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james_nicoll
Ever wonder how it was back before the Southern Strategy, when the hard-core racist Dixiecrats were still Democrats, the Republican Party managed to lose the Black vote? And by "managed to lose", I mean "actively drove off".

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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Keep in mind, it was also an effort to control the definition of "white".

So much of American history is actually the history of some ethnic groups trying to gain an advantage over others through the political process. Remember when there was an ethnic Yankee identity? later subsumed into WASP, which in turn is becoming more diffuse. And it's not a coincidence that the Confederate poet laureate wrote a long poem called "Ethnogenesis" (in which he also claimed the Union was inspired by the Devil).

I was amused to see an old distinction resurrected in a review of the new FDR movie. To whit, that he was not a WASP, but a Knickerboker.

I wonder what the term WASP will eventually mean, if it survives. Just someone upper-class? I agree that it is growing diffuse - I've long since stopped noticing when a Catholic is called a WASP, or a highland Scot, or a Finn for that matter.

I'm trying to make myself fit into WAFNA, a curse word from Carmina Burana. White Anglo-French-Norman Athiest? Though the alleged French ancestry in our family is distant indeed and possibly imaginary.

William Hyde

Yeah, you're right. For a nation supposedly founded on political ideals and principles rather than ethnicity, it is quite remarkable how much of our history is underlined by race and ethnic(and to some extent religious)conflict. I wonder if conflicts between different brands of "white" in the south were muted by the overwhelming presence of the Black Other?

Bruce

Well, there were really only two brands in most places. At the time of the Confederacy, Texas Germans were quite literally terrorized into obedience; on the other hand, the French planters in Louisiana were honorary Southern gentlemen, even though they had disdained the "Kentucky" element a generation before.

But it's not a coincidence that the Appalachian Scots-Irish were often Unionist in sentiment.

But it's not a coincidence that the Appalachian Scots-Irish were often Unionist in sentiment.

A point that I was about to make myself. My great-great paternal grandparents were considered "mixed" because my gg-grandmother was Appalachian Scots-Irish with a significant amount of Native American in-laws, and she married my gg-grandfather who was Southern (of British and Welsh ancestry) and had brothers who were slave owners. He was considered white and she wasn't, though the exact terminology or understanding of what she was considered, racially speaking, isn't something I've ever been able to determine.

It's intereresting that West Virginia flipped to being a solid Democratic (that is, functionally Southern) state so soon after Reconstruction ended, given that as far as I know it owed its existence to Union allegiance. I'm not entirely sure what was going on there.


West Virginia was made too big. The eventual state included enough counties that had been loyalist that they were able to team up with the jackass population in the mountains to run the government.

But it's not a coincidence that the Appalachian Scots-Irish were often Unionist in sentiment.


It's not a coincidence, but it has more to do with geography than ethnicity -- the fewer slaves an area had, the less support the rebellion had, and mountainous regions -- eastern Tennessee, western Virginia and Kentucky -- had fewer slaves than places with wide, flat plains.

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