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Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, by Michael Perman PDF

By Michael Perman

Round 1900, the southern states launched into a chain of political campaigns aimed toward disfranchising huge numbers of electorate. by means of 1908, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia had succeeded in depriving almost all African americans, and a great number of lower-class whites, of the vote casting rights they'd possessed because Reconstruction--rights they wouldn't regain for over part a century.

Struggle for Mastery is the main entire and systematic examine so far of the background of disfranchisement within the South. After analyzing the origins and targets of disfranchisement, Michael Perman lines the method because it opened up nation via kingdom. simply because he examines each one nation inside of its region-wide context, he's capable of determine styles and connections that experience formerly long past neglected. Broadening the context even extra, Perman explores the federal government's seeming acquiescence during this improvement, the connection among disfranchisement and segregation, and the political approach that emerged after the decimation of the South's citizens. the result's an insightful and persuasive interpretation of this hugely major, but quite often misunderstood, episode in U.S. history.

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After all, they argued, saying that the voter ‘‘cannot vote until he learns to read is not the same as saying he cannot vote’’ at all. ∏Ω The editors not only were prepared to overlook this inconsistency but also seemed unaware that Alabama was the only state that needed such a loophole to ensure ratification. Since the other states refused to submit their newly framed constitutions for popular ratification, they must have had other reasons for including a ‘‘saving’’ clause, and of course they did.

Instead, it was given to a candidate the voter did not support. Once again, the voter was unaware that this had happened. No matter when these methods were used or how they were employed, the outcome was the same. The voter’s ability to cast an e√ective ballot was denied. ≤∞ This kind of disfranchisement was not, however, what the Democrats who initiated the campaigns at the turn of the century had in mind. They rejected this weaker version as insu≈cient because it did nothing more than deny a voter the ability to vote as he wished and have his vote counted as he intended.

They often made a di√erence statewide as well when the black counties polled lopsided votes capable of carrying the Democratic ticket to victory. Louisiana Populist J. A. ∏≠ By its mere existence, therefore, the black vote was a danger, a constant threat. If viewed as an active, self-conscious force, it provided significant electoral support for Republicans, Populists, or independents. If considered an inert mass, it was available to designing politicians prepared to employ it against the Democrats.

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