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The intolerance in Texas


Dallas in Texas
Dallas in Texas

The intolerance continued into the early 1920s. Provoked by the Communist revolution in Russia during the war, many Texans saw any unusual idea as dangerous. The result was the persecution of those who belonged to labor unions, the Socialist Party, or to civil rights organizations. Intolerance was also encouraged by the perception that the values of the city were intruding upon the morality of rural America.

Ku Klux Klan


In 1920 the Ku Klux Klan was reborn and spread through the Midwest into rural areas and into the South, Texas, and the Southwest. The organization chose for its leader, or grand wizard, Hiram Evans of Dallas and promised to restore Christian morality to the nation. In Texas the Klan promised to enforce prohibition, stop gambling, discourage divorce, and prevent immoral conduct. It was antiforeign, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic as well as antiblack. By 1924 Klan supporters in Texas had elected a U.S. senator and may have controlled the police forces and governments of every city except San Antonio and Galveston.

The issue of the Ku Klux Klan and enforcement of prohibition dominated politics in the early 1920s. “Farmer” Jim Ferguson, who had been governor of the state from 1915 to 1917 but had resigned after he was accused of misconduct in office, led much of the fight against the Klan. Ferguson was still a force to be reckoned with despite the fact that he had been banned from public office.

In 1924 his wife Miriam “Ma” Ferguson ran for governor, and aided by her husband’s popularity, she defeated the Klan candidate to become the second woman governor in the United States and the first elected to that office. Her victory sealed the Klan’s fate as a public political force. Dan Moody defeated Ferguson in 1926 and won reelection in 1928. His administration reformed the highway department and modernized both the state administration of schools and the prison system.

Texas Democrats generally did not support the party’s presidential candidate in 1928, New York governor Alfred E. Smith. Smith opposed prohibition and was a Roman Catholic, both of which irritated many Texans. Some Texas Democrats who opposed Smith organized as “Hoovercrats” to support the Republican nominee, Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. Texas voted for Hoover in 1928, the first year that the state supported a Republican candidate for the presidency. "Texas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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