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October 2008

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The author, who earned his doctorate in history at Ohio University in 2006, discusses here in some detail the development of liberalism in U.S. foreign policy in the decades following the Progressive Era. He sheds light on the changing twentieth century American scene and the outlook of national leaders in mid-century. This well-documented study provides an informative overview of the topic, including especially illuminating details on the influential roles of two leading members of Congress, Helen Gahagan Douglas and Carl Albert. – Contrib. Ed.

From Progressive to Liberal Internationalism: Congressional Liberals and the Making of a Postwar Consensus

After five years of war in Iraq, seven years since 9/11, nearly two full terms of George W. Bush, and two decades since the Berlin Wall’s collapse, American liberals are still searching for a viable foreign policy. For many Democrats, the combination of George Bush’s Wilsonian rhetoric and pro-war liberal hawks that supported the war discredited liberal internationalism.1 Cast adrift, some on the political left have gravitated toward Realism while others wait for a Democratic president to chart the way forward.2

Though liberals have a well-deserved reputation for internecine schisms and intra-party divides, the early post-World War II era points to another alternative. Rather than remain dependent upon charismatic presidential leadership to gloss over rifts or embrace untested ideas, congressional liberals can and should take the lead in forging “liberal internationalism 2.0,” and in building a durable intra-party and bipartisan consensus for the post-Bush era. Indeed, after decades of ideological drift, liberal internationalism is in need of its veritable 50,000-mile tune-up. Presidential leadership remains crucial. However, in the recent past, Congress formulated ideas and advanced a worldview independent and in conjunction with the executive. 

In the years immediately following the Second World War, congressional liberals, in conjunction with President Truman, developed a comprehensive foreign policy that not only met postwar security challenges, but also bridged liberal and intra-party divides while commanding a bipartisan consensus. Though scholars rightly point to Harry Truman as a source of this recalibrated postwar liberal internationalism, Congress played an active role in shaping the early Cold War foreign policy consensus.3 For example, leading internationalist Republicans helped Truman frame his containment policy in terms of democracy, human rights, and self-determination.4 While key Republicans worked directly with the “First Cold Warrior” to shape strategy, congressional Democrats actively helped remake liberal internationalism and build intra-party consensus.5

Two representative figures, Congressman Carl Albert and Congresswoman Helen Gahagan, reveal that congressional Democrats were active players in building and shaping the postwar foreign policy consensus.6 Rather than merely following presidential leadership, Albert and Gahagan pursued their own highly individual paths to the new internationalism. Thus, postwar foreign policymaking was not merely a top-down, executive-led endeavor. Instead, congressional liberals from across the ideological wings of the party embraced the new internationalism for their own reasons, helping to forge an intra-party and bipartisan consensus. While the postwar foreign policy accord had its dissidents and trap-falls, its construction and melding of competing ideas offer revealing lessons for contemporary policymakers as they struggle to heal schisms and build a viable twenty-first century foreign policy.

Wilsonians vs. Bryanites  
While liberals generally share a rosier view than their conservative counterparts of human nature and the transformative possibilities of U.S. foreign policy, they have always been divided over the use of force and “intervention.”7 Indeed, progressive internationalism, liberal internationalism’s immediate antecedent, featured many of the same foreign policy debates pervading the ranks of today’s liberals. As the progressive movement’s foreign policy paradigm, progressive internationalists sought to internationalize their domestic reform agenda by exporting democracy.8 From the start, progressive internationalists were split between (Bryanite) non-interventionists and (Wilsonian) interventionists. Though both sides invested much in the potentialities of human nature, Bryanites presupposed a cooperative and stable global environment more so than Wilsonians, who believed intervention and force were sometimes necessary to achieve reformist and democratic ends.

The 1898 Spanish-American War first revealed progressive internationalism’s divide. Though many progressives endorsed the war as a moral crusade against tyranny and for democracy, the McKinley administration’s empire-building and bloody occupation of the Philippines eventually caused some to permanently turn against interventionism.9

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan mirrored progressivism’s divided mind on interventionism through his Spanish-American War experience. The Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in the 1896 presidential election, Bryan feared his issues and future presidential campaign would be “side-track[ed]” by the war.10 Motivated by pragmatic political concerns and belief in exporting democracy, Bryan led the Third Nebraska Volunteer Infantry into the conflict. “Colonel” Bryan did little more than battle yellow fever during his military stint. However, by actively participating, he “dignif[ied] the war beyond its merits,” and forfeited the moral (anti-imperialist) high ground.11

After McKinley’s splendid little war gave way to protracted peace negotiations, Bryan desperately wanted economic issues, rather than diplomatic concerns, paramount in the forthcoming 1900 presidential contest. Consequently, he pushed congressional Democrats and “silver Republicans” to approve the 1898 Treaty of Paris, despite its provisions allowing the United States to annex Spain’s former colonial possessions.12 With “free silver” losing its political punch, Bryan used “anti-imperialism” to unite his fractious coalition. While Bryan’s anti-imperialist foreign policy failed to secure him the presidency, the 1900 presidential campaign marked the emergence of his distinctive brand of non-interventionist progressive internationalism.13

As the father of this creed, Bryan honed it during his tenure as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State.  Nevertheless, the self-proclaimed pacifist did not completely forsake war as an instrument of national policy. In his mind, rather, once international institutions were made responsible for arbitrating global disputes, any resulting wars and interventionism would be “just” because they were supported by a global community of nations. In this way, Bryan’s “non-interventionism” was aimed at stopping unilateral or “unnecessary” wars through granting international bodies the moral and legal authority to stop or approve conflict.14

Woodrow Wilson

In many ways, the Wilson-Bryan relationship neatly parallels and encapsulates progressive internationalism’s shared assumptions and divisions. Though both Wilson and Bryan “stress[ed] the primacy of peace as the fulfillment of progressive history,” the two diverged once World War I began.15 While Wilson moved toward intervention, Bryan counseled strict neutrality and resigned his position to protest the president’s moves toward war. Though he failed to stop American entry into World War I, Bryan’s non-interventionism became dominant during the interwar era.16

In the wake of Wilsonian interventionism’s failure to secure a just peace following the war, non-interventionist progressive internationalists, led by Bryan, Jane Addams and Robert La Follette, Sr., sought peace, security, and prosperity via a cooperative international structure that expressly rejected interventionism, military alliances, and power politics.17 Bryan, Addams, and La Follette passed from the scene; but a coalition of trade unionists, socialists, and pacifists maintained the non-interventionist standard during the 1930s and worked to keep America from entering Europe’s developing war.18 While Pearl Harbor doomed their efforts, Bryan’s non-interventionism remained a viable, if temporarily dormant, worldview in the post-1945 era.

