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Congressman Barkley and the New Freedom

Congressman Barkley and the New Freedom

(p.55) 5 Congressman Barkley and the New Freedom
Alben Barkley
James K. Libbey
University Press of Kentucky

Barkley soon brought his family to join him in Washington, DC. He found a hero in Woodrow Wilson and supported the president’s progressive New Freedom. Barkley’s first House speech strongly supported the Underwood Tariff. The speech contained elements common to many of his talks over a lifetime; he poked fun at the opposition, and he included one of his famous stories. His only committee assignment was the exclusive Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Early meetings between Barkley and the president concerned patronage issues. Along with the tariff, the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Trade Commission, which Barkley helped prepare, the passage of the essential features of New Freedom reinforced for congressman and president the importance of party. Meanwhile, through press releases, mailings, and personal correspondence, Barkley kept in close contact with his constituents.

Keywords:   Barkley and family, Woodrow Wilson, New Freedom, Underwood Tariff, Federal Reserve System, Federal Trade Commission, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, patronage, party, constituents

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