Chapter 18 Bourbons, Populists and Progressives



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Chapter 18

Bourbons, Populists and Progressives

Bourbon Democrats and Independents

  • By the end of the Reconstruction in 1877, GA was once again controlled by the Democrats.

  • The main politicians in control of the party were sometimes called “Bourbons.” The Bourbons typically did not like change.

  • The only real opposition to the Democrats in the late 1870s and early 1880s came from the independents. The Independent leader was US Congressmen Dr. William Felton, a planter and medical doctor representing north GA.

Bourbons

  • The bourbons were conservative with money, they believed in lower taxes and less government spending on public services, including the public school system that had been founded following the war.

  • They also believed in expanding the economy to include more industry.

Farmer Discontent and Populism

  • In the late 1880s, a new challenge to the power of Bourbon Democrats began to emerge, one that might challenge white supremacy as well.

  • Many of GA’s middle-class and poor farmers became increasingly unhappy as cotton prices dropped at the same time that the prices of goods they needed to buy went up. Many could barely make a living.

  • The farmers organized and formed the “ Patrons of Husbandry” which soon became known as the Grange.

  • Farmers Alliances formed. There were two regional alliances in the south: The Southern Farmer’s Alliance for white farmers and the Colored Farmer’s Alliance for the African American farmers.

Farmer Alliances

  • The alliances served several purposes. Farmers who worked alone most of the time could come together for friendship and to talk about their problems.

  • They could join together in co-ops. The co-ops bought supplies, seed, fertilizer, and farm tools together so they could negotiate lower prices.

The People’s (Populist) Party

  • This group believed in populism—the doctrine that supported the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite.

  • The Populist party was strong in those states with large numbers of farmers. Many of GA’s Populists were yeoman farmers.

  • The Democrats tried to keep whites in their party by calling for white supremacy and pointing out the danger of splitting the white vote between the Democrats and the Populists. The Democrats also tried to get black votes, sometimes by intimidation and violence.

The Populist Party

  • In 1893, the entire nation fell into the worst economic depression that had happened up to that time. Banks closed and businesses went bankrupt. These hard times revived the Populist party.

  • Populism had stirred up racial tensions in GA. With the end of Populism, GA was basically a one-party state, with the Democrats firmly in control for decades.

County Unit System

  • In the late 1890s, in the Democratic primaries, candidates for statewide office were chosen not by the overall popular vote but by the votes of each county. The system was called the county unit system. For each representative the county had in the GA General Assembly, the county got two unit votes.

  • Since there were more rural counties, the rural counties always outvoted the urban counties.

  • For decades, the smallest most rural counties had far more political power than the largest. This caused increasing problems as the business-oriented cities became more moderate on racial matters and more concerned about policies that were good for business.

Questions for Your Chapter 18 Graded Question Sheet

  • Write on loose-leaf paper to be turned in (see syllabus for due date)

  • By the end of the Reconstruction in 1877, GA was once again controlled by the _____________.

2) The main politicians in control of the party were sometimes called “________.” The ________ typically did not like change.

3) The only real opposition to the Democrats in the late 1870s and early 1880s came from the ______________.

4) The Independent leader was US Congressmen __________, a planter and medical doctor representing north GA.

5) The bourbons were conservative with money, they believed in lower taxes and less government spending on _________, including the public school system that had been founded following the war.

6) The farmers organized and formed the “ _______________” which soon became known as the Grange.

7) The Populist party was strong in those states with large numbers of farmers. Many of GA’s Populists were _________ farmers.

8) For decades, the smallest most _______ counties had far more political power than the largest.

Progressivism in GA

  • As Populism faded throughout the country, a new reform movement had already begun.

  • While populism was centered in the rural areas and composed mainly of farmers, this new movement began in cities where urban, middle class, educated men and women began to call for reforms to deal with the problems brought on by industrialization and urbanization. This movement for reform was called progressivism.

Progressivism

  • In 1906, attorney Hoke Smith was elected governor as a reformer. Like other progressives throughout the country, Smith believed that government had a role in regulating business and industry and in protecting the public.

Progressivism

  • One of the major targets of reform for GA’s progressives was GA’s justice system, which operated the convict lease system. The system had resulted in inhumane treatment for those convicted of even minor offenses.

  • In 1908, the state passed a law that abolished the leasing out of prisoners to private business. Instead, prisoners could be used by the state or by local governments to work on the roads. This system became abusive over time. To prevent prisoners from escaping they chained them together forming what were called chain gangs.

Women’s Suffrage

  • A progressive reform attempted unsuccessfully in GA was women’s suffrage. Suffrage refers to the right to vote. It was thought if women could vote, they would be able to influence the laws in ways good for the home.

  • The idea that women should have political equality was, however, more reform than GA’s politicians wanted. Even most GA women showed little inclination to allow voting.

  • In 1918, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which said that women could not be discriminated against in voting.

Questions for Your Chapter 18 Graded Question Sheet

  • Write on loose-leaf paper to be turned in (see syllabus for due date)

  • As______faded throughout the country, a new reform movement had already begun.

  • While populism was centered in the rural areas and composed mainly of farmers, this new movement began in cities where urban, middle class, educated men and women began to call for reforms to deal with the problems brought on by industrialization and urbanization. This movement for reform was called _________.

3) In _______, attorney Hoke Smith was elected governor as a reformer.

4) One of the major targets of reform for GA’s progressives was GA’s ________, which operated the convict lease system.

5) In ______, the state passed a law that abolished the leasing out of prisoners to private business.

6) To prevent prisoners from escaping they chained them together forming what were called ________.

7) A progressive reform attempted unsuccessfully in GA was ___________.

8) In 1918, Congress passed the ___________to the US Constitution, which said that women could not be discriminated against in voting.



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