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Austin-Boston Connection

Five Decades of House Democratic Leadership, 1937–1989

By Anthony Champagne, Douglas B. Harris, James W. Riddlesperger Jr. and Garrison Nelson

Publication Year: 2009

For the more than fifty years that Democrats controlled the U.S. House of Representatives, leadership was divided between Massachusetts and Texas. When the Speaker was from Texas (or nearby Oklahoma), the Majority Leader was from the Boston area, and when the Speaker was from Boston, the Majority Leader was from Texas.  The Austin-Boston Connection analyzes the importance of the friendships (especially mentor-protégé relationships) and enmities within congressional delegations, regional affinities, and the lynchpin practice of appointing the Democratic Whip.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Front Matter

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. vii-viii

The research for this book required travel to many archival collections. We are grateful to several organizations that provided travel grants that allowed us to visit a number of collections: Dean’s Fund, University of Vermont; Earlham Foundation; John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; Loyola College Summer Research Grant; Morris K. Udall ...

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CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-15

In 1940, the Speaker of the U.S. House was a Democrat from a district on the Texas- Oklahoma border. The majority leader was a Catholic Democrat from a Greater Boston district. Thirty six years later the Speaker was a Democrat from a district on the Texas- Oklahoma border and the majority leader was a Catholic Democrat ...

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CHAPTER 2. JOE BAILEY

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pp. 16-46

Joseph Weldon Bailey was the first Texan to achieve a chamber leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives, having become Democratic leader by the age of thirty-four in 1897. Because the Republicans controlled the House while he was the Democratic leader, Bailey never reached the Speakership. ...

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CHAPTER 3. JOHN NANCE GARNER

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pp. 47-72

History has not treated John Nance Garner favorably. He is best remembered as Franklin Roosevelt’s two-term vice president who rebelled against Roosevelt’s left-leaning tendencies and challenged Roosevelt’s decision to seek a third term. Historian Joe Frantz questioned whether Garner “brought any...

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pp. g 1-g 12

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CHAPTER 4. SAM RAYBURN

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pp. 73-118

When John Nance Garner ascended to the vice presidency with the landslide 1932 election, it opened a vacancy in the Speaker’s chair. In the House, as in the nation as a whole, the Democratic Party had become a national one. The “New Deal coalition” included large numbers of both conservative southerners and liberal northerners, ...

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CHAPTER 5. JOHN W. MCCORMACK

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pp. 119-147

Few, if any, congressmen had the wealth of political experience in the House that John McCormack had prior to becoming Speaker. Although McCormack completed nine consecutive years as Speaker, at that time a record, he faced open rebellions against his leadership from members of his own party. McCormack, unlike his friend and predecessor Sam Rayburn, ...

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CHAPTER 6. SAM RAYBURN'S BOYS: WHO WILL LEAD?

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pp. 148-187

With Rayburn’s death, a great void was left in the leadership of the House Democrats. At issue was not only who would replace Rayburn, but how the fragile coalition could be maintained through the Kennedy years. A relevant issue was which member might most closely bring Rayburn’s skills to bear on the Congress. Although ...

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CHAPTER 7. BACK TO BOSTON: TIP O'NEILL

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pp. 188-218

When Tip O’Neill was elected Speaker in January 1977, he became the third Speaker of the House from Massachusetts in thirty years. In addition to John McCormack—O’Neill’s principal mentor in the House—who served from Sam Rayburn’s death in 1961 until retirement in 1971, Speaker Joe Martin, the Republican from ...

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CHAPTER 8. JIM WRIGHT: THE LAST TEXAN

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pp. 219-250

On December 30, 1971, a reflective Jim Wright wrote in his journal that a change had come over him in terms of his career goals: “No longer do the fi res of ambition burn so brightly. A person begins to accept himself, to be content with lesser gains, to moderate his demands on himself. Maybe just in the last year have I really acknowledged that I won’t ever be President. ...

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CHAPTER 9. CONCLUSION: THE IMPACT OF THE AUSTIN-BOSTON ALLIANCE ON HOUSE POLITICS

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pp. 251-262

The Austin- Boston alliance was established during the later years of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and in the aftermath of FDR’s thwarted efforts to pack the Supreme Court in 1937 and the failure of his 1938 “purge” of conservative congressional Democrats. The loss of FDR’s enormous congressional majorities and the rise of the inter-regional Conservative ...

NOTES

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pp. 263-316

INDEX

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pp. 317-327


E-ISBN-13: 9781603443265
E-ISBN-10: 1603443266
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603441162
Print-ISBN-10: 1603441166

Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 17 b&w photos. 5 charts.
Publication Year: 2009

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Legislators -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • United States. Congress. House -- Speakers -- History -- 20th century.
  • United States. Congress. House -- Leadership -- History -- 20th century.
  • Legislators -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- History -- 20th century.
  • Democratic Party (U.S.) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Legislators -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
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