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From Republicans to Democrats, Research Paper Example

Pages: 11

Words: 2929

Research Paper

Introduction

Analysis of why African Americans shifted their support and loyalty to the Democrats party despite being the founders of the Republican Party. This research will also focus on the major events that that could have led to such major shifts in parties by the black Africa Americans.

Effective governance is normally found based on laws and such laws are the ones that the various leaders use to govern their people. A similar characteristic in voters is the manner in which they conduct themselves. Voters in most cases are seen to act as a block, and a given perception can easily make them change their loyalties of their preferred candidates. One of the things that most politicians and political parties use in their campaign is finding ways of influencing voters to their direction. The game of politics is never constant; it keeps changing from time to time.

The above is the case that was with the African Americans whom initially were members of the republican pat. For many years, they voted for the Republican Party since they felt the party addresses their needs. However, Later on they decided to follow the democrat party, shifting all their loyalties and allegiances from the party. The main objective of this research is to establish the reasons why the African Americans suddenly deviated their support from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. The study will also try to explain whether the Democratic Party is likely to continue enjoying the support of the African Americans.

History of African Americans in regards to the major parties, the republican and the democrats party

According to Franklin, he explains that African Americans were founded on the Republican Party. During the 1940s, the white southern racist began shifting to the Republican Party. This came after the African Americans started pledging their support to tepidly, an African American human rights activist. Tepidly won the support of Northern voters (Leuchtenburg, 2003, p.400). During the same time, President F. Roosevelt comes into power and the Democratic Party, which had been known to support slavery, segregation, injustice, and lynching, suddenly begins to support the rights of African Americans. This was the beginning of the great shift.

An African American family

The reign of president F Roosevelt

The coming into power of President Roosevelt led to some of the major changes that have ever been witnessed in the American history. President Roosevelt came into power on November 1932 at a time when there was ethnic and religious segregation. This power deal highly benefited the Africa Americans who began enjoying certain privileges that the president accorded them. The president wife, the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt showed so much sympathy for the African American and greatly supported their quest for freedom. President Roosevelt however was a bit reluctant in and never wanted to disagree openly with the segregationist democrats who greatly contributed to his coming into power. Roosevelt held frequent meetings with the African American civil activists whom later on came to be referred to as the black cabinet.

Leuchtenburg in his book, the new deal explains the manner in which the daughters of American Revolution declined an African American Ms Anderson Miriam to present her performance on the constitutional hall (Leuchtenburg, 2003, p.230). Ms Eleanor, the first lady was so much displeased with this act and she immediately submitted her resignation, citing that she could not put up with that level f contempt (Kennedy, 1999, p.320). She also made arrangements with the secretary of the interior that Ms Anderson to make her at Lincoln memorial hall as an outdoor concert.

Roosevelt at the same time continually perceived himself southern honorary and could be seen making several trips to the warm springs, Georgia, to help his polio symptoms relief. Anderson could present an outdoor concert at Lincoln Memorial on 9 April 1939. Roosevelt, by then who was a New York patrician was continually considering himself a

In the book slavery by another name, Blackmon emphasizes on how the African American civil rights movement constantly petitioned the president to consent for their rights and freedom. It was at that time ether the US was preparing for World War II; and this time was characterized by a massive weapon production. In the year 1941, a group known as the brotherhood of the sleeping car porters, had their leader protest against the manner in which the defense industry hired soldiers. He cited it as unfair and based on racial discrimination.  To ensure unity during this war, Roosevelt consented to a bill that allowed for fair recruitment into the defense forces by the federal contracts.

President F. Roosevelt when declaring war on Japan

Because of this act, the relationship between the African Americans and the two major parties changed. Most African Americans began changing their perceptions against the Republican Party and viewed the democrat party as on e that highly supported their rights (Nichols, 2007, p.120). The Republican Party was funded in 1850 with the motive of stopping slavery, which was highly rampant in the country. It formed to oppose certain issues that they felt was unfair and did not truly favor them. They complained that forced slavery without pay could not be compared to the European labor that as paid. They also fought against discrimination at work, where white workers would decline to perform their duties citing that by bringing African Americans to their work place, the dignity of the work was compromised. This made them neglect their jobs, a factor that made African Americans unhappy.

In the book, encyclopedia for American history, Morris, R.B & Morris J.B indicates that most republicans viewed slavery with great contempt and really thought it as an evil act. The group came to refer to themselves as radical republicans. The motive of this group was to develop a party that was competitive enough to from the southern region, which mainly had members of the Democratic Party.

