White southern Republicanism before 1970

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,517
My understanding is that Republicanism in the mid 20th century was almost entirely in mountainous areas that were Unionist in the Civil War. There was also some Republican presence in suburban areas. These suburbs had a significant northern born population and the urban areas were traditionally Whig and luke-warm to secession as there weren't many slaves.

Did those mountainous or other poor areas vote Republican in Reconstruction, and was that part of the reason for Republican state office holders?

In 1964, the deep south voted for Goldwater due mainly to Johnson's support for the Civil Rights Act. However, it wasn't for at least another 10 years that Republicans were elected to state wide offices in most states, and local office allignment changed even slower.
 
May 2014
89
Earth
Did those mountainous or other poor areas vote Republican in Reconstruction, and was that part of the reason for Republican state office holders?

[1974 before statewide Republicans] and local office alignment changed even slower.
They tended to not vote Republican before the Civil War, as the Republican Party was only 7 years old at the start of the Civil War. Lincoln only got about 40% of the popular vote in a tight 4 way race, and " won only two of 996 counties in all the Southern states.[158]. " Those 4 candidates had 4 different political parties, something only hinted at in the 3 way race of T.R. Bull Moose in 1912. John Anderson & Ross Perot were not as serious as this much more fractional of presidential contests.

IIRC, maps of that campaign showed people voting in latitude, meaning East/West bands across the US, each political party having strong bands of support running across the map of the US.

Much of what took place was part of Lincoln's strategy of building bridges with "War Democrats", especially in the south like Andrew Johnson. Johnson replaced a man of New England, whose associates later led the effort to impeach the latter VP.

After the Civil War, inland counties with an axe to grind against the Confederate using of them, tended to accept the Reconstruction as it was. This was a big bone of contention with the withdrawal of Federal Troops in 1877, and sealed the split. In Mississippi, Jones County "yeoman farmers and cattle herders of Jones County had little use for a war over a “state’s right” to maintain the institution of slavery. By 1860, slaves made up only 12 percent of the total population in Jones County, the smallest percentage of any county in the state.[4] "
During the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War"]American Civil War[/ame], Jones County and neighboring counties, especially Covington County to its west, became a haven for Confederate deserters.[6]
 
May 2013
1,696
Colorado
There was a time in Virginia when the Republican party was the liberal party which stood for integration, the average man against the Byrd machine. (My father was a Republican from the 1940's.) It wanted to break the Byrd machine. Linwood Holton was the first GOP Governor since reconstruction in Va. He was too progressive and he objected to disaffected conservative Democrats taking over the GOP. Virginia Governors can't serve more than one consecutive term and so he was succeeded by another Republican, Mills Godwin who was a segregationist - the tide had turned and the GOP was taken over by Democrats who supported segregation. The Dems were taken over by liberals such as Henry Howell, "Howlin Henry" as he was called. The GOP of Holton is long gone. Many of these old school Republicans are now Democrats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Linwood_Holton,_Jr.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Howell"]Henry Howell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,517
Holton was from Roanoke, a Republican area in western Virginia. Even in the mid 1970s, there were like 6 Republicans in the Virginia legislature, most or all from western Virginia. East Tennessee was strongly Republican: Senator Howard Baker was from there. As far as I know most of the Republicans in the south were from Unionist areas.

There was some elements of liberalism on race in the Republican party. The Southern Manifesto in the 1950s was signed by almost all southern Congressmen. However, the 2 Virginia Republicans (one from Roanoke and the other the northern Virginia suburbs) signed, but the other 5 Republicans from the former Confederacy did not.

The Byrd Machine had lost control by 1969. There was a 3-way primary between Howell, a populist from Norfolk, Battle a moderate, and Powell, the Byrd Machine candidate. Battle beat Howell in the runoff. Holton narrowly won an upset in the general election.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,517
There was a time in Virginia when the Republican party was the liberal party which stood for integration, the average man against the Byrd machine. (My father was a Republican from the 1940's.) It wanted to break the Byrd machine. Linwood Holton was the first GOP Governor since reconstruction in Va. He was too progressive and he objected to disaffected conservative Democrats taking over the GOP. Virginia Governors can't serve more than one consecutive term and so he was succeeded by another Republican, Mills Godwin who was a segregationist - the tide had turned and the GOP was taken over by Democrats who supported segregation. The Dems were taken over by liberals such as Henry Howell, "Howlin Henry" as he was called. The GOP of Holton is long gone. Many of these old school Republicans are now Democrats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Linwood_Holton,_Jr.

Henry Howell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Byrd Machine, conservatives, and segregationists no longer controlled the Democratic primary by 1969, as indicated by the fact that the Byrd Machine candidate came in 3rd. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. ran as an independent in 1970, after narrowly winning the Democratic primary in 1966. He was afraid he would lose the primary. The liberal vote from blacks, the Washington suburbs and the Norfolk area was too strong. More blacks could vote, less poor whites and people new to the state were discouraged from voting, and the Washington suburbs were bigger. So many of the conservatives switched to the Republic party.

Howell ran as a populist, getting support from blacks, poor whites, and liberals. This was against Virginia tradition, and Byrd Machine practice. Battle, Holton, and Powell all seemed to be typical of Virginia politicians as being from the right background.
 
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