The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 430
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Inspired by nation-wide developments, Beaumont's reform movement
was also, in part, a response to problems made critical by the boom that
followed Spindletop, especially in the areas of public facilities and law
enforcement. The reformers were not moved solely by economic self-interest
or racism, but also by civic pride, moral concern, and humanitarian interests
as well. They tried to improve the quality of life in the city with parks,
better sanitation and health services, and the regulation of saloons, gambling
rooms, and houses of prostitution.
The strongest opposition to reform came not from a city political machine
-since none existed-nor from ethnic minorities or labor, but from lawyers
and politicians who were active in the county and state Democratic organi-
zations and who themselves shared at least some of the reformers' aspira-
tions. They objected to centralization of authority on the ground that it
was undemocratic and to rigid enforcement of saloon and gambling laws
because the people did not want it-but they enthusiastically supported the
disfranchisement of the Negroes. Between i902 and I909 the forces of re-
form and antireform were almost equal. The disappearance of the Negro
vote did not break the power of the conservatives. The reformers were able
to win control of the city council and bring about better law enforcement,
but they did not achieve local prohibition until the state and nation went
dry and they failed to obtain even a modified city manager government
until 9 I9.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/490/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.