Noninterventionist Revival
By the mid-1960s, many liberals had revived Bryan’s creed. Led by Wayne Morse (D-Oregon), Earnest Gruening (D-Alaska), George McGovern (D-South Dakota), and Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin), these senators not only successfully challenged the Vietnam War, they continued to confront interventionism throughout the 1970s.19

Though an ideological continuity connects Bryan’s non-interventionist progressive internationalism with his anti-Vietnam brethren, liberals developed a temporary foreign policy consensus bridging the Bryanite-Wilsonian divide during the early post-World War II era. This accord evolved, and then unraveled, because the progressive and (later) liberal internationalism of William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman were not static and unchanging worldviews. Though each prized collective security and democracy, Bryan, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Truman differed in their emphasis upon justice, order, freedom, and their willingness to hide Realist measures under the cloak of idealism.20

Truman at UN, 1945

Like Bryan, Wilson believed a just and interdependent postwar world, in which democratic and free nations flourished, would inherently empower the League of Nations to maintain order and render militarism and imperialism obsolete.21 Unlike Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt used the United Nations to merely symbolize global interdependence, leaving the Four Policemen to maintain order: the United States, USSR, Great Britain, and China. In this way, Roosevelt hid his Realism within Wilsonian rhetoric and progressive internationalist institutions.

While Truman enacted much of Roosevelt’s postwar vision by establishing the United Nations and fostering greater international cooperation, his liberal internationalism relied even more upon Realism than did his predecessor. Thus, unlike FDR, who assumed a cooperative spirit on the part of Joseph Stalin, Truman made the inevitability of conflict the focus of his worldview. Armed with this Realist assumption, Truman not only promised to defend allies from totalitarianism; he made the Wilsonian advancement of individual and political freedom the centerpiece of his liberal internationalism.22

Moreover, in contrast to Wilson’s conception of a just and cooperative postwar world organically emerging from democratic states working through the League of Nations, Truman’s order and freedom wholly depended upon a Hegemony advancing individual and political freedom, sometimes by intervention and force. Truman’s interventionism was made acceptable to Bryanite progressive internationalists because the Hegemony, the United States, worked multilaterally with allies, via NATO and through the UN.

Wilson-Bryan Schism Repaired
Thus, in the years immediately following the Second World War, American liberals advanced a comprehensive foreign policy and worldview that not only commanded a bipartisan consensus, but also temporarily repaired the Wilson-Bryan schism. By combining Bryan’s zeal for cooperative globalism and Wilson’s penchant for international institutions with a Realist’s understanding of power, human nature, and sense of limits, liberal internationalists built a foreign policy worldview capable of responding to the complicated postwar world.  

While scholars rightly point to Harry Truman as a source of this recalibrated postwar liberal internationalism, many congressional members arrived at similar conclusions independent of the president.23 For instance, Robert David Johnson credits internationalist Republicans Arthur Vandenberg and Henry Cabot Lodge with helping Truman to frame his containment policy in terms of democracy, human rights, and self-determination.24

Not only congressional Republicans helped shape Truman’s new liberal internationalism. An examination of two representative figures from vastly different ideological wings of the Democratic Party, Congressman Carl Albert and Congresswoman Helen Gahagan, reveals that congressional Democrats, in league with Truman, helped bridge the old Wilson-Bryan divide and forge a foreign policy that effectively met the exigencies of the age.25

Though Albert and Gahagan hailed from starkly different socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds and eventually inhabited different wings of the Democratic Party, they shared a common Bryanite heritage. Many remember Albert for his staunch support for LBJ and the Vietnam War; but it was non-interventionists, such as William Jennings Bryan and Bennett (Champ) Clark, who were his early and formative political influences. Aligned with Henry Wallace and other future Progressive Party acolytes, Gahagan broke with Wallace to support much of Truman’s Cold War foreign policy.26 As products of Bryan’s non-interventionist tradition, Albert’s and Gahagan’s dual embrace of a similar worldview reveals the transformative power that fascism, the Great Depression, and the Second World War wielded over a generation of congressional powerbrokers.

Helen Gahagan Douglas
Best remembered for Richard Nixon’s characterization that she was “pink down to her underwear,” Helen Gahagan’s legacy has usually been that of a victim.27 As a respected and accomplished Congresswoman, Gahagan’s contributions to shaping postwar American foreign policy reveals her to be much more than a Nixon casualty. Raised in a privileged, upper-middle-class Brooklyn, New York family, Gahagan used her private education and mother’s nascent feminism to forge a remarkably independent and storybook career path.
28

Helen Gahagan Douglas
Helen Gahagan Douglas

Exhibiting enormous determination and talent at a precocious age, Gahagan parlayed the skills honed on Broadway and in the opera into a second career as a Congresswoman.29 The stage not only brought Gahagan skills, fame and wealth; but also Melvyn Douglas, whom she married in 1931.30 The son of a Jewish immigrant father and an American-born Christian mother, Douglas’s background and upbringing was as heterogeneous and unstable as his wife’s was uniform and secure.31 Though Douglas’s rough-and-tumble background and the Great Depression altered Gahagan’s “storybook” understanding of the world, a 1937 European concert tour and an invitation to sing Tosca with the world-renowned Vienna Opera Company fundamentally transformed her worldview and career.32

As she stood on the cusp of performing in Europe’s most prestigious concert hall, the virus of European fascism intervened, forcing a Teutonophile, like Gahagan, to see how profoundly fascism and anti-Semitism had pervaded and changed German society by 1937. Not only did her longtime Austrian concert scheduler regularly spew anti-Semitic rants and replace her Jewish accompanist with a pianist of an acceptable racial background; his associates unsuccessfully recruited her to become a Nazi informant.33

Directly confronting European fascism and anti-Semitism deeply shaped the trajectory of Gahagan’s life and career. Repulsed by Hitler and convinced that war loomed, she abruptly ended her 1937 European tour and returned home. After joining an anti-fascist league, she hit the stump in support of the Roosevelt administration and found a new career.34

