Heralding the Second Reconstruction: The Coalition of 1948

in The Two Reconstructions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226845289
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226845272 | DOI:
Heralding the Second Reconstruction: The Coalition of 1948

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This chapter traces how, in the late 1940s, the Democratic Party's New Deal faction built a small-scale successor to the coalition of 1867–1868. Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in 1945 suddenly thrust Vice President Harry Truman into the Oval Office. Anticipating a loss in the 1948 presidential election, much as congressional Republicans feared a terrible reversal led by Andrew Johnson in 1868, he sought to stay in the national political game by emphatically reaching out to African American voters. President Harry Truman became the first openly civil rights-oriented Democratic president.

Keywords: second reconstruction; coalition of 1948; New Deal; presidential election; African American voters; civil rights; Democratic president

Chapter.  9583 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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