Title: Alpata : a journal of history
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Title: Alpata : a journal of history
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: History Department, University of Florida
Publisher: History Department, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090930
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Alpata would like to thank Michael Kelley and the Kelley
Fund for History for their support.







Front Cover:
Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C. Interior view, ca. 1860 ca. 1865
Series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era
National Archives Photo No. 111-B-173

Back Cover:
People making teddy bears in factory, 1915
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-108038
Digital ID: cph 3c08038


Alpata is named after the Seminole word for alligator.















A Jouna ofH str


University of Florida
Volume V, Spring 2008


Managing Editors


Editors


Faculty Advisor
Sponsor



Typography and
Page Design


Michal Meyer
Graduate Student
Justin Sorrell
Undergraduate

Matthew Hulbert
Mary Lester
Michael Goldman
Adrienne deNoyelles

Dr. Jack E. Davis
University of Florida
Department of History
Dr. Joseph Spillane, Chair

Michal Meyer


GAMMA ETA CHAPTER








Contributing Editors


Adrienne deNoyelles is a graduate student in Ameri-
can history, focusing on turn-of-the-century urban issues
such as immigration and public health. A longtime edi-
tor and professional musician, she aspires toward a career
in the public-history sector, such as a museum or archive.

Michal Meyer is writing her dissertation on the making of sci-
ence for public consumption in nineteenth-century Britain.

Matthew Hulbert is a senior double majoring in history
and classical studies. His main areas of study include south-
ern politics, memory, and agrarian culture. In the fall, he will
attend graduate school at North Carolina State University.

Justin Sorrell is a senior history major. He has focused on
revolution and reform, particularly post-colonial revolu-
tions and religious reformers. In the fall, he will be attend-
ing the College of William & Mary to pursue a law degree.

Michael Goldman is a senior majoring in history. He is interest-
ed in Atlantic history, with a focus on the relationships between
imperial powers and their colonies. He plans to attend law school.

Mary Lester is a sophomore studying history, anthropol-
ogy, and Spanish. She is especially interested in late antique
and medieval Europe, and hopes to complete a senior the-
sis in these areas of history. She also hopes to attend gradu-
ate school and continue her studies in medieval history.


Alpata: A Journal of History








Contributors


Kay Witkiewicz is a sophomore double majoring in his-
tory and psychology, with interests in nineteenth-centu-
ry American history. She plans to earn a Ph.D. in history.

Paige Scofield is a junior double majoring in history and po-
litical science. She is interested in American history, focusing on
women, education, and public history. She is currently working
on a senior thesis and intends to go to graduate school in history.

Sean Haley is a third year history and soon to be Middle East-
ern languages and cultures major. After graduating, he wishes
to attend the American University in Cairo to pursue a masters
in Middle Eastern studies and to further his progress in Arabic.

John Hunt is a senior studying history, with a particu-
lar interest in southern history. Next year, he plans to at-
tend University of Florida's Levin College of Law.

Lisa Booth is a doctoral student in European history. She
is interested in Russian history and is focusing her work on
the cultural and intellectual currents of 1960s Soviet Union.

Eunhye Kwon is a doctoral student in U.S. history. She
is writing her dissertation on Asian-white interracial mar-
riage in the U.S. West from the 1890s to the 1940s.

Keith A. Manuel is a doctoral student in Latin Ameri-
can and Caribbean history. He is writing a disserta-
tion about Africans in early nineteenth-century Cuba.

Matthew White is a doctoral student in the history of sci-
ence. He has worked for a series of museums, most recently
the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.


Spring 2008







Table of Contents


Special Section

Public Health: From the Civil War
to the New Deal

A Blue and Grey Awakening: The Civil War 1
as a Catalyst for Public Health in America,
1861-1865
Matthew Hulbert

Using the Social Gospel to Form a Secular 4
Healthcare Network
Justin Sorrell

From Response to Prevention: The Evolution 7
of Urban Public Healthcare
Mary Lester

"Vectors Of Disease": Immigrants And Public 10
Health At The Turn Of The Century
Adrienne deNoyelles

A Race to Progress: Public Health and the Rise 13
of Eugenics
Michal Meyer


Alpata: A Journal of History







The Federal Government and Public Health: 17
The Post-War Period and the Bacteriological
Era, 1865-1950
Michael Goldman



Articles

Failure of a Propaganda Campaign: 21
The German Press Bureau and Information
Service in the United States from 1914-1915
Kay Witkiewicz

A New Era in the Brain: The Civil Rights 39
Movement in Tallahassee, Florida
John Hunt

The Jewish Community of Casablanca: 51
Growth under French Control, 1907-1933
Sean Haley

"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 67
Teacher Walkout
Paige Scofield


Spring 2008







Book Reviews


Renee C. Romano. Race Mixing: 83
Black-white Marriage in Postwar America

Stuart B. Schwartz, ed. Tropical Babylons: 86
Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World,
1450-1680

A. D. Kirwan. Revolt of the Rednecks: 88
Mississippi Politics, 1876-1925

Douglas Northrop. Veiled Empire: 90
Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

Angela Lakwete. Inventing the Cotton Gin: 93
Machine and Myth in Antebellum America


Alpata: A Journal of History









Special Section

Public Health
From the Civil War
to the New Deal








Introduction


A Blue and Grey Awakening: The Civil War as a
Catalyst for Public Health in America, 1861-1865.

Matthew Hulbert


On November 20, 1865, Confederate Colonel William Hol-
land Thomas composed a letter to Dr. John Mingus. Thomas
asked Mingus to provide him with two gallons of purified whis-
key and asafoetida as a homespun preventative for smallpox.'
Ironically, an effective vaccine using cowpox serum had been
available since the late eighteenth century but had fallen into dis-
use as cases of the disease dropped off in the early nineteenth
century, perhaps leaving Mingus with no knowledge of its exis-
tence.2 Thomas's request provides an informative glimpse into
disease awareness and the state of national public health during
the Civil War. His request also serves as an appropriate beginning
for more in-depth exploration of the topic, namely, the effects of
disease as a catalyst for more extensive changes in public health.
From the time the first artillery shot was hurled at Fort
Sumter on April 12, 1861, to Lee's somber surrender at Ap-
pomattox on April 9, 1865, nothing reveals the state of Ameri-
can public health with greater clarity than the fatalities brought
about by disease. It is estimated that of the 360,222 Union sol-
diers who died in the war, roughly 250,000 of them were struck
down by germs, not bullets or cannon fire. This was also true

'Colonel William Holland Thomas to Dr. John Mingus, 20 November 1865,
The William Holland Thomas Papers, Thomas's Legion: The 69th North
Carolina Regiment, http://thomaslegioncherokee.tripod.com/wht.html
(accessed November 1, 2007).
2Terry Reimer, "Smallpox and Vaccination in the Civil War," The National
Museum of Civil War Medicine, http://civilwarmed.org/articles.cfm
(accessed November 2, 2007).


Spring 2008






Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

for 164,000 out of approximately 260,000 Confederate soldiers
who fell over the course of the war.3 Mumps, measles, small-
pox, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, and venereal diseases, the
main culprits responsible for these sobering statistics, were
the result of unsanitary living conditions and the inability of
the clashing armies to provide mass wartime medical care.4
E. B. Root, of the Second New York Cavalry, testified to some
of these stringent living conditions. He chronicled marching all
day, waking up sick, cold, and shivering at night only to find him-
self sleeping exposed in a forest.5 Similarly, in a letter to his wife,
Confederate soldier Joshua Callaway detailed traveling filthy,
barefoot, and nearly naked save for the body lice that had covered
him and his companions to an extent "beyond description."6 Sol-
diers frequently went without shoes or suffered from scurvy as a
result of malnutrition. In fact, conditions in camp were arguably
more perilous to a soldier's well-being than time spent on the skir-
mish line. Flies, lice, maggots, mosquitoes, and other insects not
only followed the animal-burdened supply trains, but prolonged
exposure to them shed light on a nearly complete lack of ento-
mological knowledge that impacted the abilities of both armies.
These insects, some of which carried deadly pathogens, also made
their presence known by ravaging open wounds and dead bodies,
which frequently lay unmoved on the battle field for several days.7

3"American Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics," Thomas's Legion:
The 69th North Carolina Regiment, http://www.thomaslegion.net/battles.
html (accessed November 1, 2007).
4 "American Civil War: The Soldier's Life," Thomas's Legion: The 69th
North Carolina Regiment, http://www.thomaslegion.net/soldier.html
(accessed November 1, 2007).
5 E. B. Root, 1 May 1865, The Civil War Diary of E. B. Root, ed.W H. Merklee,
http://homepages.rootsweb.com/-merklee/Diary.html (accessed October 30, 2007).
6Joshua Callaway to D. Callaway, 27 October 1862, The Civil War Letters of
Joshua Callaway, ed. Judith Lee Hallock, U.S. Civil War Effects on People:
Kentuckians, Imp %\ i\ kci oig ci\ ilh\ a/war.html#callaway (accessed November
1, 2007).
7Gary L. Miller, "Section 2: Flies by the Scores," Historical Natural History:
Insects and the Civil War, http://entomology.montana.edu/historybug/


Spring 2008






Special Section


The availability of proper food was another issue. At times, malnu-
trition was so rampant that Confederate soldier Louis Leon recalled
men catching, killing, and then dressing rats to sell as delicacies.8
The everyday life of a soldier on either side of the conflict was
a harsh struggle for survival, but a trip to the surgeon's tent may
have been the most harrowing ordeal of all. In the 1860s, medical
personnel had no knowledge of antiseptics, bacteria, or even com-
plex nutrition. Sanitation was an afterthought as countless limbs
were amputated and wounds were routinely leeched or bled.9 The
Union forces were allegedly overseen by the United States Sanitary
Commission, while the Confederacy claimed no such governing
body.10 Doctors and surgeons did their best with what knowledge
and materials they possessed, but their efforts were simply no
match for the pathogen onslaught that accompanies full-scale war.
As a result of the war, battlefield ambulance tactics improved
and attention-perhaps for the first time-was given to the psycho-
logical disorders ofveterans. An argument can be made that the Civil
War provided America's first real exposure to mass, long-term hos-
pitalization, and its effects contributed greatly to the general hospital
construction movements in both northern and southern states." At
the very least, it is clear that the war, its disease-related fatalities, and
the conditions that produced them provided a much needed wake-up
call to the nation with regard to the state of its overall public health.

civilwar2/flies.htm (accessed October 29, 2007).
8Louis Leon, October 1964, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier,
Documenting the American South: The Southern Experience in 19th Century
America, http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/leon/leon.html (accessed November 2,
2007).
9 "Civil War Medical Care, Battle Wounds, and Disease," Civil War
Medicine, Shotgun's Home of the American Civil War, http://www.
civilwarhome.com/civilwarmedicine.htm (accessed November 3, 2007).
l'Knottingley and Ferrybridge, "Effects of the Civil War," Knottingley and
Ferrybridge, http://www.knottingley.org/history/civilwar/effectsofwar.htm
(accessed November 1, 2007).
""Sections: Evacuation of the Wounded and Pavillon Hospitals," NMCWM
Exhibits, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, http://www.civilwarmed.
org/exhibits.cfm (accessed October 31, 2007).


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

Using the Social Gospel to Form a Secular Health-
care Network

Justin Sorrell


At the beginning of the Civil War, the federal government
lacked a nationwide healthcare program. Instead, local doc-
tors, churches, and family members provided the majority of
medical care for sick and wounded soldiers. It was not until
the end of the war and the post-war immigration boom that
the government began to take a more active role in providing
public medical care. However, throughout the period, many
religiously inspired charitable organizations provided welfare
services to compensate for the lack of federal health programs.
The nineteenth century promoted the growth of these re-
ligious voluntary aid associations. Personal wealth and leisure
time had increased in America, allowing individuals the oppor-
tunity to participate in private organizations, including groups
that provided healthcare. In addition, the wave of religious re-
vivals during the century prompted a desire to use religion to
combat society's ills. The popular doctrine of "Sanctification,"
common in many Protestant churches, taught that if men and
women were free from sin and vice, then their physical well-
being and environment would likewise be free from corrosive
elements. In addition, the Holiness Movement, which held as a
tenet that one should demonstrate one's conversion through the
abundance of good works, prodded individuals to dedicate them-
selves to service. Thus, many religious Americans volunteered
their time to serve others. Because of the prevalence of religious
values, many historians describe these service organizations as
part of a movement called the "Social Gospel." Social Gospelers'
involvement in Civil War healthcare helped establish the founda-
tions for the healthcare bureaucracies that emerged after the war.


Spring 2008





Special Section


Social Gospel groups provided needed care for wound-
ed soldiers during the Civil War. The Young Men's Chris-
tian Association (YMCA) created a volunteer subcommittee,
the Christian Commission, that sent its members to provide
comfort to wounded soldiers, to distribute morale-boosting
literature, and to preach. Military surgeons were so over-
whelmed with medical cases during the war-surgeons at
Gettysburg faced 900 cases for every one surgeon-that the
personal attention from these volunteers alleviated the sense
of alienation and loneliness felt by the sick and dying.12 This
commission also gave many women an entrance into ser-
vice outside of the domestic sphere-they gathered supplies,
raised money, and volunteered as nurses at military camps.
Although service organizations provided healthcare for
both the North and the South during the Civil War, the Union
had stronger service networks. Confederate states resisted
interstate organizations out of fear that they would impinge
on states' rights.13 The states had good reason to fear such
intrusions. The Sanitary Commission, another YMCA sub-
committee, stated that it aimed to give service "with impartial
hand to our national forces, military and naval, without local
or State distinction."'4 While the South resisted interlocking,
powerful institutions, the North thrived on them. The Sani-
tary Commission, for example, was incorporated as an offi-
cial government body and renamed the "United States Sani-
tary Commission."'5 This group tried to improve issues with
hygiene and physical facilities wherever Union soldiers were
stationed. The Sanitary Commission hired agents to distribute


"Richard H. Shryock, "A Medical Perspective on the Civil War," American
Quarterly 14, no. 2.1 (Summer 1962): 162.
13Ibid., 170.
"1M. Hamlin Cannon, "The United States Christian Commission," The
Mississippi Valley Historical Review, issue 38, no. 1, (June 1951): 64.
(emphasis added).
15Shyrock, 170.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

medical supplies, organize impromptu hospitals, and standard-
ize methods for performing routine healthcare procedures.16
The Sanitary Commission marked a turning point in the
way the Social Gospelers participated in society. The Com-
mission had an expressly secular purpose-to "economize for
the National service the life and strength of the National sol-
dier"-and it paid agents to perform its work.7 Some Social
Gospelers objected to such a secular focus. Even members
of the Christian Commission, its sister organization, boasted
that they had done far more to serve soldiers, declaring, "The
Christian Commission has taken a long stride in advance of
[the Sanitary Commission], inasmuch as the soul is of more
importance than the body."'8 Others balked at having a paid
service staff, believing that Christian assistance should be
given freely without recompense. Walt Whitman derided the
paid agents as "hirelings . always incompetent and dis-
agreeable."19 However, the formalized healthcare the Sanitary
Commission provided, its focus on "scientific benevolence,"
and its paid bureaucracy were successful, and established a
precedent for post-war secular hospital organizations. With-
in cities, these same Social Gospelers also built up non-
war related healthcare programs that provided a framework
on which public boards of health could build in the future.










16Steven Mintz, Moralists and Modernizers: America Pre-Civil War
Reformers (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 78.
17 Ibid., 77.
"Cannon, 75.
19Mintz, 78.


Spring 2008





Special Section


From Response to Prevention: The Evolution of
Urban Public Healthcare

Mary Lester


The nineteenth-century American city was a place of contra-
dictions. Visitors strolling through New York City or Philadel-
phia around 1860 would have found broad boulevards, beautiful
parks, and impressive houses of the urban elite. Alongside these
symbols of urban achievement, however, strollers would have
also seen appalling slums, crowded tenements filled with the ur-
ban poor, and streets swimming in filth and horse manure. In these
slums and filthy streets lurked one of the threats most dreaded by
the urban population-disease. Nineteenth-century urbanization
was inextricably linked with disease, epidemics, and unsanitary
living conditions on a scale never before seen by Americans.
As residents of country towns moved to cities, they faced
a number of unprecedented problems and inconveniences. City
streets and public places were crowded and dirty, while water
supplies were often contaminated. These conditions, coupled
with the close proximity of city living, provided an ideal envi-
ronment for the onset and spread of diseases such as cholera and
yellow fever. Cholera, spreading through water contamination,
was particularly prevalent, and epidemics swept through Ameri-
can cities in 1832, 1849, and 1866.20 On a smaller scale, typhoid
and dysentery plagued cities during the nineteenth century, while
yellow fever claimed thousands of lives in southern cities.21
The constant presence of disease, along with unsanitary
living conditions, contributed to a negative perception held
by many Americans that cities were "essentially unhealthy"

20Charles Glaab and A. Theodore Brown, A History of Urban America (New
York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc, 1976), 69.
21Ibid., 71.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

centers of decay and filth.22 Before the 1880s and the wide-
spread influence of germ theory, disease was generally thought
to have been a result of environmental or moral depravity,
both of which were closely associated with the urban envi-
ronment. The concept of cities as centers of unhealthy living
dates to the Founding Fathers; Thomas Jefferson often re-
ferred to cities as "pestilential," and went so far as to design
a method for removing "disease-causing vapors" from them.23
Dirty streets and unclean, smoky air contributed to the im-
age of cities as cesspools of disease, and those who took this
view often cited frequent epidemics to support their claims.
As the threat of epidemics loomed over growing cities, local
governments grappled with the problem of facing the dreaded
outbreaks. At first, city governments modeled themselves after
smaller town governments, and adopted a laissez-faire policy
towards public healthcare. In smaller towns, government ser-
vice was largely voluntary, and focused on maintaining com-
merce and order. As there was no governmental obligation to
address healthcare or sanitation, private citizens handled such
issues through local hospitals and municipal companies.24 Fac-
ing the unheralded levels of disease that accompanied a grow-
ing city, many American cities established boards of health
as early as 1805 (New York City) and 1815 (Philadelphia).25
These boards of health, however, were different in scope
and purpose from later board iterations. Cities did not intend
to prevent epidemics, but rather respond to epidemics once
they had broken out. The responsive nature of the boards re-
flected the city government's hands-off attitude towards public
healthcare and sanitation, an attitude that prevailed in Ameri-
can cities throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.

22Ibid., 56.
23Ibid., 56.
24Blake McKelvey, American Urbanization: A Comparative History (Glenvi-
ew, Ill.: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1973), 43.
25Glaab and Brown, 165.


Spring 2008





Special Section


As the century wore on, however, urban citizens began to
call for the government to take a more active role in control-
ling disease and managing filth. Many citizens had been active in
founding local hospitals and promoting cleanliness; despite this,
private efforts that had previously sufficed in small towns proved
inadequate in large cities. Due to several bad cholera epidemics
and an increasingly vocal public demanding action, city govern-
ments began to reassess their boards of health, eventually mov-
ing them towards a more active role in improving public health.
The founding of the Metropolitan Board of Health in New York
City in 1866 was a major step in this reassessment of the pur-
pose of urban health boards. Created at the urgent requests of
citizens' associations and staffed with credentialed doctors, the
board successfully warded off a cholera epidemic that threatened
the city in 1867.26 Encouraged by this success, several cities fol-
lowed suit, and new boards of health began to take on preven-
tative roles in disease control rather than responsive ones. The
boards introduced regular inspections of meat and dairy prod-
ucts, as well as checks for wells and cisterns to help maintain a
pure water supply. The boards also took upon themselves the task
of recording births and deaths in the cities, which highlighted
other pressing health issues, such as high infant mortality rates.27
As boards of health took a more active role in disease preven-
tion and management, cities saw an improvement in the decreased
quantity and scale of epidemics. In accepting germ theory, the
boards were able to target the causes of those diseases rooted in filth
and poor sanitation, leading to more effective preventative mea-
sures. As disease became more controllable and understood, urban
citizens could see positive results from their newer, more modern
boards of public health. Yet despite these positive results, cities and
the threat of disease remained a potent concern, especially when it
came to the perceived dangers posed by large scale immigration.


