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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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Race, Grassroots Activism, and the Evolution of the Republican Right in South Carolina, 1952–1974

Race, Grassroots Activism, and the Evolution of the Republican Right in South Carolina, 1952–1974

Chapter:
(p.138) 7 Race, Grassroots Activism, and the Evolution of the Republican Right in South Carolina, 1952–1974
Source:
Painting Dixie Red
Author(s):

John W. White

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813036847.003.0008

This chapter argues that between 1952 and 1974 the South Carolina Republican Party constructed a strong alternative based on appeals to mainstream white voters who were turned off by what they viewed as heavy-handed federal policies, but were unwilling to side with the South's most intransigent segregationists in an unwinnable battle to preserve Jim Crow. The chapter also questions the import of what it calls the so-called Southern Strategy by stressing Republican development in the suburbs, the marketing efforts of Dolly Hamby, and—in any event—casting the strategy as the culmination of two decades of grassroots political change rather than the beginning of the state's move toward the GOP. Also, contrary to most historiography, the essay points to the presidential elections of 1952 and 1960 (along with local and statewide races in 1961, 1962, 1966, and 1970) as far more important to the southern move toward the GOP than the extensively studied elections of 1948, 1964, and 1968.

Keywords:   South Carolina, South Carolinians for Eisenhower, Strom Thurmond, James F. Byrnes, Mendel Rivers, Dixiecrats

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