Chapter

“Out-Democratin' the Democrats”: Religious Colleges and the Rise of the Republican Party in the South—A Case Study

Barclay Key

in Painting Dixie Red

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036847
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813036847.003.0003
“Out-Democratin' the Democrats”: Religious Colleges and the Rise of the Republican Party in the South—A Case Study

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This chapter traces the extraordinary role that evangelical Christian colleges and universities have played in propagating right-wing values that have aided in the Republicanization of the South. Through a case study of Harding College in Arkansas, the reader gains insight into the inculcation of a particular brand of “Americanism,” proper religion, and economic rightism that fortified political conservatism and helped break the South away from its decades-long allegiance to the Democratic Party. The roles of long-time Harding president George Benson and Professor James Bales are especially noteworthy. The chapter follows developments at Harding and connects them to the outside world, through the Cold War and anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s, civil rights, racial unrest, and Vietnam in the 1960s, the culture changes of the 1970s, and the active involvement of the Religious Right in politics since 1980.

Keywords: Harding College; Religious colleges and universities; Arkansas; Americanism and Patriotism; Religious Right; Segregation

Chapter.  7561 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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