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The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt

The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt: Sources of Anti-Government Conservatism in the United States

ELLIOT A. ROSEN
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 248
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wrgx8
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  • Book Info
    The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt
    Book Description:

    Elliot Rosen'sHoover, Roosevelt, and the Brains Trustfocused on the transition from the Hoover administration to that of Roosevelt and the formulation of the early New Deal program.Roosevelt, the Great Depression, and the Economics of Recoveryemphasized long-term and structural recovery programs as well as the 1937-38 recession. Rosen's final book in the trilogy,The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt,situates distrust of the federal government and the consequent transformation of the party. Domestic and foreign policies introduced by the Roosevelt administration created division between the parties. The Hoover doctrine, which sought to restrict the reach of independent agencies at the federal level in order to restore business confidence and investment, intended to reverse the New Deal and to curb the growth of federal functions.

    In his new book, Elliot Rosen holds that economic thought regarding appropriate functions of the federal government has not changed since the Great Depression. The political debate is still being waged between advocates for direct intervention at the federal level and those for the Hoover ethic with its stress on individual responsibility. The question remains whether preservation of an unfettered marketplace and our liberties remain inseparable or whether enlarged governmental functions are required in an increasingly complex national and global environment. By offering a well-researched account of the antistatist and nationalist origins not only of the debate over legitimate federal functions but also of the modern Republican Party, this book affords insight into such contemporary political movements as the Tea Party.

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3555-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)

    This book situates the genesis of the Tea Party movement in the Age of Roosevelt. It suggests that determination by Republican Party conservatives to undo major components of the New Deal originated with Herbert Hoover’s Ark of the Covenant (1934), resumed with the Goldwater phenomenon and Reaganomics, and culminated with the Tea Party movement. All were committed to limiting the dimension of federal intrusion into the rights of the states, corporations, and the individual. Objectives included curbing of welfare-state legislation, pursuit of balanced budgets, and in the process stemming public investment in the economy. While social insurance for old age...

  5. 1 HERBERT HOOVER AND THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
    (pp. 9-24)

    As the Democratic Party’s National Convention opened on June 28, 1932, Herbert Hoover broached the issue of his likely opponent with his press secretary, Theodore Joslin. “Do you think Roosevelt will be nominated?” the president inquired. Joslin assured him that the governor of New York would overcome his projected one-hundred-vote deficit on an early ballot. Less sanguine about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s chances, Hoover noted: “I am afraid of Baker. . . . He’s a strong second choice of the convention and would be a harder man for me to beat.” The strength of Ohio’s Newton D. Baker depended on his...

  6. 2 LANDON OF KANSAS: THE GOP AS CORPORATE SHELL?
    (pp. 25-43)

    The 1936 campaign would lead to “a rendezvous with destiny,” Franklin D. Roosevelt predicted in his acceptance of the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. The phrase seems, in retrospect, to apply to both major parties. The massive defeat suffered by the Republican Party dictated a reevaluation of its future course: either compromise with the New Deal’s basic premise that the Great Depression required government to assume an expanded role in the economy, or remain true to the GOP’s antistatist tradition begun by Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Their policies, which promised a largely noninterventionist central government, were elaborated during...

  7. 3 FORGING AN ANTISTATIST CONSENSUS
    (pp. 44-59)

    The business-government partnership associated with early New Deal legislation faded with the fostering of the union movement under Section 7(a) of the National Industrial Recovery Act and subsequent passage of the Wagner Act. Republican Party financing by the Du Ponts and the Pews of Sun Oil—the principals as well behind the American Liberty League—in the 1936 and 1940 elections suggests that a considerable number of industrialists viewed the GOP as a vehicle for anti–new Deal, anti-union policies. The Du ponts and the Pews, who favored company unions, gave the Republican National Committee $1 million toward a total...

  8. 4 THE GOP AND THE PRELUDE TO WAR
    (pp. 60-77)

    During the 1930s, the Republican Party divided between anti-interventionists and internationalists on America’s proper role in world affairs and, increasingly, on the specific issue of Hitler’s ambitions—what they were and what, if anything, should be done about them. In their depiction of these events, the so-called “court historians” considered the Second World War as fundamentally a contest between good and evil.

