconstruction parties in the South were self-described "Conservative Parties" that quite explicitly advocated reactionary and anti-equality beliefs. If that's not conservative, then I don't know what is. In regard to the Populists, most Southern Populists during and after Reconstruction ran on fusion tickets with the Republicans in order to oppose the Democratic ruling class. Seeking to protect Reconstruction and redistribute wealth to the impoverished of both races, these were genuinely radical efforts. Predictably, they were violently driven out of power across the South by conservative Bourbon Democrats, with the Wilmington Insurrection being a primary example. Once back in power, the Democrats set about dismantling Reconstruction and disenfranchising the poor and the Black in order to ensure that true equality would never reach the South.

4. I haven't forgotten that, but it's important to remember where the parties came from and what shaped their ideologies. The Democrats were fundamentally a party of the South and Southern interests, while the Republicans were birthed in the Western states (or what we would today call the Midwest). I will grant however that post-1896 and to some extent post-1876 the Northeast had become the party's new home.

5. Yes, but it need not define whether one be a liberal or conservative. The Greenbacks, who I tend to agree with, had varying views on trade but were all regarded as leftists of some sort. They also rightly contended that trade was mostly a distraction used by both parties to avoid talking about more pressing issues for the working class like currency reform, government farm relief, and public ownership of utilities. When William Jennings Bryan made currency reform the centerpiece of his 1896 campaign, he was attacked by the National (Gold) Democrats for not emphasizing free trade enough when he could've made it the defining issue separating him from the ardent protectionist McKinley.

1. Lmao the West being the most consistently Republican region ain't mean sh**t when Pennsylvania alone had more people than the entire West

2. Fair enough.

3. Your definitions of "Bourbon Democrats" and of "Reconstruction" seem really broad but whatever.

4. Eh. You were using current names for regions until this sentence. I was doing the same. The core base of Republicans may have been more in the Midwest than in the Northeast, but it was still in the North, not the modern West, which was sparsely populated.

5. Well the Greenback were left-wing, but I could argue that they were left-wing enough to not be liberal, in the same way as socialists are not liberals.
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MR. KAYNE WEST
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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2020, 05:04:34 pm »
« Edited: August 01, 2020, 05:12:08 pm by MR. KAYNE WEST »

Elephant which Grant started meant strength and George Washington and Grant won the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  Presently, it means Patriotism.

Donkey represented Christ and riding on the Donkey and Chrustian thought

Presently, it represents 40 acres and a mule, that AA werent afforded when Jim Crow hit after slavery.  If you think it in those terms, you would get the secular v tradtl divide after the Cold War we find ourselves in. When Hoover whom we appointed by Coolidge to FBI,  was negligent in protecting 4 Civil Rights Leaders, that the KGB killed after Cuban missile crisis, and Oswald's wife was Russisn and Oswald vowed to kill Kennedy if his wife didnt get a visa to Cuba. However, Hoover, quickly found the assassins.

This was relitigated last yr by Clint Hill, Jacky Onassis Secret Service on CBS, in 2019
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2020, 03:54:08 am »

Richard Bensel's Yankee Leviathan: The Origins of Central State Authority in America, 1859-1877 has an interesting analysis of the Republican coalition which relates slightly to what's been discussed above. I'll quote the wiki summary:

Quote
Finance capitalists' primary interest was in the overall stability of the financial system. This interest militated against continued Reconstruction for several reasons.

The potential for monetary instability as a result of Treasury incompetence made finance capitalists skeptical of state intervention in the economy. Finance capitalists supported a return to the gold standard, which would re-expose the United States economy to international influence, especially the British sterling, widely seen as more trustworthy and stable than US Treasury regulation. Finance capitalists' general suspicion toward the central state also meant they opposed practically every measure that would increase state revenue and supported tax reductions. A permanent military occupation of the South by federal troops would be extremely expensive, and would require increased extraction from the private economy, a slower return to the gold standard, and impeded the stabilization of the national debt.

Reconstruction threatened to continue the disruption of cotton production. Because most cotton exported for the international market went through Northeastern ports, Northern financiers had a strong interest in uninterrupted cotton production.

Supporters of Radical Reconstruction (notably, a Reconstruction bill sponsored by Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens) aimed to enact a highly redistributive program for the South in order to create an economically independent base for the Republican Party. Under such a program, on the basis of loyalty to the Union, Freedmen and poor yeomen Southern white Unionists would receive wealth directly confiscated from Southern separatists. This had the potential to transform a race-based cleavage between Blacks and Whites into a class-based cleavage between poor farmers and landholding elites. At this point, it was difficult to see how this conflict could be contained in the South. Northern labor would almost certainly begin to make demands for eligibility in the transfer of Southern wealth to the lower classes, since they had remained loyal to the Union as well. This was an unattractive option for Northern capitalist members of the Republican coalition, both because of the disruptive effect on Southern agricultural production and the potential for an increase in generalized class conflict.

Bensel shows that Republican politicians representing banking districts voted closely in line with the interests of finance capital; a large part of the Republican coalition was thereby put against the project of Reconstruction and the state-enhancing measures that would have come with it, while other Northern sections of the Republican Party did not have deep enough interests in Reconstruction to constitute a veto over the influence of finance capitalists. In other words, the client-group formation path of state-building had a strong self-limiting character, wherein further state-building was stymied by this client group.

Tl;dr: the Republican coalition was split between Radicals who wanted to enact a redistributive programme in the South and those linked to Northern financial interests who feared the financial cost and class conflict blowback on the North. The latter won out and ended Reconstruction.

And we know there was a marked shift towards Business in the 1870s in terms of GOP priorities, because this is when Nathaniel Banks left largely because of that very reason.

