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Corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long

His father, a farmer, owned a medium-size farm, lived plainly but comfortably but managed to send six children to college. The family background was culturally meager and was most strongly marked by pious Southern Baptist evangelicalism and by a Populist animosity toward the wealth and sophistication of the planter class and of "evil" New Orleans. Huey became a salesman after completing his public schooling and married Rose McConnell in 1912.

There was something of the confidence man about Long at every stage of his career. As a traveling salesman, whether promoting a cooking shortening called "Cottolene" by staging somewhat fixed baking contests one of which was won by his future wifeor selling a patent-medicine nostrum called "The Wine of Cardui," Long sometimes seems a figure out of Southwestern humor, a kind of second cousin to Mark Twain's Duke and Dauphin.

After finishing the three-year program at Tulane Law School in less than one year, he was admitted to the bar of Louisiana in 1914. He practiced law in Shreveport for corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long next few years, having secured deferment from military service during World War I.

Both as member and as chairman 1922-1926Long gained fame by his vocal battles with "the interests" which, he asserted, controlled state government, e. Governor In the 1924 primary for governor, which was dominated by religious issues focusing on the activities of the Ku Klux Klan south Louisiana has a large Catholic corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long although the Klan is best known for its actions against blacks they also have a long hatred of Catholics as many of their members claim membership in non-mainline Protestant churchesLong ran third in a three-man race.

The Klan collapsed in the late 1920s, so that the 1928 contest revolved around those economic and class issues on which Huey's strength rested. Long secured an easy victory in the gubernatorial primary in 1928, defeated the opposition's attempt to impeach him in 1929, and midway in his term of office 1930 won his race for the U.

However, just as he had promised, he did not take his senate seat until January 1932, by which time his hand-picked candidate, Oscar K. Allen, had won the Democratic nomination for governor. Senator Long maintained his control over Louisiana state government until his death in 1935.

In Louisiana, Huey Long symbolized the rise to political power of lower-class whites. State government had been previously dominated by business interests and the New Orleans political machines.

Going beyond mere symbolic gratification, Long pleased his followers by securing many material benefits, including free textbooks for all children in the public and private religious schools, construction of a network of free roads and bridges, increased expenditures for public education, and elimination of the poll taxwhich was an effort by Southern Whites to block Blacks from voting.

Many Southern demagogues attacked the African Americans who were not allowed to vote ; this was called "playing the race card.

At the same time, the level of taxation was increased markedly, much of the increase being borne by consumers directly through sales taxes. Long built a virtual personal dictatorship in Louisiana—the first and last in any American state—through the partisan administration of benefits, punitive actions against his opponents, and manipulation of the election laws.

Semmes Walmsley had a formidable opposition machine. Long drew back and no shots were fired. In 1934 he reorganized the legislature to put control in the hands of his allies. He transformed local government by giving the governor power to appoint local judges, election officials and tax assessors.

However, his Senate term began in 1931, but his term as governor did not expire until May 1932. Long continued as governor until his hand chosen successor, O. Senator Long in Washington D. While serving as Senator, Huey Long originally supported the New Deal program, but later he recanted his support for it. Senator Long broke with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August 1933, conducted several spectacular filibusters against New Deal measures, and developed his own rival program --"Share Our Wealth"—by which poverty would be eliminated by confiscating the wealth of the rich and redistributing it equally to everyone.

Long, relying on rapidly growing membership in his "Share Our Wealth" clubs and his large radio audience on NBCwas in position to run for the presidency in 1936 or 1940. Long's bodyguards killed the assassin on the spot; Long himself died on September 10.

Weiss was a member of a prominent anti-Long family, his motive probably was personal, not political; he believed that Long had sullied his family's honor. Legacy Huey Long made important innovations in campaign technique, including sound trucks and radio commercials.

His more lasting contribution was to the state of Louisiana rather than to the nation. He created a public works program unprecedented in the South, with a plethora of roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and state buildings. Long Bridge, located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long named in his honor. Long shortly before his assassination He set in motion two durable factions within the dominant Louisiana Democratic party--"pro-Long" and "anti-Long," each diverging meaningfully in terms of policies and voter support.