Just as Gahagan discovered politics, Democratic Party officials realized that women, as a voting bloc, would become a significantly enhanced political force during the coming war. Consequently, Eleanor Roosevelt and Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins cultivated Gahagan as a protégé, making her California’s national committeewoman and appointing her to the Women’s Advisory Committee, the William Allen White Committee, and Freedom House.35

Election to Congress
Gahagan accrued a lifetime of political experience in just a few short years. Then in 1944, she became Congressman Thomas Ford’s heir apparent. As a Ford and administration favorite, Gahagan became the consensus choice to represent the ethnically diverse and staunchly Democratic Los Angeles district.36 In addition to a congressional seat, party elders gave their rising female star a major speaking role at the 1944 Democratic convention. Intended to counteract Connecticut Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who had berated Roosevelt at the GOP’s convention as an instinctive and reflexive rebel, Gahagan delivered a substantive address instead of playing rather her scripted role.37

Similarly, upon her election to Congress, Gahagan refused the norm of concentrating on one policy area. In lieu of specialization, she developed a comprehensive foreign policy for the postwar world.38 Well-traveled, highly versed in current events, and profoundly shaken by fascism and the Second World War, Gahagan was no longer a sheltered artist unaware of the world’s dark forces.39 With an interest in foreign affairs, well-known advocacy for the United Nations, and Eleanor Roosevelt as a close ally, Gahagan was a natural choice to serve as a delegate to the United Nations Conference, which penned the Institution’s charter.40 At first, her appeal for a UN capable of strengthening “the bonds of unity between the peoples of this earth” echoed progressive internationalism’s call for “global interdependence.”41 In her role as a United Nations Conference delegate, Gahagan pushed for a robust charter capable of transforming the UN into a world government and overseeing disarmament.42

Unlike Bryan and other progressive internationalists, Gahagan presupposed an uncooperative international environment. Thus, rather than assume compliance, she anticipated turmoil and sought an international solution to what she believed to be Europe’s two most intractable and intertwined obstacles to peace: anti-Semitism and fascism. Thus, Gahagan’s worldview mirrored Truman’s combination of a Realist’s understanding of human nature and global politics with Bryan’s penchant for internationally brokered solutions. Due to her newfound Realism, Gahagan feared a fascist relapse in Europe and worked to forestall that eventuality by proffering a solution to the continent’s “Jewish issue”: the creation of an UN-sponsored Jewish state in Palestine.

Promoting Israel
Although her husband’s Jewishness undoubtedly shaped her sympathies and prior Zionism, Gahagan’s push for a Jewish state in Palestine transcended familial ties. 43 Scarred by her brushes with fascism and the experience of the Second World War, she backed the creation of a Jewish state as a crucial step in safeguarding European and world peace. To her, so as long as Jews stayed in Europe, the continent remained mired in economic misery, and its populace was “poisoned by Nazi propaganda,” the specter of a fascist relapse loomed. Echoing Wilson, American intervention in the Middle East became acceptable to Gahagan because the United States acted through the UN in creating Israel.

Gahagan’s fears of latent anti-Semitism fueling a fascist revival in Europe were not unfounded. In the war’s immediate aftermath, pogroms continued to erupt throughout Southern and Eastern Europe. This led to hundreds of deaths and millions of Jews applying for emigration visas.44 Moreover, Jews who opted to rebuild their lives in Europe routinely received less aid than gentiles, and some became victims of reprisals when they reclaimed their “Aryanized property.” Indeed, after French officials resettled one Jewish woman back into her Paris apartment, a fascist gang broke into the dwelling, seized her belongings, and set them ablaze, chanting, “Hitler was right! Send the Jews to the crematorium!”45 These types of incidents convinced Gahagan that Europe’s domestic peace and economic recovery depended upon creating a Jewish state in Palestine.46

In her quest for a Jewish homeland and world peace, the Congresswoman summarily discounted Arab claims to Palestine, believing anything less than a Jewish State in Palestine “missed the core of the problem.”47 To her, Jewish settlers’ success at economic development in Palestine, combined with the Ottoman alliance with Germany during the First World War, eradicated Arab land claims and gave the Allies “the right to determine…the political future of [the Middle East].”48

Armed with a Realist’s understanding of Europe’s tenuous political and economic situation, Gahagan not only became a leading advocate for the state of Israel but also staunchly supported Truman’s Korea policy and larger estimation that the Soviets sought expansion at any given opportunity.49 Indeed, she exemplified how many congressional liberals independently developed a liberal internationalist worldview roughly corresponding to Truman’s emerging policy. The Congresswoman’s reasons for backing an Israeli state mirrored Truman’s larger worldview, in that both married a Bryanite regard for internationally brokered solutions and a Wilsonian respect for action to a Realist’s understanding of human nature.

Carl Albert
Gahagan was not alone, however. Carl Albert was also permanently changed by the Great Depression, fascism, and the Second World War. His foreign policy journey further shows how congressional liberals evolved independently of the president, while arriving at roughly the same juncture.

A progressive internationalist by birth and temperament, similar to Gahagan, fascism and the Second World War fundamentally altered Albert’s worldview, which, like Gahagan’s, had been heavily influenced by William Jennings Bryan. As a result of searing and transformative events, Albert rejected progressive internationalism’s world federalism for liberal internationalism.

Carl Albert
Carl Albert

Reared in a two-room log cabin in the tiny burg of Bug Tussle, Oklahoma, Albert was shaped by the Sooner state’s peculiar political culture. Born in 1908 – the same year Oklahoma attained statehood – Albert’s development neatly reflected that of his beloved state. Though many associate Oklahoma with conservatism, the state’s early political culture reflects a decidedly populist influence. Written by staunch agrarian insurgents such as William "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, Oklahoma’s state constitution was dedicated to curbing corporate power and equalizing tax burdens.50 Raised in the populist stronghold of Southeastern Oklahoma and living adjacent to a county named for William Jennings Bryan, Albert’s early worldview reflected this political milieu.51

Politically aware from a very early age, six-year-old Albert secretly vowed to become a congressman. After deciding that all congressmen were well traveled, educated, and polished speakers, Albert looked to the National Oratorical Contest as a launching pad for his political career.52 Intended to promote Constitutional literacy among high school students, the competition awarded a summer-long European tour to five students who penned and delivered the best composition on the Constitution. 53 Devoting the entirety of his high school years to the pursuit, the once shy and awkward country boy not only won his trip to Europe, he also transformed himself into a student leader whom his fellow students dubbed the “Little Giant.”54

In Europe, Albert saw Parliament, heard Winston Churchill, and toured France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. More importantly, he discovered his next goal: a Rhodes Scholarship.55 Aiming his ferocious appetite for achievement toward a new objective, Albert netted a Rhodes Scholarship his senior year in college.56 As a law student at Oxford during the early 1930s, Albert not only received a world-class legal education and forged lifelong friendships; he also met refugees fleeing Stalin’s totalitarianism, directly experienced German fascism, and had a front-row seat for Europe’s slide to war.

