After a question on the latest LC live session about which region of the U.S. has historically been friendly to libertarian ideas (in which Brion McClanahan suggested that the West was a good embodiment of an individualist conception of liberty), I started to wonder a little more about the political history of the West.
How did the West shift from the stronghold of populism that Prof Woods discusses in this course to the more free-market/conservative place it is today? If any of you know of any key events, personalities, economic or demographic shifts that contributed to this transformation, I would be interested to know. Thank you in advance!
Much of this had to do with the Southern diaspora. 20 million Southerners moved west after Reconstruction. Some were populists, but most were looking to be rid of the general government in one way or another.