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The Door of HopeRepublican Presidents and the First Southern Strategy, 1877–1933$
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Edward O. Frantz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036533

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036533.001.0001

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Harrison's Haggard Haul

Harrison's Haggard Haul

The Second Southern Tour, 1891

(p.55) 2 Harrison's Haggard Haul
The Door of Hope

Edward O. Frantz

University Press of Florida

Benjamin Harrison's journey was important for three major reasons. First, the tour signified a new political tack for the president and the Republican Party as they looked ahead to the election of 1892. Having advocated in 1890 measures widely perceived as hostile to white southerners, Harrison now applied a more conciliatory approach. The Republican Party was ready to court southern voters by addressing themes that would appeal to both northern and southern whites and by dealing with race in national terms. Second, the tour of the South demonstrated the limitations of that approach, in particular the party's evasiveness on issues of racial justice. Throughout his southern swing, Harrison used oblique attacks, including appeals to the law, and he and his party paid the price for that strategy. Finally, the journey highlighted the ways in which white southerners, African Americans, and the Republican Party continued to contest the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Keywords:   Benjamin Harrison, president, Republican Party, election, race, tour, South, African Americans, Civil War, Reconstruction

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