The Coalition of 1961–1965

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:
The Coalition of 1961–1965

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The chapter then considers how the new context for coalition-making emerged during Kennedy's presidency, at a time when many in his administration were unhappy about the unbending nature of black political will. Two statutes with relatively untested voting rights provisions were at hand: the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. Kennedy's sponsorship of the Voter Education Project (VEP) and of the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights (LCCR) launched the various civil rights organizations on an arduous effort to implement these two Eisenhower-era statutes. But the endeavor flew apart. The statutes that the VEP and its grantee organizations sought to implement assumed that state and local officials would comply in good faith with federal law. Southern violence and obstructionism—as one set of Democratic officeholders fought a pitched battle against the other—made the Civil Rights Acts nearly impossible to implement in the Deep South. The party-in-waiting of 1948 met with brutal repression.

Keywords: coalition-making; presidency; political will; Civil Rights Act; Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights; Voter Education Project; officeholders; southern violence

Chapter.  10885 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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