Spending his first Christmas abroad in Paris, Albert dined with Russia’s former Prime Minister, Alexander Kerensky. After listening to Kerensky’s tale of narrow escape from a Bolshevik firing squad and mingling with the thousands of Russian exiles who made Paris their home, Albert’s already negative view of the Soviet Union hardened.57 He used the following Christmas to visit Munich, where he saw Adolph Hitler whip his followers into what the young Albert called a “mad Pentecost of hysteria.”58

During the summer of 1933, Albert made his final sojourn to Germany where, rather than merely observing Nazis, he directly experienced their tactics. While relaxing at a Hamburg beer hall, Albert and his Jewish companion met two German girls who were eager to practice their English and swap travel stories. As the four talked and flirted, two Brownshirts literally picked up and threw the two boys out on the street. Fearing for his safety, Albert left Germany the next day vowing never to return.59

Albert moved back to Oklahoma following his brush with European fascism with a law degree in hand.60 Largely insulated from the depression at Oxford, Albert’s tour of a shanty town built on the banks of Oklahoma City’s North Canadian River left him wondering how anyone “could be anything” other than a New Deal Democrat.61 Armed with a law degree, world travel, and public speaking skills, he was ready to make his boyhood dreams come true.62 After serving in the war, he declared his candidacy and intention to live out his campaign slogan, “From a Cabin in the Cotton to Congress.”63

Grappling with Containment  
As a freshman member of the infamous “Do-Nothing” 80th Congress, Albert watched helplessly as Republicans cut the farm appropriation, rural electrification, and soil conservation funds dear to his constituency.64 Nonetheless, the rapidly changing international environment dominated the political scene. With little time for acclimation to the emergent Cold War, Albert breathlessly looked on while an unpopular and unelected president proposed a revolutionary foreign policy paradigm: Containment. Intended as a first step toward implementing Containment, Truman offered a massive foreign aid package to a non-democratic state, Greece, and an American foe during World War I, Turkey.

Having barely moved into his cramped congressional office, Albert faced one of the most profound and stark choices of his entire congressional career.65 Torn between the “obligation to our own people” and American foreign priorities, Albert lay “[a]wake…at night wondering about how far the resources of our country can stand the strain to which they are being subjected.”66 At first, Albert opposed Truman’s nascent foreign policy, citing the decline of domestic programs dear to southeastern Oklahoma and the enormous obligations to veterans, the aged, and farmers. Initially his opposition to “communism and all other foreign isms” and claim to “believe in military preparedness” summed up his foreign policy stance. But in reality, Albert was groping for a coherent worldview during a time of extraordinary change and flux.67 Indeed, Albert claimed to have worried about the loan package “more than anything that has ever happened to me in my life.”68

Adding to his fears were the old Bryanite progressive internationalists who claimed Truman’s foreign policy undermined the UN. These progressive internationalists believed the president’s aid package usurped the UN’s mission to “outlaw war…[and] safeguard the peace of the world,” and offered their own proposal to stop the administration.69 With progressive internationalists calling for the UN, rather than the implicitly anti-Soviet American coalition and aid package to rebuild Europe, Albert was forced to choose between them and Truman.70

Though Oklahoma Democrats were later conspicuous for their unwavering support for Cold War orthodoxy, William Jennings Bryan and other non-interventionists, such as Robert La Follette, Sr., had significantly shaped the Sooner state’s political culture. Indeed, Albert’s earliest political idol was not the interventionist Woodrow Wilson but his political rival, the non-interventionist Bennett (Champ) Clark.71 Despite his formative ties to non-interventionism, events had fundamentally altered Albert’s worldview. Thus, while he remained keen on strengthening the UN and “building it [into] a more effective international organization,” Albert also understood that the Soviet veto on the Security Council meant “there was no earthly chance…for the U.N.O. to step into the Greek-Turk picture.”72 Recognizing the UN’s weakness and convinced the only way to stop the Soviets from sparking another war required “the United States to take the lead in international affairs,” Albert threw his votes behind Truman’s Greece-Turkey aid package.

While Albert slowly embraced Truman’s foreign policy, he, like Gahagan, helped shape the foreign policy consensus.73 In Albert’s case, he did this through building public support for the new internationalism. Worried his new foreign policy stance would create conflicts with constituents, the reflexive Jeffersonian whose “confidence in the people …ha[s] always been…the alpha and the omega of true representative government” educated Oklahomans on the issues.74 Living out his Jeffersonian faith, Albert used heretofore pro forma speaking engagements to explain the new internationalism to his constituents.75

By directly tying bread-and-butter security concerns to America’s new world of alliances, the United Nations, and foreign aid, Albert convinced Oklahomans that their self-interest lay beyond unstable commodity prices. Mixing folksy tales and down-home jokes with the claim that “[f]or the first time in all history, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is within bombing range of enemy planes…which can carry atomic bombs,” Albert made the Soviet threat real in Middle America.76 Though the Kremlin was hardly planning a nuclear attack upon central Oklahoma, Albert honestly believed the Soviets were more “dangerous than…Hitler…Genghis Kahn, and Attila.”77 Moreover, as a practical politician, Albert realized that conservative “cries of communism” damaged liberals the most in the Midwest. Indeed, Truman chose Oklahoma City to deliver a rousing speech on “Communism, Democracy, and National Security,” at the height of the 1948 presidential campaign.78

