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How serious a challenge
What was his proposal?
was he?
· The Share-Our- · Most potent political
challenge of Roosevelt's
Wealth Society Presidency
· Confiscate all private · Could get at least 11% of the
incomes over $3 million vote if he ran for President
· Every family guaranteed in 1936
$2000 to $3000 per year · Used radio frequently and
· Graduate income and very effectively
inheritance taxes · "One of the two most
· Every family given enough dangerous men in
money to buy a house, a America" ­ Roosevelt
car and a radio · 8 million members in
Share-Our-Wealth clubs…read more

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· Widely know socialist
· Declared himself the Democratic candidate for Governor of
California in 1934
· He wanted to End Poverty In California (EPIC)
· Advocated the confiscation of private property
· Wanted to put the unemployed to work in state-run co-
· He disliked the New Deal as he believed that it did not do
enough to help those affected by the Great Depression
· The Republicans in California hired media professionals to
create a smear campaign against him where he was branded
· This caused him to lose the election…read more

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· Composed of a group of former Roosevelt supporters led
by Democrat politicians Rashob and Shouse
· Attacked the New Deal from the political right
· Promoted private property and unregulated
· Thought that Roosevelt had become too anti-business and
was a traitor to his class
· 125,000 members enrolled
· Spent $1 million on their campaign
· Their weekly bulletin distributed 5 million pieces of
literature per week
· Whilst Roosevelt attacked their criticism in public, he was
more concerned about threats from the political left and so
did nothing to try and adopt their proposals…read more

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Ideas Extent of Support
· To give everyone · Most of his supporters
were in California
over the age of 60
· At the height of his
$200 per month popularity there were
that had to be spent 5000 Townsend clubs with
that month 2.5 million members
· Although this seems like a · Used newspapers and a
pension, Townsend's national weekly newsletter
scheme would have to gain support
bankrupted the country · Many petitions for his
· In 1935 a bill containing his policy to become law were
ideas reached Congress, signed, but this had no
but was not passed effect on the outcome as it
was simply impossible at
the time…read more

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· Originally supported Roosevelt during his bid for the
Presidency in 1932
· Used radio to communicate to his audience of 40 million
weekly listeners
· He believed in religious freedom and
· However, it became increasingly unclear what he wanted
from politics and what he meant by `democracy'
· He also became increasingly radical and started to praise
fascist dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini and became
very anti-semitic which alienated much of his audience
· He attacked the ideas of capitalism, communism, socialism
and dictatorships
· In 1940 the Bishop of his parish ordered him to stop all
political activity…read more

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