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The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt

Sources of Anti-Government Conservatism in the United States

Elliot A. Rosen

Publication Year: 2014

Elliot Rosen's Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Brains Trust focused 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 Recovery emphasized 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.

Published by: University of Virginia Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xvi

In a sense, this book had its inception during the Great Depression, when my father, a stitcher of fancy women’s shoes, became sporadically employed due to declining demand and the migration of such work to Italy. When he was employed occasionally as a piece worker, I...

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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...

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1: Herbert Hoover and the Ark of the Covenant

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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...

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2: Landon of Kansas: The GOP as Corporate Shell?

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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...

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3: Forging an Antistatist Consensus

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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...

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4: The GOP and the Prelude to War

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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...

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5: Part y of the Bourbons

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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...

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6: The Interloper

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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...

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7: Republican Resurgence: Taft

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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...

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8: Challenging Isolation:The Provocateur, the Patrician,and the Mediator

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pp. 128-148

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...

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9: Willkie’s Legacy and the GOP

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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...

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10: Sources of Modern Republican Party Ideology

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pp. 163-180

As the 1944 Republican convention opened in Chicago, Turner Catledge of the New York Times confronted Vandenberg: Willkie, he had heard, nursed strong reservations about the platform’s stance on foreign policy. Vandenberg hedged, and Catledge pressed...


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pp. 181-212


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pp. 213-232

E-ISBN-13: 9780813935553
E-ISBN-10: 0813935555
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813935546
Print-ISBN-10: 0813935547

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 8 b&w photos, 1 table
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 875725526
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Republican Party in the Age of Roosevelt

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Subject Headings

  • Party affiliation -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Conservatism -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
  • New Deal, 1933-1939.
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