The South as a Political Region
This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to contribute to the discussion about two central questions: Does it matter that the Republicans are now in control? And, to update a question about Democrats posed by Key 50 years ago, is the new political South led by the Republican Party rising to the challenge of providing a political system to meet the region's problems and opportunities? These questions are important because while many political observers have dissected the electoral rise of Republicans in the South, they have not examined the potential consequences of that rise. This study looks at all three factors from two perspectives: firstly, an examination of attitudes of the entire South; and, secondly, an intensive case study of Jacksonville, Florida, as an example of a Southern city whose politics have been transformed by race, religion, and economics. The chapter then considers whether the change in the political structure of the South have addressed the issue of racial separation in the region's politics; the connection between religion/morality and politics among Southern voters; and economic change in the South.
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