2McKelvey, 65-66.
27 Ibid., 66.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

"Vectors Of Disease": Immigrants And Public
Health At The Turn Of The Century

Adrienne deNoyelles



The threat of contagious disease has regularly affected the
interplay between public health and immigration in America.
A few particularly vivid examples occurred in the late nine-
teenth and early twentieth centuries, when metropolitan in-
frastructures, economies, and social orders were reeling from
the impact of massive immigrant influxes. Between 1880 and
1924, 23.5 million emigrants left for the United States, an in-
creasing number of them from Southern and Eastern Europe.
The sheer number of newcomers over this period-staggering
when compared with the nation's total population of 76 million
in 1900-became a catalyst for the creation and expansion of
public health bureaucracies throughout the country. With the
bacteriological revolution now underway, cutting-edge health
departments like those in New York and Philadelphia now in-
cluded laboratories, making medical diagnoses much more pre-
cise. Despite the discovery of germs and their direct linkage to
certain illnesses, the mode of transmission was still in doubt; as
a result, many physicians and public health officers continued
to rely on tenets of the Social Gospel: disease was spread by
filth, which was a by-product of substandard living conditions,
which in turn indicated poverty, idleness, depravity, and vice.
With strong nativist sentiments running through America
in response to the rise in immigration, disease was also associ-
ated closely with the foreign-born. Frequently, these fears had
some grounding: conditions in the steerage sections of im-
migrant ships were typically overcrowded, under-ventilated,
and devoid of proper nutrition and hygiene. As a result, the
same kinds of contagious diseases that had crippled Union


Spring 2008





Special Section


and Confederate armies during the Civil War also ravaged
third-class passengers from Ireland, Germany, and Russia en
route to the United States, leading many nativists to view pas-
sengers merely as "vectors of disease." Upon arrival, immi-
grants were detained and subjected to a host of physical and
mental examinations. At the turn of the century, Ellis Island
processed up to five thousand immigrants daily. Public health
officers screened for medical and economic situations that
could prevent an immigrant's ability to contribute in Amer-
ica's rapidly industrializing society. Depending on what the
officers found, the newcomers could be released in a matter
of hours, detained for weeks at a nearby hospital, or deported.
In the face of potential epidemics, a volatile combina-
tion of fear and nativism spurred public health officials to link
foreigners with contamination and to use extreme measures
to separate them from the general population. In 1892, for in-
stance, Eastern European Jews were quarantined in New York
for more than a month in an effort to contain an outbreak of
cholera on their ship. Several months earlier, a minor typhus
outbreak caused Jews who had recently arrived aboard the SS
Massilia to be forcibly rounded up from their newfound lodg-
ings and isolated on North Brother Island, a quarantine station
just off of Manhattan. In both cases, the quarantine conditions
endured by the Eastern European Jews on North Brother Island
and in the packed steerage sections of their ships contrasted
sharply with those imposed upon their wealthier, native-born
counterparts and may well have led to a higher death count.
Recent historians have suggested that the Eastern European
Jews were unfairly singled out and endured perilous quaran-
tine measures, while emigrants from northern and western Eu-
ropean countries-some of which had also seen their share of
cholera cases-rarely encountered such obstacles to entry.28

28Howard Markel, Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the
New York City Epidemics of 1892 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1997), 75.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

Such measures also took place on the West Coast. In
March 1900, the discovery of a dead Chinese immigrant
believed to have succumbed to bubonic plague led to the speedy
roping-off of the entire Chinatown district in San Francisco. At that
time, Chinatown encompassed fifteen blocks and housed 25,000
residents. In addition to being extraordinarily well organized,
Chinese resistance to subsequent public health measures such as
forcible vaccinations stemmed from a decades-long distrust of
their health department. "No matter how confident the health au-
thorities were about their ability to calibrate the pathogens in order
to manufacture a safe vaccine that would build immunity rather
than induce death," writes Nayan Shah, author of Contagious Di-
vides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco 's Chinatown, "the
Chinese residents had enough experience with the health authori-
ties to doubt their motives. ... [Their] protests rebuked health
authorities for seeking the containment of the epidemic instead of
the care of ill Chinese."29 While these quarantines varied in scope
and outcome, each showcased the power of the public health es-
tablishment to target and isolate minority groups who were per-
ceived, rightly or wrongly, to be endangering the health of others.
For immigrants who made it past entry examinations
and quarantines, the struggle for survival was far from over.
Many working-class city dwellings lacked basic amenities like
indoor plumbing, adequate light and ventilation, and fireproof
staircases. Overwork, low pay, poor diet, chronic stress, squal-
id living spaces, and near-total lack of privacy were hard facts
of life for many new arrivals. Such conditions fostered an ideal
breeding ground for diseases, which recent microbiological ad-
vances had determined to be unrelated to race, class, creed, or
nationality. Over the next few decades, the pervasive image of
immigrants as inferior and contaminated-a function of native-
born insecurities-fueled the efforts of social reformers, im-
migration restriction proponents, and the eugenics movement.

29Nayan Shah, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco '
C /I1,,, ..ii (Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press, 2001), 137.


Spring 2008





Special Section


A Race to Progress: Public Health and the Rise of
Eugenics

Michal Meyer


While the Gilded Age was largely content to leave the urban
slums and their immigrant inhabitants to their own devices, the
social pressures of a new era promoted an active interference in
the health of Americans. The Gilded Age, roughly the last third
of the nineteenth century, found justification for its inequalities
and laissez-faire approach in Social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer,
Social Darwinism's high priest, coined the term "survival of the
fittest" to describe how society worked. In the view of many of
the leading industrialists of the age, including Spencer's friend
and admirer, Andrew Carnegie, those who succeeded in busi-
ness and power did so because they were the fittest. It was a per-
fect circle of self-justification: only those who were considered
fit (generally the northern-European elite) could succeed, while
those who had succeeded were obviously the fittest. In matters
of public health this ideology encouraged an anti-interventionist
mindset. Improving the living conditions of the urban poor, for
example, would only lead to increasing numbers of the poor.3"
A number of factors influenced the Progressive Era (which
overlapped with the Gilded Age) approach to health: a chang-
ing understanding of infectious disease, increased immigra-
tion, with especially large numbers arriving from eastern and
southern Europe, and an agricultural depression that pushed
many to the cities. Progressivism grew partly as a result of this
upheaval (combined with industrial unrest); what united its dis-
parate strands was abeliefthat science could solve social issues.31
30Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American Thought (Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1945), 31.
3Martin S. Pernick, The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of "Defective"
Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures Since 1915 (New York:


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

By 1915, this social and cultural transformation of the urban
United States spurred heated discussions on eugenics. While
public health campaigns backed by progressives reduced child-
hood mortality and increased life expectancy, they also opened
the door to intervention in families by both experts and state
officials, with consequences such as the forced sterilization of
those deemed "defective." The eugenics movement followed
the general trends of the Progressive Era-a shift from the
purely individualistic towards a recognition of connectedness
and collective social action.32 Eugenics met Social Darwinism
in statements like this by the Detroit Free Press: "The original,
sturdy Anglo-Saxon and Germanic stocks are dying out or be-
ing replaced by . a vast influx of degenerates . wholly
undesirable for parenthood, to mate with our clean children."33
Eugenics, which literally means "well born," had con-
nections to Social Darwinism, but from its origins in 1870s
England, eugenics took a more activist approach to improv-
ing the "fitness" of the human race and eliminating hereditary
diseases. The rediscovery of Gregor Mendel's genetic research
in 1900 provided a solid biological foundation for heredity,
one that could be applied to social issues. Eugenicists simply
adopted the older Social Darwinist identification of fitness
with the northern European upper class and acted to protect
this group from perceived threats. Such threats included rapid
urbanization, the growth of great slums overflowing with the
mentally and physically diseased, and immigrants from the
east and south of Europe. This non-northern European im-
migration spawned fears that degeneration-both moral and
physical-would replace progress.34 Economic decline at the
end of the nineteenth century, combined with Social Darwin-
ian ideas of progress, made it seem as though a biological

Oxford University Press, 1996), 25.
32 Pernick, 25-32, Hofstadter, 144.
33Pernick, 56.
34Hofstadter, 139.


Spring 2008





Special Section


decline was to blame for the country's ills. Since proponents
of eugenics focused on biological measurables-highlighting
statistics of retardation in poor city populations-rather than
environmental measurables-such as pollution or unsanitary
housing, preventive healthcare was more easily ignored.35
What counted as hereditary diseases in the early twentieth
century included ailments such as syphilis and poverty.36 Eugen-
ics was often used as a broad-brush term applied to any trait ac-
quired from a parent (not necessarily ones passed on via genes).
Prominent psychologist Henry Goddard held that feeble minded-
ness, which he considered a hereditary trait, was largely respon-
sible for vices such as prostitution, drunkenness, and poverty.37
By 1914, eugenics had gone mainstream. Its supporters in-
cluded doctors, social workers, and community leaders. Eugenics
appealedto abroad spectrum ofpeople, from radical socialists like
John Humphrey Noyes to progressive reformer and public health
nurse Lillian Wald. Eugenics appealed to many women's rights
advocates, political radicals, and immigration campaigners.38
The issues that worried Progressive-era eugenicists were
class conflicts, social disorder, and racial differences. It was
a fear that made headlines: "Half Wits Peril Many," declared
a 1915 headline in the Chicago American. The article de-
scribed police plans to round up all detectivess" in Chicago
following the arrest of an allegedly defective Persian immi-
grant for murder. Not long after, a judge prevented the mar-
riage between alleged detectives on the basis that most crimes
were caused by hereditary defects.39 Both cases were used by
Dr. Harry Haiselden, the maker of the pro-eugenics movie
The Black Stork (1915), as justification for allowing defec-
tive babies to die. From a progressive perspective, the eugenic

35Ibid.,140.
36See Pernick, 55-60, for discussion on the constructing of hereditary traits.
3Hofstadter, 141.
38Pernick, 32.
39Jbid., 55.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

elimination of such traits could be regarded as leading to a bet-
ter and more just society. Films like The Black Stork legitimized
the spread and discussion of eugenic ideas amongst the public.40
From a eugenic point of view, good heredity drove human
progress. Conceptions of good heredity during the Progressive
Era were influenced by class, race, and ethnicity. In turn the un-
derstanding of these categories influenced eugenics. Eugenics
often appealed to those who saw themselves as progressive and
who believed that science could solve social and ethical issues,
including issues of who should live or die, in an impartial way.
Judging who was fit was a subjective exercise; eugenics wore
an outer layer of objectivity that camouflaged the values, hopes,
and fears of its supporters. Such fears led to the first forced ster-
ilization laws in a U.S. state in 1907. By the 1920s many states
had legislated for the compulsory sterilization of criminals, the
insane, and retarded people. Indeed, during the first third of the
twentieth century, the U. S. led the world in forced sterilization.41
















40This is one of the themes of Pernick's book.
41Hofstadter, 139. Indiana was the first state to pass forced sterilization laws.
Pernick, 31. For further information on this, see Philip Reilly, The Surgical
Solution (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991). Also see Ste-
phen Trombley, The Right to Reproduce: A History of Coercive Sterilization
(London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988).


Spring 2008





Special Section


The Federal Government and Public Health: The
Post-War Period and the Bacteriological Era,
1865-1950

Michael Goldman


With the Civil War battlefields serving as a laboratory for
public health services, the post-war era witnessed the birth of
many federal programs designed to meet the health needs of the
growing American population. The seeds of governmental aware-
ness planted prior to the war, coupled with the growing immigrant
population, acted as a catalyst to usher in growth and reform.
Thus, following the war the federal government, in addition to
state and local institutions, took the initiative to expand its role
in managing the public health of the nation. This assumption of
responsibility was largely in response to great advances made in
various scientific fields. Likewise, several pathogenic organisms
had been discovered by 1900, allowing for the availability of an-
titoxins and vaccines in quantities large enough to support entire
populations.42 In fact, a majority of the federal public health in-
stitutes and federal actions regarding public health that are still
in existence today were created between the Civil War and the
middle of the twentieth century.43 Industrialization and popula-
tion growth inevitably led to change, ushering in a period known
as the sanitary movement; these developments, active from the
end of the Civil War until the dawn of the new century, spurred
public health reform. The federal government capitalized on the


42John Duffy, The Sanitarians: A History of American Public Health
(Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1990), 126.
43T. J. Litman, "Appendix-A: Chronology and Capsule Highlights of the Major
Historical and Political Milestones in the Evolution of the Relationship of
Government Involvement in Health and Healthcare in the United States," in Health
Politics andPolicy (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1997), 445-71.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Public Health: From the Civil War to the New Deal

scientific advances of the bacteriological era, and in less than half
a century, created a lasting national public health infrastructure.4
Perhaps the greatest issue of concern during the post-Civil War
period was the control of disease and sickness, as they had claimed
many lives during the war. In 1878, Congress passed the National
Quarantine Act, signifying the transfer of quarantine powers from
the states to the federal government, although the act was hampered
by its narrow focus. More specifically, the act attempted to curtail dis-
ease brought in by immigration, barring any ship from a foreign port
or country where infectious disease existed. In addition, ships found
to be carrying passengers with infectious diseases were turned away
from entering American ports.45 Within months of the act's passage,
though it had not yet been put into practice, the worst outbreak of yel-
low fever in the country's history broke out in the South. The epidemic
caused the deaths of over 15,000 Americans. With the new act and the
latest crisis in mind, President Rutherford B. Hayes addressed the is-
sue of national public health in his 1878 annual message to Congress.

The fearful spread of this pestilence has awakened a very
general public sentiment in favor of a national sanitary ad-
ministration, which shall not only control the quarantine but
have the sanitary supervision of internal commerce in times
of epidemics, and hold an advisory relation to the State and
municipal health authorities, with the power to deal with
whatever endangers the public health, and which the mu-
nicipal and State authorities are unable to regulate. The na-
tional quarantine act approved April 29, 1878...is a step in
the direction here indicated. In view of the necessity for the
most effective measures...it is recommended that Congress
give to the whole subject early and careful consideration.46

4George Rosen, A History of Public Health (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1993), 168, 270.
45Edwin Maxey, "Federal Quarantine Laws," Political Science Quarterly 23,
(Dec. 1908): 623-24.
' !NJ\,l 624-25.


Spring 2008





Special Section


Hayes's words summed up the transformation that Ameri-
ca's public health system would undergo in the decades to follow.
Over the next several decades the federal government in-
creased its role in public health through legislation and the creation
of new institutions. In 1887, a federally controlled lab opened on
Staten Island to study disease. This lab laid the foundation for the
National Institutes of Health established in 1930. In the first decade
of the twentieth century, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug
Acts, giving the government the power to monitor the quality and
safety of food and medicine; this responsibility was initially giv-
en to the USDA Bureau of Chemistry, but eventually reorganized
under the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.47 In addition,
the U.S. Public Health Service was formally organized in 1912.48
The hundred years following the Civil War witnessed the con-
struction of a federal public healthcare system that took on many
responsibilities like disease control, sanitation, and research. With
the years after the turn of the century known as the bacteriologi-
cal era, it is not surprising that one of the government's final acts
of the period was to centralize the nation's disease control forc-
es. The Communicable Disease Center was established in 1946,
eventually renamed the Centers for Disease Control and Preven-
tion.49 The federal government's role in regulating public health
continued to grow throughout the twentieth- and into the twenty-
first centuries. But by the middle of the twentieth century most
of the groundwork for federal institutions and legislation regard-
ing public health had been put in place. Within just a few years
of the Civil War's end, the federal government superseded the
states' power to regulate health and continued to build a strong,
lasting infrastructure to address problems at the national level.


47U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Highlights," April 2007,
http://www.hhs.gov/about/hhshist.html (accessed December 24, 2007).
48Litman, 446-47.
49U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Highlights," April 2007,
http://www.hhs.gov/about/hhshist.html (accessed December 24, 2007).


Alpata: A Journal of History









Articles








Failure of a Propaganda Campaign: The German
Press Bureau and Information Service in the
United States from 1914-1915


Kay Witkiewicz


The First World War helped shape the twentieth century, in
part due to the coming of age of propaganda as a tool in war
and peace. Propaganda is "the deliberate attempt to shape per-
ceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve
a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist,"
and its effectiveness relies on speed, timing, organization, and
a willing audience.' The turn of the century marked the insti-
tutionalization of propaganda as improvements in transporta-
tion and mass media-primarily in print and radio-expanded
the target audience. In the United States the emergence of the
penny press in 1833, followed by increases in printing speed
and the extensive use of the telegraph during the Civil War,
prepared the American audience for fast-paced, authoritative
news.2 Thus newspapers and official reports, also available from
overseas with the completion of the transatlantic cable in 1866,
gained the credibility lacking in the most prevalent mass com-
munication tools prior to this time-rumor and public oratory.3
During World War I, Britain and Germany sought to
lure America away from isolationism and towards their own
viewpoint. In effect, this meant importing the war for the



'Mary S. Mander, "Introduction," in Propaganda in the 20th Century: Con-
tributions to its History, ed. Jiirgen Wilke (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press,
Inc., 1998), x.
2Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion, 3rd
ed. (Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage Publications, Inc., 1999), 93, 99.
3Ibid., 95.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


population.4 Since Britain was its closest European counter-
part, it became the United States' main source of overseas news.
Even before the outbreak of war, European news in the Amer-
ican press largely reflected Britain's perspective, since the United
States lacked enough capable foreign correspondents to cover in-
ternational news.5 In addition, Britain controlled the transconti-
nental mail service, as well as the transatlantic cables due to its
naval hegemony. Thus, upon Germany's invasion of Belgium on
August 4, 1914, the first British act of war was the cutting of the
German transatlantic cables in the English Channel by the cable
ship Telconia.6 Although Germany's wireless connection between
Nauen and Sayville, Rhode Island, remained functional, its com-
munication with the United States was severely compromised,
especially after the deciphering of the German code in late 1914.7
DespiteBritish control overmuch oftheinformation onthewar,
Germany launched a propaganda campaign to influence American
public opinion and actions. When the German Information Ser-
vice and Press Bureau (GISPB), a branch of the German Foreign
Office, began its overseas campaign in August 1914, it had oppor-
tunities to effect pro-German changes in American public opin-
ion. The immigrant German population was both large in number
and well organized across the nation, especially along the eastern
seaboard and in the Midwest. Accompanying this demographic
influence was a strong sense of German culture fostered by of-
ficial U.S.-German exchanges in academia in the early 1900s.


