1940 Democratic National Convention

The 1940 Democratic National Convention was held at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois from July 15 - July 18, 1940. The convention resulted in the re-nomination of President Franklin Roosevelt as the Democratic Party candidate for an unprecedented third term. Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace was nominated for Vice-President.

Despite the unprecedented bid for a third term, Roosevelt was nominated on the first ballot. Vice President John Nance Garner had sought the nomination for the presidency and soundly lost to Roosevelt. Henry Wallace was Roosevelt's preferred choice for the Vice-Presidency. His candidacy was opposed vehemently by some delegates, particularly the conservative wing of the party which had been unenthusiastic about Wallace's liberal positions. Nonetheless, Wallace was ultimately nominated.cite web |title=The 1940 Democratic National Convention |publisher=Chicago Historical Society |url=http://www.chicagohs.org/history/politics/1940.html |accessdate=2008-03-27]

Democratic candidates

Throughout the winter, spring, and summer of 1940 there was much speculation as to whether Roosevelt would break with long-standing tradition and run for an unprecedented third term. The "two-term" tradition, although not yet enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, had been established by President George Washington when he refused to run for a third term in 1796, and no President had ever been elected to a third term. Roosevelt, however, refused to give a definitive statement as to his willingness to be a candidate, and he even indicated to some ambitious Democrats, such as James Farley, that he would not be a candidate again and that they could seek the nomination. However, as Nazi Germany swept through Western Europe and menaced Britain in the summer of 1940 Roosevelt decided that only he had the necessary experience and skills to see the nation safely through the Nazi threat. He was aided by the party's political bosses, who feared that no Democrat except Roosevelt could defeat the charismatic Willkie.

John Nance Garner, Roosevelt's Vice-President, was a Texas conservative who had turned against Roosevelt because of his liberal economic and social policies; Roosevelt therefore decided to pick another running mate. He chose Henry A. Wallace, his Secretary of Agriculture, to be the vice-presidential nominee. Wallace, an outspoken liberal, was strenuously opposed by many delegates at the convention, particularly the more conservative Southern Democrats.

Wallace won the vice-presidential nomination by a vote of 626 to 325 for House Speaker William Bankhead and a smattering of others.

ee also

*1940 Republican National Convention
*United States presidential election, 1940
*Democratic National Convention

References

sequence
prev=1936
list=Democratic National Conventions
next=1944


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