The Revolt Of The Conservatives Chapter Summary

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George Wolfskill was a professor at the University of Texas, in Arlington, Texas. He has written several books and reviews on the New Deal. In 1962, he illustrates in his book, The Revolt of the Conservatives, a moment of American history that is mostly forgotten and yet could have destroyed the government and changed American politics as we know it. He writes the story of the American Liberty League, that was a political organization formed by conservatives against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The group made up of mostly wealthy businessmen, were responding to Roosevelt’s New Deal proposal. They officially formed in 1934. For several years they gained notoriety for their Anti-New Deal response and the call for smaller government. While …show more content…

It was election year, and a turning point for the organization. In preparation for the elections, the League scheduled a dinner at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Scheduled to speak was a prominent Democrat and the former governor of New York, Al Smith. His speech was broadcast over the radio and caused much drama in the Washington circle. Though not many well-known members of the administration attended, “from the ranks of business, finance, management, and law were assembled many of the most prominent names in America.” Al Smith went on to condemn the New Deal as being too Communist. Stating, “There can only be one capital, Washington or Moscow.” This was a prominent Democrat criticizing his own party and equating their leadership with the Soviet Union. This rhetoric became attached to the New Deal and helped make “the League a sensation.” Opposition to the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt was revitalized. The League did everything in their power to prevent Roosevelt from winning the convention. The League put forth possible candidates to oppose Roosevelt that included Huey Long, Eugene Talmadge, and Henry Brekinridge. This would end up doing harm to the League. The opposing candidates had either withdrawn or been assassinated and “by early spring the League had given up.” Roosevelt won the nomination without a great deal of struggle. The League tried many ways to rebuild itself. Although there was rumor of a third-party …show more content…

The League was a regular issue in magazines and newspapers. Appearing on the cover of “...The New York Times 35 times, the back pages almost daily.” Its members were notorious in the business and political spectrum. During those two years, it was a force to be reckoned with, and they were considered to hold a great deal of political power that they used as a force of political pressure. The League persistently maintained their claim of being nonpartisan, but the league’s endless resources made them vulnerable to charges of corruption. By 1940, the Du Ponts were basically the only donors; and by this time, Shouse was devoting his efforts with no salary. With no financial support to influence the 1940 elections, the members thought it best to terminate the

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