4Frank Trommler, "Inventing the Enemy: German-American Cultural
Relations, 1900-1917," in Confrontation and Cooperation: Germany and
the United States in the Era of World War I, 1900-1924, ed. Hans-Jiirgen
Schr6der (Providence, R.I.: Berg, 1993), 118.
5H. C. Peterson, Propaganda for War: The Campaign againstAmerican
Neutrality, 1914-1917 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1939), 6.
6Barbara Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram (New York: The Viking
Press, 1958), 11.
Michael Kunczik, "British and German Propaganda in the United States
from 1914 to 1917," in Propaganda in the 20th Century, 27; Tuchman, 15.


Spring 2008





Kay Witkiewicz


Despite these positive elements, the German propaganda ef-
fort in the United States during World War I failed. Analyzing
these failures highlights the misunderstandings of American cul-
ture by German diplomats and propagandists. It also highlights
their failure to make full use of sympathetic German-Americans
and their potential to shape the attitudes of their adopted country.

Components of a Propaganda Campaign
Returning to New York from Berlin on August 25, 1914,
Johann Heinrich Count von Bernstorff, German ambassador to
the United States, proclaimed that "Germany was bound to win
[the war] in the end."8 He arrived with Bernhard Dernburg and
Heinrich Albert, who, according to Bernstorff, were dispatched
on commercial interests independent of the German propaganda
agency they ultimately organized. Yet promptly upon arrival,
the German officials disbanded the previous commercial office
run by Heinrich Charles of the German-American Chamber of
Commerce of New York, and instead set up a propaganda agen-
cy on Broadway.9 In order to establish a clandestine operation
by means of official dissociation, Dernburg was recognized as
the leader of the GISPB while Count von Bernstorff acted as a
well-informed liaison operating between New York, Washing-
ton, and Berlin.10 The Germans, like the British, had a list of
about 60,000 influential U.S. contacts courtesy of the Hamburg-
America Shipping Line." Strikingly dissimilar to the British,

8"Fight to Finish'-Von Bernstorff," The Washington Post, August 25, 1914,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
9Reinhard Doerris, Imperial lil,,11 i,.. Ambassador Count von Bernstorff
and German-American Relations, 1908-1917, trans. Christa D. Shannon
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 40-41.
The first meeting of the GISPB took place in the offices of the Hamburg-
America Line branch in New York.
10 Reinhard Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German
Propaganda in the United States during World War I," in Confrontation and
Cooperation, 138-9.
"Kunczik, "British and German Propaganda in the United States from 1914


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


however, the printed media of the GISPB for the most part relied
on private donations of Germanophiles rather than the pockets
of the German government. Even though the German govern-
ment, according to newspaper reports, spent some $27 million to
finance propaganda of action, such as strikes and general labor
discord, it spent little on the mass media directed by the GISPB.12
At first, the main goal of the propaganda campaign was to con-
vince the United States that Britain was the agitator that initially
forced Germany's hand, yet as the war progressed, internation-
al neutrality and an arms embargo became the primary goals.
Unlike the Germans, the British did not establish a separate
propaganda office intheUnited States. Instead they distributedtheir
various written media across the globe from Wellington House,
headquarters ofthe British propagandabureau.'3 Covert, complete-
ly funded by the British government, and endowed with a mailing
list of between 50,000 and 60,000 contacts inAmerica, Wellington
House concealed its propaganda in the personal correspondence
of Sir Gilbert Parker, the operator in charge of the U.S. section.14
Perhaps the most obvious Anglo-American connection that fa-
vored the British was language. The commonbond ofEnglish made
British news more believable because it seemed less burdened by
foreign stigma. As a result, communiques such as the 1915 Bryce
Report, which concluded that German soldiers massacred Belgian
civilians and burned and looted houses, instantly carried greater
weight with theAmerican public than any German account could.1

to 1917," 40.
12Doerris, Imperial (C ,ll,. ,. 42; "$27,000,000 Spent Here by Kaiser?"
New York Times, December 5, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers
(accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
The money spent was in terms of 1914 dollars.
"Kunczik, "British and German Propaganda in the United States from 1914
to 1917," 29.
Kunczik also mentions that the National Health Insurance Joint Committee
operated out of Wellington House.
14Ibid., 33-35.
15"Conclusions of the Bryce Report," The Independent, May 24, 1915, APS


Spring 2008






Kay Witkiewicz


Nonetheless, America did not officially enter the First World
War until two and a half years after its outbreak. In his mem-
oir, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker listed the outstanding
grievances of the United States, namely that German attempts
to stop supplies reaching Britain included unrestricted subma-
rine warfare which resulted in the deaths of American citizens.16
While the events in Europe ultimately dictated policy for the
United States, it is interesting to note that the door for a U.S.-
German peace remained open until 1917. A non-aggression pact
between the two nations would have likely prolonged American
neutrality in exchange for certain German concessions, such as
the curtailing of their naval encroachments in international wa-
ters. However, no peace overtures were made from either side.
Bernstorff also inherited previous negotiations between
his predecessor and the U.S. government conducted as early as
1904, regarding an arbitration treaty between the two nations.
In fact, Bernstorff wanted to rehash these discussions, but op-
position from Berlin to any such treaty remained strong before
and during the war.17 Britain had already signed such a treaty
with the United States in 1904, but, along with France, agreed
to re-sign with Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan a
month and a half after the war had already begun.'8 The main

Online (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
"6Newton D. Baker, Why We Went to War (New York: Harper & Brothers,
1936), 47.
17There was some support in the U.S., namely by Dr. Ernst Richard,
chairman of the National German-American Alliance.
"German-American Favors Treaties," Christian Science Monitor, January
20, 1912, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
18"Anglo-American Arbitration," New York Times, January 11, 1904,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 6 March 2008); Doerris, Imperial
( /I ll,,., ,. 26- 27, 31-32.
These various arbitration treaties signed around that time were a means to
ensure peaceful settlement of certain questions of interest in case of war. The
Hague Court was to be the deciding third party in these agreements, although
the issues referred to arbitration were only of an adjunct nature to the actual
causes of war.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


advantage of such an arbitration treaty lay in creating goodwill
between the German and American governments, which might
have had an impact in the years leading up to 1914. Furthermore,
it could have strengthened American neutrality by referring is-
sues such as German maritime violations and similar war-relat-
ed infractions to the Hague Court. The vacillating bureaucrats
of the Wilhelmstrasse, however, bypassed this opportunity.
The German influence in American life, however, was unde-
niable. President Woodrow Wilson and his administration were
aware of the extent of German-American organization in the
country, and they were also in regular contact with one of the
leading German scholars in the nation, Hugo Mtinsterberg. Even
the less partisan newspapers ran accounts of German-American
activities on a near daily basis. While the German propaganda
operation was undoubtedly hampered by British control over
the transatlantic cable and direct mail service, German influ-
ence remained a force in almost every aspect of American life
during the war. Count von Bernstorff and his adjutants simply
did not take advantage of the human resources at their disposal.
Due to the success of German immigrants and their fami-
lies within the American population, implementing the GISPB's
agenda appeared possible. According to the 1910 census,
8,282,618 people in the United States were of German origin,
about 2,500,000 of whom were born in Germany.19 This repre-
sented about a quarter of the total foreign-born population, well
ahead of the second-largest group, the Irish.20 Aside from this
purely demographic element, Germany and the United States ac-
tively engaged in an unstructured cultural exchange between 1900
and 1914. The Germanic Museum at Harvard University, found-
ed in 1901, featured German art, while the success of German


Spring 2008


"U.S. Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910
http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/36894832v1ch l.pdf.
20Ibid.





Kay Witkiewicz


education in America was epitomized by the 24 percent of public
high school students nationwide who studied German in 1910.21
This widespread embrace of Deutsche Kultur-a combina-
tion of "philosophical idealism" and cultural elitism-may in part
be explained by America's own lack of an established culture.22
In Lawrence Levine's study on the emergence of American cul-
ture, one source described the United States as "the most defi-
cient in the higher culture of the mind."23 Regardless, the "Kultur
Club," a combination of Germanism and militarism with which
America was threatened in the years leading up to World War
I, represented an aggressive cultural infiltration of the American
social fabric.24 As soon as this German influence was viewed as a
usurping power, as was the case by 1914, Kultur became an epi-
thet and anything associated with it a target of anti-German ani-
mosity.25 One intangible aspect inherent in German Kultur was
an arrogance, a hubris, that caused the various German elements
in the United States to continually exalt the supposed superior-
ity of Germanism with a haughty disposition in mass meetings,
publications, and speeches, hence alienating the common Amer-
ican. Newspapers decried a 1915 "neutrality" meeting held by
the German-American National Alliance in Boston as anything
but neutral, leading the Providence Journal to proclaim that the
United States had "made up its mind about this whole matter"
and it refused to be changed in favor of its immigrant brethren.26

Propaganda Efforts-Official and Unofficial
Although the German ambassador, at his post since 1908,
was the only one of the German trio experienced in shaping

21Trommler, 101, 107.
22Georg G. Iggers, "Historians Confronted with the War," Storia Della Sto-
i.-1; 42 (2002): 11.
23Trommler, 115.
24Elliot Shore, "The Kultur Club," in Confrontation and Cooperation, 128.
25Trommler, 107, 117.
26"The New Propaganda," The New York Times, February 5, 1910, ProQuest
Historical Newspapers (accessed 6 March 2008).


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


public opinion through the press, he appears to have never in-
volved himself in German-American efforts to influence U.S.
opinion.27 Instead, upon beginning his service, Bernstorff's main
task was to inform the United States of the "peaceful and friendly
intentions of German foreign policy," an endeavor in which he
was aided by commissioned American journalists, even though he
found the prevailing mood already favorable to German interests.28
Limited by his official position, Count von Bernstorff had to
avoid any open association with the German propaganda efforts in
the United States. Nonetheless, his connections were far-reaching
and his relationship with the press was such that reporters would
not quote him without permission.29 Understandably, a number of
his prominent acquaintances distanced themselves at the outset of
the war, yet Bernstorff seems to have made no attempt to encour-
age any of his contacts to financially or ideologically support the
German cause. Granted, the enormity of a potential scandal had
his maneuvering been exposed must have been a significant de-
terrent, yet even so it is surprising, given what was at stake, that
no efforts were made. Obviously, the ambassador had to guard his
words with the press, but even his involvement in the GISPB-con-
trolled papers was minimal despite his public relations experience.
On the other hand, his record is marred by rash declarations,
such as that to the The New York Times in 1915 that the breakup
of German-American diplomatic relations would be paramount
to a German declaration of war on the United States.30 With about
480 German-language publications and a readership of around
three million in 1910, printed media was both the most imme-
diate and most natural way to reach the U.S. populace.31 The
German propaganda agency found its publications in George
2Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German Propaganda in the
United States during World War I" in Confrontation and Cooperation, 136.
2Doerris, Imperial( C lIl,. i. 15-7.
29Ibid., 25.
"3"Had Bernstorff Talking of 'War,'" The New York Times,September 12,
1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
3Kirschbaum, The Eradication of German Culture in the United States, 7.


Spring 2008





Kay Witkiewicz


Viereck's The Fatherland, Herman Ridder's New Yorker Staats-
Zeitung, and Marcus Braun's Fair Play after rescuing all of them
from financial ruin. These papers being blatantly pro-German,
the office successfully purchased the New York Evening Mail for
approximately $1,200,000 to serve as a more neutral English-
language daily in 1916.32 Furthermore, it enlisted the services of
well-known American journalist William Bayard Hale at an an-
nual salary of $15,000.33 Neither Hale nor the Evening Mail had
much of an impact, yet Hale remained on the payroll until 1918,
while efforts were made to purchase other influential newspapers
in the country. These efforts created public suspicion, ultimately
directing negative attention to the entire German propaganda mis-
sion.34 This negative attention was particularly noticeable in the
wariness with which news from German dailies were reported.
For example, The New York Times heavily scrutinized the "pri-
vate cables" that informed the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung of the
sinking of four British warships in 1914, despite their accuracy.35
Still, Count von Bernstorff and other sympathizers hailed the
German publications as voices of truth regarding the war, and ap-
pealed to Americans to carefully weigh each report coming from
the British side. No voice was louder than George Viereck's Fa-
therland, which pursued a pro-German agenda from its inception
on August 10, 1914.36 With a circulation of 100,000 by October,
the paper's purpose was threefold: to give the German side of
the war, to impartially recount the weekly events of the war, and
to point out misrepresentations of Germany and German actions
in the news.3 The German-born Viereck revered the German

32Doerris, Imperial C Ill,.. ( 51-3.
3Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German Propaganda in the
United States during World War I," 156.
3Doerris, Imperial ( I,,ill,. .' 55.
35"German Story of 4 Warships Sunk," The New York Times, August 9, 1914,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 6 March 2008).
36Phyllis Keller, States of Belonging (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, 1979), 142.
37bid., 145.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


aristocratic lifestyle and was well connected with prominent Ger-
man-Americans who willingly funded his magazines.38 Thus, when
the GISPB came to New York, Viereck was its most valuable link
to the common people. As a result, the start-up Fatherland along
with its chief editor were promptly added to the German payroll.
Viereck received $1,750 per month to expand his various publica-
tions, whilehis distribution corporation was sufficiently subsidized
to cover the printing costs of the various media it disseminated.39

Official Failures
Given such financial control and Viereck's regular involve-
ment with the German leadership, it is questionable whether
or not the GISPB made full use of his resources. Page after
page of his numerous publications propagandized for the Ger-
man cause, thus limiting his audience, but the German leader-
ship never thought of censoring any of them, nor did they even
consider suggesting that Viereck tone down his one-sided point
of view. The GISPB did not realize that by distorting the war
news-such as claiming that Belgium geographically belonged
to Germany-while denouncing the British for the very same
actions, they were sabotaging their own cause.40 Certainly, The
Fatherland successfully appealed to the German-American com-
munity at large, but as such it was only a niche publication and
an easy target for anti-German sentiment. In addition, Viereck's
moneyed connections with German ties, namely the Guggen-
heims and the Warburg family, were never utilized by the GISPB.
While Viereck himself was active in a wide range of activi-
ties, from literary circles to pro-German associations, the men of
the GISPB were not only idle in comparison, but also inept. Dern-
burg defended the sinking of the Lusitania to a crowd in Cleve-
land days after its occurrence, and subsequently left the GISPB


38jbid., 131, 138.
39jbid., 142.
40Doerris, Imperial( C l,/I..,. 44-5.


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Kay Witkiewicz


before he could be dismissed.41 In addition, on July 24, 1915,
Albrecht absent-mindedly left a briefcase full of papers detail-
ing German propaganda projects in the United States in the New
York subway. By the time he realized his mistake, special agent
Frank Burke, who had been trailing him all along, had picked it
up and was on his way to divulge the German plans.42 By August
15, 1915, publications in newspapers nationwide had compro-
mised the entire operation. The briefcase implicated Bemstorffin
the propaganda efforts, revealed the names of many other lead-
ing operatives, exposed German schemes of controlling the press
through their own publications and newspapers, and various
ongoing missions regarding labor discord and manipulation.43
Other failures were cultural in nature. The "Kultur club"
leadership of the propaganda operation never fully understood
the prevailing democratic egalitarianism in American soci-
ety and did not try to enlist American leaders. They were not
news salesmen and their actions were transparent. German pro-
paganda did not appeal to common Americans, only to those
already favorable to the German cause; in fact, to the average
American, propaganda was equated with sabotage and for-
eign attempts at subversion coming straight from the despised
Kaiser.44 This created a Germanophobia that was compounded by
the new distaste for Kultur, helped along by the more successful
British influence on the American public. However, this context
41Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German Propaganda in the
United States during World War I," 164.
42Peterson, Propagandafor War, 154.
3"Germany's Secret Intrigues to Involve the United States in Great War and
Stir Discord Here by Press Campaigns Costing Many Millions Revealed
by Original Documents in Vast Conspiracy, It is Claimed," The Washington
Post, August 15, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov.
2007).
44Jrg Nagler, "German Imperial Propaganda in the American Homefront
in World War I: A Response to Reinhard R. Doerris" in Confrontation and
Cooperation: Germany and the United States in the Era of World War I,
1900-1924, ed. Hans-Jiirgen Schroder (Providence R.I.: Berg, 1993), 168,
169.


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


does not excuse the failures of operation at hand, as the concerted
efforts of the GISPB still failed to make use of their advantag-
es-namely the many pro-German associations in the country.

The Role of German-Americans
Due to its numbers, the German-American community was
extremely active in American life in general. Founded in Philadel-
phia in 1901 with Charles J. Hexamer as president, the National
German-American Alliance often acted as a preserver of German
heritage. In 1912, it strongly advocated the continuance of teach-
ing German in New York schools, while in 1913, it took a deci-
sive stand against an excise law with prohibition implications.45
With more than 2.5 million members by 1915, its manifold causes
adjusted to the course of the war; however, its rhetoric through-
out was pervaded by assumptions of German cultural superiority,
exemplified by statements that German fighting "will bring the
world nearer to a universal peace." 46 The organization's defense
of Germanism was epitomized by President Hexamer, who called
upon German-Americans "to stand by one another with courage
and loyalty in these trying times which are before Germany."47
The Alliance made vigorous appeals for neutrality of the press,
or rather, for German-Americans to deny erroneous anti-Ger-
man reports. It also cooperated with the Friends of Peace and
American Truth Society in calling for an arms embargo, protest-
ing American war loans, and encouraging political involvement.
The Friends of Peace was an umbrella organization repre-
senting various German-American organizations, including the

45Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German Propaganda in
the United States during World War I," 161; "War Upon Excise Law," The
Washington Post, July 23, 1913, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed
18 Nov. 2007); "Want Languages Taught, The New York Times, May 22,
1912, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
46"German-American Alliance Convention," The New York Times, August 3,
1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
7"Appeals to Germans," The Washington Post August 10, 1914), ProQuest
Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).


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Kay Witkiewicz


American Truth Society, a German-Irish alliance promoting Ger-
many's cause as a means of simultaneously advancing Irish inde-
pendence. The Truth Society, led by Jeremiah O'Leary, naturally
defended the sinking of the Lusitania by blaming Britain, yet still
demanded American neutrality, and denounced American papers
for not properly providing news of the German side.48 Both orga-
nizations held large-scale meetings to voice their stances, and both
criticized President Wilson's policies and accusing the administra-
tion of plunging America into war.49 One of the greatest advocates
of the Friends of Peace was former Secretary of State William Jen-
nings Bryan, who had resigned following the Lusitania disaster.
Bryan was a chief speaker at many of their meetings and German-
American associations hailed him as "America's conscience."5"
Ordinary German-Americans were responsible for the suc-
cesses of these endeavors, the aims of which closely mirrored
that of the German propaganda agency-although any official
connection would have compromised the propaganda opera-
tion. Yet the lack of GISPB influence on these organizations
meant their causes remained unconsolidated and their actions
uncoordinated; the German-controlled newspapers and Ger-
man-American organizations did not take joint public stances
on crucial war issues such as American loans to the Allied forc-
es. The GISPB also neglected to explore the political connec-
tions of the Friends of Peace to William Jennings Bryan. Fur-
thermore, it did not second the general endorsement, led by the
American Truth Society for a ban on the export of war muni-
tions and the prevention of a billion-dollar war loan to Britain


4"Attacks President At German Meeting," The New York Times, May 10,
1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007).
9"Friends of Peace' Attack Lansing," The New York Times, August 3, 1915,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
50"German-Americans Pleased," The New York Times, June 11, 1915), Pro-
Quest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007); "For National Peace
Meet," The New York Times, July 2, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers
(accessed 17 Nov. 2007).


