THE SOLID SOUTH, PAST AND PRESENT. FUTURE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
To turn again to the South. This section has been a fertile field for political experimental purposes by successive Republican administrations, ever since the second administration of President Grant. The Solid South, so-called, has been a serious menace to the peace and prosperity of the country. How to bring about such a condition of affairs as would do away with the supposed necessity for its continuance has been the problem, the solution of which has been the cause of political experiments. President Hayes was the first to try the experiment of appointing Democrats to many of the most important offices, hoping that the solution would thus be found. But he was not given credit for honest motives in doing so, for the reason that the public was impressed with the belief that such action on his part was one of the conditions upon which he was allowed to be peaceably inaugurated. At any rate the experiment was a complete failure, hence, so far as the more important offices were concerned, that policy was not continued by Republican administrations that came into power subsequent to the Hayes administration, and prior to that of Taft’s.
I do not mean to say that no Democrats were appointed to important offices at the South by the administrations referred to, but such appointments were not made with the belief or expectation that they would contribute to a solution of the problem that was involved in what was known as the Solid South. Political and social conditions in that section of the country are such that the appointment to some of the federal offices of men who are not identified with the Republican party is inevitable. The impression that the writer desires to make upon the mind of the reader is that, between the administration of Hayes and that of Taft no Republican administrations made such appointments with the expectation that they would contribute to a breaking up of the solid south. President Roosevelt tried the experiment of offering encouragement and inducements in that direction to what was known as the Gold-standard Democrats, but even that was barren of satisfactory results. President Taft seems to be the only Republican President since Mr. Hayes who has allowed himself to labor under the delusion that the desired result could be accomplished through