The Union Party and the 1936 presidential election

Marshall, Paul Michael (2013) The Union Party and the 1936 presidential election. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The legacy of the Union Party, while small, should not be ignored. Although historians have largely disregarded the role of the Union Party in the 1936 presidential election, the argument presented in this thesis suggests that the Union Party emerged from a wide base of popular political opposition to the New Deal. Its failures were many, both as a party and as a coherent force. Ultimately, the Union Party faced a considerable power in the shape of the New Deal coalition, and the newly formed party proved incapable of draining voters away from the incumbent, President Franklin Roosevelt. The New Deal, moreover, was singularly successful in galvanising the American people. By turning his 1936 election campaign into a referendum on the success of the New Deal, Roosevelt challenged the electorate to choose the nation’s future direction: an America where collective prosperity would be maintained, or a return to the divisive, individualistic self-interest that had brought about the Depression. The electorate made their choice clear: over 27.5 million Americans voted for Roosevelt – over 10 million more than for the Republican candidate, Alf Landon. Only 892,000 voted for William Lemke, presidential candidate of the Union Party.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States) > JK0001 United States > JK2255 Political parties
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 08:49
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015 13:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/47133

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