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


and France.51 The GISPB also never asked the leaders of these
pro-German organizations to stifle some of the more radical
pronouncements in order to prevent additional anti-Germanism.
In terms of the failure of pro-German politics, German intel-
lectual Eugen Kuhnemann summed it up best by stating, "The
Germans continued to live as apolitical beings, according to their
custom."52 Germans of that period were accustomed to being led
by a nearly untouchable bureaucracy of king and high officials,
leaving little political space for ordinary citizens. Nonetheless,
the Friends of Peace and local branches of the German-Amer-
ican Alliance inspired political action, as shown by a German
ticket in a communal election in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1915.53
Bernstorff made no attempts at politically or socially activat-
ing German-Americans because he misjudged their potential.54
He was convinced that their most valuable contribution to the
German cause would be their commercial power, and that any-
thing beyond that would only breed American discontent.55

The Intellectuals' Role and Failures
Aside from the leadership's underestimation of the popular
German element in America, its use of the intellectual element
failed as well. Along with the popular emergence of German
Kultur, many German intellectuals occupied prominent roles in
American society, most notably as professors at major universi-
ties. Among them were Kuno Francke and Hugo Munsterberg

51"Vote to Ask Ban on Exporting War Munitions," Christian Science Moni-
tor, February 1, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov.
2007); "Plan Big Loan Protest," The Washington Post, September 17, 1915,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
52Doerris, "Promoting Kaiser and Reich: Imperial German Propaganda in the
United States during World War I" in Confrontation and Cooperation, ed.
Schroder, 145.
53"Pro-Germans Enter Politics in Passaic," The New York Times, February 3,
1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
54Peterson, Propaganda for War, 173.
55Doerris, Imperial C l,,/. ( 1/.. 22.


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Kay Witkiewicz


of Harvard University, both German sympathizers and advo-
cates of neutrality. Francke and Munsterberg defended German
entry into the war as self-defense against Russian imperialism,
French revenge, and English economic jealousy.56 Francke held
fast to a more isolationist position, openly disavowing any Ger-
man-American propaganda efforts in an attempt to truly preserve
American neutrality by not causing it to yield to either the pro-
German minority or the pro-British majority.57 Francke obvious-
ly walked the proverbial tightrope with American public opinion
by endorsing the German cause and decrying British actions as a
crime against civilization.58 His writing was often ambiguous, as
when he denounced the American arms trade as immoral in the
name of non-interference, called on the public to not be swayed
by either side, yet wrote in an undeniably pro-German manner.59
Munsterberg, on the other hand, saw himself as an arbi-
ter who explained the German actions to the American peo-
ple. He openly expressed his pro-German opinions, and did
not relinquish his German citizenship for the duration of his
twenty-four-year residency in the United States.60 Much like
Francke, he was widely published in the newspapers, yet his
work often contained references to the superior benefits Ger-
man immigrants brought to the United States.61 Munsterberg was
closely acquainted with George Viereck, and even attended some

56Keller, States ofBelonging, 70, 77; Kuno Francke, "Germany's Motive,"
The New York Times, August 6, 1914, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (ac-
cessed 17 Nov. 2007).
7"Holds Sea Freedom is At Stake in War," The New York Times, March 31,
1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
58Kuno Francke, "Dr. Francke to Congressman Bartholdt," The New York
Times, February 3, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov.
2007).
59Kuno Francke, "The Moral Right to Thrive on War," The New York Times,
August 11, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 17 Nov. 2007).
60Keller, States ofBelonging, 6.
6Hugo Miinsterberg, "The Impeachment of German-Americans," The New
York Times, September 19, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed
17 Nov. 2007).


Alpata: A Journal of History





Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


of the first meetings of the GISPB.62 Although he steadfastly de-
nied any official collaboration in public, Mtinsterberg sought to
revitalize the German-American National Alliance using his and
other Germanophiles' connections to wealthy German-Ameri-
cans.63 His position as governmental liaison must not to be dis-
counted either, as he frequently called on Wilson and Theodore
Roosevelt to offer his unsolicited opinions on the war, policy,
and the public mood.64 Even though he lost the confidence of
Roosevelt and the administration as the war progressed, Miin-
sterberg was a respected leader in both the German-American
community and with prominent Americans. He was perhaps the
greatest individual German asset the GISPB had at its disposal.
While there were certainly others who expounded upon
the German cause in the United States, Francke and Miinster-
berg were the most respected, most widely-read, and most in-
fluential of them all. Where Bernstorff, Dernburg, and Albert
failed was in not utilizing their connections to exert more influ-
ence. Francke knew Miinsterberg, Miinsterberg knew Viereck,
Viereck knew everyone else involved, and this was just one
string of the vast interpersonal web the GISPB had at its dispos-
al. Surely Francke and Mtnsterberg differed on finer ideologi-
cal grounds, and it is perhaps unlikely that Francke would have
deviated from his position, but both endorsed the German side.
One of the negative contributions by the German intellec-
tuals' in their press writings was their pedantic tone, in effect
lecturing the reader on what America should do regarding the
war. This, however, could have been compensated for by edit-
ing out the offensive parts had the GISPB more closely collabo-
rated with the intellectuals and the pro-German newspapers.65
Furthermore, Minsterberg's connection with Wilson was left

62Keller, States ofBelonging, 80.
63Ibid., 82.
64Ibid., 82, 83, 97.
65Nagler, "German Imperial Propaganda in the American Homefront in
World War I: A Response to Reinhard R. Doerris," 168.


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Kay Witkiewicz


unexplored. Miinsterberg had already supported Germany's
cause to Wilson, yet he was not called upon to suggest various
possibilities, such as German-American peace, an alliance, or
even implicit understandings. Regardless of whether or not any
of the above was possible, the complete lack of any attempt to
utilize this association is noteworthy. In addition to neglecting
organizational ties, the German propaganda campaign lacked ini-
tiative in cooperating with popular, intellectual German patriots.
Although the GISPB quickly discovered that a reactive
rather than proactive position on propaganda was a death sen-
tence, they missed many opportunities to be effective. Aside
from the technical difficulties incurred by the loss of the trans-
atlantic cable, the greatest obstacles to success was the German
government itself and, moreover, the actual course of the war.
True, the pro-German newspapers, instead of softening up the
public for the reception of certain news, only reacted by justi-
fying German actions, as they had done with the Bryce Re-
port and the execution of British nurse Edith Cavell.66 In addi-
tion, the Germans sought an alliance with the Irish, but given
that 14 percent of the foreign-born population in the U.S. was
of such origin, the results of that alliance were meager at best.67
The illusion of a short war, shared by many official, mili-
tary, and civilian constituencies at that time, may have lulled the
GISPB into a lackadaisical effort to win over the American pub-
lic. In retrospect, greater organization and a more directed effort
with experienced agents could have improved the German pro-
paganda operation. While the people who were in charge were
certainly not blameless for the way the campaign turned out, the
government in Berlin was also at fault for not better assisting the

66"Germany's Reply to Bryce Report on Atrocities," The New York Times,
July 18, 1915, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 18 Nov. 2007);
"Germans Execute a Woman," The Washington Post, October 16, 1915,
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (accessed 19 Nov. 2007).
67U.S. Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910
http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/36894832v1ch11.pdf.


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Failure of a Propaganda Campaign


German mission, namely through financial support. The fact that
the Kaiser's government did not allow neutral war correspon-
dents at the front, while the British entertained them handsome-
ly, did not help.68 However, Bernstorff, Dernburg, and Albrecht
committed their share of follies, neglected exploring personal
connections, and did not attempt to change the common pro-Ger-
man rhetoric which failed to appeal to the average American.
By 1914, the inroads made by German Kultur were more
than a decade old and were well established in the American infra-
structure. German-Americans embraced their lives in the Unites
States with the slogan, "Germania is our mother; Columbia is our
bride," thus simultaneously praising their German heritage and
their American future.69 German newspapers flourished, German
immigrants were widely organized across the continent, and Ger-
man intellectuals taught in some of America's most renowned
institutions. What was lacking was concerted German leadership.
Citizens, immigrants, and sympathizers, foreign and native-
born, defended the German war stance until the bitter end. Could
a more effective propaganda office have kept the United States
out of the war entirely? Probably not, but its operation did exert
enough influence to show how a powerful minority might act to
influence an entire nation. Organized or not, dissenting German-
American voices were heard, their actions felt, and their effort
and courage in a democratic nation hostile to their cause in times
of war was their most significant contribution to the war effort.



68Kunczik, "British and German Propaganda in the United States from 1914
to 1917," 32.
69Peterson, Propaganda for War, 173.
Carl Schurz, who uttered these words, at another point further elaborated on
the unique position of German-Americans, noting, "We German-Americans
are the hyphen between Germany and America; we present the living
demonstration of the fact that a large population may be transplanted from
one to another country and may be devoted to the new fatherland for life and
death..."


Spring 2008








A New Era in the Brain: The Civil Rights
Movement in Tallahassee, Florida

John Hunt


There were many pivotal events in the civil rights move-
ment during the 1950s and 1960s. Rosa Parks's refused to give
up her seat, igniting a bus boycott. Radical white citizens in some
communities violently resisted the efforts of civil rights dem-
onstrators in towns such as St. Augustine, Florida, and Selma,
Alabama. Largely ignored, however, is the crucial topic of the
moderate white response to the actions of African Americans,
particularly in smaller communities where violence was not
widespread. Understanding the responses of white citizens dur-
ing this period is critical to fully grasping the changes that the
movement brought to American society. In Tallahassee, Florida's
capital, one can see a microcosm of the larger civil rights move-
ment. The white population of Tallahassee, comprised largely
of "moderates," a term used for those who acquiesced to the
demands of African Americans because they did not wish to
see the town fall into social and economic chaos, reacted rela-
tively calmly to events between 1956 and 1964. Yet it is nec-
essary to closely examine this relative calm, as the response of
the moderate white community is a complicated aspect of the
civil rights movement in Tallahassee, as elsewhere in the South.
Before focusing specifically on Tallahassee, it is helpful to
examine what historians have said about the general subject of the
white response to the civil rights movement. In David L. Chap-
pell's Inside Agitators: White .S,,nt hei e %\ in the Civil Rights
Movement, the author traces the role of sympathetic whites in
the success of the African American quest for equal rights and
opportunities. Chappell points out the divide within the white
community concerning the protests of African Americans and


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


creates three categories of response by white southerners, all of
which were present in Tallahassee. These categories comprised
extreme segregationists; moderates who supported segregation
but did not wish to take the necessary risks needed to defend the
system (the largest group); and supporters of the African Ameri-
can movement.' He details the secretive nature of white support
for the civil rights movement, as whites feared the consequences
of openly supporting African Americans in their struggle.2 This
secretive element was visible in Tallahassee, particularly among
prominent white businessmen such as banker George Lewis II,
who provided aid to boycotters within the city.3 Lewis's case
provides an excellent example of an individual attempting to
aid the black community in such a way as to not damage his
reputation in the white community. As president of the Lewis
State Bank, Lewis helped civil rights leaders by allowing them
to enter the bank prior to opening in order to take out loans or
withdraw money, thus providing crucial financial support.4 Chap-
pell also discusses the flawed logic of segregationists who at-
tempted to maintain the established system through legal means,
but found this strategy increasingly a failure as the civil rights
movement unfolded.5 For Chappell, then, the unwilling major-
ity of the white community, which he labels "moderate," helped
African Americans the most in their struggle for civil rights by
acquiescing to black activist demands in the hope that society
would avoid falling into disrepair. The reluctant concessions
made by both residents and leaders in Tallahassee reflect this idea.
The works of George Lewis and Jason Sokol further illus-
trate the variety of responses of white southerners to the civil

'David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights
Movement (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), xxiv.
2Ibid., 61.
3Glenda Alice Rabby, The Pain and the Promise The Struggle for Civil
Rights in Tallahassee, Florida (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press,
1999), 25-26.
4Ibid.
5Chappell, 114.


Spring 2008





John Hunt


rights movement. In Lewis's Massive Resistance, he describes
the heterogeneous approaches that southern whites developed
in attacking the civil rights movement and how this heteroge-
neity undermined the attempts of segregationists.6 He also dis-
cusses the legal means by which white southerners attempted
to maintain segregation, including the subversion of the Su-
preme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board.7 Sokol's There Goes
My Everything also observes the lack of homogeneity in the re-
sponse of white southerners to the civil rights movement.8 The
author discusses the drastic changes that occurred in the South
during the civil rights era and the common belief that segrega-
tion was the natural way of life.9 The revolutionary changes
brought about by the civil rights movement, Sokol claims, cre-
ated a new southern society; in Tallahassee, beginning with
the bus boycott, one can see clearly the drastic changes that
occurred in the city, both for African Americans and whites.0"
A brief examination of the civil rights movement in Florida's
capital and the response of the white community in the city aids
in understanding this important period of American history. On
May 26, 1956, Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson, two stu-
dents at the all-black Florida Mechanical and Agricultural Uni-
versity (FAMU), were arrested by Tallahassee police for "placing
themselves in a position to incite a riot."" These charges stemmed
from the refusal of the young women to move from the "whites
only" section of a crowded Cities Transit bus.12 Inspired by the
actions of these two young women, other students at FAMU,

6George Lewis, Massive Resistance: The White Response to the Civil Rights
Movement (London: Hodder Arnold, 2006), 12.
7Ibid., 31.
8Jason Sokol, There Goes My F~ ,., ih,,iv. White Southerners in the Age of
Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 4.
9Ibid., 61.
'"Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 265.
llbid., 9-10.
12"Front Sitting Negro Women Arrested Here," Tallahassee Democrat, May
27, 1956.


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


and soon the overwhelming majority of the black population of
Tallahassee, began a bus boycott that paralleled the civil rights
demonstrations occurring in other parts of the South. To the
white community, the bus boycott came as somewhat of a shock,
as race relations in Florida's capital seemed to be harmonious.
On May 27, 1956, students at FAMU launched a boycott
of Cities Transit, Inc., the only provider of public transportation
in Tallahassee.13 Within days, the larger black community joined
the students in protesting the segregationist policies of the bus
company. As Glenda Rabby notes in her dissertation, "students
began the bus boycott, but the adult black community would
see it through and bear the reprisals from a shocked and pow-
erful white community."'4 Indeed, soon after the beginning of
the student-led bus boycott, influential black leaders formed the
Inter-Civic Council (ICC), led by C. K. Steele, a Baptist min-
ister who moved to Tallahassee in 1952.'5 The ICC, modeled
after the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), voiced
similar demands for equality in Tallahassee that the MIA did in
Montgomery, and took over the bus boycott from the FAMU stu-
dents.16 On June 20, 1952, the ICC made its demands public,
publishing "An Appeal to the People of Tallahassee for Moral
Justice" in the Tallahassee Democrat, the primary white news-
paper in the city.17 As in Montgomery and elsewhere in the
South, African Americans in Tallahassee demanded that the bus
company allow patrons to sit anywhere they wished on the bus,
that the company give blacks an equal opportunity for employ-
ment, and that drivers treat all passengers courteously.18 Predict-
ably, the white community did not believe that the demands of

13"FAMU Students Start Boycott of City Buses," Tallahassee Democrat,
May 28, 1956.
"1Glenda Alice Rabby, "Out of the Past: The Civil Rights Movement in Tal-
lahassee, Florida" (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1984), 16.
15Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 16.
16Ibid, 17-18.
17Tallahassee Democrat, June 20, 1956.
11bid.


Spring 2008





John Hunt


African Americans were reasonable, and Cities Transit initially
refused to concede despite the severe economic damage suffered
by the company. However, the Tallahassee bus boycott proved to
civil rights leaders and whites across the country that the Mont-
gomery boycott was no fluke, and that the civil rights move-
ment could thrive even in relatively peaceful communities.19
On November 13, 1952, the Supreme Court ruled that
Montgomery's segregated busing policies were unconstitution-
al. Implementing this decision in Tallahassee took some time,
but the bus boycott was effectively over, with the bus compa-
ny eventually pushing for integration to avoid economic ruin.20
During the course of the boycott, on 8 July, C. K. Steele and
the ICC announced that protests would widen into other areas
of Tallahassee society, most importantly the business commu-
nity. Events in Tallahassee thus followed a similar path to those
in Montgomery, and the boycott of the town's businesses sig-
naled the emergence of an organized and powerful civil rights
movement in the city, much to the chagrin of white leaders.21
From 1956 to 1964, African Americans made many strides in
civil rights in Florida's capital, achieving the desegregation of the
city's buses and businesses. Afterthe Greensboro lunch counter sit-
ins began on February 1, 1960, in North Carolina, such demonstra-
tions quickly spread throughout the South. The Tallahassee chapter
of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) initiated its first sit-in
at a Woolworth's lunch counter on February 12.22 Similar to the
ultimate response of Cities Transit to the bus boycott, white Talla-
hassee business leaders, fearing the economic ramifications of the
loss of patrons, slowly began to desegregate their establishments.



19Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 3.
20Ibid., 46.
21Ibid.
22William H. Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina,
and the Black Strugglefor Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press,
1980), 99; Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 88.


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


The hardest battle that the black community in Tallahas-
see had to fight was the desegregation of the public schools, a
point the white community was unwilling to concede with-
out a fight.23 Although the battle for school desegregation was
not nearly as violent in Tallahassee and in Florida as whole as
it was in Alabama or Arkansas, the white community managed
to preserve segregation for many years through legal means.
In 1962, Steele and other parents filed a suit in federal district
court against the Leon County School Board in Steele et al. v.
Board of Public Instruction of Leon County.24 It was not until
1969, fifteen years after the original Brown decision and five
years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, that the Steele
case finally brought about desegregation in Tallahassee schools.25
With this background of the civil rights movement in Tal-
lahassee and the general response of the white community, it is
important to examine more closely how white leaders and cit-
izens at both the state and community levels responded to the
actions of African Americans in Tallahassee during the civil
rights era. "Moderation" as a response masked the attempts of
white Floridians to maintain segregation. Although some genu-
inely wished to see a new society emerge, there were definite
segregationist undertones in the words of white leaders in both
Florida politics and at the local level in Tallahassee. The first
two individuals whose words are important to examine are Le-
Roy Collins, the governor of Florida from 1955 until 1961, and
Farris Bryant, governor from 1961 until 1965. Although Collins
would later become a civil rights figure in the Johnson admin-
istration, as governor he advocated a moderate stance, meaning
that he sought to preserve segregation in Florida during his term
in the belief that integrating too quickly would be detrimental
to the state.26 As Tom Wagy notes in his work Governor LeRoy

23Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 200-201.
24Ibid., 225.
25Ibid., 252-255.
26Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 162.


