The Journal of Politics

Research Article

Alabama's Administrative Reorganization of 1939*

Roscoe C. Martina1

a1 University of Alabama

The 1934 campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Alabama produced as one of the two leading candidates, Mr. Frank M. Dixon. An utter stranger to state politics, Candidate Dixon was compelled to adopt a dramatic platform and to tell a new story to the people. Fortunately for him, the retiring executive had invited the Brookings Institution to make a survey of the State's government, and the results of this survey had been published in five imposing volumes. Mr. Dixon acquainted himself with these volumes, discovered that they contained many useful recommendations, and decided to rest his platform principally on the findings of the Brookings Report. The contest he was able to give his opponent revealed that this decision was not wholly unsound, for though handicapped by youth and by inexperience in politics, he polled more than 100,000 votes. He did not win, but he undoubtedly gave the status quo politicians pause for thought.


* This analysis deals in part with personal and confidential materials. Governor Frank M. Dixon read the article in manuscript form and agreed to its publication.