How did "the Solid South" hinder the national Democratic Party?I know that the term "Solid South" describes the electoral support of the Southern United States for Democratic party candidates from...

How did "the Solid South" hinder the national Democratic Party?

I know that the term "Solid South" describes the electoral support of the Southern United States for Democratic party candidates from 1877 to 1964.

Asked on by sh3rry88

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would argue that the "Solid South" impacted and hindered the national Democratic party because it regionalized the party from achieving any sort of national affiliation in the time period.  The post- Civil War repudiation of Republicans in the South made the South loyal to the Democratic party.  However, as part of this bargain, it depicted the Democratic party in much of the same light as the South was seen before the Civil War.  Favoring Jim Crow segregation laws was almost akin to embracing slavery as well as the "Solid South's" mistrust of the North were elements that pigeonholed the Democratic party, making it indebted to local Southern policies and failing to embrace a consensus on a national level.  It is here where a type of local "Southernization" of the Democratic party helped to prevent a national view of it during the time period.  This belief that "Southern" values or ideas had to be part of the Democratic party as part of maintaining its connection to the "Solid South" helped to minimize the Democratic party from national prominence, something that enabled the Republicans to ascend nationally.  Additionally, a case can be made that any political party is weakened when it must immediately capitulate to the most radical and "hard- core" elements of its party base.  The "Solid South" demonstrated this for the Democrats, almost to the same point that the Tea Party might be doing the same for Republicans of the modern setting.

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