Politics of the Southern United States
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Politics of the Southern United States (or Southern politics) refers to the political landscape of the Southern United States. Due to the region's unique cultural and historic heritage, the American South has been prominently involved in numerous political issues faced by the United States as a whole, including States' rights, slavery, the American Civil War, and the American Civil Rights Movement.
After the Civil War 
Most white voters were disenfranchised for a while after the Civil War. White Democrats regained power by the late 1870s, and began to pass laws to restrict black voting in a period they came to refer to as Redemption. From 1890–1908 states of the former Confederacy passed statutes and amendments to their state constitutions that effectively disfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites in the South through devices such as residency requirements, poll taxes, and literacy tests.
Twentieth-century political movements 
During the 20th century, the South was home to the Civil Rights Movement.
The Civil Rights Movement 
Between 1955 and 1968, a movement toward desegregation gained ground in the American South. While many individuals and organizations participated in the movement's early years, dating back to the start of the 20th century, in the 1950s-1960s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were highly influential in carrying out a strategy of non-violent protests and demonstrations. Black churches were prominent in organizing their congregations for moral leadership and protest. Protesters rallied against racial laws, through such events as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Selma to Montgomery marches, the Birmingham campaign, the Greensboro sit-in of 1960, and the March on Washington in 1963.
Legal changes came in the mid-1960s when President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, effectively ending segregation by state governments, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which restored the ability of minorities to exercise their franchise. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continued his political activism, opposing the Vietnam War and focusing his attention on nonviolence and poverty-related issues. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. A national holiday honoring King, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, was first observed in 1986; it was not officially observed by all 50 states until the year 2000.
Other prominent figures in the American Civil Rights movement included Rosa Parks, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth, Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Dr.Wyatt Tee Walker, and Malcolm X.
See also 
- Elections in the Southern United States
- Politics of the United States
- Blue Dog Democrats
- Boll weevil (politics)
- Conservative Democrat
- Southern Democrat
- Deep South
- Upland South
- History of the Southern United States
- History of the United States Republican Party
- History of the United States Democratic Party
- Southern Agrarians
- Southern strategy
- Numan V. Bartley. The New South, 1945-1980 (1995)
- Monroe Lee Billington. The Political South in the 20th Century (Scribner, 1975). ISBN 0-684-13983-9.
- Cunningham, Sean P. Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right. (2010).
- Grantham W Dewey. Democratic South (1965)
- V. O. Key and Alexander Heard. Southern Politics in State and Nation (1984)
- Michael Perman. Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South (2009)
- Robert W. Twyman. and David C. Roller, ed. Encyclopedia of Southern History (LSU Press, 1979) ISBN 0-8071-0575-9.