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“Normalcy” and the Tale of Two Elections

“Normalcy” and the Tale of Two Elections

(p.105) 8 “Normalcy” and the Tale of Two Elections
Alben Barkley
James K. Libbey
University Press of Kentucky

Barkley attended the 1920 Democratic national convention and became acquainted with and campaigned for the party’s vice presidential candidate, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Warren G. Harding and the GOP won the White House, and thus began the era of “normalcy.” The Great War helped turn Barkley into a moderate internationalist who belonged to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and supported the Washington Naval Disarmament Conference. Barkley continued to be a progressive politician, but congenial programs were rare except for the Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act. Barkley was a sometime member of the farm bloc but fought the GOP higher tariff, which promised high rates against foreign agricultural imports. He lost his only election when he ran unsuccessfully against J. Campbell Cantrill in the 1923 Democratic primary for the Kentucky governor’s post. In the process, however, he built a statewide organization that enabled him to win the Senate seat from Richard P. Ernst in 1926.

Keywords:   Barkley and family, Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Normalcy”, Warren G. Harding, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act, tariff controversy, J. Campbell Cantrill, Richard P. Ernst

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