St. Louis, 1965. "Gateway to the West."— Urbanus II (@Urbanus_Crusade) September 2, 2019
Paradise Lost. pic.twitter.com/ZeEMrXU2gm
Have you ever wondered why the South lost the Second Reconstruction? Why did the Jim Crow South collapse in the 1960s? Why did Martin Luther King, Jr. succeed in redefining the meaning of America? Why did the Civil Rights Movement seem to run out of gas in the late 1960s and early 1970s?
Here’s the vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
The original House version:
- Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
- Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
- Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
- Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)
The Senate version:
- Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%) (only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
- Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) (John Tower of Texas)
- Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) (only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against)
- Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)
Here’s the vote on the Voting Rights Act of 1965:
The House version:
- Southern Democrats: 22-62 (26-74%)
- Southern Republicans: 1-15 (6-94%)
- Northern Democrats: 200-1 (99-1%)
- Northern Republicans: 113-8 (93-7%)
The Senate version:
- Southern Democrats: 2-17 (10-90%) (only Ross Bass and Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee voted in favor)
- Southern Republicans: 0-2 (0-100%) (John Tower of Texas and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina voted against)
- Northern Democrats: 40-0 (100-0%)
- Northern Republicans: 29-0 (100-0%)
There was also the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, but it was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which dismantled Jim Crow. The Supreme Court dismantled the White primary (Smith v. Allwright) in 1944, integrated interstate transportation (Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia) in 1946, ended restrictive covenants (Shelly v. Kraemer) in 1948, integrated public schools (Brown in 1954), integrated public transportation (Gayle v. Browder) in 1956, struck down anti-miscegenation laws (Loving v. Virginia) in 1967 and began forced busing to achieve desegregation (Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg ) in 1971. The Cold War presidents from Truman to LBJ pushed the Second Reconstruction until Nixon was elected to quell it.
The mainstream respectable types fought back through the Citizens’ Councils, massive resistance and nullification. The violent vanguardists joined the Klan and fought back through bombings and shootings. The Southern states passed hundreds of new segregation laws. Some people got so mad that they began voting for the Republican Party. At the end of the day, 90 percent of Southerners in Congress voted against the two bills that ended Jim Crow which only passed because Northern and Western Democrats and Republicans were even more united behind the Second Reconstruction which came to an end only when the social revolution that they had unleashed began to engulf them too.
This war was lost outside the South in the North and West where White racial attitudes, particularly those of upper middle class suburbanites, changed between 1938 and 1965. After the Second World War, civil rights surged to the top of the national agenda during the Truman administration and was pushed forward by both parties at all costs in spite of the political consequences.