An expansive and accessible primer on Alabama state politics, past and present, which provides an in-depth appreciation and understanding of the twenty-second state’s distinctive political machinery
Why does Alabama rank so low on many of the indicators of quality of life? Why did some of the most dramatic developments in the civil rights revolution of the 1960s take place in Alabama? Why is it that a few interest groups seem to have the most political power in Alabama? William H. Stewart’s Alabama Politics in the Twenty-First Century explores these questions and more, illuminating many of the often misunderstood details of contemporary Alabama politics in this cohesive and comprehensive publication.
The Alabama state government, especially as a specimen of Deep South politics, is a topic of frequent discussion by its general public—second only to college football. However, there remains a surprising lack of literature focusing on the workings of the state’s bureaucracy in an extensive and systematic way. Bearing in mind the Yellowhammer State’s long and rich political history, Stewart concentrates on Alabama’s statecraft from the first decade of the twenty-first century through the November 2010 elections and considers what the widespread Republican victories mean for their constituents. He also studies several different themes prominent during the 2010 elections, including the growing number and influence of special interest groups, the respective polarization of whites and blacks into the Republican and Democratic parties, and the increasingly unwieldy state constitution.
This fascinating and revealing text provides a wealth of information about an extremely complex state government. Featuring detailed descriptions of important concepts and events presented in a thorough and intelligible manner, Alabama Politics in the Twenty-First Century is perfect for scholars, students, everyday Alabamians, or anyone who wants the inside scoop on the subtle inner workings of the Cotton State’s politics
A pivotal in the study of history and politics, not only in Alabama but in the other states of the South. Barnard’s account is elegantly concise, the labor of conspicuous scholarship. In an effort to analyze Alabama’s political bedrock, the author has tapped virtually every source. What results is a cogent and harmonious theme.
Who was this scalawag? Simply a native, white, Alabama Republican! Scorned by his fellow white Southerners, he suffered, in his desire for socioeconomic reform and political power, more than mere verbal abuse and social ostracism; he lived constantly under the threat of physical violence. When first published in 1977, Wiggin’s treatment of the scalawag was the first book-length study of scalawags in any state, and it remains the most thorough treatment. According to The Journal of American History, this is the “most effective challenge to the scalawag stereotype yet to appear.”
An in-depth political study of Alabama’s government during the Civil War
Alabama’s military forces were fierce and dedicated combatants for the Confederate cause.In his study of Alabama during the Civil War, Ben H. Severance argues that Alabama’s electoral and political attitudes were, in their own way, just as unified in their support for the cause of southern independence. To be sure, the civilian populace often expressed unease about the conflict, as did a good many of Alabama’s legislators, but the majority of government officials and military personnel displayed pronounced Confederate loyalty and a consistent willingness to accept a total war approach in pursuit of their new nation’s aims. As Severance puts it, Alabama was a “war state all over.”
In A War State All Over: Alabama Politics and the Confederate Cause, Severance examines the state’s political leadership at multiple levels of governance—congressional, gubernatorial, and legislative—and orients much of his analysis around the state elections of 1863. Coming at the war’s midpoint, these elections provide an invaluable gauge of popular support for Alabama’s role in the Civil War, particularly at a time when the military situation for Confederate forces was looking bleak. The results do not necessarily reflect a society that was unreservedly prowar, but they clearly establish a polity that was committed to an unconditional Confederate victory, in spite of the probable costs.
Severance’s innovative work focuses on the martial character of Alabama’s polity while simultaneously acknowledging the widespread angst of Alabama’s larger culture and society. In doing so, it puts a human face on the election returns by providing detailed character sketches of the principal candidates that illuminate both their outlook on the war and their role in shaping policy.