Guest Essayist: Tony Williams, Program Director of the Washington-Jefferson-Madison Institute

On June 27, 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the Democratic nomination for the presidency.  Despite all of the success in getting Congress to pass New Deal legislation during his first administration and his excellent chances for re-election, FDR felt beleaguered.  Republicans in Congress and conservatives such as Herbert Hoover and the Liberty League continued to oppose the legislation he believed would solve the economic crisis and transform America.  Populist radicals such as Huey Long and Charles Townshend went even further than FDR in seeking to provide a guaranteed income for Americans and won some of his support.  Read more

Having launched the New Deal, an ambitious program of political and economic re-engineering aimed at ending the Great Depression, President Roosevelt accepted his party’s nomination to run for a second term. In this speech at the 1936 Democratic Convention, he defends his programs–some of which had been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court–and tags opponents as “economic royalists.”

June 27, 1936

Senator Robinson, Members of the Democratic Convention, my friends:

Here, and in every community throughout the land, we are met at a time of great moment to the future of the Nation. It is an occasion to be dedicated to the simple and sincere expression of an attitude toward problems, the determination of which will profoundly affect America. Read more