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Tariffs (American Civil War to Progressive Era)

Commercial restrictions through tariffs have been an integral part of American history, and Tar Heels have voiced their opinion on tariff legislation since the founding of the United States.   The federal government has used tariffs to raise revenue and protect American industry and labor.  After the Civil War, Congress intensified its efforts to protect American industry.

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North Carolina Conference for Social Service

As part of the Progressive movement’s concern for children’s welfare, the North Carolina Conference for Social Service started in 1912.  Nationalism, the interests of the state, and economic planning also influenced concern for children and the establishment of programs for their benefit.

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Bailey Josiah

Josiah Bailey was a leading figure in North Carolina’s progressive movement in the early twentieth century. In the 1930s and 1940s, he served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina and co-authored the “conservative manifesto,” which defended fiscally conservative policy during the heyday of the New Deal.

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North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association

In 1894, the first suffragette organization was founded in North Carolina.  It remained almost inactive until the World War I era, when it became a political influence in the Tar Heel State.  The association had minimal success in convincing the state legislature to grant women suffrage.  

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Morrison, Cameron (1869-1953)

At times conservative, at times progressive (as defined in the early 1900s), Cameron Morrison rose to political prominence in North Carolina as an ally of Furnifold M. Simmons, Democratic stalwart who dominated the state’s politics in the early decades of the twentieth century.  During the late 1800s, Morrison started gaining statewide fame for leading the “Red Shirts."  But he is most known for being "The Good Roads Governor" (1921-1925) and opposing the teaching of evolution in public schools.  After his gubernatorial career, Morrison served as a United States Senator and Congressman. 

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Simmons, Furnifold McLendel (1854-1940)

A Democratic Congressman and U.S. Senator, Furnifold M. Simmons was born on January 20, 1854 to Furnifold Green, Jr., and Mary McLendel Jerman Simmons of Jones County, North Carolina.  A leader in the "white supremacy" movement during the late 1890s, Simmons played an instrumental role in the disfranchisement of African Americans in North Carolina and served thirty years in the U.S. Senate, where his most notable achievements were obtaining funds for the Intercoastal Waterway and ensuring lower tariff rates and the passage of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff. 

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Fusion Politics

During the 1890s, a national phenomenon called Fusion politics united political parties.  In some western states the Populist (or People’s Party) and the Democratic Party united, but in North Carolina the movement, spearheaded by agricultural leader Marion Butler (1863-1938), combined the Populist and Republican parties.  In the presidential election of 1896, the Populist Party found itself ironically backing the Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) at the national level, while joining forces with Republicans at the state level.