Creating the modern South: political development in the Tar Heel State, 1945 to the present

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University of Alabama Libraries

This dissertation describes the process of political development in North Carolina during the twentieth century. Beginning with the creation of the "solid South" in the early twentieth century, North Carolina's unique one-party system featured a spirited rivalry within the Democratic Party that was largely absent throughout the South. The political rivalry between conservative and progressive Democrats profoundly influenced the course of North Carolina's political development. Following the Second World War, the interaction between state and national politics played a significant role in the development of the state's two-party system. By the end of the twentieth century, a competitive two-party system supplanted one-party politics. Historians have written extensively about political development in the twentieth-century South, but there are few state-specific studies focusing on political change in the modern South. Using manuscripts, newspapers, and interviews, this dissertation traces the process by which one southern state gradually cast aside one-party politics and developed a strong, competitive two-party system. As such, this research provides insight into the development of two-party politics in the modern South.

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American history, History