Between 1863- 177, during reconstruction, these radical republicans pushed for amendments in law on the manner in which American racial politics was conducted. Though the 13th amendment, these people scrapped out slavery and passed an amendment which provided citizenship for all naturalized citizens of America (Morris, R. & Morris, J. 2006). This amendment favored even those that were born in America by the blacks. This team also passed a 15th amendment, which bared the American states from conducting their elections in regards to racial, color and religi0ous affiliations. When the American civil war ended, these people entered into a state known as racial idealism. In this, the northern whites imagined peaceful co existent with racial democracy. Despite this, the racial idealism got undermined by many factors. Such were the constant terrorism attack by the Ku Klux Klan, high level of poverty that increased especially among the prisoners who were freed, the great corruption witnessed in the republican during the reign of Ulysses and the great depression, which took place between 1873 and 1878.

African Americans during the great depression

Schlesinger and Israel speaks in their book on the manner in which the southerners were puffed up with racism and opposed to reforms. The racism resulted into effect to the republican votes. This brought so much support for President Rutherford B whom after elections, decided to withdraw union troops from the southern region (Schlesinger & Israel, 2001, p.145). This act abandoned most black African Americans into the hand of the white men. The authors indicate that during the same time, immigrants like the Chinese, Italians, Jews, and Japanese waged war on the northerners in which most of them were slaughtered.

The Sothern white men that studied in the Columbia University wrote several books about the American history. Their professor, William Dunning, was always very confederate and strongly believed that the liberation of the African American slaves was a big mistake. Moreover, he claimed that fanatical abolitionists forced these on them. He taught his students that the African Americans were not supposed to be granted the American citizenship since they did not deserve it. He saw the racial experiments conducted as wrongheaded and destructive, and claimed that it only ushered in black corruption and criminality. Professor Dunning imparted this mindset on his student who then was considered the American academic giants. The books that were written by his students were used across the country by various institutions.

Some of the professor Dunning’s students wrote how the minutemen and the Klansmen emerged heroes in history. Another set of students also in their publications indicated that violence was only justified in situations where it was done to protect the white power (Corbould, 2009, p.130). This justified the violence that the southern whites started, citing that other methods had failed them.

The publications by the students really affected the popular understanding, culture, and perceptions. Based on the books, there was a production of the very first movie in Hollywood. The movie was called the birth of a nation. The movie was directed by a producer from the south who was known as D.W Griffith (Franklin & Hugginbotham, 2010, p.200). This was in the year 1915. The movie was watched by a great multitude and its theme revealed black soldiers as rapist, and people who defended their rights were insane.

The racialism of the Republican Party kept increasing. During the onset of 20th century, republican leaders decided to form their own party. The party was dubbed “lily white party” and the present who was in powered by then President Habert Hoover implemented a strategy he had got from the south. The strategy involved distancing GOP away from Lincoln era. This made Republican Party more competitive since he supported segregation and they were also eliminating the black republicans.

When president Roosevelt died in 1945, his vice president harry Truman took over the office. Truman’s origin was Missouri a region that was bordering the state. Truman unlike Roosevelt did not have so much feeling for the black African Americas. In one of the letters he wrote to his daughter, he complained about the presence of black waiter at a Washington DC restaurant. He dubbed them an army of coons (Blackmon, 2008, p.120). One of his major worries however was the emergence of cold war due to the racial injustice that was witnessed in America. From the second term after Roosevelt’s presidency, democrats earned the support of African American voters. In other states like the Michigan and California, the blacks were observed to control the elections.

President Truman

A portion of southern whites was supporting the democrat party, a factor that caused a lot of resentment. The number of African Americans who supported the democrats therefore declined. President Truman however wanted means through which he could win these people’s votes. One of his fears was occurrence of post racial violence.

Many black activists petitioned the president about the plight of the black people and they narrated to him various instances in which the people were prosecuted. Among the complaints they aired was that of two black African Americans who were shot by white men. The white men upon realizing that the wives of these two men had seen them commit the act, they decided to kill the wives too. They also told the president about the plight of the blacks who had come from war. Most of them suffered persecutions as well as lynching.

More instances were the beating of the black Africana American sergeant. They claimed that he was beaten to an extent that his eyes gorged out. These stories moved President Truman and he saw the need for acting fast over the issue. The southern white groups pilled pressure on him to abandon the quest for rights of the black people and concentrate on other things. He however despised the pressure and condemned the acts saying they were bad and inhuman. He then established a commission that dealt with human rights. Racial libels were then appointed in this commission to write and find report.

