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Social Studies help for American History, Economics and AP Government. There are class notes, numerous Supreme Court case summaries and information on how to write a research paper inside.

To what extent was America in danger of falling into the hands of radicals and communists in the 1930's?

I. Radical Opposition to the New Deal

A. What about the Communist Party appealed to many Americans during the Depression?

1. Earl Browder and William Foster

2. Preached equal division of wealth, all would be equal.

3. Attracted union leaders, intellectuals, entertainment stars.

B. Why did Sen. Huey Long of Louisiana appeal to many during the Depression?

1. Share Our Wealth crusade.

2. Tax rich, guaranteed $2500 dollar a year income, housing, college education.

3. Long was assassinated while running for nomination to run on the Dem. Line.

C. What was the message of Father Charles Coughlin?

1. Michigan radio priest.

2. Called for a mix of socialist and populist programs. Coughlin often argued in favor of a benevolent dictator to run the government without opposition. He felt unions should be destroyed as they would be a threat to this national power.

3. Later, when ignored by Roosevelt, denounced New Deal as communistic.

4. Coughlin, despite great support from his radio listeners eventually appeared more and more radical as he opposed Roosevelt.

D. What was the message of Francis Townsend?

1. Concocted a pension plan that would appeal to older Americans. Under this plan older Americans would receive a set monthly pension, approximately $200 a month.

2. Those receiving the pension would be forced to spend all or some of the money.

3. Townsend believed that this would help all Americans by helping older Americans to survive and by creating spending to speed up the economy.

4. Townsend eventually joined forces with Father Coughlin and formed the Union Party. The put up a candidate named Earl Lemke. Lemke never gained much support despite Coughlin's promise of 9 million votes. Lemke, Coughlin and Townsend at that point were considered fringe element right wingers.

E. Why did Norman Thomas oppose Roosevelt.

1. Thomas was the socialist candidate and had run for office several times.

2. He was more committed to world socialism then to eliminating Roosevelt. He was considered a left wing radical.

F. Why didn't these radical ever gain power?

1. While reactionary leaders took power in Germany, Italy and Japan, America has a stronger history of democracy. These radicals all appeared to be part of the lunatic fringe and were eventually dismissed by the American people.

2. Roosevelt was a strong democratic leader whop inspired confidence and trust.

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