Analysis Of The Two Reconstructions By Richard Valelly

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In The Two Reconstructions by Richard Valelly, Valelly points to internal divisions within the Republican Party as reasons why the first reconstruction failed. He also argues that divisions within the Democratic Party helped the second reconstruction restore voting rights to U.S. ethnics. Although both parties faced opposition when attempting to enfranchise black voters during the two reconstructions, the Democratic Party was able to implement policies that sustained during the second reconstruction despite such opposition. The Republican Party’s attempt at “crash party building” in the southern states during the first reconstruction is what caused it to fail in accordance with the disunity in the party. Furthermore, the Democratic Party …show more content…
Rather than rapidly build a new party from the ground up, the biracial coalition only needed to take over the existing democratic party’s organizations in steps from the 1940s to the 1970s. In 1946, the Republican Party recaptured the control of Congress, leading to top Democratic strategists concluding that Truman would not be elected in president in 1948 without an innovative campaign strategy (Valley 164). In response to this, Truman begin to focus on civil rights and established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. This allowed a biracial coalition to begin to form in the democratic party. Southern Democrats resisted the alliance between the New Deal Democrats and black voters. However, mitigation allowed African Americans to affect presidential electoral politics by settling in big states with big cities (Valley 153). The reorientation of the Democratic Party caused the party’s conservative southern wing to gather to plot a strategy to punish Truman and his advisors (Valley 166). Truman was now facing the threat of defection on the left and right wings of his party. In response to this, Truman mobilized and turned-out new black voters to win the Electoral College and trump these threats (Valley 166). At this point, the black vote was now necessary for the Democratic Party to …show more content…
The Republican Party failed during the first reconstruction because of their attempts at crash party building in the south. In contrast, in the second reconstruction, the Democratic Party was not attempting to completely establish itself in a new region. The Democratic Party was specifically focusing on coalition building and bringing in new voters. The Democratic Party was able to sacrifice its southern white voters to gain black voters who were gradually gaining more electoral power through mitigation and the Supreme Court getting rid of white primaries. The Republican party, however, was not able to risk sacrificing too many white voters in the south due to the need to establish the party and the lack of voting power African Americans had in the south due to voter

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