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2011 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 8212 words || 
1. Hiers, Wesley. "Civil Rights Obstruction in the Senate, 1938 to 1964: The Role of the Republican Party" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV, Aug 20, 2011 Online <PDF>. 2019-08-23 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the generation before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the United States Senate played a uniquely obstructionist role at the national level, serving as a bulwark in the South’s defense of white supremacy. After presenting evidence for this claim, this paper turns to an examination of one aspect of the Senate’s defense of white supremacy, exploring the extent to which the Republican Party provided allies for the South. A comprehensive dataset of significant Senate roll calls on civil rights between 1938 and 1964 is analyzed to arbitrate among three competing views of the Republican Party’s relationship to racial policy in the middle decades of the twentieth century: that the Republican Party was an enduring ally of the South in its defense of white supremacy; that, to the contrary, the Republican Party was, like the non-southern members of the Democratic Party, moderately supportive of civil rights throughout the period; or third, that over the course of these 25 years the Republican Party’s action moved from those concordant with the second view to those more like the first. The evidence that emerges from the roll-call dataset is most consistent with the third view. The paper closes by considering the implications of these findings for our understanding of party alignments on racial policy in the twentieth century.

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