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Reforming Jim CrowSouthern Politics and State in the Age Before Brown$
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Kimberley Johnson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387421.001.0001

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Southern Reform and the New Deal

Southern Reform and the New Deal

(p.66) Chapter 3 Southern Reform and the New Deal
Reforming Jim Crow

Kimberley Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how Jim Crow reformers, energized by the New Deal and with access to its resources, attempted to further centralize government power in a political order that was characterized by a pervasive localism and general hostility toward government power. Although southern New Dealers played an important role in pushing for state-level administrative reform, university-based reformers and northern foundations also played a critical and largely overlooked role in this attempt to reshape and modernize southern state government. Their awkward position as critics of the state as well as state functionaries reflected the contradictory position in which many reformers found themselves. In the end, reformers' attempts to reorient government power toward the needs of the South's have-nots faltered on the reformers' lack of political power and their inability as servants of the state to directly address issues of power and race.

Keywords:   Jim Crow reformers, New Deal, southern reformers, government power, political power

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