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Title: Jesse Helm and North Carolina politics, 1972-1984
Author: Packer, Thomas Edmund
ISNI:       0000 0003 8186 6078
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis looks at the controversial five-term right-wing Republican Senator for North Carolina, Jesse Helms. It also examines the politics of North Carolina, a state which in many respects is a microcosm of the South, for the period 1972-84, an era when the Second Reconstruction was being embedded and which included the 'Reagan Revolution'. An overwhelmingly consistent and fairly non-partisan ideologue, Helms's belief system was in large measure based on a dislike of government control, evangelical but not fundamentalist Christian beliefs, unilateralist nationalism and ideological anti- communism. His beliefs help to explain both his opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and the limits of his opposition to racial change. Helms pushed Conservative Movement positions in the Senate while the Movement empowered, incentivised and encouraged his radical positions. The North Carolina Republican party was tom between a Conservative Movement often consisting of former Democrats with an instrumental attitude to the party and 'traditional' Republicans much more rooted in the GOP and less ideological though still right leaning. The North Carolina electorate was Democratic leaning through this period, and Helms had great difficult winning re-election due to this and to alienation from his preferred policies, which were not necessarily shared even by 'conservative' Democrats. His elections depended on a 'New Right' political machine the innovations of which in fundraising and campaigning were also crucial for the election of other conservatives including Ronald Reagan. Also key was his ability, as well as that of his campaigners, to play down their Republican identity and play up Democratic links, to attack 'inclusivist' liberalism' and to mobilise white racial solidarity in a successful and unusual manner
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available