Essay: Elections That Shaped Modern North Carolina by Rob Christensen

Essay: Elections That Shaped Modern North Carolina by Rob Christensen
May 25, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Elections That Shaped Modern North Carolina by Rob Christensen Academic Papers on English,Sample Academic Papers admin

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Christensen, who has covered the political affairs for The N&O for over thirty five years, in his book The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics-The Personalities, Elections, and Events That Shaped Modern North Carolina, narrates the story of the people and events who were responsible for the creation of today’s North Carolina. The Tar Heel State resulted in the reform of the public education in the South during the century; it has been an inspiration of power in higher education; it led to the national sit-in movement which was responsible for challenging the white preeminence and empowered the civil rights revolt in the 1960s; and it also caused the region in development economically in the last 50 years.

The book is a significant account of the state’s political elections and leaders prevailing in the 20th century; premised upon the thesis stated above. The account of elected politicians ranges from Governor Charles B. Aycock in the aftermath of the racial Populist association during the 1890s to the earlier part of the 21st century elections of Governor Mike Easley, U.S. senators Elizabeth H. Dole and Richard M. Burr and the presidential and vice presidential candidates of earlier U.S. senator John Edwards. The three main ideas brought under discussion in this reading are competing political ideas that prevailed in the state during that period: traditional conservatism, business progressivisrn, and populism. Each of these had their own representatives opposing each other for the voters’ support.

Christensen argues that even though these were competitors, they collectively had their victories in concurrent elections, such as the balloting for the vote of UJS among Senator Jesse Helms and State Governor James B. Hunt Jr. Thus, the state embodies a “political paradox”—”a state shaped by both fundamentalist churches and great universities, by poor [yeoman] farmers and industrialists, by an urge to move into the national mainstream and a reverence for the traditions, both good and bad, of the Old South” (p. 2).

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