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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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Communism vs. Republicanism, 1946–1948

Communism vs. Republicanism, 1946–1948

Chapter:
(p.35) Two Communism vs. Republicanism, 1946–1948
Source:
The Roots of Modern Conservatism
Author(s):

Michael Bowen

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807869192_bowen.7

This chapter discusses the Old Guard and how it continued to undermine Thomas Dewey's control of the Republican Party. The congressional statement of policy had checked Dewey's plans to reshape the GOP as a moderate alternative to the New Deal and forced RNC chairman Herbert Brownell to change his tone or risk appearing out of step with the party he led. With the congressional elections of 1946 looming, the national chairmanship became even more critical for the presidential nomination. Midterm elections were essentially trial runs. Mounting a strong off-year campaign would demonstrate to party elites that a candidate's organization could manage a successful national election drive and make a strong case for their continued control. In April 1946 the Taftites capitalized on a bit of good timing and increased discontent with the Dewey faction to seize the chairmanship of the RNC.

Keywords:   Old Guard, Thomas Dewey, GOP, New Deal, RNC, Herbert Brownell

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