Remembering when bankers tried to overthrow FDR and install a fascist dictator | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Remembering when bankers tried to overthrow FDR and install a fascist dictator

When we look back at history, we have the benefit of knowing how things turned out — not true for those who were living through history's tensest moments. At key inflection points in history and in response to crises, most of the actors had no idea what would happen or what the right thing to do was. Sometimes, this uncertainty can drive people to bold and ill-advised actions.

Take the Great Depression. Something had to be done, but nobody knew what for certain. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected on a campaign that promised to abandon the gold standard and provide government jobs for the unemployed, many in the grips of the crisis thought that this was certainly the wrong way to go.

"This is despotism, this is tyranny, this is the annihilation of liberty," wrote Republican Senator Henry D. Hatfield of West Virginia to a colleague. "The ordinary American is thus reduced to the status of a robot. The president has not merely signed the death warrant of democracy but has ordained the mutilation of the Constitution, unless the friends of liberty, regardless of party, band themselves together to regain their lost freedom."

Again, it was clear during the time that something drastic had to be done. However, it was not clear, for many, that FDR's plan of action was the right kind of drastic.

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