World Federalism
Though Albert swayed some on the merits of his case, he provoked the active opposition of Oklahoma’s progressive internationalists. Fearing the Realism at the core of Truman’s new internationalism would spark a wider war, they offered a progressive internationalist alternative – world federalism – to ease U.S.-Soviet tensions, preempt the nascent Cold War, and save the postwar peace.79 In 1947, progressive internationalists merged several world federalist associations into one single entity, the United World Federalists (UWF), and mobilized a grassroots campaign to transform the UN into a world federalist structure.80 As the logical vehicle for world government, UN advocates wanted to empower the organization with enough sovereignty to bring atomic weapons under its control and preserve the peace through “enforce[ing] world law.”81 Despite oblique promises that a “strengthened” UN could “settle international disputes by legal procedures” rather than war, progressive internationalists believed the UN’s existence made world federalism possible.82

Though world federalism seemingly emerged from utter obscurity, the movement grew and gained international credibility even as the Cold War dawned. For example, Europe’s leading world federalist, Lord Boyd Orr, garnered the 1949 Nobel Peace Prize. And opinion polls in Japan, France, and Italy revealed all three favored the enactment of their nations’ constitutional provisos granting sovereignty to a world government.83

While international support for the world federalist project remained important, American backing was the linchpin. To show grassroots support for world federalism, progressive internationalists sponsored local, state, and national resolutions advocating the transformation of the UN into a “world federation.”84 Prodded by activists, the Senate and House passed non-binding resolutions favoring such an enterprise.85 Shortly thereafter, twenty-one states, ranging from Alabama and Utah to Connecticut and Rhode Island, passed resolutions or legislation endorsing the original congressional decree.86 While these resolutions revealed grassroots support for world federalism in the abstract, activists pushed the “California Plan” as the next logical step in their movement. Passed in six states, the California Plan resolutions went far beyond a non-binding endorsement by calling for a constitutional convention to “expedite” American participation in a world federation.87

At one time, Albert hoped the combination of the Grand Alliance’s wartime cooperation and an empowered UN would foster enduring postwar peace. Acting on this optimistic impulse, Albert joined the Advisory Council for the United World Federalists of Oklahoma, and co-sponsored the House resolution endorsing American participation in a world federation.88

The Global Alphabet
Albert embraced and endorsed the “global alphabet” in addition to his support for world federalism. Created upon the premise that international crises were born from “ignorance and illiteracy,” Oklahoman and inventor Robert Owen gave up his U.S. Senate seat in 1924 to develop a global alphabet representing the vocal sounds of all world languages. In Owen’s mind, the global alphabet not only enabled any person “to read, write, speak, and print all languages,” it promised to foster international cooperation and eventually end war.89 After the Second World War’s conclusion, Owen unveiled his thirty-seven-character alphabet, which received the academic imprimatur of the World Language Foundation and the Oklahoma congressional delegation’s endorsement.90

The optimism of the global alphabet and world federalism starkly contradicted the Realistic assessment of human nature inherent in Truman’s new internationalism. However, Albert was not forced to finally and completely choose between them until the spring of 1950. At that time, the UWF had convinced the Oklahoma legislature to hold a statewide referendum on world federalism. Titled “Joint Resolution No. 3,” the proposed referendum was intended to gauge Oklahomans’ support for “the formation of a World Federal Government.”91 UWF officials modeled the measure upon referenda passed in Connecticut and Massachusetts, in the hopes that Oklahomans’ support would reveal Middle America’s approval for the transformation of the UN into a world government.92

In preparation for a grassroots campaign supporting the referendum, UWF officials established local chapters across Oklahoma. These ranged from the west: Elk City, to the east: Stillwater; and from the urban: Tulsa, to the rural: Chickasha. This considerable show of support, combined with the backing of Oklahoma’s university presidents, prominent businessmen, and notable clergymen, rendered world federalists justifiably optimistic.93

Though world federalists believed momentum was on their side, their rivals were busily organizing. Led by the American Coalition – a federation of local and national groups, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) – these critics claimed world federalism was the slippery slope to communism.94 Following the American Coalition’s lead, Oklahoma’s leading newspaper, The Daily Oklahoman, accused the UWF of being “affiliated with 1696 Communist fronts.”95 Though these accusations were gross exaggerations, UWF officers such as Carl Van Doren and Raymond Swing did belong to communist front organizations, making world federalism vulnerable to such charges.96

Rejection of World Federalism
As a board member of Oklahoma’s UWF state chapter, Albert was soon under fire. His hometown newspaper, The McAlester News-Capital, accused him of backing a world federalist plan that would be dominated by “Russia and her satellites.”97 With Oklahoma’s newspapers railing against the referendum, Joseph McCarthy launching his anticommunist crusade, the Korean War raging, and an election looming, Albert made his choice. He told local newspapers and his constituents, somewhat disingenuously, “I am not in favor of this referendum. I have never been in favor of it. I have never told anyone I was in favor of it. I intend to vote against it.”98 Though political heat prompted the timing of Albert’s outright rejection of world federalism, in truth, his declaration was a mere formality. Similar to Gahagan, Albert’s direct experience with European fascism and the Second World War had caused him to break with the non-interventionism of his youth. The furor over Oklahoma’s world federalist resolution simply forced him to finally acknowledge it. 

The state’s political elites followed the popular groundswell against the issue, and Joint Resolution No. 3 failed by a 4-1 margin.99 By November, 1950, for Albert and most Oklahomans, the world federalist resolution had become a sideshow to the primary issue of the day: the Korean War. Once war broke out in June, 1950, Albert’s attitude toward the Cold War and the prospects for an imminent peace hardened. Gone was his flirtation with world federalism and half-hearted support for gambits such as a global alphabet. Believing the Korean War revealed that the Soviets intended “to take over Europe, Asia, and Africa,” securing oil and coal deposits as well as the world’s only source of uranium, Albert embraced a liberal internationalism founded upon Realist assumptions.

