The States Rights Democratic Party was founded in 1948 in opposition to President Truman’s desegregation of the military and speech calling for equality between the races as well as the Democratic Party’s acceptance of some Civil Rights platforms. The party used the emerging rhetoric, masking overt racism as liberty, and discrimination as a states rights issue. They took from Tyler stating that they, “oppose the totalitarian, centralized bureaucratic government and the police nation called for by the platforms adopted by the Democratic and Republican Conventions.” This is the same argument put forth in the Confederate Catechism regarding the Civil War, which states that the South, “FOUGHT TO REPEL INVASION AND FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT, JUST AS THE FATHERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION HAD DONE.” All three of these accounts, one a defense of Segregation and one as a defense of Slavery outwardly justify the enterprises not on the grounds of racial superiority but on the basis of defending liberty from a tyrannical central government. Both accounts neglect the suffering caused to those persons stripped of their human rights by the South’s alleged liberty.
The States Rights Democratic Party also “condemn[ed] the effort to establish in the United States a police nation that would destroy the last vestige of liberty enjoyed by a citizen.” For them, that last vintage of liberty was the power to segregate their publi...
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... Southern Strategy further developed in with the candidates and campaigns to follow. The republican party became increasingly socially conservative, operating under the now accepted States’ Rights narrative, and in exchange is able to constantly count on electoral support from the former states of the confederacy.
The South’s memory of the Civil War, and its selective amnesia of slavery, significantly impacted the Civl Rights movement and the fight for desegregation. Southern politicians adopted the writings of southern historians like Lyon Tyler and pandered to the personal, wishful, historical memories of their constituents. The shift in the narrative which resulted enabled the implantation of the Southern Strategy by Richard nixon in the 1968 election, which became the foundation of the Republican national strategy throughout the second half of the 20th century.
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