Political Science ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between the growth of the Republican party and the degree of economic development in three Southern states from 1950-1962. Basically, the approach consists of accumulating and comparing the data on a county by county basis to determine if a meaningful relation exists between the two variables. The South is introduced and the boundaries of this geographical entity for the purpose of this paper are established. The need for selecting certain states as indicators is explained and the method by which the here particular states were selected is explained. The pivotal point of the Southern political system, namely race-relations, is examined. Certain conditions that appear to have altered the traditional view of race-relations are examined. As the economic development of the region is one of these conditions, the reasoning for the substitution of economic development for race-relations is presented. The progress that has been made in the field of economic development is further explored. Several previous studies relative to party competition and economic development are summarized. The variables that have been selected to measure the degree of economic development are explained. The sources and definitions of the data are presented. The views of several writers speculating on the possibility of G.O.P growth in the South in light of the region’s recent economic development are presented. The evidence of this recent growth is submitted to render some corroborating testimony. The nature of the political data is then interjected. The method of the approach and the justification for its use are explained. The political systems of the three selected states are examined. A background sketch of certain significant developments in the political setting of each state is presented. The factional content of the Democratic party is analyzed to determine if the relation exists between the sources of factional strength and the major areas of Republican support. The growth of the Republican party during the period 1950-1962 is described. The hypothesis is tested. The conclusions obtained from the analysis of the hypothesis in each particular state are analyzed and explained. The significance of the results is speculated upon and projected.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Tommie Phillip Wolf

Second Committee Member

Helen Moyer Ingram

Third Committee Member

Charles Burnet Judah



Document Type