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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Walter A. Payne


In this rather apt description of Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican presidential nominee, two important characteristics of the man stand out: his personal traits and energy and his strength of conviction in fighting for the principles in which he believed. Willkie cannot be regarded a politician in the usual sense; he was a businessman who, because of his convictions, waged a personal war against Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal - a war conducted outside the realm of partisan politics. His successes in the fight with the administration brough Willkie a measure of recognition and aroused the interest of certain Republicans who held similar opinions of the New Deal; his personality and continued expression of his nomination. It is the purpose of this study to analyze the conditions which enabled Willkie to rise from comparative obscurity to become the 1940 G.O.P. standard bearer, presenting in the analysis the Republican campaigns for the nomination, the G.O.P. convention, and the influence of Roosevelt's third term decision and the European war on the selection of the party’s nominee.





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