Short Essay On Huey Long

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It was hard to find a Communist in Louisiana in the 1930s. In 1935, merely eighty of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) members lived in the bayous of Louisiana. However, an interesting man with some intriguing leftist views was a Louisiana Senator. His name was Huey Long. A man beloved by the common folk and despised by the wealthy and politically affluent. A former traveling salesman Huey Long knew how to energize the people with lofty promises of “making every man a king”, pension reform, and occasionally racial tolerance. However, Long was greatly admonished by members of the CPUSA like Sender Garlin, who viewed him as a racist authoritarian or worse an American Mussolini. Ultimately, Long is a man ripe with contradictions,…show more content…
In 1935, Long led the fight for Louisiana to abolish the poll tax. The expensive poll tax required voters to pay a fee of 2 dollars (equivalent to 24 dollars today) to vote. Long’s success allowed for 250,000 new voters, including many poor African-Americans. Likewise, the CPUSA also campaigned for the abolishment of the poll tax. Further, Long was not afraid to attack the Ku Klux Klan, a Southern terrorist group that targeted African-Americans. In 1934, Long declared that Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans, “that Imperial Bastard will never set foot in Louisiana.” Some like Dr. Glenn Jeansonne only denounced the Klan because it was weak in the 1930s. This is hardly the case. The Klan maintained some form of power in Southern society through the 1990s. Ardent racist and Alabama governor George Wallace originally entered politics as a racial moderate. The young Wallace refused to support Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 1948 and was known as a fair judge on racial issues. However, Wallace moved to an ardent racist after he lost Klan support in the 1958 Alabama gubernatorial election. Further, in Long’s Louisiana, former Klan Grand Wizard David Duke was the Republican nominee for both Senator and Governor in 1990 and 1991
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