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Favorable or Unfavorable #185: Royal S. Copeland


Favorable or Unfavorable #185: Royal S. Copeland  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #185: Royal S. Copeland

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Sen. Royal S. Copeland (NY-D) had been a Republican mayor of Ann Arbor, MI about 20 years before he was elected to the US Senate. It's kind of shocking for the most powerful state in the Union (in the 1920s) to democratically elect a man who had just moved to NYC and just switched parties. FDR was part of his campaign managing team, and he had just been VP nominee on the 1920 Dem ticket, which probably helped.

Copeland, unlike FDR, was a rare Northeast conservative Democrat US Senator, who would frequently be at odds on FDR's New Deal. Henry Breckinridge (descended from the famous Breckinridges from KY and VA) was another notable Conservative NYer. Al Smith also became opposed to the New Deal, although he was traditionally liberal or moderate-to-liberal. Jack Kemp, although a Republican, is kind of the last significant conservative politician that had power in that state. Elise Stefanik is an outlier, but she hasn't that much power on the grand scheme of things--over the NY electorate. The conservative politicians in NY can stem from aspects of George Clinton and Martin Van Buren to Daniel S Dickenson, Fernando Wood, Grover Cleveland, Samuel J Tilden, etc. The liberal strain doesn't really emerge until the Gilded Age with NYC bustling with factories and wage workers, which really changed the whole dynamic of government more than anything. You don't have real large scale progressivism, liberalism, socialism, welfare, labor unions, etc until you get Industrialization creating a wage-worker force. Prior to this, most people were self-employed, mostly as farmers. You also don't get any significant unemployment until the Gilded Age for these reasons. Anyone that wants to go back to the ways of the Founding Fathers completely ignores history, innovation, and change. If you transported the entire 1776 Congress or the 1787 Continental Congress to 1876 or 1887 or 1976 or 1987, you're getting blueprint for a nation. I'm certain the US Constitution would have been really lengthy, like most nation's constitutions are. Ours was simple because it was a far simpler time. 

His actions:

Copeland, Royal S. 1922 Switches from GOP to Dem, and with FDR's help, wins his 1st US Senate race
Copeland, Royal S. 1934 Introduces the Copeland Anti-Kickback Act
Copeland, Royal S. 1935 led Copeland Committee
Copeland, Royal S. 1937 joins Dem conservative bloc against FDR
Copeland, Royal S. 1937 Attaches anti-lynching bill to Interstate Commerce Act, but it is tabled
Copeland, Royal S. 1938 Primary author of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; dies soon after
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