Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Clayton Koppes


Liberals, Vice President, Democratic Convention (1944), Henry Agard Wallace, Harry S. Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Latin America, Race


The crowd waited anxiously, expecting the nominations for Vice President to begin momentarily. Throughout the galleries the chant began, "We want Wallace!" It swelled into an uproar and the chairman of the convention, Sam Jackson, despite all of his efforts, could not stop the chanting and the noise. Finally Jackson called for adornment. The entire stadium retorted "No!" Sam Jackson spoke up, "The ayes have it" and the days work at the convention ended despite all the booing the Chairman's action instigated. The next day, the anti-Wallace forces had manipulated enough delegates to nominate Harry S. Truman for Vice President on the second ballot at the 1944 Democratic convention as the regulars within the party flexed their muscle.

The fight between the liberal New Dealers and the more conservative Dixiecrats and City Bosses within the Democratic party had been won by the latter. The defeat of Wallace was supposedly proof of this fact. Political and economic democracy which Wallace believed to be at the foundation of the liberal principles guiding the Democratic party were only a myth. The conservative elements within the Democratic party, worried over the idealistic rhetoric Wallace used, fought to maintain the status quo. In his seconding speech for President Roosevelt, Wallace states that: "The future belongs to those who go down the line unswervingly for the liberal principles of both political and economic democracy regardless of race, color or religion. In a political, educational and economic sense there must be no inferior races." These goals were not be realized. Yet despite the fears of the city bosses and southern politicians caused by this type of rhetoric, Henry A. Wallace was a liberal and his reform measures were limited.

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