Fostering versus Imposing Democracy: Lessons from One Case Where Reconstruction Actually Worked

By Richard Hogan.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The case of Darien, Georgia, illustrates how democracy can be fostered rather than imposed, even among persons raised in slavery, who, initially, lacked economic resources and political experience. Darien is the exception that proves the rule. In this small community on the Atlantic coast of Georgia, between Savannah and the Florida border, Radical Reconstruction was relatively successful, even though the Freedman's Bureau and the Republican Party did not follow through on their plans to establish an economic and political foundation for fostering democracy in the South (Foner 1990). Perhaps the Republican Party might still learn something from this one case where Radical Reconstruction actually worked. Perhaps they might learn that democracy can be fostered but not imposed.

Keywords: Democracy, U.S. Republican Party, Race, Georgia, Post-Reconstruction South

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.123-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 518.827KB).

Prof. Richard Hogan

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

My research is at the border of sociology and history, community studies, social movements and social change, race, class, and gender inequality. Recent publications include The Failure of Planning: Permitting Sprawl in San Diego Suburbs, 1970-1999 (Ohio State University Press, 2003), Was Wright Wrong? High Class Jobs and the Professional Eranings Advantage." Social Science Quarterly 86 (2005):645-663, "Political Opportunity and Capitalist Crisis," pp. 161-176 in Maria Kousis and Charles Tilly (eds.), Economic and Political Contention in Comparative Perspective (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2005). My current research is focused on Darien, Georgia, a small town where the black majority continued to support the Republican party after Georgia was redeemed by the Democratic party in 1870.

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