South Carolina's "Dixiecrat" Movement | History of SC Slide Collection

South Carolina's "Dixiecrat" Movement

Postwar politics in South Carolina were affected by the many changes that the war had brought. Many new citizens flocked to the state, partly because of the many military bases there, and partly because of the expansion of state industries in the war effort. These newcomers did not always share loyalty to the Democratic Party or the predominant racial attitudes of their new home. African-Americans, who had fought in segregated units in Europe against a Germany that had carried out a race war, were determined to raise the status of their own race at home. When President Truman tried to lead the nation and the Democratic Party in new directions, including putting an end to segregation of the armed forces, many South Carolinians were ready to end the old political system that had dominated the state since Reconstruction. Strom Thurmond, governor from 1947-1951 and later a U.S. Senator, became an important leader in the Dixiecrat movement in 1948, which expressed southern opposition to national Democratic Party goals. As the Dixiecrat candidate for President in that year, Thurmond hoped to get enough votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives. He won the electoral college votes of four states.

Courtesy of the Edgefield County Historical Society.