Parties and Interest Groups

  • No categories

Entries - Entry Category: Parties and Interest Groups - Starting with R

Redeemers (Post-Reconstruction)

The term “redeemers” was self-applied by those who succeeded in returning the Democratic Party to prominence at the end of Reconstruction in Arkansas, generally dated to 1874. The Republican Party came to power in the state in 1868 with the passage of the Congressional Reconstruction Acts. Arkansas’s second Republican governor, Elisha Baxter, elected in 1872, worked to curry favor with conservative Democrats by appointing many to office in an effort to build strong alliances with members of that faction. This, in part, led Baxter’s 1872 electoral opponent, Joseph Brooks, to challenge Baxter’s right to hold the governorship, thus resulting in the political and military conflict known as the Brooks-Baxter War. For some time, the Brooks-Baxter War involved bipartisan alliances on …

Republican Party

Few state political parties have experienced histories as hapless as that of Arkansas’s Republicans. Following the Democratic disenfranchisement of the state’s African Americans (most of whom identified as Republicans) in the last years of the nineteenth century, Arkansas’s Republicans focused more on gaining patronage from Republican administrations in Washington DC than on ardently contesting elections at home that inevitably would be lost. Moreover, until the 1990s, Republican victories in statewide elections were always attributable to Democratic failings rather than Republican ingenuity. But as the twentieth century closed, the state’s Republicans began to become consistently competitive, with markedly improved candidates for office expressing a conservative ideology increasingly preferable to Arkansas voters. Recent election cycles, especially the 2014 election, have made the …