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4. Roosevelt the Party Leader
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the transformation of the Democratic Party between 1933-45, focusing in particular on: (i) the party’s relative lack of electoral success in the decades prior to Roosevelt; (ii) the Democratic Party’s traditional support in the South, a legacy of the US Civil War (1861-65); (iii) the different groups of people that are attracted to the Democratic Party following the New Deal, including trade unions, woman and ethnic minorities; (iv) the tension that emerges between the party’s traditional (southern, conservative) wing and its new (urban, liberal) wing; (v) the tension that emerges between the Democratic Party in Congress (dominated by southern conservatives) and the White House; (vi) Roosevelt’s attempt to ‘purge’ the party of conservatives in 1938, and the reaction of conservatives in the party; and (vi) the impact of Roosevelt’s victory in the 1940 presidential election.
In this course, Professor Iwan Morgan (University College, London) explores the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45), widely-regarded as one of the greatest presidents in US history. In the first module, we think about Roosevelt’s road to the presidency and the unprecedented level of legislative activity that marked his first hundred days in power. In the second module, we think about the reasons for Roosevelt's shift to the left in his second legislative burst in 1935-36, before turning in the third module to his battle with the Supreme Court. In the fourth module, we explore the transformation of the Democratic Party under Roosevelt and the emerging tension between the party’s traditional base in the South and the new (liberal, urban, minority) constituencies that entered the party in the 1930s. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about Roosevelt’s transformation of the presidency itself, including his unprecedented role in legislation, the economy, the judiciary, and foreign affairs.
Iwan Morgan is Professor of US Studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London, and also holds an honorary position as Commonwealth Fund Chair of American History in the UCL Department of History.
Professor Morgan is a distinguished fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford. He was awarded the British Association of American Studies Honorary Fellowship in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to the discipline over the course of his career; his work The Age of Deficits (Kansas University Press, 2009), won the American Politics Group's 2010 Richard Neustadt Book Prize.
Professor Morgan has published widely in various fields of modern US political history and in political economy. Much of his work has a presidential focus. He is director of the United States Presidency Centre. He was also chair of the executive committee of the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States from 2007 to 2013. He was a member of the executive committee of the British Association of American Studies in 2009-2012.
Cite this Lecture
Morgan, I. (2020, May 05). The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-45 - Roosevelt the Party Leader [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-franklin-d-roosevelt-1933-45/roosevelt-the-party-leader
Morgan, Iwan. "The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-45 – Roosevelt the Party Leader." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 May 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-franklin-d-roosevelt-1933-45/roosevelt-the-party-leader