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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2020, 04:05:04 am »
« Edited: August 02, 2020, 04:11:20 am by Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee »


1. In what world the West was the primary base of support of Republicans when Western states were still few and sparsely populated?

2. Western Republicans were not definitely liberal only for expanding they expanded the right to vote, even if expanding the right to vote is liberal.

3. Southern Democrats - many of whom were not Bourbon, starting with Pitchfork Ben - were not definitely conservative only for terrorizing Black people and restricting voting rights, even if restricting the right to vote is conservative.

4. You may be forgetting that during your time frame more than half of the population and much more than half of the voters were in the North.

5. The view of the tariff was a freaking important thing!

I'll leave the rest of the rebuttal (I am sure there is a rest) to posters more competent than me.

1. Look at presidential election maps from the Third Party System and tell me which region out of the South, Northeast, Midwest, and West most consistently voted Republican. By the Fourth Party System the Republican base of support had shifted to the Northeast, but in the Third it was still clearly the West.

2. I've given examples of liberal views held by Western Republicans (opposition to slavery, support for women's suffrage, opposition to the gold standard), and provided evidence that the West was viewed as liberal-minded at the time (the Frontier thesis), so what else do you want me to prove?

3. It is no coincidence that many anti-Reconstruction parties in the South were self-described "Conservative Parties" that quite explicitly advocated reactionary and anti-equality beliefs. If that's not conservative, then I don't know what is. In regard to the Populists, most Southern Populists during and after Reconstruction ran on fusion tickets with the Republicans in order to oppose the Democratic ruling class. Seeking to protect Reconstruction and redistribute wealth to the impoverished of both races, these were genuinely radical efforts. Predictably, they were violently driven out of power across the South by conservative Bourbon Democrats, with the Wilmington Insurrection being a primary example. Once back in power, the Democrats set about dismantling Reconstruction and disenfranchising the poor and the Black in order to ensure that true equality would never reach the South.

4. I haven't forgotten that, but it's important to remember where the parties came from and what shaped their ideologies. The Democrats were fundamentally a party of the South and Southern interests, while the Republicans were birthed in the Western states (or what we would today call the Midwest). I will grant however that post-1896 and to some extent post-1876 the Northeast had become the party's new home.

5. Yes, but it need not define whether one be a liberal or conservative. The Greenbacks, who I tend to agree with, had varying views on trade but were all regarded as leftists of some sort. They also rightly contended that trade was mostly a distraction used by both parties to avoid talking about more pressing issues for the working class like currency reform, government farm relief, and public ownership of utilities. When William Jennings Bryan made currency reform the centerpiece of his 1896 campaign, he was attacked by the National (Gold) Democrats for not emphasizing free trade enough when he could've made it the defining issue separating him from the ardent protectionist McKinley.

1. Lmao the West being the most consistently Republican region ain't mean sh**t when Pennsylvania alone had more people than the entire West

2. Fair enough.

3. Your definitions of "Bourbon Democrats" and of "Reconstruction" seem really broad but whatever.

4. Eh. You were using current names for regions until this sentence. I was doing the same. The core base of Republicans may have been more in the Midwest than in the Northeast, but it was still in the North, not the modern West, which was sparsely populated.

5. Well the Greenback were left-wing, but I could argue that they were left-wing enough to not be liberal, in the same way as socialists are not liberals.

The North was indeed, the largest and most economically dominant region in the country. It was also the economic leader at the van guard of the second industrial revolution and thus the only place in the country were there would exist a stable middle class. It is also worth nothing that this turned the rest of the country into peripheral considerations to the primary economic engines and this was reflected in Democrats anti-Wall Street rhetoric of the time. I believe it was Truman who railed against Eastern Business wanting to keep the South and West down and maintain them in basically a colonial state to be extracted of their wealth while they saw none of the benefits. LBJ (or at least the movie depiction thereof) railed against Eastern business stealing West Texas Juice to power their 'damn' skyscrapers". This kind of rhetoric dates back to Reconstruction itself and the attacks on "yankee carpetbaggers and scalawags", which would have tied in with the corruption of the Credit Mobilier and the rest of the scandals in the Grant administration thus linking the south the connection of corruption - business - Yankees and blacks. This in turn devolves from the Jacksonian anti-bank rhetoric of the 1830s. There is a clear and direct line of political though that links from Jefferson to the New Deal and it hinges on rallying populist agrarian discontent economically, with its rage focused on the perceived causative agents. Wall Street and other NE business types.

Economic redistribution as a model thus saw a substantial base in the South and West early on, precisely because of this paradigm of the economic backwardness that Wallace has mentioned and the poverty it created as a result, fed a paradigm of rich Bankers in NY versus the poor farmers/miners of the South and West. This also facilitated the class hiearchical structure being maintained because while locally the elite, nationally they were on the outs normally politically speaking. This means they could point their fingers to the bankers and say those are the real rich men sucking you dry not me with my plantation. Economic panics like those in 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1929, also facilitated this political socio-economic struggle of the local poor versus the distant rich guy as those agricultural areas would often bear the brunt of it along with the industrial workers.

Because the Democrats were so dominated by agrarian interest though, Republicans could always splinter the poor vote with tariffs, nativism and other such issues and thus keep "dangerous men" like Bryan from cracking their NE base. The success of the New Deal was as much a deconstruction of this cracking and thus the forcing of a more class based dynamic that united poor people of all regions against rich people of all regions.

Whenever considering the class/hierarchical elements in politics relative to the geography, it is essential to consider the South and West's "peripheral relationship" to the North and that of a an impoverished resource/commodity based supplier of that industrial machine and the political relationships/resentments that it allowed for and even necessitated.
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