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Title: Populism in the white Southern Democratic Party with reference to Alabama and Mississippi
Author: Sheward, William
ISNI:       0000 0001 3404 7091
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2001
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The thesis has three aims. First, it shows that to describe Southern political and cultural attitudes as conservative is inadequate and, frequently, misleading. Second, it suggests that a more fruitful and fuller analysis of Southern politics can be developed by examining the region's populist tradition. Third, the thesis argues that should white Southern Democrats create an ideology that is based on economic populism whilst recognising the importance to the white Southern voter of conservative social issues such as the rights of gun ownership and religious morality it will position itself to achieve electoral success at the local, state and federal levels. The first section of the thesis gives the definitions of populism and conservative that the research uses in the specific context of Southern politics. The analysis suggests that there are aspects of conservatism that can be properly applied to Southern politics such as a conservative interpretation of the constitutional prerogatives of state governments to be permitted to run local and state affairs free from federal government interference and conservative stances on family values. However, there is a strong tradition of anti-elitist populist rhetoric in the South which champions the rights of the people and supports the role of federal and state government in alleviating the inequities of the free market. The second section applies these theories to Southern, and, more specifically, Alabamian and Mississippian political history from the late nineteenth century to the 1980s and argues that the extent of the region's populism has been underestimated. The final section recognises that the rise of the Republican Party since the civil rights 1960s but in two case study chapters advances the view that an application of the populist model by the Democratic Party can craft a message that appeals to both white and black - the redneck-blackneck' coalition - and suggests that it may be successfully applied by Democratic Parties across the region, and, by extension, by the national Democratic Party in presidential elections in the South.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: United States; Political parties; Conservatism