A family dynasty emerged: Typically anti-Longite candidates would promise to continue popular social services delivered in Long's administration and criticized Longite corruption without directly attacking Long himself. Huey's son Russell Long was a U. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Russell Long shaped the nation's tax laws in a conservative fashion, with hardly any trace of his father's populism Boisterous, scurrilous, and profane in speech; ruthless, violent, and unprincipled in action, the Kingfish was widely denounced corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long middle class circles and Democratic Party as a sinister ignoramus and buffoon.

Dumb he was not; he showed disciplined intellectual performance of the highest order and was probably emotionally sincere in championing the cause of the underdog. His temperamental antagonism toward the socially privileged led to his ostentatious defiance of every propriety, knowing it was a sure-fire method of attracting the kind of alienated supporters he wanted.

He won in politics because of forcefulness and originality, and his perception that the governmental practices of Louisiana had become obsolete. He kept most of his promises and built roads, bridges, schools including LSU and other improvements which Louisiana needed.

Flagrantly corrupt, he was primarily corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long coalition builder who used corruption to buy supporters. His improvement program was administered with relative efficiency. His success was in proportion to the weakness and confusion of his enemies, who were chiefly petty office-seekers, more decorous, but scarcely more ethical, than he. He was essentially a spokesman of a long-standing agrarian discontent that was much amplified and extended by the social and economic conditions of the great depression period.

Harry Williams, the leading expert on Long, has a mixed evaluation that is mostly positive. Williams argues that Long stands without a rival as the greatest of Southern mass leaders. He asked the Southern United States to turn its gaze corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long "nigger" devils and take a long, hard look at itself. He asked people to forget the past, the glorious past and the sad past, and address themselves to the present.

There is something wrong here, he said, and we can fix it up ourselves. Bluntly, forcibly, even crudely, he injected an element of realism into Southern politics. As Williams notes, not without reason did one of his unfavorable critics say that Long was the first Southerner since Calhoun to have an original idea, the first to extend the boundaries of political thought. Above all, Williams argues, he gave the Southern masses hope.

He did some foolish things and some wrong things. There is a tragedy in the story, and perhaps it is not entirely his fault that he did not become the South's peerless Progressive.

Perhaps the lesson of Long, says Williams, is that if in a democracy needed changes are denied too long by an interested minority, the changes, when they come, will come with a measure of repression and revenge.

Perhaps the gravest indictment that can be made of Southern politics in recent times is that the urge for reform had to be accomplished by pressures that left in leaders like Long a degree of cynicism about the democratic process.

Long has been considered a demagogue by some, and at times referred to himself that way. Written with the express purpose of hurting Long's chances in the 1936 election, Lewis's corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long outfits President Berzelius Windrip with a private militia, concentration camps, and a chief of staff who sounds like Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Lewis also outfits Windrip with a racist ideology completely alien to Long and a Main Street conservatism he also never embraced. Ultimately, Windrip is a venal and cynical showman who plays to the conformist resentments Lewis diagnosed in Main Street and Babbitt.

Perry 2004 argues that the key weakness of the novel is not that he decks out American politicians with sinister European touches, but that he finally conceives of fascism and totalitarianism in terms of traditional American political models rather than seeing them as introducing a new kind of society and a new kind of regime. Windrip is less a Nazi than a con-man-plus-Rotarian, a manipulator who knows how to appeal to people's desperation, but neither he nor his followers are in the grip of the kind of world-transforming ideology like Hitler's National Socialism.

Basso was a slashingly witty critic of the moonlight and magnolia romanticism of the Old South that dominated the Southern mind before 1920. Like many proponents of a New South, he wanted modernizers to take over.

Could Huey Long's Presidential Plan have worked?

Cinnamon Seed's Harry Brand incorporates more details from the historical Huey Long than any other fictional portrayal does, and much of the novel is so lightly fictionalized that only a single letter separates the characters and places from their real-life counterparts.

He is a greedy climber, not a demonic leader of the masses, and in fact he is ultimately not much more than an obnoxious and sticky-fingered lout, the kind who spits tobacco juice on the marble floors of his predecessors and pockets the ashtrays. In portraying his Long figure this way, Basso finds himself between the stools, critical of the spent aristocrats who cannot imagine a modern South, but disgusted also by the figures who corruption reform and reaction in the life and death of huey long the wrong kind of newness, the kind of modern South that comes to be if its development is left to default.

They speculate the degree his extremism reflected an overreaction to his enemies, or sprang inevitably from class conflict in the state. They all try to explain why Long enjoyed majority support in Louisiana, both during and after his lifetime.