Wiki: The Business Plot

The Business Plot (also known as The White House Coup) was a political conspiracy (see Congressional Record) in 1933 in the United States. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascistveterans' organization and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler as leader of that organization. In 1934, Butler testified before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the "McCormack-Dickstein Committee") on these claims.[1] No one was prosecuted.

At the time of the incidents, news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a "gigantic hoax".[2] While historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually close to execution, most agree that some sort of "wild scheme" was contemplated and discussed.[3][4][5][6]...

On July 17, 1932, thousands of World War I veterans converged on Washington, D.C., set up tent camps, and demanded immediate payment of bonuses due to them according to the World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 (the original act made the bonuses initially due no earlier than 1925 and no later than 1945). Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant, led this "Bonus Army". The Bonus Army was encouraged by an appearance from retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler; as a popular military figure of the time, Butler had some influence over the veterans. A few days after Butler's arrival, President Herbert Hoover ordered the marchers removed, and U.S. Army cavalry troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur destroyed their camps....

...Some historians have said concerns over the gold standard were also involved; Jules Archer, in The Plot to Seize the White House, wrote that with the end of the gold standard, "conservative financiers were horrified. They viewed a currency not solidly backed by gold as inflationary, undermining both private and business fortunes and leading to national bankruptcy. Roosevelt was damned as a socialist or Communist out to destroy private enterprise by sapping the gold backing of wealth in order to subsidize the poor."[10]...

...During the McCormack–Dickstein Committee hearings, Butler testified that Gerald C. MacGuire[12] attempted to recruit him to lead a coup, promising him an army of 500,000 men for a march on Washington, D.C., and financial backing.[13] Butler testified that the pretext for the coup would be that the president's health was failing.[14]

Despite Butler's support for Roosevelt in the election[7] and his reputation as a strong critic of capitalism,[15] Butler said the plotters felt his good reputation and popularity were vital in attracting support amongst the general public and saw him as easier to manipulate than others.

Though Butler had never spoken to them, Butler implicated several prominent businessmen and veteran leaders as backers of the plot. The committee chose not to publish these allegations because they were hearsay.[16][17]...




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