Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2014

Department 1



This paper seeks to contextualize the 1956 election by providing a summary of the African American political alignment during the preceding half-century. Winning a greater portion of the black vote was a central tenant of the 1956 Eisenhower Campaign strategy. In the 1956 election a substantial shift occurred among the historically democratic black electorate. The vote shifted because of disillusionment with the Democrats and Eisenhower’s civil rights record. The swing however, was less pronounced for Republican congressional candidates. This paper draws upon extensive primary material, including countless newspapers, magazines, the NAACP Papers, and published primary sources to form the core of its argument. Comprehensive secondary research ground this paper in the inadequate literature on the topic.


History Senior Thesis