New PDF release: Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era

By Evan Anders

Four males performed top roles within the political drama that spread out in South Texas throughout the first a long time of this century:

  • James B. Wells, who governed as boss of Cameron County and served as top conservative spokesman of the Democratic social gathering in Texas;
  • Archer (Archie) Parr, whose ruthless strategies and misuse of public money in Duval County confirmed him as essentially the most notoriously corrupt politicians in Texas history;
  • Manuel Guerra, Mexican American rancher and service provider whose domination of Starr County reflected the guideline of his Anglo opposite numbers within the border region;
  • John Nance Garner, who served the pursuits of those bosses of South Texas as he set forth at the street that will lead him to the U.S. vice-presidency.

Evan Anders' Boss Rule in South Texas tells the tale of those males and the county earrings they formed in South Texas in the course of the innovative Era.

Power was once the byword of the bosses of the reduce Rio Grande Valley, and Anders explores the assets of that energy. those politicos didn't shirk from utilizing corrupt or even violent potential to achieve their targets, yet Anders demonstrates that their willing sensitivity to the desires in their different constituency was once key to their long term luck. Patronage and different political prone have been their lifeblood, and the allies received by means of those ranged from builders and businessmen to ranchers and Mexican american citizens, filthy rich and poor.

Besides reading the workings of the Democratic machines of 4 South Texas counties, Anders explores the position of the Hispanic population in shaping the politics of the border zone, the industrial improvement of the decrease Rio Grande Valley and its political repercussions, the emergence and nature of revolutionary routine at either neighborhood and nation degrees, and the half performed through the Texas Rangers in assisting bossism in South Texas.

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Extra resources for Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era

Sample text

The Cameron County boss developed close ties with the conservative Democratic administrations that dominated Texas politics from 1895 through 1906, and many of the Rangers serving in South Texas received their appointments on the basis of Wells’ recommendations. As a result, the Ranger force readily responded to Wells’ appeals for intervention to quell disorders and to crack down on cattle rustling. Wells demonstrated his loyalty to the agency when a 1900 attorney general ruling denied the legal authority of Ranger privates and noncommissioned officers to make arrests.

In addition to indulging in graft, the urban machines also performed a variety of constructive functions: social welfare benefits for the downtrodden, particularly immigrants; a channel of upward mobility for ambitious members of these suppressed groups; special privileges for businesses, such as franchises and the elimination of red tape. Recent historians have argued that boss politics was the inevitable product of the rapid, chaotic process of urbanization during the late nineteenth century.

They feared that Garza’s appeals might attract widespread Mexican American participation in the campaign, provoke raids from Mexico, and usher in a new era of lawlessness. To counter this threat, James Wells canvassed the Valley counties to make personal appeals to his rural Mexican American constituents to avoid involvement with Garza. He also persuaded Governor James Hogg to dispatch a special force of Rangers when the regular army failed to crush the small but elusive band of raiders. After the capture of most of his men, Garza apparently fled the Valley.

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Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era by Evan Anders


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