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  • From the very beginning, state politics in Kansas have been a bundle of contradictions. While Kansas has been at the forefront of national reform, it has maintained a reputation as one of the country's most conservative states. Kansas was born in the tumult of the Civil War and has been staunchly Republican throughout its existence. During the nineteenth century, Kansans had been advocates for abolition, Prohibition, and populism. Despite the liberal ideals, a conservative streak was readily apparent in Kansas reform movements, and throughout the course of the twentieth century, that trend became dominant. By the early twenty-first century—a time when the country became polarized between progressive-leaning “blue states” and conservative-leaning “red states”—Kansas politics came to be divided between two types of conservatives. Social conservatives ...

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