This article shows how the migration of millions of Southern whites in the twentieth century shaped the cultural and political landscape across the United States. Racially and religiously conservative, Southern white migrants created new electoral possibilities for a broad-based coalition with economic conservatives. With their considerable geographic scope, these migrants hastened partisan realignment and helped catalyze and bolster a New Right movement with national influence over the long run. More than just augmenting the conservative voter base outside the South, they influenced non-Southerners by building evangelical churches, diffusing right-wing media, and mixing through intermarriage and residential integration. Tracking non-Southern households, we show that exposure to Southern white neighbors increased adoption of conservative religious norms. Overall, our findings suggest that this mass migration blurred the North-South cultural divide and reshaped the geography of conservatism in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics