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Selected Works of Henry A. Wallace

Introduction  |   Essay  |   Documents  |   Resources

The Farm Crisis
A speech delivered by radio, March 10, 1933.

Appointed Secretary of Agriculture on March 4, 1933, Wallace immediately met with farm leaders to address the crisis in agriculture. In this radio address, the first of his public career, he recommends that the Nation "adjust downward our surplus supplies until domestic and foreign markets can be restored." (source)
A Declaration of Interdependence
A speech delivered by radio, May 13, 1933.

In this radio address Wallace explains that the newly created Agricultural Adjustment Act is meant to be "not an isolated advance in a restricted sector [but] ... part of a large attack on the whole problem of depression." (source)
The Cotton Plow-Up
A speech delivered by radio, August 21, 1933.

During the first year of the AAA Wallace presided over the difficult task of plowing under a large portion of the cotton crop already under cultivation in an effort to stabilize cotton prices. To prevent such instances from occurring again, Wallace urges nationwide planning, rather than the "random expansion of farm production, conducted without regard to human values." (source)
The Engineering-Scientific Approach
A paper delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Boston, December 29, 1933.

Wallace challenges scientists and engineers to better study the relationship between their work and the economic and social world. "Science and engineering will destroy themselves and the civilization of which they are a part unless there is built up a consciousness which is as real and definite in meeting social problems as the engineer displays when he builds his bridge." (source)
America Must Choose
An excerpt from Wallace's 1934 pamphlet America Must Choose.

In the areas of trade, production, and planning, Wallace suggests that there are at least three paths American might take: "internationalism, nationalism and a planned middle course." (source)
Seminar in Economics
Transcript from a seminar lecture given at the Iowa State College at Ames, October, 1935.

In this extemporaneous address Wallace discusses the transition from an economics of supply and demand to one based on co-operative principles. "As to what the economic laws are for a co-operative commonwealth as distinct from a competitive commonwealth, none of us knows so very well." (source)
Pigs and Pig Iron
A speech delivered November 12, 1935.

One of the most controversial episodes in the early AAA was the 1933 destruction of millions of little pigs in an effort to stabilize pork prices. In this speech Wallace outlines the economics of over-production. "People who believe that we ordered the destruction of food are merely the victims of their prejudices and the misinformation that has been fed to them by interested persons." (source)
Soil and the General Welfare
Chapter VIII of Wallace's Whose Constitution?, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1936.

Wallace passionately argues for the conservation and careful stewardship of natural resources. "Several species of wild life have completely disappeared, others have been greatly reduced, and fish cannot live in many of our streams because of pollution. We have wastefully slashed down our forests and have exploited our oil and mineral resources." (source)
Technology, Corporations and the General Welfare
A series of three lectures delivered at the University of North Carolina and published in pamphlet form as Technology, Corporations and the General Welfare.

In a series of three speeches, Wallace discusses the impact of technology, corporations, and government on agricultural issues and the general welfare. "Economic democracy means that the various economic groups must have equality of bargaining power. But going along with this right, there is also the duty of serving the general welfare." (source)
The Genetic Basis of Democracy
A speech delivered on February 12, 1939.

Attacking the genetic basis to Hitler's theories of a master race, Wallace presents to his audience a broader question: "Under what conditions will the scientist deny the truth and pervert his science to serve the slogans of tyranny?" (source)
The Hard Choice
Excerpted for Wallace's The American Choice (1940)

Wallace poses America's hard choice between the regimented economy of Hitler's New Order, America's traditional unregulated system, or the regulated economy of New Deal. "Freedom in a grown-up world is different from freedom in a pioneer world. As a nation grows and matures, the traffic inevitably gets denser, and you need more traffic lights." (source)
The War at Our Feet
An article published in Survey Graphic, February 1, 1940.

Wallace calls for strong soil and water conservation measures. "Wise land use is simply an adaptation of nature's conservation and flood control methods to the conditions of advanced cultivation." (source)
The Strength and Quietness of Grass
A speech delivered by radio on June 21, 1940.

In one of his last addresses while serving as Secretary of Agriculture, Wallace delivers a short soliloquy on the place of grass in American agriculture. "I believe that the quietness and strength of grass should be, must be, permanently a part of our agriculture if this nation is to have the strength it will need in the future." (source)
Food, Farmers, and Fundamentals
An article published in Survey Graphic, July, 1941.

Wallace stresses the need for considering the nutritional needs of the country when considering agricultural planning and production: "we must shift our agriculture more and more toward producing those foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and the right kind of proteins." (source)
Foundations of the Peace
A article written for the Atlantic Monthly just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Wallace argues that while we must plan for the future peace as we prosecute the war against the Axis powers: "the daily actions being taken now by both Britain and ourselves are determining to a large extent the kind of postwar world we can have later on." (source)
The Price of Free World Victory
A speech delivered to the Free World Association, New York City, May 8, 1942.

Wallace's "Century of the Common Man" speech. Calling the present conflict "a fight between a slave world and a free world," he urges that the Four Freedoms must be internationalized. "I say that the century on which we are entering—the century which will come out of this war—can be and must be the century of the common man." (source)
World Organization
Speech delivered by radio on the 86th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson's birth, December 28, 1942.

Wallace calls for the creation of a permanent United Nations. "The task of our generation—the generation which President Roosevelt once said has a "rendezvous with destiny"—is so to organize human affairs that no Adolf Hitler, no power-hungry warmongers, whatever their nationality, can ever again plunge the whole world into war and bloodshed." (source)
Business Measures
An article from American Magazine, March, 1943.

Recognizing the role business must play in the post-war international economy, Wallace suggests that there may be need for "a United Nations investment corporation, under whose direction public and private capital can be put to work for worldwide reconstruction." (source)
America Tomorrow
A speech delivered in Detroit on July 25, 1943.

In this speech delivered before Detroit, Michigan, labor leaders, Wallace announces that the goals of the New Deal must be taken up again, both in the United States and internationally. Included among these initiatives is a call for Civil Rights: "We cannot plead for equality of opportunity for peoples everywhere and overlook the denial of the right to vote for millions of our own people." (source)
We Must Save Free Enterprise
An article published in the Saturday Evening Post, October 23, 1943.

Wallace writes that more must be done to support the small businessman, who had "witnessed and felt the impact of war more keenly than any other section of the American economy." (source) "In this task there are many things that government can do to stimulate free enterprise by positive action while safeguarding our heritage of natural resources." (source)
Jackson Day
A speech delivered on January 22, 1944.

Jackson Day, an annual Democratic Party political event, provides Wallace an opportunity to renew his support for the continuation of the New Deal. "The New Deal is not dead. If it were dead the Democratic party would be dead, and well dead." (source)
What America Wants
Delivered at Los Angeles on Friday, February 4, 1944

The first of three speeches on the subject of "America Tomorrow," Wallace addresses the hopes and wishes of workers, farmers, and small businessmen, and warns the Big Three—Big Business, Big Labor and Big Agriculture— that "if they struggle to grab federal power for monopolistic purposes [they] are certain to come into serious conflict unless they recognize the superior claims of the general welfare of the common man." (source)
What America Can Have
Delivered at San Francisco on Monday, February 7 1944

America can create a postwar world with better health, modern housing, rural electrification, improved agriculture, and better education for its citizens. "I say to the people of America that we will win the peace only if we keep the people of our country at work—in freedom, in the increased production of goods that promote the public welfare and give us an opportunity to enjoy life and educate our children." (source)
America Can Get It
Delivered at Seattle on Wednesday, February 9, 1944

Wallace lists some policy initiatives that America must put into effect if it is to achieve postwar prosperity, including increased consumer purchasing power, expanded world trade, and tax reforms to encourage economic growth. "The people, standing for just one thing, namely "the maximum use of all our resources in the service of the general welfare," must guide Congress to stand for that objective..." (source)
The Danger of American Fascism
An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.

Asked by the New York Times to discuss American Fascism, Wallace takes a broad view, including those who "claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest." (source)
Reconversion Days
Speech delivered before the Political Action Committee of the CIO, New York City, January 15, 1944.

Wallace remarks on the transformation of the United States from peacetime to wartime and cautions that conversion to a peacetime economy must meet the needs of everyone. "There must be public responsibility in the reconversion. Reconversion must not be made a grab-bag for monopoly." (source)
Government Service the Supreme Duty
Speech delivered before a meeting sponsored by the Independent Voters Committee of the Arts and Sciences for Roosevelt, Madison Square Garden, New York City, September 21, 1944.

Speaking before the liberal Independent Voters Committee of the Arts and Sciences, Wallace campaigns for Roosevelt's fourth term, in which he had been dropped from the ticket in favor of Harry Truman. Explaining what liberalism means to him, Wallace says "Government service must be the supreme duty when the need is determined. There can be no slackers as we fight for the common man in his pursuit of the richer life." (source)
Transform Liberal Words Into Concrete Action
Speech delivered at testimonial dinner under the auspices of the Union for Democratic Action and The New Republic, January 29, 1945.

Wallace discusses some of the stakes involved in the Senate battle over his confirmation as Secretary of Commerce, claiming that the progressive wing of the Democratic party was under attack. "The strategy of the enemy is to break the Democratic party in two. They want to push you and me into the futility of a third party. I don't think we shall have to have a third party." (source)
Industrialization of the World
A speech delivered before The Institute of World Affairs, New York City, May 24, 1945.

Wallace proposes the use of "seed" capital jump-start the world economy, devastated by recent war. "The one way in which the United States can effectively assist in guaranteeing the long-time peace of the world is by helping to promote economic conditions everywhere that will favor continuous growth of freedom and equality in all the lands." (source)
The Way To Peace
A speech delivered before a meeting under the joint auspices of the National Citizens Political Action Committee and the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, New York, N.Y., September 12, 1946.

Wallace's Madison Square Garden speech, in which he publicly stated his opposition to the Truman get-tough approach to the Soviet Union, led to Wallace's dismissal as Secretary of Commerce by President Truman. Wallace had argued that "the tougher we get, the tougher the Russians will get." (source)
"I Shall Run in 1948"
A speech delivered over the Mutual Broadcasting System, Chicago, Illinois, December 29, 1947.

Wallace announces that he will run as an independent candidate for president in 1948. "Peace and abundance mean so much to me that I have said at a dozen press conferences and in many speeches when asked about a third party, 'if the Democratic party continues to be a party of war and depression, I will see to it that the people have a chance to vote for peace and prosperity.'" (source)
My Commitments
Progressive Party Candidate for President of the United States Acceptance Speech, Philadelphia, Pa., July, 24, 1948.

In his acceptance speech as the Progressive Party candidate for president, Wallace blasts the Democratic Party for their betrayal of the principles of the New Deal. "In marched the generals—and out went the men who had built the TVA and the Grand Coulee, the men who had planned social security and built Federal housing, the men who had dug the farmer out of the dust bowl and the workman out of the sweatshop." (source)
Tell the People Who We Are
Speech delivered at Progressive Party Rally, New York, N. Y., September 10, 1948.

Speaking after his recent campaign tour of the Southern states, Wallace states his commitment to Civil Rights: "the most important job in maintaining the peace is the job of conquering hate here at home, the job of protecting the civil rights of all Americans." (source)

Introduction  |   Essay  |   Documents  |   Resources

Selected Works of Henry A. Wallace

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