In the 1800s, York County voters sided with the Democrats, the party of the South
This chart from York College professors G.A. Mellander and Carl E. Hatch shows the Democratic domination, left column, in York County presidential voting in the 1800s. Also of interest: Historians, journalists draw on work of forebears and Is York County part of Alabama? and Hillary Clinton apparently closer to middle than Obama in minds of York County Dems.
York County is a solid Republican-voting jurisdiction nowadays.
But it has not always been so.
G.A. Mellander and Carl E. Hatch produced an informative chart in their 1972 study of presidential voting patterns in York County that show a solid Democratic vote from 1800 to 1920, with the exception of 1904.
According to the professors:
This trend started after perceived heavy-handed legislation by the Federalists in the 1790s – the Whiskey Tax and Alien and Sedition Tax. This pushed York County voters to the state-rights Jeffersonians and their heirs, the Jacksonians and Democrats.
“Only in 1904 was this Democratic trend broken when Yorkers voted for Theodore Roosevelt largely because of his colorful personality that was in stark contrast to the dull Democratic candidate, Alton B. Parker,” Mellander and Hatch wrote.
Sixteen years later, York countians broke with the Dems, believing that Woodrow Wilson was too idealistic and not in the laissez faire lineage of Jackson. The Republicans – Harding, Coolidge and Hoover – better fit that bill.
York countians voted for a mixture of Dems and Republicans after that, settling on Republicans in recent years.
But as for those 1800s through 1968, the professors concluded:
– York countians vote against presidential candidates who are inordinately idealistic and not practical.
– They vote for presidential candidates who strike a happy medium between the extremes of too much lassez-faireism and too much federal intervention into local affairs.
“In brief, York Countians vote for candidates who appear practical and moderate.”
I’ll be connecting the dots between these Democratic ideals permeating York County – the Democrats being the party of the South – on or about 1860 and the county’s view of the Civil War in a presentation to the York Civil War Roundtable. That talk is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at the York County Heritage Trust, 250 E. Market St., York.
I’ll try to keep it from becoming too dense on the political front.
But here’s the point to all of this:
Two times, practical and moderate York countians voted against what they considered to be an extreme presidential candidate – Abraham Lincoln.
For more to this story, visit: York’s Jeremiah Black, former U.S. attorney general, among Democrats resorting to racism.