Activity: Talk and presentation › Professional or public event › Professional
Up until the 1960s, the “Solid South” was a source of electoral strength for Democrats. Southern support came at a price, however; it severely impeded the civil rights ambitions of the national Democratic Party. Once Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson – under pressure from the civil rights movement – finally committed their party more firmly to racial equality, the South commenced its slow exodus from the Democrats to the Republicans. This switch first happened at the presidential level, but then began to trickle down to congressional, state, and local elections. Republicans are now the dominant power in the southern states, but their power is not as absolute as the Democratic hegemony that traditionally determined politics in Dixie. This lecture will focus on the Democratic South; how did Democrats become the dominant party in the region, why did they lose it, and will they be able to win it back?
Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Netherlands