Spring 2008





John Hunt


Collins of Florida: Spokesman of the New So.,nh, the heritage
of Collins greatly influenced how he responded to the racial
crisis that arose during his terms as governor.27 Born and raised
in Tallahassee, Collins grew up in an environment in which the
white community assumed that African Americans were happy
in a segregated society.28 Unlike other southern governors of the
era, Collins managed to present a position that appeased Afri-
can Americans, while at the same time reassuring the white
population that he would not support drastic changes to society.
On January 2, 1957, in an effort to ease racial tensions in
his hometown, Governor Collins once again suspended the bus
service in Tallahassee, blaming the "irresponsible Negro lead-
ership" and the "rabid pro-segregationists."29 In his inaugural
address, given on January 8, 1957, Collins justified the actions
of the South in regards to race relations, stating that they "were
under the impression they were not proceeding in violation of
the United States Constitution."30 The address Collins gave to
the people of Florida on March 20, 1960, presented in response
to the racial crises taking place throughout the state, provides
the best illustration of the ideology of the governor. In the ad-
dress, Collins discussed the racial tension in the capital, and
called on both protesters and the white community to maintain
order in the city.31 However, the governor went on to explain
his stance on the issue of integration, providing a glimpse of
the changes in his thinking on race relations during his time in

27Tom Wagy, Governor LeRoy Collins ofFlorida: Spokesman of the New
South (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1985), 2.
28Ibid., 3.
:Rabb\ The Pain and the Promise, 50-51.
30LeRoy Collins, "Inaugural Address of Governor LeRoy Collins at the
Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida," January 8, 1957. P.K. Yonge Library of
Florida History, Gainesville, Florida.
3LeRoy Collins, "Transcript of Statewide TV-Radio Talk to The People of
Florida On Race Relations," Delivered March 20, 1960. Florida Heritage
Collection, http://fulltextl0.fcla.edu/cgi/t/text/textidx?c=fhp&idno=NFOOOO
0161&format=pdf.


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


office, which gradually became more liberal.2 For example, Col-
lins proclaimed that it was "morally wrong" for an owner to al-
low "negroes" into the store and then single out one department
which they cannot enter.33 In addition, Collins used the rhetoric
of anti-communism to encourage the people of Florida to over-
come the "racial strife" that was plaguing the United States.34
The governor called for the creation of biracial committees
throughout the state to investigate racial matters in each com-
munity, and declared, "We've got to have men with new eras
in their brains," meaning that the old southern ways of thinking
about race could no longer be maintained.35 At the end of the
speech, the television crew "stood still, too stunned to move."36
LeRoy Collins's successor Ferris Bryant did not share Col-
lins's "moderate" stance on integration. Instead, Bryant was a
governor more in the ideological mold of the conservative gov-
ernor of Alabama, George Wallace, although Florida's governor
did not repeat Wallace's extreme actions. During the campaign
season in 1960, the Tallahassee Democrat asked the gubernato-
rial candidates, Doyle Carlton and Bryant, their opinions on the
subject of school integration. While Carlton stated that he would
not remove his children from an integrated school, Bryant said
that he would remove his girls from such schools, as permitted
under Florida's pupil assignment law.3 This statement proved a
harbinger of Bryant's approach to race relations during his time
as governor from 1961 to 1965. In his inaugural address, Bry-
ant declared his firm support for state rights', saying that he and
his administration would "oppose with vigor any efforts by the
Federal government to usurp the proper and lawful prerogatives



3Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 107.
3Governor Collins, 6.
34Ibid., 8.
35Ibid., 9, 12.
36Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 108.
37Tallahassee Democrat, May 23, 1960.


Spring 2008





John Hunt


of the state."38 Throughout his administration, Bryant opposed
racial progress throughout Florida, particularly in Tallahassee.39
The white community in Tallahassee, as evidenced by ar-
ticles, editorials, and letters to the editor found in the Democrat
from 1956 to 1964, was also largely opposed to changes in race
relations in the city, although there were those who called for
"moderation." Beginning with the bus boycott in May 1956, the
newspaper continually ran stories and editorials, the latter writ-
ten by long-time conservative editor of the Democrat Malcolm
Johnson, reflecting fears of the changes that were occurring in the
city.40 As in other southern communities, the Democrat constant-
ly spoke of the threat of outside agitators of the civil rights move-
ment, despite the fact that civil rights leaders were citizens of Tal-
lahassee.41 Although the paper presented itself as a "moderate"
voice, fair to both the white and black communities in Tallahas-
see, it is clear that the paper was far from unbiased in its view of
race relations in Florida's capital. Throughout the civil rights era,
Johnson continually chided black leaders for not compromising
in their attempts at equality.42 During this period in Tallahassee,
the Democrat reflected the prevailing beliefs of its white read-
ers that African Americans needed the white community to lift
them up, and that protesters were confusing desires for rights.43
Although the paper often focused on the "unreasonable" de-
mands of the African Americans, there were times when Mal-
colm Johnson spoke out against radical segregationists, in the
belief that while society should remain segregated, violence was

38Farris Bryant, "Inaugural Address of Governor Farris Bryant, Tallahassee,"
Given 3 January 1961. PK. Yonge Library of Florida History, Gainesville,
Florida.
39Rabby, The Pain and the Promise, 141.
40Ibid., 3.
41Tallahassee Democrat, July 1,1956; Tallahassee Democrat, July 11, 1964.
42Tallahassee Democrat, July 1, 1956; Tallahassee Democrat, March 4,
1960; Tallahassee Democrat, May 30, 1963.
' Rabb3, The Pain and the Promise, 3; Tallahassee Democrat, March 4,
1960.


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


not the way to maintain the established system. The best example
of this came on January 3, 1957, the day after someone placed a
burning cross on the front lawn of Steele.44 The Democrat con-
demned this action and the use of the cross as a symbol of "hatred
and terror and intolerance."45 When Congress passed the Civil
Rights Act on July 3, 1964, Johnson and the Democrat called
on the citizens of Tallahassee to observe the law, while at the
same time decrying the "offensive" portions of the bill, including
the ban on discrimination in employment and the requirement
that establishments be open to all races.46 Letters from citizens,
which the Democrat ran on occasion, reflect the variety of feel-
ings to the civil rights movement that the wider white commu-
nity held. One letter proclaimed that "God made each race for
a purpose," and added that both African Americans and whites
should remain separated and not allow leaders like Martin Luther
King, Jr. to sway them from such beliefs.47 Another citizen felt
that "Civil righters are publicity seekers," referring to the role of
agitators from outside the community in the death of three civil
rights activists in Mississippi.48 There were some, however, such
as Mrs. Gregg Phifer, who not only supported the Civil Rights
Act, but also called for more than just good intentions in the im-
plementation of the new law.49 These various opinions of white
citizens of Tallahassee regarding the civil rights movement and
the Civil Rights Act reflect the division within the white com-
munity on these subjects seen throughout the South.50
In order to place the white response of Tallahassee into the
larger context of the civil rights era, it is helpful to examine the
response of white citizens in other communities. In his work Ra-
cial Change and Community Crisis, David R. Colburn discusses
4Tallahassee Democrat, January 3, 1957.
5Ibid.
46Tallahassee Democrat, July 3, 1964.
4Tallahassee Democrat, September 16, 1963.
48Tallahassee Democrat, July 11, 1964.
49Ibid.
50Chappell, Inside Agitators, 4.


Spring 2008





John Hunt


the violence that plagued the nation's oldest city during the civil
rights era. According to Colburn, the white community in St.
Augustine viewed the work of civil rights activists as commu-
nist-inspired, threatening St. Augustine's economic, social, and
political traditions.51 Similar to Tallahassee, the white leadership
in St. Augustine opposed changes in race relations in the city,
believing that radical changes would not bode well for society
as a whole.52 A crucial difference between Tallahassee and St.
Augustine, however, was the prevalence of violence seen in St.
Augustine during this period. The combination of active protests
by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an angry black
community, a large population of ardent segregationists, and an
increasingly alienated group of city leaders led to the violent na-
ture of the events there.53 Unlike Tallahassee, where the white
leadership managed to maintain control over the racial situation
in the city, the leadership of St. Augustine failed to manage the
tension between the white and black communities. The large
group of white extremists, not present in the capital, also cre-
ated a situation ripe for violence, as compromise with African
Americans was not part of their vocabulary.54 Colburn's work
illustrates the violence and hatred of one white southern com-
munity towards those who threatened their cherished way of life.
In William H. Chafe's examination of the civil rights move-
ment in Greensboro, there are obvious parallels with Tallahas-
see. Blacks in Greensboro in the middle of the twentieth cen-
tury lived in "both the best of times and the worst of times,"
as the racial situations in both cities were better than in many
southern communities.55 Chafe describes the attempts by white
leaders in North Carolina to maintain segregation legally, such

"David R. Colburn, Racial( lC ig.. and Community Crisis: St. ilIgf',,,,.
Florida, 1877-1980 (Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Press, 1991), 59.
52Ibid., 60.
53Ibid., 109.
54Ibid., 5.
55Ibid., 22.


Alpata: A Journal of History





A New Era in the Brain


as through a pupil placement law similar to that passed in Flor-
ida following the Brown decision, which allowed whites to
maintain segregation under the guise that all parents were free
to choose the school their child attended.56 He also details the
sit-in movement, an important component of the civil rights
movement, which began in Greensboro on February 1, 1960.57
Like Tallahassee, it took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bring
about viable changes in Greensboro, as the white population
resisted change until it was no longer legally able to do so.58
When the Tallahassee civil rights movement began in ear-
nest in May 1956, it was clear to the black community that the
journey ahead would be long and difficult. Using boycotts, sit-
ins, and peaceful demonstrations, civil rights activists in the city
managed to slowly chip away at the segregationist policies of the
white leadership. By 1964, with the passage of the Civil Rights
Act, blacks in Tallahassee had managed to integrate many areas
of the community, although the battle to integrate public schools
would last for several more years. The response of the white
community in Tallahassee to the civil rights movement was, as
in other southern communities, varied. While there were those
who ardently supported segregation, and those who fought with
vigor for integration, the majority of the citizens fell somewhere
in between. As Colburn, Chafe, Lewis, Chappell, and Sokol all
describe, it is very difficult to develop a single label for the re-
sponse of white southerners to the civil rights movement. The
situation in Tallahassee was much calmer than in other communi-
ties throughout the South, such as St. Augustine and Little Rock,
but one must remember that the "moderate" whites of Tallahas-
see largely supported the established system, although econom-
ics and the fear of chaos eventually led whites to give in to the de-
mands of African Americans for equal rights and opportunities.


56Ibid., 68.
57bid., 99.
58Ibid., 209.


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The Jewish Community of Casablanca:
Growth under French Control, 1907-1933

Sean Haley


Casablanca has been said to be "a city without memory."'
The city, however, has a rich history dating back to the early days
of the French occupation, when it became the chief economic hub
of Morocco under French control. At this time, many Moroccans
moved to Casablanca from the interior cities and rural hinterlands
in order to find economic opportunity. Jews, the largest minority
population in Morocco, also relocated to this blossoming city. Be-
cause of the cosmopolitan nature of the growing city of Casablan-
ca, Jews lived side by side not only with Muslims, but also with a
significant European minority. This melting-pot condition, how-
ever, was also found in other port cities of the Maghreb, such as
Algiers and Tunis. What made Casablanca unique was the speed
of its development and rise to prominence. The Jewish commu-
nity of Casablanca played a key role in this city's development,
adopting aspects of Western modernity while remaining thorough-
ly Moroccan and mostly in harmony with their Muslim brethren.
The period from 1907 to 1933 in Casablanca begins with
the French bombardment and occupation of the city (although
nominally still under Sharifian control until 1912) and ends with
the coming of Hitler to power. These years showcase the re-
sults of a relatively uninterrupted French control in Casablanca.

Jews of the Maghreb
The experiences of the Jewish community of Morocco were
far different from those in Algeria and Tunisia. Since the invasion
of 1830, lay French Jewry took a particular interest in the Jewish

'Susan Ossman, Picturing Casablanca: Portraits of Power in a Modern City
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


community of Algeria, whom they saw as the people most likely
to become proponents of the mission civilatrice. The Cremieux
Decree of 1870 uniformly granted the Jews of Algeria French
citizenship. Ironically, the decree led to an anti-Semitic backlash
within the settler community of Algeria.2 In fact, in a letter dated
September 27,1901, Moise Nahon of the Alliance Israelite Uni-
verselle from Algiers laments two outbreaks in 1884 and 1889 in
which "the Jews were stripped de facto of almost all the preroga-
tives of citizenship and slandered; the cynicism with which they
were unrelentingly humiliated was like none ever seen before."3
The French used what they had learned in their colony of
Algeria to formulate policy regarding their "Protectorate" of
Tunisia, established in 1881. Learning from the experience of
Algeria, the French in Tunisia were less eager to give to Tuni-
sian Jewry the benefits of French citizenship. The goal of the
protectorate, in contrast to the colony of Algeria, was to reform
the Tunisian administration under French tutelage as opposed to
making Tunisia a part of France4. This meant that the majority
of the Jews of Tunis were left to their own governmental regu-
lations and usually confined to the Hara (Jewish Quarter). Laz-
are Gueron of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, a French-Jewish
organization dedicated to uplifting Jews from across the world,
most often through education, stated in a letter from 1908 that
"the human plant has not fared well in the shadows of the Hara,"
referring to the filth in which the Jews of Tunis lived.5 But, as was
found in Morocco, Tunisian Jews served as a link between the
locals and the French government. Many Jews became French or

2Ibid., 175.
3Moise Nahon, "Algiers, Annual Report, 1900-1901," in Jews and Muslims:
Images ofSephardi and European Jewries in Modern Times, ed. Aron
Rodrigue (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), 107-10.
4Schroeter, 175.
5Lazare Gu6ron, "The Goal of Moral and Material Regeneration: Tunis
1908," in Jews and Muslims: Images ofSephardi and European Jewries in
Modern Times, ed., Aron Rodrigue (Seattle: University of Washington Press,
2003), 78-79.


Spring 2008





Sean Haley


foreign proteges, thereby receiving protection and privileges not
awarded the standard Jew. In another letter, Lazare Gueron writes:

After the occupation, as the progressive transformation
of the country was creating the need for a population
specially trained in intelligent and modern methods, the
country found in the Jew a marvelous answer to its new
needs. The Jews are the flexible element par excellence
of this society and they were aided by circumstances
on this occasion, having received a sufficient primary
school education thanks to the providentially oppor-
tune opening of our school. Banks, maritime agencies,
commercial agencies, stores and shops of all kinds, ev-
erything was overrun by graduates from our school.6

The Jews of Morocco had quite a different experience.
Jews in nineteenth-century Morocco lived under the Islamic
state of the Sharifian Empire under which they were labeled as
ahl al-dhimma, paid thejizya tax and lived in the separated mel-
lah communities. They also lived under control of local Jewish
institutions within the mellah.7 There was no Cremieux Decree
as in Algeria, nor Ottoman Tanzimat reforms addressing the is-
sues of religious minorities within Morocco. Historically, Jews
were divided into two groups: native Jews (often divided be-
tween urban mellah Jews and rural Berber Jews), and Jews of
Spanish descent, who fled after the Reconquista of 1492. Native
Jews were more known for their piety, whereas the Spanish Jews
were known to be less strictly observant, as well as more apt to
seize opportunities, according to British journalist Walter Harris.8
6Gu6ron, "Comparisons between Tunisian Jewry and Other Groups in the
Regency, 1908," inJews and Muslims, 161.
Schroeter, p. 175
8While European and American travelers and journalists provide good
insight into the different regions of the Middle East and North Africa at the
time, they were heavily influenced by their times and Western upbringing
that could make their descriptions of the East and its "backwardness"


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


Within Casablanca, the Jewish population was subdivided
still further. Albert Sagues of the Alliance school observed that
the Casablanca Jewish community was divided into three distinct
groups: the .\/hi //lhk, the Rumis, and the Forasteros. The .\/iy //lhi,
Sagues said, "are the true natives ... their ways and customs are
identical to those of the Berber nomads." The Forasteros were
indigenous Jews whose native tongue was Arabic, and the Rumis
were Spanish-speaking Jews whose ancestors were expelled from
Spain during the inquisition. The Forasteros and the Rumis had a
strong disdain for one another, so much so that Sagues writes that
"Between these two groups there is no possible communication;
they each despise each other more than either detests the Mus-
lims or the Christians."9 The differences among Jewish groups
led to a glut of different dialects coming together to form the
language of the Casablanca Jewry. Moise Nahon of the Alliance
denounced it as "jargon, a jumble of expressions from Arabic,
Chaldean, Spanish and even Berber composed without logic."1"
The makhzen (Moroccan government), however, viewed
these different groups of Jews as a united Jewish entity. The
Jewish community had significant autonomy and although
they suffered some difficulties and drawbacks, they gained a
position within Moroccan society. Because of the large num-
ber of Jewish bankers and artisans, Harris observed that "the
mellah, as their quarter is called, is the centre of trade.""
Although Moroccan sultans had tried to block European en-
croachment on Morocco throughout the nineteenth century, their
efforts were in vain. In fact, in order to prevent further economic

exaggerated. It is important to keep this in mind when utilizing Western
sources regarding the region.
Walter B. Harris, Morocco that Was (London: William Blackwood & Sons,
1921), 308-309.
'Albert Sagubs, "The Jews of Casablanca, 1909," in Jews and Muslims, 147-
148.
'"Moise Nahon, "French to Replace the Local 'Jargon': Casablanca 1898," in
Jews andMuslims, 126-127.
"Harris, 311


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Sean Haley


penetration, the Moroccan Sultan Mawlay 'Abd al-Rahman gave
monopolies over the country's chief exports in the years 1848 to
1856 to the tujjar al-Sultan, the Sultan's personal retinue of Jew-
ish traders.12 The passage of commercial treaties with the Euro-
peans by the makhzen led to the decline of these traders and the
rise of European economic superiority. This led to a new need for
Moroccan commercial agents to deal with the Europeans. This
role was most often filled by Jewish merchants who served, as
they had in Tunisia, as intermediaries between the Muslims and
the now-growing European community. Because of their services,
several of these traders gained protege status and protection from
foreign governments: a process that had its beginnings in Moroc-
co with the Franco-Moroccan treaty of 1767.13 The establishment
of proteges eroded the makhzen's sovereignty because it allowed
these proteges to escape the jurisdiction of the makhzen and to
seek out protection from the European powers. This led to a num-
ber of abuses, which became an issue during the reign of Sultan
Mawlay Hasan. A meeting of the major powers was called in Ma-
drid in 1880, which did little to change the position of the Muslim
and Jewish proteges and the foreign nationals living in Morocco.14
It is estimated that as many as 1,500 Jewish families enjoyed the
protection of a foreign power by the time of Madrid Conference.'5
The establishment of European-Jewish institutions during
the pre-occupation period can be traced back to the visit by the
British Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore to the court
of Sultan Mohammed IV in 1864. The Sultan granted Monte-
fiore a decree stating that the Jews were permitted to seek out
justice in Morocco and that "not the slightest injustice may be
done them nor any unmerited treatment accorded them."16

"Laskier, 39.
13Ibid., 39.
14Ibid., 40.
15Schroeter, 177.
"1Rom Landau, Moroccan Drama 1900-1955 (Gateshead on Tyne:
Northumberland Press Limited, 1956), 29.