Though Albert and Gahagan hardly comprised the whole of the congressional Democratic caucus, their separate and winding paths toward the new liberal internationalism complicates the usual narrative of postwar foreign policymaking. Rather than making Truman the sole locus of events or claiming congressional liberals merely responded to presidential lead or dictates, Gahagan and Albert came to the new internationalism in their own way and shaped it in the process. Truman exercised influence. But Albert and Gahagan were convinced by events and their own experiences to make the inevitability of conflict the centerpiece of their foreign policy. Armed with this Realist assumption, these congressional liberals, in league with Truman, infused the new internationalism with a substantially different worldview than its predecessor.100

Thus, in the years immediately following the Second World War, American liberals advanced a comprehensive foreign policy and worldview that commanded a bipartisan consensus and temporarily repaired the Wilsonian-Bryanite divide. This consensus was the essence of the new internationalism. In channeling Wilsonian interventionism through global institutions, the new internationalists not only combined a Realist’s understanding of power, human nature, and sense of limits; they also built a consensus on a foreign policy capable of responding to the complicated issues of the postwar world. As American liberals build a liberal internationalist worldview and policy suitable for the twenty-first century, presidential leadership, while useful, is not a panacea nor absolutely necessary. Congressional Democrats, or for that matter conservatives, should follow the lead of Gahagan and Albert and find their own way to a foreign policy fit for the twenty-first century and the post-9/11 security challenges.bluestar

NOTES
1. Kupchan, Charles & Trubowitz, Peter, Dead Center: The Demise of Liberal Internationalism in the United States International Security, Volume 32, Number 2, Fall 2007, p. 7-44; Peter Riddell, “Tony Blair Needs a Hug,” Foreign Policy, November 2003, p. 90.

2. See James Carroll, House of War; David Rieff, At The Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention;  Robert Wright, “An American Foreign Policy That Both Realists and Idealists Should Fall in Love With,” New York Times, July 16, 2006, Op-Ed; Stephen Walt, Ethical Realism: A Vision for America's Role in the World; Anatol Lieven & John Hulsman, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories,” Foreign Policy, (Spring, 1998).

3. Elizabeth Spalding Edwards, The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2006.

4. Robert David Johnson, Congress and the Cold War, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. xvi.

5. Elizabeth Spalding Edwards, The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2006.

6. Keith Shimko, “Realism, Neorealism, and American Liberalism,”  The Review of Politics, Vol. 54, No. 2, (Spring, 1992), p.282.

7. Gary Gerstle, “The Protean Character of American Liberalism,” The American Historical Review, Vol.99, No.4, (Oct. 1994), p. 1046; Keith Shimko, “Realism, Neorealism, and American Liberalism,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 54, No. 2, (Spring, 1992), p.282.

8. Alan Dawley, Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution, Princeton University Press, 2005, p. 5.

9. Michael Kazin, A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan, New York: Knopf, 2006, p.88-91 & 100. William Leuchtenberg, “Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916,”  The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 39, No. 3. (Dec., 1952), p. 503; Robert Griffith, “Old Progressives and the Cold War,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 66, No.2, (Sept., 1979), p.335; Padraic Colum Kennedy, “LaFolletes’ Imperialist Fliration,” The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 29, No. 2. (May, 1960), pp. 131.

10. Letter from William Stone to W. J. Bryan, May 11, 1898, F May 11-16, Box 20, William Jennings Bryan Collection, Library of Congress; WJB Interview: Relative to the late election, p.3, File 6, Box 50, W

11. Letter from Senator William Allen to W.J. Bryan, May 18, 1898, Folder May 11-18 A-J, Box 21, William Jennings Bryan Collection, Library of Congress.

12. Letter from W.J. Bryan to Editor of the Journal, May 1, 1899, F-May 1899, Box 23, William Jennings Bryan Collection, Library of Congress.

13. Robert Griffith, “Old Progressives and the Cold War,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 66, No.2, (Sept., 1979), p.335-337.

14. Kazin, p. 218-219.

15. Edwards, p. 11; Kazin, p. 233.

16. Spalding, p.12-13.

17. Dawley, p.  7.

18. Justus Doenecke, “Non-interventionism of the Left: The Keep America Out of the War Congress, 1938-1941,” Journal of Contemporary History, 12 (1977), p. 221.

19. Robert David Johnson, “The Origins of Dissent: Senate Liberals and Vietnam, 1959-1964,” The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 65, No. 2, (May, 1996), p. 254-255.

20. Spalding, p. 224.

21. Spalding, p. 13.

22. Spalding, 223-224.

23. See Elizabeth Spalding Edwards, The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2006.

24. Robert David Johnson, Congress and the Cold War, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. xvi.

25. Shimko, p..282.

26. Greg Mitchell, Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady: Richard Nixon vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas—Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950, Random House: New York, 1998, p. 208.

27. Ingrid Scobie, Center Stage: Helen Gahagan Douglas, A Life, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 265.

28. Box 6, folder 117 “HGH Chronology as of August 1944, p.1” & Center Stage, p. 4-5. Center Stage, p. 4-5 A Full Life, p.4-5.

29. Douglas, Helen Gahagan,  A Full Life, Garden City: Doubleday & Company, 1982, p. 4-6, 10-11, & 15-17. Scobie,, p.43 & 46-48; “‘Tonight or Never’, Is Agreeable Play,” New York Times, November 19, 1930, p.28.

30. Douglas, A Full Life, p.76-79 & 80-83;  Newspaper Article, Belasco Maker of Stars, Dies from Heart Attack, Folder 1, Box 6, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Newspaper Article, Helen Gahagan Tells Love at First Sight, by Marjory Belisch,  F 19, Box 6, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

31. Scobie, p. 62-65.

32. Scobie, p. 79; Douglas, A Full Life, p.102;  Newspaper Article, Producers Won’t Cast Them in Same Film Because of Old Superstition, by Obera Rawles, Los Angeles Examiner, Folder 17, Box 6, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; “5,000 Hail ‘Aida’ at Polo Grounds,” New York Times, June 25, 1932, p.18; Douglas, A Full Life, p. 130.

33. Douglas, A Full Life, p. 129-132.

34. “Melvyn Douglases Have Child,” August 16, 1938, New York Times, p.22; Scobie, p. 105;  “Actor and Wife Speak Good Workers (‘Children All Blondes), Washington Post, December 2, 1939, p. 3; “Miss Perkins Fetes Helen Gahagan,” Washington Post, May 2, 1940, p.14; Hope Ridings Miller, “Helen Gahagan Charms D.C. Society at Luncheon Given by Miss Fleming,” Washington Post, December 1, 1939, p.24; Hope Ridding Miller, “Helen Gahagan Steals the Show in Chicago,” Washington Post, July 17, 1940, p. 12.

