Conservative Manifesto

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The Conservative Manifesto (officially titled "An Address to the People of the United States") was a position statement drafted in 1937 by a bipartisan coalition of conservative politicians. Those involved in its creation included longtime opponents of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal as well as former supporters who had come to believe its programs were proving ineffective.

Background[edit]

The spring and summer of 1937 saw a return to economic recession (dubbed the "Roosevelt Recession"), a failed attempt by Roosevelt to "pack" the Supreme Court with judges sympathetic to New Deal policies, and a series of sit-down strikes by organized labor.[1] A bipartisan coalition of conservative politicians emerged in light of these political developments, and Senator Josiah W. Bailey (D-NC) recognized an opportunity to oppose the New Deal through "bipartisan conservative action."[2] The document's key authors were Bailey and Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI), with Bailey acting as "final editor."[3]

Portions of the statement were published prematurely by syndicated columnists Joseph Alsop and Robert E. Kintner on 15 December 1937.[4] The New York Times carried the full text the following day.[5] Although fear of political reprisal kept many politicians from publicly endorsing the document,[6][7] the statement nonetheless won endorsements from hundreds of Chambers of Commerce and citizens' organizations throughout the nation, while forty to fifty business and manufacturing associations reprinted it in lots up to 100,000.[8][a] By late February 1938, Bailey estimated that almost two million copies had been circulated, not counting newspaper printings. Senators and congressmen were reportedly deluged with petitions from every state in the Union to uphold the policies stated in the declaration.[9]

Manifesto[edit]

Summary[edit]

The statement called for:

  1. lowering taxes on capital gains and undistributed profits,
  2. reducing government spending and balancing budgets,
  3. restoring peace to the relationship between labor and industry,
  4. resisting government competition with private enterprise,
  5. recognizing the importance of profit in private enterprise,
  6. protecting collateral as a prerequisite for credit,
  7. reducing taxes,
  8. maintaining states' rights,
  9. aiding the unemployed in an economical and locally responsible manner, and
  10. relying on American free enterprise.[10]

Complete Text[edit]

The complete text of the manifesto can be found in a speech delivered by Bailey before the Senate in 1937.



Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From note 49 of "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the "Conservative Manifesto" of 1937", The Journal of Southern History, for an example of the organizations that printed the document, see George H. Barrows, Secretary of Chamber of Commerce, Rome, New York, to National Metal Trade Association, Chicago, January 11, 1938, in Josiah William Bailey Papers (Manuscript Department, Duke University Library, Durham, N.C.)[11]. The Rome chamber published a full-page advertisement in the Rome Daily Sentinel containing an outline of the ten points and a copy of the petition to Congress and the President. Similar groups throughout the country followed the same procedure. Among the organizations and businesses responsible for reprinting and circulating the document were the Committee for American Enterprise, New York; the American Rolling Mill Co., Middletown, Ohio; the American Federation of Investors, Inc., Chicago; the Tennessee Manufactures Association, Nashville; the American Surgical Trade Association, Chicago; the Southern Pine Association, New Orleans; the American Feed Manufactures' Association, Inc., Chicago; the Adams & Westlake Co., Elkhart, Indiana; and the National Poultry, Butter and Egg Association, Chicago. See Baily Papers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the "Conservative Manifesto" of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 22–23, 27. JSTOR 2205008.
  2. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 23. JSTOR 2205008.
  3. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 30. JSTOR 2205008.
  4. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 32. JSTOR 2205008.
  5. ^ Catledge, Turner (16 December 1937). "10 Points Drafted; Attempt Made to Unite All Conservatives and Moderates on Plan; Many Reluctant to Sign; Handicap for Movement Seen in Fear That Document May Look Like a Manifesto". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  6. ^ Kickler, Troy. "North Carolina History Project". The Conservative Manifesto. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  7. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 23. JSTOR 2205008.
  8. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 38. JSTOR 2205008.
  9. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 38. JSTOR 2205008.
  10. ^ Moore, John Robert (February 1965). "Senator Josiah W. Bailey and the 'Conservative Manifesto' of 1937". The Journal of Southern History. 31 (1): 34. JSTOR 2205008.
  11. ^ "Duke University Libraries". Guide to the Josiah William Bailey Papers, 1833-1967. Retrieved 13 June 2018.

External links[edit]