Texas Politics in the early 20th century

In the book, “The Establishment in Texas Politics,” by George Norris Green, Mr. Green describes how, since 1939, fiscal and social conservatives have governed Texas. Anglo-Texas nationalism supported the idea of Texas independence from groups including the federal government as it pertains to laws overseeing business practices. From the traditionalistic-individualistic scheme of Texas politics emerged a philosophy of material self-interest above anything that might be considered fair to other groups within the borders of the state. To make matters worse (or better, depending on your own political persuasion) Texas at that time was a one-party system, and the powers that be relied on a consistently low level of voter participation and the powerful influence of special interest lobby groups.
Interest groups sprang forth from the business landscape tilled by capitalist pioneers such as H.L. Hunt, Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison. These independent millionaires were concerned with preserving capital and enhancing shareholder value by reducing the interference by governmental socialists who sought to redistribute wealth though the use of social programs. These men, and many more like them, cared little about government and wanted no intervention in their economic affairs. Their attitudes were consistent with the popular values of the Jeffersonian Democrats of the nineteenth century: The less government the better, local control of what little government there was, and freedom from economic regulation, or laissez-faire.
Three men, W. Lee O’Daniel, Coke Stevenson and Beauford Jester came to epitomize Texas conservatives during this period of Texas history. Each man, whether they knew it or not, practiced a type of pseudo laissez-faire that would later be known as Social-Darwinism; the belief that individuals who prosper and rise to the top of the socioeconomic ladder are worthy and deserve their riches, while those who sink to the botto…

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