The Bonus March of 1932: Disentangling Myths, Interpretations, and Perceptions

  • 2016

The Bonus March of 1932: Disentangling Myths, Interpretations, and Perceptions

Author:
Robert Renneisen
Abstract:

Historical examinations of the Bonus March have evolved over the years; yet, to this day, no consensus exists regarding the causes and responsibilities for what occurred. This capstone reexamines some of the literature and primary sources with the goal of disentangling the accepted interpretations and presenting a thesis that the historical significance of the Bonus March resulted from a leadership vacuum caused by the poor, inadequate, or absent direction of specific key individuals involved. Many popular myths and inaccuracies found their way into the early historiography of the march. Some have been corrected (if not fully accepted) in more recent histories. However, some of them still permeate both popular and academic histories. Correcting the record and examining those errors will further contribute to a better understanding and interpretation of the Bonus March incident by historians.