Social Sciences


This paper is an empirical extension of Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen’s piece (forthcoming), “A Culture of Disenfranchisement: How American Slavery Continues to Affect Voting Behavior.” In their project, Acharya, Blackwell and Sen (forthcoming) show that the counties that had more slaves versus free population in the nineteenth century are more likely to exhibit conservative attitudes in contemporary elections. I am extending this argument by measuring potential influence of Civil War battlegrounds on recent voting patterns and political predispositions. My project finds further support for Acharya, Blackwell and Sen’s study on the predictive power of Southern historical forces over current-day voting behavior, concluding that Southern counties with higher levels of free population as opposed to slaves in 1860, and the ones with Civil War battlegrounds are more likely than other Southern counties to vote for the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

Mentor Name

Dr. Kerem Ozan Kalkan

Mentor Email


Racial Legacy in Southern Voting.jpg (170 kB)
Pictorial Representation