The racial libels in their report proposed various recommendations for reforms. This included formation of statue to end lynching. This recommendation was aimed at dealing with the southern courts, which did not prosecute criminal offenses committed by the whites to the black people. The commission asked the president to ban poll tax, which was put in place to bring down the number of black voters. They also wanted abolishment of discrimination of any form at the public work places. Another thing they proposed was that a permanent civil rights commission be put in place and the size of justice department increased.

The report also petitioned the justice department to file lawsuits challenging the conduct of housing department. They claimed the housing departments were administered secret oaths not to give people of certain color, race, and religion houses. They asked the congress to help in integrating public facilities. These were the public hospitals, schools and other infrastructures in place. The president accepted most of these recommendations.

At a democratic national convention meeting, a group of southern delegates chose to walk out of the meeting when it was proposed that a pro civil right plan be added in the party’s platform. The president went further to issue executive orders in which in favor of the black African American. The first of these orders was to cause disintegration of the defense force while the second order was aimed at prohibiting the discrimination of the African Americans in the federal civil service. This act however continued until the time when Korean War broke out. There were many casualties during the war, a factor that triggered massive recruitment of Africans into the force (Berelson, 2004, p.129). Later on in the 1940s, the president dismantled a panel at the higher education, a factor that highly contributed to religious and racial; discrimination at the universities.

Despite the manner in which president Truman’s action after presidency denounced certain black African American activities, he brought a major change in the manner through which these persons voted. By the time he was coming out of power, many black African Americans were on the democratic side and offered their support fully (Dea et al, 2006, p.195).

Summery on the major causes of the shift from republican to democrat’s party

A midst the 20th century, the relationship between the Republican Party and the African Americans began getting sour a factor that really benefitted the democrat party. One of the greatest causes of these was the great depression. This led to loss of lives by African Americans while others lacked food. All the blames were focused on republican presidents that did nothing to protect them from this.

President Franklin Roosevelt engaged in various activities that were aimed at finding solutions to these people’s problems. His historic presidential win which was four times, also contributed to the great shift that occurred in the voting system. Some of the reforms e brought were in the manner that the blacks were treated.

His new deal also helped the blacks to survive during the worst economic crises. The programs that he put in place helped many people to face the harsh economic times. He offered employment to people. His focus was to provide economic recovery for the people. He administered concepts that helped in ensuring total ending to the great depression.

President Roosevelt also put the following laws in place. The agricultural adjustment act (AAA), the civilian conservation corps (CCC), the public works administration, national industrial recovery, and the federal emergency relief (Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007, 2008). These laws greatly benefitted African Americans who at this time were enjoying the American citizenship. He eliminated all forms of discrimination and ensured every person was treated equally.

His love and passion towards African Americans earned him their favor. They felt he was the best person to lead them. In certain cases, he took pictures with the blacks, his wife included.  African Americans also got high-ranking jobs a factor that made him very popular and prominent among these people. Watergate scandal also earned the democrat party lots of favor since they felt that the republicans could not be trusted.

Conclusion

In conclusion the findings of this research clearly points out that the main reasons why African Americans shifted their support from the republican was that they wanted to secure their rights and freedom. They also wanted a constitution that offered equal treatment to all of them. The mistakes made by the republican leaders also cause this great shift since they proved not trustworthy and unreliable. The African Americans then discovered that the Republican Party was the best for them and was willing to defend their rights as a minority group.

References

Berelson, B. (2004). Voting; a study of opinion formation in a presidential campaign. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. (2008). Washington: U.S. G.P.O.

Blackmon, D. A. (2008). Slavery by another name: the re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. New York: Doubleday.

Corbould, C. (2009). Becoming African Americans Black public life in Harlem, 1919-1939. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Dea, S., Richards, A. W., & Collins, S. M. (2006). From suffrage to the Senate America’s political women : an encyclopedia of leaders, causes & issues. Millerton, NY: Grey House Pub.

Franklin, J. H., & Hugginbotham, B. E. (2010). A history of African Americans. 9th edition, McGraw-Hill.

Kennedy, D. M. (1999). Freedom from fear: the American people in depression and war, 1929-1945. New York: Oxford University Press.

Leuchtenburg, W. E. (2003). Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940 ([1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row.

Morris, R. B., & Morris, J. B. (2006). Encyclopedia of American history (Bicentennial ed.). New York: Harper & Row.

Nichols, R. F. (2007). The invention of the American political parties,. New York: Macmillan.

Schlesinger, A. M., & Israel, F. L. (2001). History of American presidential elections, 1789-1968. New York: Chelsea House.

 

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