American Liberty League
The American Liberty League was a pressure group organization formed in 1934 by conservative Democrats such as Al Smith (the 1928 Democratic presidential nominee), Jouett Shouse (former high party official), John W. Davis (the 1924 Democratic presidential nominee), and John Jacob Raskob (former Democratic National Chairman and the foremost opponent of Prohibition), Dean Acheson (future Secretary of State under Harry Truman), along with many industrialists, notably members of the Du Pont family.
The League stated that it would work to "defend and uphold the Constitution" and to "foster the right to work, earn, save and acquire property." In its opinion, the Roosevelt Administration was leading the U.S. toward socialism, bankruptcy and dictatorship. The League spent between $500,000 and $1.5 million in promotional campaigns; its funding came mostly from the Du Pont family, as well as leaders of U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. It reached over 125,000 members and supported the Republicans in 1936.
The League labeled Roosevelt's Agricultural Adjustment Administration "a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture." Social Security was said to "mark the end of democracy." Lawyers for the American Liberty League challenged the validity of the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act), but in 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. The League faded away and disbanded in 1940.
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