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Oral History Interview with Charles M. Lowe, March 20, 1975. Interview B-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Longtime Charlotte politician Charles M. Lowe discusses the county-city consolidation issue in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lowe seems to have embraced the spirit of his recent retirement, attributing the failure of consolidation in Charlotte to a trend of voter apathy that is sure to reverse itself eventually. Lowe concedes that the politics of race and class played a role in defeating consolidation, but seems to believe more in impersonal patterns, alliances that dissolve and reform, and periods of change followed by periods of settling. Lowe's focus on the big picture means that he rarely speaks in specifics about the political battle over consolidation in Charlotte. For this reason, this interview will be most useful for researchers who already have a grasp of the issue.
    Excerpts
  • The Democratic Party splintered in the 1970s over its commitment to inclusion
  • Republicans found success in the 1970s due to racist backlash and good organization
  • Consolidation lost in Charlotte because of a lack of emotional investment
  • Charlotte leaders backed away from consolidation, worried about reelection
  • Why district consolidation gained momentum in Charlotte
  • Consolidation sparked tensions between urban and rural areas
  • Opposition motivates more voting than support
  • Racial dimension of the consolidation debate
  • Most black Charlotte residents supported consolidation
  • Charlotte residents are entering a state of apathy after a period of progress
  • Political patterns are always shifting
  • Rural areas share problems with urban areas, consolidation could help both
  • Lessons of the defeat of consolidation in Charlotte
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Democratic Party (N.C.)
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Politics and government
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.