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The Reformer in Time of War

The Reformer in Time of War

(p.69) 6 The Reformer in Time of War
Alben Barkley
James K. Libbey
University Press of Kentucky

With the start of the Great War, President Wilson called on Americans to be neutral in thought and deed. Barkley followed Wilson’s plea, but agricultural issues over cotton and tobacco that affected Barkley’s constituents prompted him to argue for and support bills against Great Britain, which used its powerful navy to enforce embargos on goods going to the Central Powers. Unlike the president, who seemed to be taking a vacation from reform, Barkley pursued a progressive agenda that included the “pseudoreform” of prohibition, the Barkley-Sheppard Act, the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act, the Federal Farm Loan Bank Act, the Rural Post Roads Act, the Federal Workmen’s Compensation Act, and the Adamson Act.

Keywords:   Barkley and family, Woodrow Wilson, Great War, neutrality issues, cotton, tobacco, prohibition, child labor, farm loans, rural roads, workmen’s compensation

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