Walter Buenger's The Path To A Modern South

1154 Words5 Pages
Walter L. Buenger’s The Path to a Modern South details the political movements, economic shifts, and societal changes that occurred between 1887 and 1930 through Northeast Texas. He intertwines the intricacies of political factions, an economic boom, a Democrat-leaning political system, and the ever-evolving culture of northeast Texans to explain a New South. In his introduction, Buenger asks the reader, “In Northeast Texas did being part of Texas matter?” Buenger addresses this in nearly every chapter to reinforce how the South shaped as a whole throughout this time period. Buenger asserts that Texas entered 1930 more prosperous than 1887 through changes in business trends, adjustments to law, public policy reform, and local aspirations affected by political and cultural movements. According to Buenger, political factions were fluid from 1887 to 1896. The population could side with factions depending on the issue at hand, or they…show more content…
By 1892, black populations experienced incredible lynch violence, which “offered a new tool for creating order and maintaining white supremacy.” Lynching was a ritual now—an outlet for whites who feared black political influence and black success. Over time, though, locals saw lynching as unsightly for their villages. To some, mob violence was even unlawful. This eventually led to a public condemnation of mob leaders. Still, racial brutality persisted through 1930. The cultural shift toward maintaining white supremacy started before 1887, but it did not take long to make its mark on northeast Texas. With public records, population trends, and election returns, Buenger continually revisits the political, economic, and cultural tolls northeast Texas blacks faced due to prevalent white supremacy. Combined with political movements, this cultural trend toward maintaining order affected business, law, public policy, and local
Open Document