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The New Deal coalition was an American political coalition that supported the Democratic Party beginning in 1932. The coalition is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs, and the follow-up Democratic presidents. It was composed of voting blocs who supported them. The coalition included labor unions, blue-collar workers, racial and religious minorities (especially Jews, Catholics, and African Americans), rural white Southerners, and intellectuals. Besides voters the coalition included powerful interest groups: Democratic Party organizations in most states, city machines, labor unions, some third parties, universities, and foundations. It was largely opposed by the Republican Party, the business community, and rich Protestants. In creating his coalition, Roosevelt was at first eager to include liberal Republicans and some radical third parties, even if it meant downplaying the "Democratic" name. By the 1940s, the Republican and third-party allies had mostly been defeated. In 1948, the Democratic Party stood alone and survived the splits that created two splinter parties.
|Prominent members||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
Henry A. Wallace
Harry S. Truman
Alben W. Barkley
Lyndon B. Johnson
John F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Adlai Stevenson II
W. Averell Harriman
|Founder||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Succeeded by||Progressive Party (1948)|
The coalition made the Democratic Party the majority party nationally for decades. Democrats lost control of the White House only in 1952 and 1956 during the broadly popular Eisenhower presidency. They typically controlled both Houses of Congress before the 1990s. The coalition began to weaken with the collapse of big city machines after 1940, the steady decline of labor unions after 1970, the bitter factionalism during the 1968 election, the turn of White Northern ethnics and Southern Whites toward conservatism on racial issues, and the rise of neoliberalism under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, with its opposition to regulation.
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