The Conservative Regime

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First published in 1968, The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890 remains one of the most often cited texts on the era. In the study that inaugurated his distinguished career, William J. Cooper, Jr., addresses two divergent political eras and the powerful figures who shaped them as South Carolina redefined itself in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

The 1876 election of former Confederate general Wade Hampton as governor marked the end of Reconstruction and led to the withdrawal of Federal troops from South Carolina and returned the state to one-party Democratic rule under Hampton’s Confederate-veteran "Redeemers," or "Bourbons." Bourbon rule saw limited cooperation with African American leadership, but little in the way of economic growth. Reaction to the do-nothing policies of Hampton and the Bourbons brought the rise of Ben Tillman to the state’s highest office. In this germinal account of the transition of power, Cooper assesses the ideology inherent in the politics of the planter-class Democrats to best understand their ascendance and subsequent downfall.

This edition of The Conservative Regime is augmented by a new preface from Cooper.

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What People Are Saying

Journal of Southern History
"The Conservative Regime fills an important gap in South Carolina history, where the emphasis has been on Reconstruction and the Agrarian Revolt, and is a welcome edition to the list of state studies of a neglected period in Southern history. The writing is clear and the research, especially in South Carolina manuscripts, newspapers, and public documents, is exemplary."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570035975
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 1,369,977
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

I The return of home rule 21
II The struggle for unity 45
III The problem of race 84
IV The economics of conservatism 116
V The challenge of Tillmanism : issues 143
VI The challenge of Tillmanism : politics 174
App. A An analysis of leadership
App. B Negro support for Wade Hampton in 1878
App. C Negro voting
App. D Economics of cotton farming in South Carolina
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