From fusionists to moral Mondays: The populist tradition in North Carolina politics

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Abstract / Description of output

The 2012 North Carolina elections brought into office a conservative Republican legislature and governor, who proceeded to pass a number of controversial measures, including significant cuts to education, restricting access to abortion, and repealing the Racial Justice Act. In response to these measures, during the summer of 2013, a coalition of liberal groups staged a series of protests outside and within the North Carolina Legislative Building called “Moral Mondays”. Led by North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber II, the Moral Monday movement generated crowds numbering in the thousands, some 900 of whom were arrested for trespassing. This essay explores the ideological origins and predecessors of the Moral Monday movement. Although many of the participants see themselves as the inheritors of the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
(and to a lesser extent the Occupy movement), they also have much in common with the agrarian reform movement of the 1880s and 1890s that eventually became the Populist Party. By placing the Moral Monday movement within a “Long Populist Movement,” this essay seeks to understand the deep roots of liberal populism within North Carolina politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Journal49th Parallel
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015


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