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 major conservative spokesman of the Democratic get together in Texas;
  • Archer (Archie) Parr, whose ruthless strategies and misuse of public money in Duval County tested him as probably 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 may lead him to the us vice-presidency.

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

Power was once the byword of the bosses of the decrease Rio Grande Valley, and Anders explores the resources of that energy. those politicos didn't shirk from utilizing corrupt or even violent ability to realize their objectives, yet Anders demonstrates that their willing sensitivity to the wishes in their assorted constituency was once key to their long term good fortune. Patronage and different political companies have been their lifeblood, and the allies received via those ranged from builders and businessmen to ranchers and Mexican american citizens, filthy rich and poor.

Besides interpreting 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 sector, the industrial improvement of the reduce Rio Grande Valley and its political repercussions, the emergence and nature of revolutionary pursuits at either neighborhood and kingdom degrees, and the half performed through the Texas Rangers in assisting bossism in South Texas.

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

Example text

Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway in 1903. One year later, the company completed the railroad from Corpus Christi to Brownsville, as work continued on a branch through Hidalgo County and on the northward extension of the main line to Houston. Serving as a member of the board of directors and as the general counsel for the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway, Wells handled the acquisition of land titles and the formulation of needed changes in the company charter. With his participation in this enterprise, Wells advanced the interests of his constituents and pursued personal profit, but he also contributed to a social-economic revolution that would eventually reshape the political environment that he had mastered.

1. The Wells Machine AMERICAN POLITICAL AFFAIRS in South Texas began with the end of the Mexican War and the establishment of the counties of Cameron and Starr in 1848 and Hidalgo in 1852. During the pre–Civil War years, concern over the legal standing of land claims dominated politics. Hispanic and Anglo landowners alike agonized over the validity of their titles because of competing claims, the complications of collective family ownership, the unfulfilled terms of some grants, the imprecisions of others, and the destruction of records in Mexican archives with the recurrent outbreaks of armed conflict.

Recognizing the threat of disunity to Democratic dominance, Stephen Powers and his close associate James G. Browne tried to stabilize the system of loose Democratic alliances with the establishment of a formal organization, the Blue Club of Cameron County. Under this arrangement, the party leaders hammered out compromise tickets, and the rank-and-file membership of several hundred voters unanimously supported the candidates. The Republicans countered with the formation of the Red Club, and comparable competing groups developed elsewhere in South Texas.

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