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


The effectiveness of this decree is doubtful as people felt that
it did little but uphold the status quo and the system already in
place.7 The visit and decree, however, did lead to an increase
in Moroccan Jews seeking foreign protection and an increase in
European Jewry's awareness of them. In fact, Morocco was the
first country in French North Africa to open an Alliance Israelite
school (the first in Morocco opened in Tetuan in 1862, in contrast
to 1900 for Algiers and 1878 for Tunis). A total of twenty Alli-
ance schools opened in Morocco before the French occupation of
Casablanca in 1907, with another five opening before the Trea-
ty of Fez in 1912, which established the French Protectorate.18

Development of Casablanca
Wyndham Lewis, an American traveler writing in 1931, quot-
ed Arthur Leared in his description of Casablanca in 1870. Leared
stated that Casablanca was the "dirtiest, most tumble-down place
ever seen."19 Lewis quoted another observer in 1889 as stating:

Casablanca occupies a flat, low-lying piece of ground
close to the sea; the houses have not a single feature
worth remarking; the principle street is a running sewer
of filth...the people are more ugly and dirty, the don-
keys worse treated and more mangy, the dogs more
numerous and repulsive, and the beggars in greater
numbers and decidedly more importunate and loath-
some, than in any of the other places we had yet seen.20

The period of large-scale migration and urban transformation
was just beginning at this point. At that time, Casablanca was a
17Laskier, 34; Schroeter, 7.
"1Aron Rodrigue, ed. Jews and Muslims: Images ofSephardi and European
Jewries in Modern Times (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003),
18-19.
19Wyndham Lewis, Journey into Barbary, ed. C.J. Fox (Santa Barbara, Cal.:
Black Sparrow Press, 1983), 66.
20Ibid., 66


Spring 2008






Sean Haley


township of only four thousand residents.21 Before a French com-
pany was granted a contract by the makhzen to build a port in 1906,
the city had no major source of economic prosperity.22 Lewis de-
scribed it as "the world's worst natural harbour. . [I]t is cursed
with an abnormal surf: it has an abordage calculated to prejudice
any mariner against it," and then goes on to tell the stories of
the troubles Europeans had in approaching Casablanca by sea.23
By the French occupation of 1907, the city of Casablanca
had a population of roughly twenty thousand, including five
thousand Jews and one thousand Europeans. In addition, due to
a drought, six thousand Moroccans had fled from the country-
side to the city, attracted by its growing commercial activity.24
The murder of the French physician Emile Mauchamp on
March 22, 1907, sparked the French occupation, which began
with the takeover of the city of Oudja in eastern Morocco.25 The
city was to be held until the Sultan met the demands of the French.
This was seen as the final step in eroding makhzen power. By the
end of July, anti-French sentiment in Casablanca was high.26 This
sentiment led to the attack and murder of nine European workers,
three Frenchmen, three Italians and three Spaniards, who were
transporting stone for the construction of the port. The proxim-
ity of a Muslim cemetery to the railway line used by the workers
provoked the attack.27 The French, in return, landed the battleship
Galilee at Casablanca and began a bombardment of the city, while
a French regiment was sent to protect the Europeans of the city.
Walter Harris stated that the French bombarded "the native forts


21lbid., 66.
2Frederick Moore, The Passing of Morocco (New York: Houghton, Mifflin
& Co., 1908), 13.
23Ibid., 65-66.
24Ossman, 28.
25Landau, 62.
26William A Hoisington Jr., Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco
(New York: St Martin's Press, 1995), 31.
27Harris, 116.


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


and garrisons,"2 while Frederick Moore, an Englishman who
wrote for the Westminster Gazette, reported that they bombarded
the whole "Moslem quarters of the town."29 In any case, the attack
resulted in hundreds dead and a period of looting and lawlessness.
The Jewish community in particular was affected by the
French bombardment. Harris, who arrived at Casablanca just a
few days after the bombardment, described it as "a confusion of
dead people and horses while the contents of almost every house
seemed to have been hurled into the streets and destroyed... Out
of the dark cellars, Moors and Jews, hidden since the first day of
the bombardment, many of them wounded, were creeping, pale
and terrified."30 This highlights the fact that the native popula-
tion, whether Jewish or Muslim, were affected in much the same
way by the initial attack and the landing of French troops. Moore,
who arrived at the scene three weeks after the bombardment, took
a more sectarian view of the violence and looting that ensued.
"Town Moors and Arabs turned out to kill and rape and loot, as
they do whenever opportunity offers, and for three days they plun-
dered the places of Europeans and Jews ... until driven from the
town by reinforcements of French and Spanish troops." Moore
also told of mosques and Muslim "Saint Houses" that the French
fired upon.31 Later in the description, however, Harris stated that
"the Jews and Jewesses were perhaps those who suffered the
most," and then recounted the story of a Jewish woman who fled
from a cellar, forgetting her baby in a corner of her hiding place.32
In the aftermath of the attack, Moore stated that the Jews were the
only laborers, recovering damaged property at good pay. He add-
ed that the Jews were "grinning at their good fortune."33 Once or-
der was restored, the French began investigating the murders and

28Ibid., 116.
29Moore, 15.
30Harris, 117.
3Moore, 15-16.
32Harris, 117.
3Moore, 17.


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Sean Haley


looting. While they interrogated both Jews and Muslims, Moore
added that the Jews "went in first to be questioned because their
examination was not so rigorous as that to which the Moors were
put."34 Once the city was pacified, the French used Casablanca
as a base to secure the fertile Shawyia plains outside of the city.
The French occupied Fez by 1911, and the Treaty of Fez estab-
lished the French Protectorate of Morocco the following year.35
French stylistic influences soon made their mark. As early
as 1908, Casablanca is described as a "modern town" with "little
that is remarkable in its architecture." It was also, once again,
stressed that "it is only within the last forty years that stone build-
ings have begun to replace the native huts of reeds."36 In fact,
Marshal Louis-Hubert Lyautey, the first French resident-general
in Morocco, hired highly respected Henri Prost in 1917 as his
chief architect. Lyautey's plan for Morocco was that of a dual
city, of a preserved, traditional Arabic medina and a French-built
ville nouvelle. The reasoning behind this was not to segregate the
populations, according to Lyautey, but to "touch the indigenous
cities as little as possible."37 Recognizing the potential economic
importance of Casablanca, the French ordered the construction of
a ville nouvelle twenty times the size of the Arabic medina that
would feature buildings with both European and Moroccan in-
fluence. Prost's vision for the ville nouvelle included wide thor-
oughfares and several large city parks. The design was not only
for health reasons, creating a "sanitary corridor" between the
indigenous and European quarters, but also for the quick mobili-
zation of French troops along the wide avenues of Casablanca.38
The sprawling ville nouvelle transformed Casablanca into
a "modern" city, according to French ideals. It also gave its
34Ibid., 35.
35Landau, 82.
36Rankin, 238.
3Gwendolyn Wright, "Tradition in the Service of Modernity: Architecture
and Urbanism in French Colonial Policy, 1900-1930," The Journal of
Modern History 59, (June 1987): 291-316.
38Wright, 301.


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


residents all the amenities ofa modem city, including sewage, water,
and electricity, all of which were rarely found in the medina. Even
as early as World War I, Casablanca attracted an enormous num-
ber of Moroccans from the interior, leading to the development of
the bidonville, which Wyndham Lewis described decades later as

a city within a city, [consisting] of small huts mainly
composed of petrol-tins. Petrol-Tin town is again a mush-
room settlement of nomads, attracted by the dollars to be
picked up in this Babylon of the Nazarene, half-finished.
Thousands of these petrol-tin dwellings already exist, day
by day they are added to: they have streets and squares.39

These poor Moroccan neighborhoods stood in stark contrast
to the haute-European district, the Quartier Reserve exemplified
in Lewis's dry assessment: "When I described the houses of its
Quarter Reserve as palaces, I was not dealing in hyperbole."40
Naturally, these shantytowns posed a problem for the French,
who wanted to keep their romanticized ideal of Moorish life
(which they thought would endear them to the native popula-
tion) and to cultivate large-scale tourism.41 The French saw a so-
lution in the development of the derb al-habous, a new district
for the local population. Established on land from Islamic reli-
gious foundations, the habous district was in harmony with the
design of the old medina, while boasting modem amenities that
the medina lacked. The district's designer was Albert Laprade,
an associate of Prost, who wrote that "every house was designed
with love. We taxed our ingenuity to create the maximum expres-
sion of serendipity, so dear to the Muslim."42 The result, how-
ever, was an oversimplification of Moroccan life, one that existed
on French terms and which perceived the community as static.

3Lewis, 71.
40Lewis, 73.
41Wright, 304.
42Wright, 303-04.


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Sean Haley


Jewish Community Life in Casablanca
As the city developed, so did the Jewish community. The
French command addressed the question of where Jews would
live; a decree issued by Commander Mangin, who was in charge
of the Casablanca area, gave Jews the right to settle anywhere
in the city by 1909. Sagues, a teacher appointed by the Alliance
to Casablanca in 1908, wrote in a letter that "a few families, the
richer ones, of course, have taken full advantage of this autho-
rization; but in spite of this emigration, the mellah still remains
home to the greater part of the Jewish population."43 Statistics for
the total number of Jews vary. Reporter Reginald Rankin asserted
that "the whole Jewish population does not exceed five thousand"
during his visit to the city in 1907, whereas writer Paul Rainbow
reported that the Jewish population had expanded to reach nine
thousand by 1912.44 In 1936 the World Jewish Council found
that the number had grown to 38,600 living in Casablanca.45
The mellah of southwest Casablanca, where the Jew-
ish population lived, enjoyed a dual life. It was described
as a center of trade, but more frequently as a residence of
misery. Sagues described it in 1909 in unflattering terms:

Its population is much more dense than that of the
other parts of the city. A shapeless mass of dispa-
rate constructions arranged without the slightest re-
gard to order or harmony; an impossible maze of
narrow, twisting streets, gullied and rutted; a treach-
erous passage for strangers who dare enter, especial-
ly on moonless nights; such is the Jewish district.46



3Sagues, 146-48.
44Rankin, 142; Ossman, 28.
' Rcpoils of the Institute of Jewish Affairs: The Jews of Morocco (World
Jewish Council: September 1949)," in The Jews of Morocco (New York:
Zionist Youth Council, 1956), 25.
46Sagues, 147.


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The Jewish Community of Casablanca


According to Sagues, the mellah of Casablanca was divided
into two parts: the mellah of the privileged class and the bhira,
which has the aspect of a camp set up on the outskirts of the city.
The privileged mellah, although dirty, "had a number of spacious,
though poorly maintained dwellings."47 The bhira, however, was
akin to a Muslim duar (temporary residence camp) and contained
wooden huts located on the outskirts of the Jewish quarter. The pop-
ulation of the bhira was said to be comprised of "needy farmers."
Regarding the mellah as a center of trade, Walter Harris ob-
served that the "tailors, jewelers, tent makers and metal-workers
were practically all Jews .... In their shops there was nothing too
small tobebought."48 In fact, the Jewish population oftenfilled apur-
pose as moneylenders. This was a lucrative trade in Casablanca, for
"the natives borrow from the Jews and rich Arabs at 60 per cent."49
Being a center of trade imposed a darker side upon the mellah.
Gambling was present, as the lower classes played the primitive
roulette and rouge et noir games set up inside the mellah.50 David
Corcos, aMoroccanJewfromthewealthy CorcosfamilyofEssaouria
(Mogador), blamed the rural Jews for the problems of the mell, 's 51

Opportunities for Jewish Education
One of the more active bodies of the Jewish community was
the Alliance Israelite Universelle schools located in Casablanca.
The first school in Casablanca opened in 1897 for boys, with a
girls' school following in 1900. A new boys' school and a co-ed
educational facility were opened in 1933, bringing the number
of Alliance schools in Casablanca to four.52 Many of the Jewish

47bid., 147.
48Harris, 311.
49Rankin, 77.
50 Ibid., 134.
51David Corcos, "Les pr6noms des Juifs du Maroc," in Studies in the History
of the Jews of Morocco (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1976), 155. "Particularly at
Casablanca, where promiscuity is widespread and it isn't the only factor of
the multiplications of divorces there" (author's translation).
52Rodrigue, 18.


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Sean Haley


leaders of the Casablanca community had a connection to the Al-
liance or its schools. The Jewish community of Casablanca made
its Alliance schools more prominent by offering a larger variety
of courses and turned the Casablanca Alliance School into more
than a four-year institution.53 In fact, in the first decade of the
twentieth century, the director of the Alliance School introduced
Arabic into the curriculum, as he felt that local Jews had a vi-
tal interest in doing business with Muslim merchants and being
European intermediaries.54 This program was dropped only to be
revitalized in the late 1930s with limited success within Moroc-
co. French was the language of choice for instruction, drawing
students from all over the country. Nahon said that of the 220
students at the Alliance School, "thirty-four children [were] of Cas-
ablanca parents, seventy five were migrant youths from the north,
twenty-three from the Atlas, twenty-six from Marrakesh, forty-four
fromotherpartsoftheinteriorandeighteenfromunspecifiedplaces.''55
The test for achieving the French Certificat des Etudes Pri-
maires was administered to members of the Alliance School and
also to two private schools whose enrollment consisted of Euro-
pean Christians and a few "assimilated" proteges. In Casablanca
schools, all of the Alliance students passed, while sixty-six per-
cent of the private school students passed.56 Because those who
passed would continue their studies in France or Algeria, the
certificate was seen as a valuable passport to further education.
The girls' school was as well equipped as the boys'. They
learned mostly the same subjects as the boys with the addition of
some sewing and embroidery.57Rankin applauded them for carrying
civilization to the interior of the country and said that the girls "do
muchtoraisethe standard ofcivilization amongstMoroccanJews."58

53bid., 27.
54Laskier, 103.
55 Ibid., 126.
56 Ibid., 107-108.
5Rankin, 142.
58Ibid, 143.


Alpata: A Journal of History





The Jewish Community of Casablanca


The Alliance and its members often dominated local poli-
tics. The power structure of the Jewish community in gener-
al rested upon the local committee traditionally known as the
jam 'at al-Yahud. Lyautey sought a policy to largely keep the
traditional institutions intact so as not to favor Jews over their
Muslim countrymen. In general, the French wanted to reform
the Moroccan institutions without replacing them. Institutions
such as the Alliance, however, lobbied against French policies
and pressed for policies to progress the local Jewish community.
Local elites addressed several issues, especially French nation-
alization because Alliance members saw the Jews as pioneers of
French civilization in Morocco. Sagues of the Alliance School
met with General Lyautey in 1912 to discuss obtaining foreign
citizenship for Jews. Lyautey made an effort to persuade Sagues
that the French were friends of the Jews, but knowing that Mo-
roccan Jews had also been seeking out foreign assistance from
Spain, he accused them of wanting to undermine French influence
in Morocco.59 Lyautey's message was clear: he wanted to work
with the Jewish community, but would be unwilling to establish
a Cremieux-esque Decree for Moroccan Jewry. Lyautey, howev-
er, did state that the Protectorate would have a policy of limited,
selective naturalization.60 This issue was revisited in 1927 by
Yomtov David Semach of the Alliance, with the same result.61
Members of the Alliance also lobbied for the inclusion of Jews
within the French legal system. The Protectorate decided against
this; they issued a dahir in August 1913 that established French
courts for Europeans but kept the Muslim and Jewish courts in-
tact, meaning that Jews were still subject to the makhzen govern-
ment and its traditional courts, in which the Sultan had full au-
thority.62 This system, however, was to be reformed in the future.
Yahya Zagury, president of the Casablancanjam 'at al-Yahud, was

59Laskier, 164.
60Schroeter, 179.
6Laskier, 166.
62Schroeter, 180.


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Sean Haley


instrumental in persuading the Protectorate government to change
how Moroccan Jews were adjudicated. Vehemently opposed to
the Sultan's control of Jewish courts, Zagury suggested an appeals
court headed by a rabbi for all of Morocco.63 Another dahir was
issued in 1918 that established the Jewish high court of appeals
in Morocco, but also limited the power of the jam 'at al-Yahuds
by restricting their power and creating the office of the Inspector
of Jewish Institutions, a liaison between the Protectorate and the
Jewish communities.64 This dahir was unsatisfactory to Jewish
leaders and Lyautey responded that "the Jews have no cause for
complaint against the Protectorate, which is always committed to
keeping the equal balance between them and the Muslims, in en-
abling them to benefit from all the reforms realized in this country."
Lyautey's perception was that Jews were seeking out a special sta-
tus due to World War I, and the pressures of Zionism in Europe.65

Casablancan Jewry and the Zionist Movement
Zionism divided the Jewish community in Casablanca. Im-
ported into Morocco, it was not until the early 1920s that Zion-
ist literature was disseminated in Casablanca.66 Most of the Jews
in Morocco openly welcomed the Balfour Declaration of 1917,
along with the establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine
at the San Remo Conference of 1920. The first major Zionist
leader of Casablanca was Jonathan Thursz, a Jew from Poland
who published the pro-Zionist journal L'Avenir Illustre from
1926 to 1940. Thursz disseminated literature and established
links between Moroccan Zionists and European Zionists.67 Sol-
oman Kagan, a Russian Jew who settled in Casablanca, spread
the Zionist message in the 1920s and 1930s, worked with Jew-
ish intellectuals in Casablanca, established links with Eastern

63Ibid., 184.
64Ibid., 190.
65Ibid., 190.
66Laskier, 199.
67Ibid., 203.


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The Jewish Community of Casablanca


European Jewry, and discussed the dwindling conditions of Ger-
man Jewry at the time.68 Local Alliance leaders such as Samuel
Levy assisted in Zionist activities. There were also high-ranking
Casablancan Jews who worked against Zionism such as Semach,
Zagury and Elie Nataf Semach and Zagury criticized the Zion-
ists, stating that Jews were well-off under French control and that
Zionism was an obstacle to their progress. Zagury even restrict-
ed Zionist activities in Casablanca.69 Nataf, an Alliance school
graduate, published an anti-Zionist, pro-French newspaper
L 'Union Marocaine to counteract the spread ofL 'Avenir Illustre.

Conclusion
Throughout the early years of the French occupation, Jews
had a place of importance in Casablancan society. Not only were
they connected to their Muslim countrymen via a shared history,
but they were also connected to their new European rulers and
business partners through Casablanca's emergence as the most
economically important city in Morocco. Although the French
cast Muslims and Jews in the same light, as seen through their
decrees regarding the community, the Jewish community never-
theless attempted to advance itself through education and through
working alongside the French. While the Jewish community it-
self was divided by ideals and descent, it still managed to play
an active role in the city, and its opening up to the Europeans.
In the future, most Moroccan Jews were to leave for Is-
rael, with many residing in Casablanca for a period of time
until their departure. Today, Casablanca houses a population
of around two thousand Jews, and has the only Jewish his-
tory museum found in an Arab nation. Without the contribu-
tion of the Jewish community, their willingness to work for
reforms and their pursuit of education for a better life, it is un-
likely that Casablanca would be as prosperous as it is today.


68Ibid., 204.
69Ibid., 207-08.


