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The Port Royal ExperimentA Case Study in Development$
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Kevin Dougherty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461534

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461534.001.0001

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Political Development and Democratization

Political Development and Democratization

(p.122) Chapter Eight Political Development and Democratization
The Port Royal Experiment

Kevin Dougherty

University Press of Mississippi

The Port Royal Experiment generated initial gains in political liberalization that permanently changed the society but whose subsequent increases did not keep pace over time. The slaves were emancipated by the war, and they remained free in its aftermath. They exercised the right to vote and held office for a period that roughly coincided with the federal military occupation. Union Leagues attracted great followings united in the cause of black political advancement, and Robert Smalls capitalized on lowcountry demographics to become a fixture in post-Civil War South Carolina politics. However, beyond that, the black population in South Carolina did not experience sustained increases in democratization until well into the twentieth century. In fact, before that day would come, the “Redemption” movement would reverse many of the political gains that the military intervention and its accompanying Port Royal Experiment had initially delivered to South Carolina’s black population.

Keywords:   Political development, Union Leagues, Robert Smalls, South Carolina politics, post-Civil War, Redemption

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