Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History, Volume VII
edited by Matthew J. Schott
This volume of The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History, covering a chronological period defined by political events, the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the election of Huey P. Long as governor in 1928, incorporates writings that deal primarily, though not exclusively, with political movements and governmental affairs. The readings are divided into four parts.
Excerpts from books by Allan P. Sindler and Perry H. Howard in Part I exemplify tendencies of scholars, contrary to the modernization theme, to characterize the history from 1877-1928 as one of conservatism and political reaction, material and social impoverishment, and suppression by violent or corrupt means of lower class aspirations for economic betterment and political equality.
In the selections for Part II, developments from 1877 are seen as leading up to the defeat of working class and agrarian protest movements, legalization of racial segregation, the disfranchisement of black voters, and establishment of one-party governance by the white supremacist Democratic Party in the 1890s.
Selections in Part IV, complement Part II for the period after 1900. They stress the continuing frustration of reform movements, with emphasis on failed efforts to curtail the power of the New Orleans machine and the ineffectiveness of the conservative anti-machine leaders, notably John M. Parker, elected governor in 1920.
The processes of modernization before 1928 emerge clearly in the readings in Part III. The term modernization is used here in the broadest sense to refer to changes associated with urbanization, the impact of scientific and technological discoveries and innovations, the transportation and communication revolutions, the decline of agriculture and agrarian influences, and the growth of corporate power.
Schott's volume goes far toward giving readers a clear insight to the complexities of Louisiana history between 1877 and 1928.
Hardcover, 716 pages, ©2000