The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 253
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Of Rutabagas and Redeemers
and human capital. If they are to continue to employ the term "agrarian"
as a tool of political taxonomy, they must be clear in which cases it de-
notes those who, like certain delegates to the Texas constitutional con-
vention, were prepared to concede the state only the barest police powers
and in which cases it is intended to denote those who, like Texas's Green-
backers and especially its Populists, were willing to contemplate unprece-
dented expansion of federal power (such as in the realms of credit rela-
tions or the management of railroads and telegraphs). They must be
careful, too, not to employ the term in such as way as to suggest that farm-
ers constitute a single interest group.
To say that the Texas constitution was not an agrarian document, either
in being framed by a farm bloc or in representing the most restrictive of
politically possible outcomes, hardly tells us enough about what it was.
Nor does the simple assertion that the constitution was a complicated
compromise born of complicated proceedings. It will continue to be the
task of historians to seek out economic, social, and cultural bases for po-
litical divisions in postbellum Texas. But if they should not be satisfied
with simply throwing up their hands and surrendering themselves to the
inscrutability of the past, neither should they accept conceptualizations
that betray the complexity of events, that make a straightforward clash of
two antagonists out of what was, in fact, a protracted free for all, a battle
royal in which combatants made friends and enemies with a serial aban-
don. We most likely err if we expect greater orderliness in past politics
than we find in the muddle of our own day.
disaggregated coalition." Perman, Road to Redemption, 263, 277. For examples of studies employ-
ing more familiar models of factional conflict, see Allen Going, Bourbon Democracy in Alabama
874-189o (University, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1951), Lewis Wynne, The Continuity of
Cotton: Planter Polztzcs in Georgza, 1865-1892 (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1986);
Jonathan M. Weiner, Soczal Ongzns of the New South: Alabama, 186o-865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana
State University Press, 1978); William Ivy Hair, Bourbonsm and Agraran Protest: Louisana Politics
1877-1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969). C. Vann Woodward in study-
ing the Democratic ehte in the postbellum South is famous for distinguishing between Whiggish
friends of industry and an agrarian planter class, but he in fact contended that through much of
the region planting and commercial interests cooperated and even merged. Woodward, Ongzns of
the New South, 20-22
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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/m1/305/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.