35. Scobie, p. 117-120;  Patricia Grady, “Society Here Welcomes 2 Outstanding Women,” Washington Post, July 24, 1941,p. 14; Scobie, p. 117-120.

36. Scobie, p.143-145; Mary Van Rensselaer Thayer, “Chic Helen Douglas, In Tough Campaign, Battle for Ballots,” Washington Post, October 31, 1948, p.S1.

37. “‘Fencing’ With Mrs. Luce Barred by Miss Gahagan,” New York Times, July 16, 1944, p. 26; “Miss Gahagan, Reynolds Talk to Convention,” Washington Post, July 21, 1944, p.9; “Roosevelt Needed, Mrs. Douglas Says,” New York Times, July 21, 1944, p.11;

38. Martha Rhyne, “The Douglas Duo Raps Feminine Refusal to Accept Political Role,” Washington Post, February 25, 1945, p.S1; “Mrs. Douglas Gets Serious, Alarms a Fellow Solon,” Washington Post, February 4, 1945, p. S1.

39. Speech, Since This Tragic War Thrust Upon Peace-Loving Nations…, Folder 8, Box 13, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma. .

40. News Release, Rep. Douglass Returns Hailing Progress of UN, Dec. 21, 1946, Folder 3B, Box 28, Folder 3B; Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Newspaper Article, World’s Most Important Home—in Flushing Meadows, Folder 3b, Box 28, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

41. Letter, In a few days, Christmas will be here again…, p.11, December 20, 1945, Folder 8, Box 13, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma. .

42. Dawley, 347;  Letter: From HGD to Madam Heussenstamm, February 25, 1946, Folder 3, Box 28, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Article, Back from Babylon, December 16, 1945, p. 1, Folder 9, Box 24, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

43. Letter from HGD to Lessing J. Rosenwald, June 2, 1945, Folder 4, Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Letter to HDG from ACPC, January 4, 1946, Folder 4, Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; “The ‘Woman of the Year’,” New York Times, October 15, 1945, p.21; Letter to HGD from ACPC, July 30, 1945, Folder 4, Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma. Douglas, A Full Life, p. 107.

44. “100,000 More Jews Seen Leaving Poland,” New York Times, August 4, 1946, p. 9; W.H Lawrence, “Poles Ask Death for Kielce Guilty,” New York Times, July 7, 1946, p. 1; “Pogroms in Poland Reported Recurring,” New York Times, August 21, 1945, p.13;  W. .H. Lawrence, “Poles Kill 26 Jews in Kielce Pogrom,” New York Times, July 5, 1946, p.1.

Telegram, AntiSemites in Paris Destroy Furniture of Jew in Street Bonfire, Folder 5, Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

46. Declaration,  We, the Undersigned Americans…, Folder 4, Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Article, Back from Babylon, December 16, 1945, p. 1, Folder 9, Box 24, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from HGD to Arthur Dewberry, December 16, 1945, p. 2. Folder 9, Box 24, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Message from Rep. Douglas, December 16, 1945, Folder 8, Box 13, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from HGD to Freda Kirchway, August 2, 1946, Folder 1, Box 25, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

47. Letter from HGD to Freda Kirchway, August 2, 1946, Folder 1, Box 25, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

48. Letter from HGD to Arthur Dewberry, December 16, 1945, p. 2. Folder 9, Box 24, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  June 5, 1945, Letter to William Lemke from HGD, June 5, 1945, Folder 4B Box 15, Helen Gahagan Doublas Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

49. HGD Address to California Federation of Young Democrats, July 22, 1950, , File Douglas, Box 653, General File,  Papers of Harry Truman, Harry S. Truman Library.

50. Danney Goble, Progressive Oklahoma: The Making of a New Kind of State, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980,p. 165-166.

51. Goble, p. 224.

52. Albert, Little Giant, p. 41-43 & 50-53;  Article, A Red-Headed Boy, p.1, Folder 2, Box 1, Series Biographical, Carl Albert’s Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

53. Albert, Little Giant, p. 60; The Oklahoma Banker, Introduction of Carl Alberl, p. 38, Folder 2, Box 1, Series Biographical, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Albert,  Little Giant, p. 60.

54. The Oklahoma Banker, Introduction of Carl Alberl, p. 38, Folder 2, Box 1, Series Biographical, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; The Midwest Champion Orator, Daily Oklahoman, May 15, 1927, Series Biographical, Folder 2, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

55. Albert, Little Giant, p. 70.

56. Albert, Little Giant, p. 70 & 76-77;  Newspaper Article, Boy Orator Will Campaign for Mayor Charles Arnold In Constitution Speeches, Series Biographical, Folder 3, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Newspaper Article, Champion Orator Also Marvelous Mat Artist, Series Biographical , Folder 3, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

57. Letter from Albert to Arlan, December 25, 1931, p..5, Series Biographical, Folder 6, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

58. Albert, Little Giant, p. 104.

59. Albert, Little Giant, p. 108-109.

60. Political Brochure, You Can Send Carl Albert from a Cabin in the Cotton to the Congress, p..3, Series Biographical, Folder 8, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

61. Albert, Little Giant, p. 119, 126-128, & 138;  Newspaper Article, Oxford, Harvard Men Await Congress Count,” Tulsa Tribune, Series Campaign, Folder 97, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

62. Albert, Little Giant, p. 126-128 & 138; Newspaper Article, Oxford, Harvard Men Await Congress Count,” Tulsa Tribune, Series Campaign, Folder 97, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

63. Letter from from J.G. Putterbaugh to Albert, July 8, 1946, Series Campaign, Folder 2, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Newspaper Article, Albert’s Lead only 95 Votes, Contest Likely, Series Campaign, Folder 96, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Newspaper Article, Official Count Gives Albert 259-Vote Edge, Series Campaign, Folder 96, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman;  Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

64. Speech, Washington, D.C. June (Special)—By close vote of 180 to 176, Series Speeches, Folder 8, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Speech, Albert Oppposes Cut, in Congressional Record, May 28, 1947, Series Speeches, Folder 26, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma .

