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Painting Dixie RedWhen, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican$
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Glenn Feldman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036847

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036847.001.0001

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“Gun Cotton”: Southern Industrialists, International Trade, and the Republican Party in the 1950s

“Gun Cotton”: Southern Industrialists, International Trade, and the Republican Party in the 1950s

Chapter:
(p.201) 9 “Gun Cotton”: Southern Industrialists, International Trade, and the Republican Party in the 1950s
Source:
Painting Dixie Red
Author(s):

Katherine Rye Jewell

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813036847.003.0010

This chapter argues that changes in foreign trade during the 1950s pushed conservative southern industrialists (traditionally Democrats) into close cooperation with northern Republicans increasingly dedicated to trade protectionism. And, the chapter argues, this newfound closeness on trade actually allowed for stronger congruence with Republicans than was offered by solidarity on racial segregation. It confirmed southern and northern industrialist suspicions of the dangers in centralized bureaucratic government operating free from legislative or judicial oversight—though internationalists justified such power as key in the fight against the spread of communism. Foreign trade issues in the mid-1950s built on the centrifugal pressure of the Dixiecrat Movement and helped push southern industrialists into greater cooperation with congressional Republicans. Thus, while the breaks with the Democratic Party formed over the issue of states' rights, economic issues like trade protectionism helped exacerbate those cracks while also building bridges to the GOP.

Keywords:   Donald Comer, Cotton and Textiles, International Trade, Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act, Japan, Tariffs, States' Rights

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