    Revisionists challenged the liberal internationalist assessment of the conflict, treating United States involvement in the war as a continuation of American imperialism’s chronic quest for markets. Others argued that, by pressuring the Western democracies to abandon appeasement and...

  9. 5 PARTY OF THE BOURBONS
    (pp. 78-94)

    Neither the Great Depression nor the threat of a war in Europe prompted Herbert Hoover to revise his convictions. Preservation of the American System required repealing the New Deal and avoidance of Europe’s affairs. The New Deal, he intoned, had “corrupted . . . liberalism for collectivism, coercion, and concentration of political power.” While these views resembled those of party conservatives, the GOP’s leadership determined to separate the party from the failed politician.

    Hoover sought redemption nevertheless through nomination in 1940 for another residency in the White House. Unwilling to fall on its sword in defense of the Hoover administration,...

  10. 6 THE INTERLOPER
    (pp. 95-113)

    The republican party divided sharply in anticipation of Roosevelt’s pursuit of an unprecedented third term in 1940. A coalition of GOP internationalists favored a candidate who backed a policy of material assistance to the Allies despite the possibility that it might well lead to direct involvement in the conflict. Isolationists, who also anticipated possible involvement of the United States in a second Great War, aspired to limit the president’s authority in foreign affairs.

    Herbert Hoover, first out of the gate in another quest for redemption, pursuing the party’s presidential nomination described himself as engaged in “a battle against the forces...

  11. 7 REPUBLICAN RESURGENCE: TAFT
    (pp. 114-128)

    Willkie’s 1940 campaign for the presidency and his subsequent persistence as party spokesman who pressed the issue of active participation by the United States in world affairs, however unwelcome by the party stalwarts, compelled the reconsideration of Republican foreign policy categorized as “insulism” by Michigan’s Arthur Vandenberg. In 1941, Roosevelt and Willkie joined in an effort to maneuver America into participation in another European conflict. In the brief spell culminating with Willkie’s death in 1944, Vandenberg, effectively the GOP’s shadow secretary of state, gradually in collaboration with Vermont’s Senator Warren Austin—whose views replicated those of Willkie in foreign affairs...

  12. 8 CHALLENGING ISOLATION: THE PROVOCATEUR, THE PATRICIAN, AND THE MEDIATOR
    (pp. 129-148)

    At the outset, Wendell Willkie’s decision to engage the Republican Party on the issue of foreign policy met with a rebuff. A substantial number of Republican legislators at the national level were isolationist—or later termed nationalists—and remained so even after America’s involvement in the Second World War. This group included Taft, Vandenberg, who later accommodated his views to political necessity and America’s postwar role, and Charles Mcnary, Willkie’s 1940 running mate and Senate minority leader. In addition, the legislative branch included many alumni of America First including Gerald Nye, Hiram Johnson, Karl Mundt, and the Wisconsin Progressive Robert...

  13. 9 WILLKIE’S LEGACY AND THE GOP
    (pp. 149-162)

    Henry stimson paved the way for Willkie internationalism when, as secretary of state, he questioned Hoover’s guarded response to Japan’s incursions into Manchuria. Willkie’s untimely death in October 1944 stilled his critique of Republican Party ideology as shaped by Hoover, Landon, and Nye. By that time, his internationalist views had already been taken up by Warren Austin of Vermont and, by way of Austin, John Foster Dulles, Dewey’s foreign policy adviser. Yet until the end, he challenged isolationism as an outsider by dint of his forceful personality and insistence that the balance of humanity could no longer be colonized by...

  14. 10 SOURCES OF MODERN REPUBLICAN PARTY IDEOLOGY
    (pp. 163-180)

    As the 1944 Republican convention opened in Chicago, Turner Catledge of theNew York Timesconfronted Vandenberg: Willkie, he had heard, nursed strong reservations about the platform’s stance on foreign policy. Vandenberg hedged, and Catledge pressed: Willkie was disappointed, and Walter Edge of New Jersey, joined by other Republican governors, planned to lead a fight on the convention floor for a foreign policy plank that “says what it means and means what it says.” Vandenberg snapped: “They’d better leave well enough alone. . . . If they insist on opening the foreign policy question on the convention floor they may...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 181-212)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 213-232)