By Evan Anders
Four males performed top roles within the political drama that opened up in South Texas through 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 get together in Texas;
- Archer (Archie) Parr, whose ruthless strategies and misuse of public money in Duval County tested him as some of 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 earrings they formed in South Texas through the revolutionary Era.
Power was once the byword of the bosses of the reduce Rio Grande Valley, and Anders explores the assets of that strength. those politicos didn't shirk from utilizing corrupt or even violent skill to achieve their ambitions, yet Anders demonstrates that their prepared sensitivity to the desires in their assorted constituency used to be key to their long term good fortune. Patronage and different political companies have been their lifeblood, and the allies won 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 function of the Hispanic population in shaping the politics of the border sector, the commercial improvement of the reduce Rio Grande Valley and its political repercussions, the emergence and nature of revolutionary events at either neighborhood and kingdom degrees, and the half performed through the Texas Rangers in aiding bossism in South Texas.
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Extra resources for Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era
Participated in the Texas Revolution as a privateer. Following the war, the veteran sea captain headed the naval yard of the Texas Republic at Galveston, and then settled on St. Joseph’s Island to raise cattle and to operate a merchant schooner. Reared in an isolated environment both on the island and at a later home on the mainland, James B. , received most of his basic education from his mother. After managing the family ranch for a few years, he studied under a Galveston attorney in 1873 and then attended the University of Virginia Law School.
County officials never did account for the missing money. With the heavy influx of Anglo voters after 1905, the Democratic organization tried to improve its image and abstained from the outright theft of large sums of public revenue. Security along the border was just as important to the Valley ranchers as low taxation. Although cattle raids from Mexico declined dramatically after Porfirio Díaz assumed power in the mid-1870s, the stockmen still harbored fears of the revival of rampant lawlessness.
By the time of Powers’ death in 1882, Wells had emerged as his chief lieutenant and heir apparent. Enjoying the support of the leading ranchers of the region, Wells consolidated his control over the Cameron County Blue Club and eventually extended his influence over the Democratic organizations of Hidalgo, Starr, and Duval counties. In each of these counties, Wells oversaw the rise of bosses who ran their own local machines but who acknowledged Wells’ leadership on regional, state, and national questions.