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"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher
Walkout

Paige Scofield


As professionals let us say we will not practice
our profession where teaching is not respected and
children are not important. Let us then resign.'
Florida Education Association

A veritable showdown, Florida's three-week, statewide
teachers' walkout in 1968 was the first in U.S. history. The
Florida Education Association mobilized almost half of the state's
58,000 teachers to resign in protest, thus demonstrating the persua-
sive strength of the organization and its power in organizing such
a large-scale demonstration. The civil rights movement roused
the teachers to battle the state as they assembled together for
recognition of teaching as a true profession warranting better
pay and working conditions. The larger national battle between
conservative principles and liberal social forces ultimately set
the highly politicized tone of the walkout. The dispute be-
tween Florida Governor Claude Kirk, the Florida Education
Association, teachers, and the public embodied the national
struggles over political identity and alignment on a state level.
Never before had so many teachers organized across vari-
ous racial, geographic, and ideological divisions to unite as
a single force for educational equality. Twenty-five thousand
teachers expressed their discontent through a mass resigna-
tion that, in many counties, essentially closed all school op-
erations. This was an issue because, per state law, striking was

'Juanita Parks, "Crisis in Education: A Cause for Sacrifice," Florida Educa-
tion 45, (March 1968): 6, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A.
Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

illegal, and educators declared the entire crisis a mass resig-
nation while the state viewed it as an illegal strike. A combi-
nation of long-simmering frustrations over lack of funds for
education and teachers' exasperation over their working con-
ditions contributed to the tense atmosphere in Florida. The
mounting unrest in the state toward the multiplying education
problems reflected national themes of agitation and protest. Yet,
teacher activism differed from the militancy shown by some
other groups during the period, such as Black Panther violence
in the civil rights movement. For teachers, "militancy" meant
becoming a member of a teachers' union or participating in a
strike or walkout, not necessarily using violence and force.2
To state the matter generally, tension existed between
those who believed in the need for wholesale changes in so-
ciety's structure and those who supported the status quo. Ex-
amples of activists favoring social change in this period are
proponents of the women's liberation movement, participants
in the civil rights movement, and anti-war campaigners. For
the sake of shorthand, such groups are called "Liberals" in this
paper. The opposing group, characterized by traditionalism,
and a general hesitation or disdain for the civil rights agen-
da and race relations are called "Conservatives," although it
is acknowledged that these are broad-brush terms and that
there were many shades of grey between the two categories.
Ideological clashes among Florida's residents and institu-
tions colored their response to the educational crisis. Gover-
nor Kirk, a conservative Republican, built upon the growing
conservative sentiment in the U.S. while the activist Florida
Education Association (FEA) wanted to sway public opinion
in favor of liberal improvements to education. The walkout
drew its momentum from statewide pressures surrounding the
teachers in Florida, as well as the overall confrontational nature

2Wayne J. Urban, Gender, Race, and the National Education Association:
Professionalism and Its Limitations (New York: Routledge Falmer, 2000),
202.


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Paige Scofield


of events in 1968. The walkout effectively challenged societal
norms-that educators were meant to instruct children and
accept their conditions, however poor. The walkout underscored
the tensions between conservative attitudes lingering from the
1950s with the more change-oriented mindsets of the 1960s.
Historians consider the Florida walkout as seminal in
the development of teacher activism. Labor scholars, includ-
ing Wayne J. Urban and Marjorie Murphy, cite the rivalry
between professional teacher organizations and unions as a
key component of the turmoil. This intense rivalry was piv-
otal in the conservative-versus-liberal face-off. While most
scholars attribute the main motivations for the strike to ac-
tivism and militancy, many have failed to adequately ac-
knowledge politics as a focal point. Politics was important,
as education scholar Wayne C. Malone points out in one of
his surveys of strike participants. According to Malone, for-
ty-six percent of respondents cited political conditions as a
main catalyst for the walkout.3 The national political trend to-
ward conservatism had a larger impact on the strike than has
been shown in other research. Kirk sought to show the rest
of the country that Florida was committed to a law-and-or-
der society that did not tolerate civil disobedience; likewise,
teachers and the FEA sought to capitalize on the activist fer-
vour generated by the civil rights and anti-war movements.

Broken Promises
Teachers' discontent originated with Kirk's initial dis-
missal of the seriousness of the state education problems.
During the 1966 gubernatorial campaign, Kirk promised to
fix the worsening physical conditions of public schools, as
he stated in his pledge that "in education . Florida shall


3Wayne C. Malone, Development, Operation, and Evaluation of the
Statewide Teacher Walkout in Florida (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Mi-
crofilms, 1970), 171.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

be first."4 In his White Paper on Education, Kirk cited
specific goals, including "a building program to provide 4,400
additional classrooms," a kindergarten in every county, and a
process for raising salaries for teachers at 1-, 7-, and 12- year
junctures.5 However, he wavered in his public commitment to
improving education and thus sparked much of the mounting
animosity in the months prior to the official walkout, which
began on February 19, 1968. Superintendent of Public Instruc-
tion Floyd T. Christian charged that, "None of these White
Paper promises-none of those pledges-were kept."6 Kirk's
lack of follow-through aggravated teachers who had hoped
that he would carry out his promises to improve education.
Nevertheless, despite Kirk's unwillingness to adequate-
ly address the problem, he had inherited a failing education
system from previous administrations. By 1968, Florida was
thirty-seventh in the nation for its expenditure per student, and
teachers' salaries were below the national average.7 Christian
affirmed that the state's reluctance to spend more on education
resulted in poor physical conditions of school buildings, as
well as a lack of proper teaching materials.8 Complete exas-
peration with the dismal state of classrooms and supplies was
a significant catalyst for the strike to occur when it did. Teach-
ers saw the state government, controlling much of the purse for
educational needs, as an impediment to improving conditions.


4Edmund Kallina, Claude Kirk and the Politics of Confrontation (Gaines-
ville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 1993), 85.
5"Florida Schools and the Crisis of Education, Television and Radio Ad-
dress," Sept 19, 1967, box 2, 4 Floyd T. Christian Speeches, Special and
Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
6Ibid.
\\ lkout in Florida," Time.com, March 1, 1968. www.time.com/print-
out/0,8816,941242,00.html
8"Teacher Walkout and the FEA Leadership," April 19, 1968, box 2, Floyd T.
Christian Speeches.


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Paige Scofield


In May 1967, the FEA imposed sanctions on the state for
not taking enough action to better education, and then, in a mass
gathering in August 1967 at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando,
convinced some 35,000 teachers to hand in signed resignation
letters in the event that they might be needed in the future. In
response, Kirk created an education commission to tackle the
issue.9 Unfortunately, this remedy did not satisfy the legisla-
tors, as the legislature voted down all of the 32 bills result-
ing from the recommendations of the Commission for Qual-
ity Education report.10 As tensions mounted, Kirk called for a
special session of the legislature in January 1968 to ward off a
potential strike. Alas, as the official FEA publication, Florida
Education, reported, "Governor Kirk let the situation sizzle
while he delayed action on the special session education bills
on his desk. He seesawed between threats of veto and promises
that he would let them become law."" Most historians portray
Kirk as a divisive public figure whose governing style contrib-
uted to some of the problems he encountered with the teach-
ers. Don Cameron places much of the blame on Kirk for the
way that the walkout ultimately transpired, describing his "po-
litical rhetoric [as] belligerent, unhelpful, and incendiary."12
In 1968, critics attacked Kirk's personal use of the strike to
bolster his national image as a conservative governor who would
not tolerate disorder. A day after the strike started, he was in Cali-
fornia, where he "told the press that the situation 'doesn't appear
to be that bad.'""3 The FEA observed that Kirk "said there was no
crisis while he pondered which role would best further his national
political ambitions-that of'friend of education' or the 'governor

9Wilma Norton, "Recalling the lesson of 1968," St. Petersburg Times, Nov.
10, 1991. http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic, Lexis Nexis.
l'Parks, 7.
"Ibid., 8.
12Don Cameron, The Inside Story of the Teacher Revolution in America (Lan-
ham, Md.: Scarecrow Education, 2005), 95.
"Marshall Donley, Power to the Teacher: How America Educators Became
Militant (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), 91.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

who broke the back of the teacher strike in Florida.'"14 Christian
depicted Kirk as "a strong man" who "thinks more of his national
image than he does [of] the citizens and children of
Florida."'5 These statements reveal the role that Kirk played in
the strike as the steadfast, conservative face of opposition to
the teachers. He wanted to "win" both in the eyes of the pub-
lic and in the national political scene to prove the triumph of
government over activist groups. It became a question of who
would win-Governor Kirk or the teachers, but not both.

Criticizing "Blackboard Power" and State-led Retribution
The walkout also revealed the lengths to which the local
newspapers across the state and the governor were willing to
go in their efforts to portray the teachers poorly to gain support.
Kirk exploited the press as a mouthpiece for his opinions, while
the FEA called attention to the smear campaign Kirk used.
During the battle, the teachers' reputation and image had
been deliberately besmirched, stained, and tarnished by the
use of such terms as "educrats," "blackboard power," "closed
union shop," and "quisling." These were the Governor's
words, used for one purpose only-to make the public lose
confidence in the teachers and in the teaching profession.'6
Here, the FEA touched upon a salient factor: Kirk's
courting of public opinion. The media was a sure-
fire method to reach households across the state, and he
capitalized on the negative imagery that his labels con-
jured in the minds of the average Floridian. By calling
the movement "blackboard power," Kirk drew upon the



4"Parks, 8.
"Transcript of Press Conference with Floyd Christian, Feb 29, 1968, 5.
Education in Florida Subject Files, box 21, 5 Special and Area Studies Col-
lections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville,
Florida.
6"Parks, 7.


Spring 2008





Paige Scofield


connotations from other national movements, specifically,
"Black Power" a term that made "most whites ... infuriated.""7
Additionally, throughout the weeks of coverage, newspa-
pers demonstrated their own views for or against the strike.
The loaded language that newspapers employed to represent
public opinion provides insight into contemporary perspec-
tives. For example, the Miami Herald declared that it had "ut-
terly no sympathy" for the teachers, while the Vero Beach Press
Journal praised those teachers who had remained on the job.18
The Tallahassee Democrat depicted the crisis as a "plague."19
Some journalists did support the walkout; Bill Baggs' Miami
News editorial identified with the difficult position teachers
were in, saying that they had been "patient as various politi-
cians ... neglected or declined to appropriate enough money."2"
Public opinion significantly affected the teacher walkout
as it wavered between resistance to the liberal protest move-
ment that people saw touching their own towns and support
for improved education conditions. A conservative public be-
rated teachers "because they did not want to see their school
system brought to confusion by a pressure group."21 Certainly,
negative feelings regarding pressure groups across the coun-
try influenced how the average resident viewed the teach-
ers' actions. People saw the walkout "as a threat to the status
quo."22 Society held certain expectations for its teachers; they
served as role models for their children, and walking out on
the job was a lesson parents did not want learned. Moreover,

"David Farber and Beth Bailey, The Columbia Guide to America in the
1960s (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 49.
18"It's No Time for Bitterness," Miami Herald, March 12, 1968, Education in
Florida Subject Files; Press Journal, March 14, 1968, Education in Florida
Subject Files.
"Tallahassee Democrat, March 11, 1968, Education in Florida Subject Files.
20Miami News, 9-A, Oct. 12, 1967, Education in Florida Subject Files.
21Boyd Lairsey, "The 1968 School Crisis in Sumter Co." (student paper,
University of Florida, 1968), 9, Special and Area Studies Collection.
22Ibid.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

one of the FEA's objectives had been to alert the public to
the poor physical conditions of the schools. Encouraging par-
ents to visit schools increased awareness of the reality of the
state's education situation and brought people to the FEA's
side. Public opinion influenced the walkout as parents took
cues from national power movements and their own values
to decide whether they cared more about disrupting society
to bring improvement or maintaining an appearance of order.
Undoubtedly, the FEA misjudged the public's willingness
to support the teachers as a way of improving their children's
educations. Instead, many parents wanted to end the disturbance
of local schools and were upset at teachers for disregarding their
contracts.23 Some agreed with the Vero Beach Press Journal
that the teachers were in "rank disobedience.""24 Adding to the
miscalculation, other parents believed the FEA was "a greedy,
arrogant labor union grasping for . money and power."25
In a letter to the editor in the Miami Herald, Frael Percy wrote
that "teaching is no longer a calling but a union."26 As the
NEA tried hard to distance itself from these types of harmful
labels, the FEA quickly acquired an association with unionism.
However, not all public opinion opposed the walkout.
Newspapers significantly influenced public opinion with the
editorials and letters that they printed. Reflecting the divisions
over the matter, newspapers often juxtaposed on the same
page a letter from someone such as Percy with one from some-
one such as Rebecca Herrold of California, who said, "the
teachers of Florida are to be congratulated for . no group
has sacrificed more for the country than these hard-work-
ing, unrewarded souls.""27 Following this theme of sacrifice,
John Salmon also wrote, "Our soldiers are daily sacrificing

23Ibid., 7.
24Press Journal, March 14, 1968.
25Kallina, 98.
26Miami Herald, Feb. 27, 1968, Education in Florida Subject Files.
27bid.


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Paige Scofield


their lives . while our Florida teachers are sacrificing their
jobs, likewise in behalf of others."28 Those who believed in
the walkout recognized the discrepancy between the teach-
ers' dedication and the low status afforded them by society.
Despite mixed displays of public support for the teach-
ers, state officials applied various tactics to induce returns
to the schools. Threats and harassment were the most com-
mon forms of pressure, and anxiety about the war and draft
were sometimes abused to intimidate teachers. Many male
teachers were warned that they would receive draft reclas-
sifications of 1-A if they did not resume teaching.29 Simi-
larly, female teachers whose husbands were already in the
military were threatened that their husbands would be sent
to Vietnam.30 The government also manipulated its power
over citizenship to force teachers back to the schools; one
teacher, a Cuban refugee, had her application for impend-
ing citizenship jeopardized for participating in the walkout.31
The desire to punish the teachers and the FEA for the
walkout illustrates the firm resolve of the government to prove
its dominance over what it viewed as disruptive, liberal mili-
tancy. Particularly insulting to educators was the special ac-
tion by Christian to allow schools to hire substitutes during
the walkout to keep schools in session.32 Historians, students,
and teachers alike have described these replacements as "un-
qualified and inexperienced," "Baby Sitters," and "without
educational qualifications, without reference checks."33 The
FEA asserted that the legislators were "angry" at the teachers

28bid.
29Cameron, 98.
30Parks, 7.
"Ibid.
32"Cabinet Tells Christian: Keep the Schools Open," Robert "Bob" Canney
Collection, 1964-1988, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A.
Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
3Malone, 131; Playground Daily News, March 11, 1968, Education in
Florida Subject Files; Parks, 8.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

and thus imposed this "punitive law."34 This struck a nerve
with teachers because it appeared to dismiss their efforts at
gaining respect within a career that required certain skills.
Interestingly, the much-criticized substitute teachers gained
appreciation for the depth of the problems as they spent time
teaching. Even though substitute Julian Erwin "disagreed with
the strike . [he] admitted] it made [him] more aware of
the problems."35 Yet, by hiring even high school students as
substitutes, state officials communicated their contempt for
the teaching profession and disregard for educating children.

Accepting Militancy
In addition to the tensions with the state government,
the emerging trend of national teacher activism also played
into the politics of Florida's walkout. The competition be-
tween the NEA and its rival, American Federation of Teach-
ers (AFT), complicated matters in the pitched battle between
conservative government forces and activist teachers. Echo-
ing the conservative-liberal clashes of the period, the NEA
perceived itself as a professional organization, and "this ide-
ology sought to tarnish AFT union activities as anti-profes-
sional and to prevent teacher affiliation with the organized
labor movement."36 NEAs "images of propriety . clashed
with urban-based appeals to militancy and unionism.""7 Yet
the confrontational nature of the period forced the NEA to ap-
prove this development; after 1967, upwards of 100 strikes oc-
curred every year, making it difficult for the NEA to ignore the
militancy.38 More teachers viewed strikes and walkouts as a
forceful statement showcasing teachers' strength as a group.39
3Parks, 7.
3Tampa Tribune, March 10, 1968, Education in Florida Subject Files.
36Urban, 177.
7Ibid., 203.
38Donley, 106.
39Allan West, The National Education Association: The Power Base for
Education (New York: The Free Press, 1980), 34.


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Paige Scofield


This highlights the trend in the 1960s of certain subsets of the
population developing a group identity. Teachers saw them-
selves united in their common struggles in the classrooms.
Even when it became obvious that the NEA would have to
resign itself to militancy, reluctance remained. Historian Mar-
j orie Murphy writes that "Florida represented the last attempt to
reconcile the old NEAlanguage of professionalism with the lan-
guage of trade-union action."40 Similarly, NEA Executive Sec-
retary Sam Lambert did not wholeheartedly embrace the manner
in which the FEA handled the walkout.41 Institutionalized struc-
tures resist change, and the NEA, after establishing itself as a
respectable organization, found it hard to accept such activism.
Despite the NEA's disdain for strikes due to their links with
teacher unionism, the FEA forced its hand. The FEA, the rebel-
lious NEA chapter, was unique in its support of strikes as an
effective tool; most state chapters opposed teacher militancy.42
One reason for its support was that the militancy stirred up by
FEA local chapters in urban cities such as Jacksonville and
Miami inspired the rest of Florida.43 "Ten urban counties ...
had 70 percent of the total number of teachers . that joined
the walkout."44 Additionally, urban counties had upwards of
"25 percent teacher walkout ratio, a greater proportion than
the rural counties."45 The NEA came to support the FEA; the
needs of its members overrode any opposition it might have
still held against strikes in principle. This prompted Time mag-
azine to surmise that "the NEA's new president Braulio Alonso
.. obviously finds Florida a choice battlefield on which his
organization can display its militancy."46 Whether this was

40Marjorie Murphy, Blackboard Unions: The AFT and the NEA, 1900-1980
(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990), 231.
41Urban, 181.
42Ibid., 188.
43Ibid, 181.
44Malone, 157.
45Ibid., 127.
' \\lkoui in Florida," Time.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

true or not, once the NEA assisted the FEA, in the minds of
the media and government, it crossed over to liberal activism.

The Influence of Civil Rights
The civil rights movement inspired the swelling militancy
among teachers. It motivated Florida teachers to stand against in-
equalities in the schools and it also focused attention on the racial
dimensions of state education. National media coverage of civil
rights activists speaking out against institutionalized systems that
did not include them and their needs motivated teachers to over-
come their own hesitations. Historian Marshall Donley suggests
that "massed displays of power have not gone unnoticed by teach-
ers who ... see other power blocs getting their share not through
reasonableness but by belligerence."47 The activism of the civil
rights and labor movements, which had been increasing through-
out the 1960s, became a model for teachers trying to effect change.
Additionally, "economic pressures and the proven effectiveness
of civil rights activists appealed to ... young male GI teachers,"
whom Allan West implied were more likely to engage in events
championing social equality.48 He also called them a "new breed
of teacher ... [with] a more aggressive spirit and demanding] a
voice in determining what went on in the classroom."49 As a result
of their involvement in the Vietnam War, these veterans contrib-
uted a different perspective than many of their female colleagues
with regards to the necessity of banding together for just cause.
Teachers also tried to work through legislative channels for
the changes they wanted. Educators sought recognition for their
roles in society, of shaping the minds of young people. Appeal-
ing to the governor and state legislature and repeatedly watch-
ing bills fail impressed upon the teachers that they would have
to resort to stronger action. One teacher, Evangeline Joyner, ex-
pressed her feeling that "the situation .. had become critical and

"Donley, 200.
48West, 33.
49Ibid., 29.


