Parties and Interest Groups

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Entry Category: Parties and Interest Groups - Starting with S

Socialist Party

Partly as a result of the extreme poverty that has plagued the state and partly due to the fiercely independent nature of the people in the more mountainous regions of Arkansas, there has long existed a portion of the populace that frequently supported political movements outside the long-dominant Democratic Party. While such movements failed to overthrow the Democrats, they served the discontented elements in the state and gave them a platform of their own. Among the strongest of the third-party groups was the Socialist Party. Arkansas, along with Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma, possessed some of the strongest statewide groups in the nation prior to World War I. The earliest formal effort to create a state group occurred in 1898, but that …

States’ Rights Democratic Party

aka: Dixiecrats
  The States’ Rights Democratic Party, popularly known as the Dixiecrats, mounted an unsuccessful third-party bid for the presidency in 1948. This effort was rooted in opposition to the shift in the national Democratic Party’s stance on the issue of civil rights, making Arkansas an important battleground in the 1948 presidential election. The combination of the fall 1947 release of the report of the President’s Commission on Civil Rights (titled “To Secure These Rights”), President Harry Truman’s January address on civil rights, and Truman’s executive order desegregating the armed forces served to bring the issue of race to the forefront of political concerns as 1948 elections approached. Also during this time, federal court rulings had invalidated the Democratic Party’s historic …