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The Making of a Southern DemocracyNorth Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory$
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Tom Eamon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469606972

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469606989_eamon

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(p.15) Chapter One Uprisings
The Making of a Southern Democracy

Tom Eamon

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how two committed neopopulists sought the highest positions in their respective states—James “Kissin' Jim” Folsom, who was elected as Alabama's governor in 1946, and Kerr Scott, who was elected North Carolina's governor in 1948. Both attracted an almost fanatical following based largely on their rural appeal. Both were rough-hewn and occasionally crude politicians. Both met resistance from economically conservative legislatures wanting to maintain the status quo. Folsom and Scott were racial moderates by the standards of their day, taking segregation for granted while favoring steps that would enhance the economic status of African Americans. However, there were differences. Folsom was a heavy drinker and womanizer whose appetites became a bigger story than his forward-thinking policies. Scott was a devout and straitlaced Presbyterian whose vices were tobacco and earthy language. Folsom could find humor in nearly every situation. Scott's greatest flaws were his temper and unforgiving spirit.

Keywords:   neopopulists, James Kissin' Jim Folsom, Kerr Scott, North Carolina, Alabama

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