Politics and Government

Political Parties and Politics

What was the impact of migration on national party politics?

By the end of 1878 thousands of blacks had migrated to Kansas and other states in the Midwest. The Great Migration occurred from about 1910 to 1970, with a break between 1930 and 1940. African Americans migrated from the rural South to urban centers in the North, to Kansas, and to other states in the Midwest. They settled also in major cities, like New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and dramatically altered the political landscape of urban areas. Economic desperation, racism, and difficult living conditions caused this migration. The migration then spurred a political resurgence in black patronage of Republican presidents and a call for a greater African-American voice in politics. Now they could embrace politics at the local, state, and national levels. When Republican Herbert Hoover won the presidential election with Southern white votes, blacks were alienated and believed that Hoover catered to whites and not blacks. Yet they rejoiced with blacks who won political office; for example, in 1928 Oscar DePriest of Chicago was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This paved the way for other blacks to be elected to office.


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