The Solid South or Southern bloc was the electoral voting bloc of the Southern United States states for issues that were regarded as particularly important to the interests of white Democrats in the Southern states. The Southern bloc existed especially between 1877 (the end of Reconstruction) and 1964 (the year of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). During this period, the Democratic Party controlled state legislatures and most local and state officeholders in the South were Democrats, as were federal politicians from these states. The control of the Southern Democrats after disenfranchisement of blacks at the turn of the century meant that a candidate's victory in Democratic primary elections was tantamount to election to the office itself. Though regarded by most as an example of racial segregation, white primaries further entrenched white Democratic party control of the political process in the South.The ""Solid South"" is a loose term referring to the states that made up the voting bloc at any point in time. The Southern region as defined by U.S. Census comprises 16 states plus Washington D.C. -Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. This definition does not necessarily correspond to the states in the definition of the Solid South. Maryland was occasionally considered part of the Solid South and Missouri is classified as a Midwestern state by the U.S. Census.