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Paige Scofield


drastic measures had to be taken to stir public apathy."'" Walkout
participant R. L. Johns told Malone that Governor Kirk
"considered the teachers as 'hired help' and was infuriated at
them for demanding to be treated like professionals."51 Indeed,
once committed to the urgency of acting on their grievances,
teachers found encouragement from other activists. West writes
that "it [was] more acceptable to walk a picket line [on] behalf of
better school conditions" because other groups had successfully
used protests for "constructive results."52 Though teachers were
also part of mainstream America and might have previously con-
sidered themselves members of the conservative, law-and-order
majority, the facts of their situation urged many to act, even if
it meant that others would now label them as liberal activists.
Race also figured into the walkout, as Florida was part of a south-
ern tradition that had difficulty grasping integration and the Black
Power movement. Erika Gubrium argues that African American
teachers, in Alachua County at least, did not see themselves starkly
as either activists or not activists. For them, many factors influenced
whether they kept their opinions to themselves or participated in the
walkout. At this time, "teaching was one of the few professional op-
tions" for blacks, and it is for this reason "taking collective leave of
one's occupation for greater professional leverage was not relevant."53
Blacks tended to give the walkout "silent" endorsement.54 They may
have believed that not stirring up further resentment within the larger
community over the teacher walkout would downplay some of the
white resistance to broader civil rights themes of the time. Black par-
ents sent their children to underperforming schools, just like white
parents, and they, too, wanted educational reform. Civil rights activ-
ism and local racial issues determined howblacks viewed the walkout.
50Lairsey, 3.
51Malone, 64.
52West, 36.
53Erika Gubrium, "African American Teachers Look Back: Interpreting
Participation in the 1968 Florida School Walkout" (PhD diss., University of
Florida, 2006), 22.
54Lairsey, 8.


Alpata: A Journal of History





"Blackboard Power": Florida's 1968 Teacher Walkout

Consequences
In 1968, Florida teachers and the FEA demonstrated the con-
sequences of a statewide walkout. Though the results differed
from what many had hoped, the strike did bring enormous change
to both state and national education. The compromise ending the
strike produced pay raises and increased classroom funding by a
combined total of "$254.5 million . the greatest single appro-
priation for education in the history of [the] state-more money
for schools in one year than previous legislatures [had] provided
for two years."55 Additionally, the strike touched off similar ac-
tions in other cities across the country, including Pittsburgh, San
Francisco, and Oklahoma City.56 Further, the FEA mobilized al-
most half of the state's 58,000 teachers to resign in protest, thus
demonstrating the strength of the organization in persuading its
members and in organizing such a large-scale demonstration.57
After the strike ended on March 8, the battle still raged over
rehiring. Again, local school boards exercised their power by re-
fusing to rehire those teachers who had walked out. Twenty-sev-
en counties did allow all their teachers back while "in 40 others,
vindictive school boards-anxious to punish teachers-set up
road blocks to their return.""5 FEA executive secretary Phil Con-
stans believed the boards sought to "break the strength of their
professional teacher organizations by demoting or 'locking out'
administrators."59 Following weeks of negotiating, most coun-
ties resolved their concerns, usually making teachers re-apply for
theirjobs. Ultimately, 628 teachers of the approximately 25,000
statewide who walked, for whatever reason, were not rehired.60


55Statement, State Legislature, Funding for Education, Feb 15, 1968 Floyd T.
Christian Speeches.
6"AFighting Mood," Time.com, March 8, 1968. hlp l \ \\ \\ Iie coin/printo
ut/0,8816,941242,00.html
57arks, 7.
58Ibid., 8.
59FEA News Release, March 21, 1968, Education in Florida Subject Files.
60Malone, 127.


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Paige Scofield


Later in 1968, largely in reaction to Florida, the NEA agreed
"on record in opposition to legislation banning teacher strikes."61
The professional association that had avoided the growing tenden-
cy toward militancy for so long finally formally acknowledged the
inevitability of activism among educators. Ironically, the strike and
the NEAs uneasy acceptance of militancy actually alienated some
of its members, worsening the competition with the AFT.62 Ulti-
mately though, as most historians agree, the FEAfailed in the walk-
out despite its convincing success in bringing the public's attention
to the actual condition of the state educational system. Although
parents witnessed problems in the schools, they still could not see
how a teacher walkout could lead to any possible improvements.
Instead, Wayne Malone concludes, "public resentment and loss of
faith in teachers can be identified and attributed to the walkout."63
Although public opinion was not on their side, teachers charac-
terized the activist spirit of the 1960s by uniting as a collective
group to make a stand against the state's disregard of their needs.
Throughout the intense three-week crisis, parallels to the na-
tional schism between government and activists emerged. When the
teachers and the FEA took their stand for increased school funding
and recognition as professionals, most of the public and the conser-
vative state government attacked them as militant activists who did
not stay within their expected, submissive role in society. The walk-
out was a product of the times as people's perspectives were truly
shaped by national trends and the way they interpreted militant ac-
tion-as either an effective tool or a menace to society. The national
and state political environment was the main stimulus behind the
vehement and steadfast positions that government leaders and the
public took against the teachers and the FEA. These political un-
dercurrents deeply influenced the manner in which the strike played
out. The FEA saw the walkout as a battle and indeed it was-sym-
bolizing the national drama between conservatism and liberalism.

1Urban, 179.
62Ibid., 241.
63Malone, 7.


Alpata: A Journal of History









Reviews






Book Reviews


Renee C. Romano, Race Mixing: Black-white Marriage in
Postwar America, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, 2003

Historian Renee Romano offers a thoroughly researched ac-
count of marriages between black men and white women in the
United States since the 1940s. Her book examines the ways in
which racial integration and the civil rights movement influenced
the increase of marriages across racial lines. Scholars have pro-
duced a considerable number of works on how the U.S. crimi-
nalized interracial marriage from the colonial era to the 1960s
in order to keep boundaries between whites and blacks intact.
While previous scholarship on interracial marriages focuses
on anti-miscegenation laws and legal challenges to them in the
mid-twentieth century, Romano explores the political, cultural,
and social history of black-white interracial marriage since the
1940s. She examines the ways in which black-white couples
have responded to the challenges of prejudice in everyday life,
such as persuading parents to accept their decisions and rais-
ing biracial children. Romano's major achievement is to place
these seemingly personal choices in a historical context. Using
interviews with blacks and whites who intermarried as well as
the discussion of interracial marriage in contemporary social sci-
ence and psychological literature, popular magazines, and films,
Romano deftly reveals the ways in which such marriages were
seen by both white and black communities and by various par-
ticipants in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Romano begins with examining how World War II set the
stage for a noticeable increase in interracial marriages-black
American soldiers brought more than 300,000 European war
brides home to the United States. Romano brings to life the sto-
ries of black American soldiers who found European countries
less hostile to interracial relationships. Upon their return to the


Spring 2008





Reviews


United States, these couples had to deal with social ostracism at a
time when more than a third of states had anti-miscegenation laws.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the racial stereotypes of hy-
persexual black men and morally depraved white women
still dominated white society's images of black-white mar-
riage. Whites opposing interracial marriage feared that in-
tegration and associations with blacks at an intimate level
would lower their social status and erase racial boundaries.
Unlike white Americans who generally opposed interra-
cial marriage, black Americans in the 1940s and 1950s were
ambivalent, and some blacks believed that social acceptance
of black-white marriage would testify to the improvement of
race relations in America. While middle-class black Americans
and especially black women criticized the lack of racial pride
of those black men who married white women, Romano reveals
that the black community in the 1950s tended to see marriage
as a personal matter and did not believe that these black men
had abandoned their race. Romano argues that since the 1950s,
blacks have been more open to black-white marriage than whites.
Desegregation at the college level and increased integra-
tion in the workplace contributed to the increase of interracial
marriages. Such marriages were common among subculture
groups like the beatniks of the 1950s and those devoted to radi-
cal political movements. However, many more black-white
couples met at workplaces rather than in political settings.
Black parents accepted, sometimes grudgingly, white daugh-
ters-in-law, while white parents tended to disown their daugh-
ters and refused to see their black sons-in-law. Black-white
couples often lived among black neighbors because they were
rejected by white neighborhoods due to de facto segregation.
Romano shows how debates over black-white mar-
riage became the center of southern segregationist opposi-
tion to Brown and public school desegregation in the 1950s.
The civil rights movement in the 1960s played a critical
role in changing white society's perceptions of interracial


Spring 2008





Reviews


marriage, and Romano highlights how the racial views of those
born after World War II differed from those of their parents.
While the black nationalist movement harshly criticized
black men who married white women for betraying their race, it
did not deny the idea of marriage as a personal matter. Romano
analyzes the consequences of the rapid increase in the number of
black-white marriages compared with that of white-black mar-
riages that left black women without adequate marital partners.
Romano also skillfully captures another layer of the situation by
discussing black women's tendency to oppose interracial mar-
riage. Black women who historically assumed the role of keeping
their families intact believed that marrying white men was relin-
quishing their racial pride as black women. Furthermore, in light
of the history of white men's sexual abuse of black women during
the slavery era, black women in the 1960s and 1970s did not think
that white men would be seriously interested in marrying them.
Romano concludes with a caution against viewing the in-
crease of interracial marriages and changes in whites' attitude
toward them as a straightforward improvement in race relations,
stating "the erosion of the taboo against interracial marriage
cannot be read as a simple sign that America has overcome its
racist past" (9). Since black Americans still deal with inequali-
ties in terms of income and poverty rates, etc., she argues that
the erasure of legalized racism and whites' acceptance of inter-
racial marriage on an individual level should not blind society
from seeing the workings of "structural racial inequality" today
(290). Romano's insightful work on the implications of mar-
riage between blacks and whites is a must-read for those inter-
ested in twentieth-century race relations in the United States.

Eunhye Kwon


Alpata: A Journal of History





Reviews


Stuart B. Schwartz, ed., Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the
Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680. Chapel Hill: Univer-
sity of North Carolina Press, 2004.

In the history of the Atlantic world, the two themes that
seem to be the most "Atlantic" of all are African slavery and
sugar. Since the publication of Eric Williams's Capitalism and
Slavery in 1944, historians have concerned themselves with the
connection between colonial plantation labor and metropolitan
industrialization, an idea that dates back to Karl Marx's theory
of primitive accumulation. That the link between slave labor
and free labor seems so commonplace in modern historiography
provides cause to challenge its validity. In Tropical Babylons:
Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680, Stu-
art B. Schwartz brings together eight original essays that dis-
pute what historians have asserted regarding the role of sugar
in the first centuries of European expansion in the Atlantic ba-
sin. The collection begins with a tour-de-force assessment of
the field. Schwartz asks several thought-provoking questions,
including a call to establish, so far as possible, the actual pro-
ductivity comparisons of sugar plantations. The editor shifts
attention to new research in the field which draws upon previ-
ously unknown sources, such as Genaro Rodriguez Morel's dis-
covery of relevant material in the Archivo General de Indias .
The historians whose work Schwartz has brought together
in this collection question basic facts in the history of sugar and
slavery in the Atlantic world. For example, William D. Phil-
lips Jr. approaches sugar cultivation in southern Iberia over the
longue dur&e. He demonstrates that, despite this region's tem-
perate climate and rainfall patterns that are often contrary to the
needs of optimal sugar production, sugar producers in Valencia
and Granada have operated for over a thousand years. Histori-
cally, these operations produced sugar primarily for local mar-
kets, where proximity granted certain advantages not available
to those producers whose cane fields were on the other side of


Spring 2008





Reviews


the Atlantic. Phillips may say more than he realizes in his dis-
cussion of the labor force set to work on Iberian sugar produc-
tion. One of the cornerstones of the historiography on slave
treatment in the Americas, the so-called Tannenbaum school,
places great emphasis on the previous experience of Iberians
with slavery in determining the character of slavery in Spain's
American dominions. That sugar in Iberia was cultivated as Phil-
lips argues-largely by the hands of day laborers and the vas-
sals of sugar planters-suggests that perhaps the initial assump-
tions of this school of historiography require some rethinking.
In Chapter 8, Eddy Stols argues that the European con-
sumer market for sugar dates to much earlier than scholars, in-
cluding Sidney Mintz, have argued. The author first describes
the wide-spread use of sugar among Europe's upper classes as a
medium for decorative art, one more palatable than the wax and
lard figurines that had previously graced banquet tables. Stols
then provides a great amount of evidence that the Iberian king-
doms pioneered the widespread use of confections, jams, and
preserves. His most important contribution, however, is his ar-
gument for the importance of sugar between 1500 and 1650 to
general European economic development, which he posits had
more of an impact than other "colonial" commodities and ranked
more properly among the exotic spices arriving from the Orient.
In the collection's final chapter, John J. McCusker and Rus-
sell R. Menard reassess another pillar of the sugar-and-slavery
historiography, the "sugar revolution" that, it has been argued,
fundamentally transformed Barbados's economy between 1640
and 1660. Basing their argument largely on the Bridgetown deed
books, the authors argue that sugar alone did not revolutionize
the Barbadian economy. Rather, it was one of many crops that
benefited from an improving economic position. They also pres-
ent evidence that tenant farming was an important feature of the
island's sugar production throughout the seventeenth century due
to the problem of labor supply. This evidence questions the long
established assumption in the historiography of a mass exodus


Alpata: A Journal of History





Reviews


of the island's white population during the sugar boom. Finally,
McCusker and Menard turn the established canon on its head,
arguing that sugar production did not change Barbados. Instead,
they assert, Barbados forever modified sugar production by im-
plementing a system based on a centralized unit of production
owned by one individual rather than the senhor de engenho mod-
el, which had been the norm in the Atlantic islands and Brazil.
Tropical Babylons is an important contribution to Atlantic
history thanks to the questions its essays pose about what histori-
ans know about sugar and slavery in the early Atlantic world. The
research results contained in this volume should prove thought
provoking for field specialists and encourage future scholarship
on the basic relationships between sweet sugar and bitter slavery.

Keith Manuel




A. D. Kirwan. Revolt of the Rednecks: Mississippi Politics,
1876-1925. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

The end of Radical Reconstruction reached Mississippi in
late 1875, and it was not long before white men restored the
Democratic Party to its machine status and regained control of
the state legislature (3-5). In his book Revolt of the Rednecks:
Mississippi Politics, 1876-1925, A. D. Kirwan asserts that this
restoration corresponded to a shift in the ideology and methodol-
ogy of the Democratic Party-away from its traditional base in
agriculture and towards a platform rooted in diversified indus-
try. This change resulted in internal strife, which Kirwan right-
ly argues manifested itself as agrarian discontent. The steadily
escalating intra-party struggle of whites, combined with the re-
institution of white supremacy as a Party calling card, and the
disfranchisement of blacks (and many poor whites) only served
to widen the fissure between the financially minded operators of


Spring 2008





Reviews


the Democratic machine and the agrarian workers who made up
the majority of Mississippi's white population. Through speeches
and correspondence, public voting and registration records, and
the state's prominent newspapers, Revolt of the Rednecks shows
how poor hill farmers-or "rednecks," as Kirwan labels them-
became part of a policy-oriented tug-of-war for control of the
Democratic party, which the hill farmers felt had abandoned them
in the midst of a strong post-War agricultural depression (vii).
In 1876, Democrats in Mississippi successfully reclaimed
power from the federally subsidized Republican regime. Kirwan
states that these new "revolutionaries" had not been men of great
importance before the Civil War and had few objections to the
new manifesto of industry (8-9). In order to assure the party's
future, these Democrats turned white supremacy into a tool for
unifying whites through bypassing and ignoring the economic
gap between the affluent and the Rednecks. Most important to
Kirwan's theory, though, is the disenfranchising effect the new
poll taxes and literacy tests had on Rednecks. It was at this point,
Kirwan convincingly writes, that the first real seeds of agrarian
frustration began to boil over into hard-line factionalism within
the Democratic party. His evidence here clearly demonstrates that
Rednecks, tired of not receiving a fair and balanced opportunity
to elect their representatives, cast their votes for agrarian-mind-
ed opposition candidates. This departure from status-quo voting
procedure signified a revolt against the Democratic machine.
Ironically, the farmers ought to have dominated the election
through their popular majority status, but Mississippi's system
of legislative apportionment nullified their numerical advantage.
The crushing defeat of the farmers' electoral hopes led to
their turning to the Populist party. Kirwan argues strongly that
although the Populists never unseated the Democrats, their ten-
year stint as competitors was paramount in the "training of the
agricultural population to independent thought and action" (102).
He shows that scandals involving the state treasury, coupled
with the Primary Law of 1902, razed the last barriers impeding


Alpata: A Journal of History





Reviews


Redneck-endorsed candidates. The election of Governor James
K. Vardaman in 1903, and the rise to power of Theodore G. Bilbo,
serve as Kirwan's evidence of this shift away from the old guard
of the Democratic Party. Some readers may become bogged down
in the details concerning Vardaman and Bilbo, but frustration in
these intricate sections is later rewarded by greater comprehen-
sion of the pivotal roles both men played in the Redneck move-
ment. Even with their election, Kirwan correctly points out that
the poor hill farmers were never delivered from their agricultural
troubles, and, in hindsight, it is clear that no such salvation was
possible. Their problems, Kirwan maintains, were the result of
economic trends too complex to be addressed by state legislators.
In engrossing fashion, Kirwan tells the story of the Mississip-
pi Rednecks and the political canvas of post-Reconstruction Mis-
sissippi. Their plight, brief ascendancy, and subsequent descent
back into the depths of rural poverty is plotted through political
events spanning over half a century. Kirwan never loses sight of
the book's central theme: that the Rednecks staged their revolt at
the polls in a bid to ease financial penury and establish a more lu-
crative economic system for themselves. Revolt of the Rednecks
not only grants critical insight into Mississippi's own political and
cultural history, it also serves as an essential starting point for un-
derstanding the political nature of the post-Reconstruction South.

Matthew Hulbert




Douglas Northrop. Veiled Empire: Gender andPower in Stalin-
ist CentralAsia. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Douglas Northrop has written a remarkable study on the Soviet
Union's attemptsto modernize and "Sovietize" Uzbekistan. Draw-
ing on Communist Party documents, Soviet secret police reports,
and Russian and Uzbek newspaper articles-many used for the


Spring 2008





Reviews


first time in his study-he demonstrates how Soviet activists
came to view Uzbek women as a surrogate proletariat and the
resultant difficulties arising from such a conception. His work
also highlights the colonial encounter between individuals of
different cultures, arguing that "Soviet authorities no less than
their Central Asian subjects were reshaped through this pro-
tracted encounter, and it was the ongoing interactions between
these groups .. that in the end defined what it meant to be both
'Bolshevik' and 'Uzbek"' (7). While Northrop does consider the
Soviet Union to have been a colonial empire, he asserts that "its
insistent anticolonialism also needs to be taken seriously, as more
than mere rhetoric." For Northrop, such an anticolonialist atti-
tude is extremely significant in that it is the motivating factor be-
hind the Soviet efforts to modernize Uzbekistan. He argues that
unlike previous empires, the Soviet Union sought to erase the
difference between lands on the periphery and the metropole. In
contrast with its tsarist predecessor, "Soviet colonialism would
be affirming and constructive, not oppressive or exploitive" (23).
Although the desire to modernize Central Asia and estab-
lish Soviet power in the region was not lacking among Soviet
activists, the manner in which they should undertake it proved
particularly troublesome. Traditional Marxist beliefs required
the Soviets in Uzbekistan to ally themselves with the indig-
enous proletariat, but given the small number of Uzbek work-
ers, such an alliance offered little opportunity to modernize
and transform Uzbek society. In the search for allies, the Bol-
sheviks initiated land redistribution schemes and anti-religion
campaigns, and attempted to establish Soviet clubs and other
such organizations to expound the virtues of Marxism. Ac-
cording to Northrop, it was only after such measures failed to
produce the desired results that Party activists turned to the lib-
eration of Uzbek women as the cornerstone of their program.
The Soviets assumed that Uzbek women would welcome
the liberation campaign and that it would result in a "ripple
effect, creating social change from the ground up and leading


Alpata: A Journal of History




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