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Paths Out of DixieThe Democratization of Authoritarian Enclaves in America's Deep South, 1944-1972$
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Robert Mickey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133386

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133386.001.0001

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Suffrage Restriction under Attack, 1944–47

Suffrage Restriction under Attack, 1944–47

(p.95) Chapter Four Suffrage Restriction under Attack, 1944–47
Paths Out of Dixie

Robert Mickey

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Smith v. Allwright that challenged the restriction on suffrage: it invalidated the all-white Democratic primary and struck at the heart of southern politics—one-party rule based on white supremacy. It first considers the Supreme Court's challenge to the white primary in relation to rulers' dilemmas, opportunities, and options before discussing narratives of enclave experiences with the white primary challenge in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia. It then compares outer South and Deep South responses to Smith, showing that Georgia and South Carolina featured more impressive black mobilizations than Mississippi. However, the consequences of these episodes were not driven solely by such forces as economic development or black protest infrastructure. Rather, given different configurations of intraparty conflict, party–state institutions, and levels of black insurgency, Smith and the responses it invoked had different consequences for each enclave.

Keywords:   white primary, U.S. Supreme Court, Smith v. Allwright, suffrage, one-party rule, white supremacy, South Carolina, Deep South, black protest, black insurgency

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