The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 112
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
test between the old Rough Rider's admirers, former appointees, and
would-be appointees, on the one hand, and President William
Howard Taft's appointees and other loyalists on the other. The al-
ready decimated ranks of black Republicans merely looked on (with
some notable exceptions); for TR and his cohorts were forthright
racial exclusionists, and the regulars were more committeed to "lily-
whiteism" than ever.
Southern Republicans might have had an impact on the party at its
1912 convention: they had sufficient numbers to thwart Taft's renomi-
nation. But they did not. Taft held the "black and tan" regulars
with a firm patronage whip, despite his personal distaste for post-
Reconstruction "rotten borough" southern Republican politics. In
state contests, Progressives made a strong but failing challenge in
North Carolina; turncoat Democrats and some Republicans in Louisi-
ana's sugar country elected a Progressive congressman, then tallied
a respectable count for John M. Parker's 1916 gubernatorial candi-
dacy; everywhere else Roosevelt's men failed utterly. By mid-1916,
when TR refused renomination by his third party and most Pro-
gressives "amalgamated" with the Republicans once more, the Sturm
und Drang of Bull Mooseism had hardly disturbed southern politics
The only significance in this tale, as Casdorph concludes, lies in the
acceleration of southern Negroes' alienation from the Republicans.
The author perceives (as have scholars before him) faint but definite
origins here of blacks' wholesale desertion for the Democratic party a
Casdorph has chosen a subject of small importance with built-in
literary difficulties. This sort of political history provides sketches of
the surfaces of political wars, little of the deeper social and economic
wellsprings of politics. Too, his topic necessitates the juggling of
twelve stories at once-the national melodrama plus flashes, ad seria-
tum, of struggles in each of the eleven southern states. The result is a
blizzard of names, conventions, and rump conventions. The author's
references to Democratic state politics, one might add, are ill-served
by the antiquated "Bourbon vs. progressive" scholarship of the 1940s
Yet this much negatively said, Casdorph has probably told a small
and complex story as well as it might be. His language is clear, his
narrative occasionally exciting. Casdorph is to be complimented also
for his prodigious research: he has exploited manuscript collections
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/132/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.