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The Roots of Modern ConservatismDewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party$
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Michael Bowen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834855

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869192_bowen

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Thirst for Power and Self-Perpetuation, 1944–1946

Thirst for Power and Self-Perpetuation, 1944–1946

(p.15) One Thirst for Power and Self-Perpetuation, 1944–1946
The Roots of Modern Conservatism

Michael Bowen

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter depicts the Republican Party in late 1944 as an organization in complete disarray. The Grand Old Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, lost its way after the stock market crash of 1929 and had yet to recover. Republicans had readily taken credit for the economic policies that had birthed the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties, but doing so gave them ownership of the Great Depression as well. Through the 1930s, as the economy struggled, the Republicans became synonymous with ruin and despair. By 1942 wartime industrial production had revitalized the economy, but despite some gains in Congress, the Republicans remained somewhere between irrelevance and oblivion. The presidential election of 1944 brought the fourth consecutive victory for Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), an extraordinary feat considering that the Democrats had only won four presidential contests during the seventy-two years prior to FDR's first election in 1932.

Keywords:   Republican Party, Grand Old Party, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, stock market crash, economic policies, Roaring Twenties

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