Tom Watson was the first important native white Southern leader to treat the Negro's aspirations with the seriousness human strivings deserve. For the first time the Negro was regarded neither as a ward of paternalism nor military intervention, but as an integral part of Southern society. As their champion during the 1890s, Watson urged all unhappy farmers, both black and white, to join together against the industrialists of the cities. In place of race hatred, political proscription, lynch law and terrorism, he preached tolerance, friendly cooperation, justice and political rights for the Negro.
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