Invitation Online Roosevelt Lecture: The Democratic Party and the US South

On Thursday 21 January 2021, a day after Joe Biden's inauguration as President of the United States, the RIAS will host the first Roosevelt lecture of 2021: "The Democratic Party and the US South: Past, Present, and Future." 

Maarten Zwiers

The lecture starts at 4 pm and will be given by Maarten Zwiers, assistant professor of American Studies and History at the University of Groningen. Dr. Zwiers also writes about US politics for De Volkskrant.

Up until the 1960s, the “Solid South” was a source of electoral strength for Democrats. Segregationist Southern support came at a price, however; it severely impeded the more progressive ambitions of the national Democratic Party, including on civil rights.

Once Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson – under pressure from the civil rights movement – finally committed their party more firmly to racial equality, the white South commenced its exodus from the Democrats to the Republicans.

This switch first happened at the presidential level, but then began to trickle down to congressional, state, and local elections. Republicans are now the dominant power in the Southern states, but their power is not as absolute as the Democratic hegemony that traditionally determined politics in Dixie.

This lecture will focus on the Democratic South; how did Democrats become the dominant party in the region, why did they lose it, and will they be able to win it back?

To attend the lecture, please follow the RIAS MS Teams link:

The invitation is also available in PDF format.

No registration is needed but, please, make sure to turn off your microphone and camera when joining the online event.