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Massive ResistanceSouthern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction$
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Clive Webb

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177862.001.0001

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A Political Coup d’État?: How the Enemies of Earl Long Overwhelmed Racial Moderation in Louisiana

A Political Coup d’État?: How the Enemies of Earl Long Overwhelmed Racial Moderation in Louisiana

Chapter:
(p.56) Three A Political Coup d’État?: How the Enemies of Earl Long Overwhelmed Racial Moderation in Louisiana
Source:
Massive Resistance
Author(s):

Adam Fairclough

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177862.003.0004

This chapter provides a specific state study of segregationist politics in Louisiana. It shows how the racially moderate state leadership was confronted with an intense political challenge from the forces of massive resistance. It explains that although the gubernatorial election of Earl Long in 1956 appeared to represent the triumph of racial moderates, within months hard-line segregationists reclaimed the political initiative, launching a multipronged assault on black civil rights. It notes that the forces of massive resistance would nonetheless ultimately fail, particularly in their attempt to purge black voters from the electoral rolls, which resulted in a federal backlash. It adds that the massive resistance movement is depicted as less a grassroots revolt against an unrepresentative government than a conspiracy by a small but fanatical band of politicians.

Keywords:   politics, Louisiana, race, state leadership, Earl Long, gubernatorial election

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