The 1960s was the beginning of the end for the southern " Dixiecrats". As northern democrats moved left on civil rights issues many conservative whites in Texas and Oklahoma started to leave the Democratic party. During the 2016 election Texas went to Trump by 9 percentage points. In 1960 JFK won the state. To understand this mass migration of southern democrats to republicans we must look back at the cultural issues in the deep south from this time period and look back at the issues facing the country as a whole.
The 1948 Democratic convention where many southern democratic delegates walked out in protest of civil rights.
Civil rights legislation and amendments had stalled since reconstruction. Both major parties, the democrats and the republicans failed to take efforts to push for human and civil rights. That all started to change at the 1948 democratic convention when Hubert Humphrey had an triumphant speech in front of the convention hall. He declared ¨And I know that we can,and I know that we shall begin here the fuller and richer realization of that hope, that promise of a land where all men are truly free and equal, and each man uses his freedom and equality wisely well¨ His speech drew applause from progressives and northern democrats but started an walk - out of southern ¨ Dixiecrats ¨. Much of the deep south wasn't happy about civil rights becoming an defining issue within the party.
Martin Luther King Jr. visiting the deep south.
Life in the deep south in the 60's was extremely challenging for the African - American population and the poor. Martin Luther king Jr. was the shining light at the end of the tunnel for many. He was born in the deep south and died fighting for civil rights. But, in the deep south Martin Luther King Jr. was widely hated. In 1966, Americans ( according to Gallup's polling ) had an 66 percent negative rating of King and most of that disapproval was concentrated in the deep south.Even with his unpopularity Martin Luther King Junior got a lot done with committed activists on his side. The commitment of these activists was apparent on August 28, 1963 when 200 - 300 thousand civil rights activists marched on Washington for jobs and freedom. The effects were dramatic and 2 years later African Americans earned the right to vote under Lyndon B. Johnson. This further infuriated the southern " Dixiecrats" who started a campaign against civil rights and there was an outbreak of violence in the south.
Jim Crow laws in the south galvanized minorities and helped start the civil rights movement
Of course the civil rights movement didn't come out of nowhere. Jim crow laws that caused segregation in the south had been widespread since 1914. These laws stated that African - Americans would go to separate schools, drinking fountains, public spaces, public transport, restaurants, and restrooms than whites. The southerners who supported the bill claimed that African-Americans were" separate, but equal" even though African - Americans got much poorer funding and many were locked in poverty. Consequential action against these laws didn't occur till the 60's. Their was three points of opposition the courts, protests, and the federal government. Two landmark cases were won through SCOTUS. In 1967 the court struck down anti - miscegenation laws and in 1971 they ruled in favor of desegregation of public schools. Though, their were numerous sit - ins during the 30's and 40's the first major sit - in occurred in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. This helped kickstart the civil rights movement of which she was one of the leaders. Lastly, LBJ ignited the Civil rights act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination in public accommodation ending one of the major tenants of Jim crow laws in the south.
the poor people's campaign was an powerful movement fighting to end poverty in the late 1960s.
The poor people's campaign was Martin Luther King Junior's last major effort and was built to end poverty and help struggling Americans get higher wages. In fact, Martin Luther King once stated that "We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty". This shows that, Martin Luther King Junior thought that racism and poverty were intertwined and that equality couldn't be achieved without economic justice. This is why the day Martin Luther King died he participated in an strike of unionized workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Just three weeks later Martin Luther King Junior planned to lead protesters in DC from the poor people's march. Sadly he was assassinated that night and though thousands did march the poor people's campaign died out soon after.