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A Contest of IdeasCapital, Politics, and Labor$
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Nelson Lichtenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037856.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The United States in the Great Depression

The United States in the Great Depression

Was the Fascist Door Open?

(p.157) Chapter 11 The United States in the Great Depression
A Contest of Ideas

Nelson Lichtenstein

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the question of whether fascism was a realistic possibility in the United States during the Great Depression. It argues that federal and regional character of the American state, and of the American right, saved the United States from the emergence of an authoritarian political movement that sought anything but veto power at the seat of national government. But had the American state had more of a Prussian character, opposition to the New Deal order might well have taken a more overtly anti-parliamentary, paramilitary character, as it briefly did in the racially tense 1950s and 1960s, when resistance to integration generated a revival of rhetoric celebrating “states' rights,” accompanied by sometimes violent clashes with federal authorities.

Keywords:   fascism, Great Depression, capitalism, pluralism, political movement, New Deal

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