Jim Crow Democracy: The U.S. South and Racialized Policy-Making in the Aftermath of World War II

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    Segregationist politicians from the U.S. South played key roles in devising plans for the reconstruction of Germany, the Marshall Plan and the drafting of displaced persons legislation. This article discusses how their Jim Crow ideology calibrated the global and domestic order that emerged from the ashes of World War II. Southern advocates of this ideology dealt with national and foreign issues from a regional perspective, which was based on the protection of agricultural interests and a nascent military-industrial complex, but above all, on the defence of white supremacy. In general, they followed a lenient course toward Germany after the country’s defeat in World War II, for various reasons. The shared experience of post-war reconstruction, containment of communism and feelings of kinship between the Germanic people and the Anglo-Saxons of the U.S. South were some of the motives why many white southerners did not endorse punitive measures against the former enemy. For them, an obvious connection existed between the local and the global, which strongly reverberated in the formation of U.S. foreign and domestic policy in the post-war world. The rebuilding of Germany and the fugitive question were shaped on the basis of a Jim Crow blueprint.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)547-565
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
    Publication statusPublished - 27-Jul-2019


    • anti-communism
    • racialization
    • U.S. South
    • Marshall Plan
    • refugees
    • Cold War

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