The Fusion Party And The Election Of 1896

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With the Fusion party being active, the Election of 1896 was different than any election before in North Carolina. For the first time since Reconstruction, a Republican governor was elected, Daniel Russell. Russell was a leader of the Fusion party and won the state election with 46.57% of the vote, beating out the Democratic candidate, Cyrus B. Watson. Daniel Russell was raised in a family with unusual political beliefs, including an opposition to secession during the years of the Civil War. Russell gained an interest in politics, joined the Fusion party and ran for governor, known as a man who advocated for the rights of blacks. Cyrus Watson was raised in North Carolina and fought in the confederate army during the Civil War, he was the…show more content…
As the elected members of the Fusion party continued to govern the state, issues began to form within the party. Disagreements between the Republicans and Populists of the party led to the party losing power. This gave the secret nine and the rest of the Democratic party hope for the election of 1898, that they would regain power over the state, as they had been planning for since the election of Daniel Russell in 1896. As the state elections of 1898 approached, the Fusion party was not thriving as well as it had been, when preparing for the last election. The Democratic party was preparing to defeat the Republicans in the election and were being led by Furnifold Simmons, the party chairman. He did a great deal of organizing and campaigning in an attempt to have Democrats regain power over the city. Simmons worked hard to prevent “negro denomination”, a fear that many white segregationists had at the time, they worried that if African Americans gained too much power in government, eventually they would take over. In reality, African Americans only wanted a say in how they were governed and wanted to be treated equally under the law. To conquer this fear that many white Democrats possessed, they planned to take over the government and run any influential African Americans out of town, to somewhere that they would no longer influence and encourage people to stand up for equal
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