History Of Huey P. Long Thesis

Length: 13 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Government Type: Thesis Paper: #53698843 Related Topics: Reconstruction Era, Louisiana Purchase, History Of The Internet, Unfair Labor Practices
Excerpt from Thesis :

The session erupted in brawl, and in the end, the vote favored impeachment

. This became known as "Bloody Monday." This time, Long's bullying tactics did not work.

Long took his case to the people, claiming that his impeachment was a raucous attempt by Standard Oil to deprive the people of what they deserved. As the trial began, Long passed around "Round Robin" document that was signed by more than one -- third of the Senate members. The round robin document stated that they did not believe his offenses warranted removal from office

. As it takes an over two-thirds vote to remove him from office, the impeachment attempt failed. Long rewarded his faithful with state jobs, favors and some say cash as well

. Long became more harsh with his enemies, founding a newspaper to promote his ideas. Long began to receive death threats and was forced to surround himself with body guards

In 1930, Long placed a bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Long delayed his resignation from the governor's sear, and began his term in the Senate in 1932. From the years of 1930-1932, Long gained strength for many of his social programs. He continued to promote infrastructure improvements, including a bridge over the Mississippi and a new Louisiana State Capital Building. Long continued to have opponents, particularly among the old families of high society. However, Long had his own group of supporters, more common than other high ranking politicians. Long earned his nickname, "the Kingfish" after the leader of the Mystic Knights of the Sea Lodge, from the popular Amos 'n' Andy radio Show.

In 1931, Lieutenant Governor Cyr argued that the Senator-elect could no longer remain governor and that he should be the governor. Long surrounded the capital building with National Guard troops and fended of the illegal overthrow attempt. Long successfully had Cyr removed as Lieutenant Governor and replaced by Alvin Olin King

Long carried his same zeal and passion for the people with him to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1932-1935. Once again, Long endeared himself to the people and drew fervent opposition from fellow Senators. Not one of his resolutions were passed by his colleagues throughout his career in the Senate

. Long continued to oppose big business and to fight for the rights of the people. President Roosevelt considered Long a radical, expressing fear that he was power hungry. Long was charged with election fraud, by opponent Overton. Once again winning over his opponents.

Long continued to maintain control over Louisiana, while in the Senate. This was his most criticized move, as it blurred the line between the Federal government and the State

. Long introduced many bold actions to the Louisiana legislature, even while serving as Senator on a Federal level. Long wished to take control from local old family ties. He began a reorganization of the state government that almost ended local governments altogether. He also passed a tax on lying, and a 2% tax on newspaper earnings

. He eventually succeeded in passing the tax on oil passed that nearly got him impeached several years earlier

. Long used his ambition and energetic personality to became a force to be reckoned with.

Long expressed his plans to become President while still working as a traveling salesman. He had a plan that included election to a minor state office, then governor, then senator, then the Presidency

. His life path followed this plan exactly, except for the final phase. Long was so confident in his ability to achieve his goals that he wrote a book about his first days in the white house before he even publicly announced his plans

. This book was published after his death. Share Our Wealth was his platform, which had an appeal with the common people of the United States. His plan was to break from the Democrats, forming a new party based on his Share Our Wealth platform. Long gave Roosevelt a good run for the Presidency, but in the end, Roosevelt prevailed.


He is said to have learn of a plot to assassinate him. On September 8, 1935, the rumored plot proved true and Long was shot once or twice by the assassin

. It is rumored that a medical doctor was responsible for his demise. The Dr. Weiss was immediately shot more than fifty times by Long's bodyguards and police on the scene

. Details of he incident are unclear and the real scenario that played out on that day remains a mystery. Weiss's father was one of Long's most fervent opposition in earlier years. Long's funeral was well attended by his many supporters.

The Life of Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec

Maurice Duplessis was a contemporary of Huey P. Long. Unlike Long, he was a strong supporter of local rights. Duplessis's early life was much less colorful than Long's. He was born in Trois-Rivieres, the son of a local politician. He obtained his law degree from the Universite Lavals' Montreal Branch. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1913

. This is a much less colorful beginning than Long's start as a traveling salesman. Duplessis had the financial support of his family and did not have to struggle to gain his political position. His father undoubtedly provided him with the skills needed for a successful political career.

Like Long, Duplessis began his political career by winning a small position as the candidate for the Conservative Party of Quebec. He was reelected to his seat for a second term. In 1933, Duplessis won party leadership

. Duplessis was also popular with reformists and liberals, but did not express the extremism that Long did in his early years.

Duplessis used political scandal as a tool to unseat opponents and gain his wishes. For instance, two weeks before the 1935 provincial election, he formed the Action liberale national, a group of liberals that had quit the old Liberal party of Quebec

. He lost the election, but was able to unseat the winner's by means of exploiting a family scandal, leading to the winner's resignation

. Like Long, Duplessis was wiling to use any means necessary to advance his own agenda.

In the 1936 election, Duplessis and his newly formed party won the election, unseating liberal rule of the past thirty-nine years

. Duplessis won a second term as Premier in the 1944 election. While Long faced serious opposition throughout his political career, Duplessis's power was virtually unopposed. He became known as le chef, which translates to "the chief" or "the boss." He was elected to five terms of office, four of them consecutive (CITE). He was the last leader in Quebec to retain power for such an extended period of time.

When one looks at the career of Duplessis, one could characterize his rule as authoritarian. He used patronage of important persons, anti-Communist propaganda, and forceful methods against labor unions. Long used his charisma as a key tool to gain power. Duplessis took control by force. One of the key differences between the doctrines of Duplessis and Long is that Duplessis limited access to education for the common population. Long was a strong supporter and promoter of education for the masses, concentrating on providing, rather than depriving the masses of educational opportunities. Duplessis used ignorance as a form of control. Long felt that ignorance was his greatest enemy. It is easy to see where these two differences in opinion developed. Duplessis came from a wealthy upbringing, possibly learning that ignorance was a form of control from his father. Long was deprived of his early education by poverty. He knew what it felt like to have to forego an education and pound the streets to make a living. Long never forgot the hardships of his early career. He always remembered what it was like to be poor. Duplessis never had to experience poverty in the way that Long did. Differences in their early childhood form key reasons for the policies that they adopted and held throughout their political career.

Support for Duplessis came from other upper class officials and the elite of Quebec. He strongly opposed the formation of labor unions, as they would harm the wealth of the upper class and give power to the working man. Duplessis wanted to keep the working man down and protect the interests of big business. Long wished to uplift the working man, which drew harsh criticism, and sometimes violence from big business owners. Whereas Duplessis passed legislation that would limit the power of the lower class, Long passed legislation that would limit the power of the upper class.

Like Long, Duplessis had the support of the Catholic Church in its political agenda. Duplessis actively opposed Jehovah's Witnesses and used his influence to revoke liquor licenses from their businesses

. Long also sometimes used his political power for his own personal satisfaction, but…

Sources Used in Documents:


Andrews, James and Zarefsky, David. American Voices: Significant Speeches in American history 1640-1945. (White Plains, NY: Longman, 1989.)

Authier, Philip. Duplessis, warts and all. 22 May 1999. Wednesday-Night. Available from http://www.wednesday-night.com/Duplessis.asp. Internet: accessed 29 September 2008.

Botting, Gary. Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses. (Calgary, Alta: University of Calgary Press. 1993).

Corner, Richard. The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996).

Cite this Document:

"History Of Huey P Long" (2008, September 30) Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

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"History Of Huey P Long", 30 September 2008, Accessed.26 October. 2021,

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