The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 250
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
issues. Reagan, for instance, adamantly supported railroads while E. S. C.
Robertson denounced corporate land grants. Unlike both Reagan and
Robertson, George McCormick of Colorado County and W. L. Crawford
of Marion proved to be among the convention's better friends of public
education. As this long spiral of partnerships forged and broken suggests,
both delegates and Democrats at large built shifting coalitions with re-
spect to the significant issues at hand, rather than the sort of durable al-
liances that might allow one to pronounce an "agrarian" or "Bourbon" or
"Whiggish" New South faction in control.
This absence of a stable bipartite factionalism does not mean delegates
voted entirely randomly, however. There were distinct patterns to their
votes, especially when it came to government promotion of economic
growth and social welfare. But the divisions among Democrats involved
more than a simple split between those supporting government activism
on the one hand and those opposing it on the other. Delegates aligned
themselves according to their understanding not only of whether, but of
how, government should be active, leading them to combine their votes in
different ways on different issues. Ultimately, one can detect in their shift-
ing coalitions four fundamental orientations with regard to government
and the public interest. Among those believing the public interest would
be most directly and immediately served by rapid commercial and agri-
cultural development were many who felt that the state's role lay in nur-
turing private enterprise while otherwise minimizing the burdens gov-
ernment imposed upon citizens, particularly by reducing taxes and
cutting spending for public services. Thus, convention delegates Reagan,
Stockdale, and Flournoy, as well as Congressman James Throckmorton
and Lieutenant Governor Richard Hubbard, all backed state promotion
of railroad development while questioning the legitimacy of expenditure
for public education. Others of those believing the commonweal would
best be served by rapid economic development, however, at least implicit-
ly felt that, in addition to promoting expansion under private auspices,
government had a responsibility to cultivate Texas's human resources.
The editors of the Galveston Daily News or, at the convention, Ballinger
and Waelder, proved willing to qualify their party's commitment to re-
trenchment in the interests of a broader public investment in economic
growth and a social well-being commensurate with what they believed to
be the spirit of the age. Thus, they supported corporate land grants, but
also, for instance, a more generous investment in common schools than
did many of their fellow Democrats."
A third position seemed to attend more exclusively to the human side
"0 Austin Daily Democratic Statesman, July 21, 1875, Galveston Daily News, June 24, Oct. 19, 1875;
McKay (ed.), Debates, 225, 355-357; Governors'Messages, Coke to Ross, 717-718.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/302/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.