65. Letter from Albert to George Kincheloe, April 13, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 32, Box 2, Folder 32, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Letter from Paul Updegraff to Albert, March 18, 1947, Series Legislative, Folder 35, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

66. Letter from Albert, I Am of Course Moved by the Humanitarian Concerns, April 23, 1947, Series Legislative, Folder 29, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Letter from Albert to Hon. C.C. Hatchett, March 30, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 40, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

67. Proposed Legislation—Foreign Loans, April 24, 1947, Legislativ Series, Folder 29, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Platform Campaign ’46, p.1, Series Campaign, Folder 120, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

68. Letter from Albert to Hon. C.C. Hatchett, March 30, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 40, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

69. Lawrence Davies, “Conferees Arrive in Hopeful Mood,” New York Times, April 23, 1945, p.1; Transcript of Broadcast over NBC, Henry Wallace’s response  to President Truman’s Proposal, March 13, 1947,p. 2, Series Legislative, Folder 36, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from Paul Updegraff to Carl Albert, March 18, 1947, Series Legislative, Folder 35, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

70. Letter from the League of Women Voter of Oklahoma, May 20, 1947, Series Legislative, Folder 37, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Pamphlet from National Council Of American-Soviet Friendship, March 19, 1947, Series Legislative, Box 2, Folder 36, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

71. Albert, Little Giant, p. 42-43.

72. Letter from Albert to R.L. Crutcher, October 28, 1947, Series General, Folder 14, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Letter from Albert to Wirt Franklin, January 3, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 45, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Albert Speech to Lion’s Club, 1948, p.2, Series Speeches, Folder 21, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;

73. Letter from Albert to Rev. Ernest Hicks, April 9, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 40, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from Albert to Reule Little, October 14, 1947, Series General, Folder 14, Box 1, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

74. Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from Albert to G. Kincheloe, April 13, 1948, Series Legislative, Folder 32, Box 2, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma. Speech, Grounds to be Saved. p. 9, Series Speeches, Folder 6, Box 1, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Speech, I have chosen this occasion to express my own views, 1947, p.1-3, Series Speeches, Folder 4, Box 1, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

75. Albert Speech, Fascism & Democracy, p.1, Series Speeches, Folder 28, Box 1, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

76. Albert Speech, Mr. President and Members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, p. 4, Speech Series, Folder 48, Box 1, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

77. Speech, Foreign Aid, #4, 1948, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 20, Box 1, Folder 20, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Albert Speech, To Members of the Lions Club, p..5, Series Speeches, Folder 21,  Box 1, Speech, Oklahoma Friends, Neighbors, & Fellow Democrats, p. 3, Series Speeches, Folder 29, Box 1, Folder 29, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

78. Speech by Truman, Communism, Democracy, and National Security, File September 28, Oklahoma City, Box 26, George Elesy Papers, Speech File, Harry Truman Library; Memo to Clifford from S.J.S., Re: Locale of President’s Proposed Speech on Communism September 16, 1948, File September 28, Oklahoma City, Box 26, George Elesy Papers, Speech File, Harry Truman Library.

79. World Federation: The Idea Worked for Our Forefathers, The Southern Banker, March 1950, Series General, Folder 55, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from G.L. Cross to J.G. Putterbaugh, September 11, 1950, Series General, Box 3, Folder 55, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

80. Memo: Information from the Files of the Committee on Un-American Activities—United World Federalists, Inc.., September 11, 1959, Series General, Folder 55, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

81. Newsletter, World Government News: Grave Responsibility, Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

82. Newsletter, The Truth about the Oklahoma Referendum to Strengthen the United Nations, Series General, Folder  56, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

83. World Federation: The Idea Worked for Our Forefathers, The Southern Banker, March 1950, Series General, Folder 55, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

84. Newsletter, World Government News: Grave Responsibility, p..3,  Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

85. Newsletter, World Government News: Grave Responsibility, p..3,  Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

86. Newsletter, World Government News: A Monthly Report of Progress Toward World Federation, March 1950, p. 9,  Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

87. Ibid.

88. Letter from Albert to Wirt Franklin, February 8, 1949, Series General, Folder 72, Box 2, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Newsletter, World Government News: A Monthly Report of Progress Toward World Federation, March 1950, p. 9,  Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

89. Global Alphabet Guidebook, p. 3 & 4, Series General, Folder 15, Box 1, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; Letter from W.J. Horton to Albert, July 28, 1947, Series General, Folder 15, Box 1, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

90. Albert Speech, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 80th Congress, 1st session, Thursday, April 3, 1947, Series General, Box 1, Folder 15, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;  Global Alphabet Guidebook, p.1 Series General, Folder 1590, Box 1, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; P.W. Wilson, “Ex-Senator Owen Absolves Germany of All War Guilt,” New York Times, July 17, 1927, p.BR3.

91. Altus Scottish Rite Club: Resolution, Series General, Folder 56, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.

92. Newsletter, World Government News: Grave Responsibility, p..9,  Series Campaign, Folder 98, Box 3, Carl Albert Papers, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; “Unity to Stop War Is Goal of Federalists,” Daily Oklahoman, April 29, 1949, p. 25.

93. Letter to Albert from Arthur Elliot, September 11, 1950,  Series General, Folder 56, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma..

94. Report, The ‘New Internationalism’ Under Attack, February 1, 1950, p. 3-4, Series General, Folder 55, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.  

95. Newspaper Article, Sideswipes, September 7, 1950, The McAlester News-Capital, Series GeneraL, Folder 56, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma; “Oklahoma Only,” The Daily Oklahoman, October 24, 1950, p. 14.

96. Memo, HUAC: Information from the Files of the Committee on Un-American Activities, September 11, 1950, p.4-6, Series General, Folder 55, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma.  

97. Ibid.

98.Letter from Albert to Howard Conan, September 14, 1950, Series General, Folder 56, Box 3, Carl Albert Center’s Congressional Archives, Norman, Oklahoma;

99. “State Question 344,” The Daily Oklahoman, November 8, 1950, p.41; “How Some People Think in a Vacuum,” The Daily Oklahoman, March 13, 1955, p. 34.

100. Spalding, 223-224.


Department Head & Assistant Professor of History at Gannon University (Erie, PA), Dr. Bloodworth specializes in twentieth century U.S. political history. In addition to articles in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, The Wisconsin Magazine of History, and the International Social Science Review, his manuscript, Farewell to the Vital Center: A History of American Liberalism, 1968-1980 is under consideration by the University of Kentucky Press. 

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