The Business Plot (also called The White House Putsch) was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States to overthrow the center-left social-democratic government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install a right-wing fascist dictator. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler asserted that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow Roosevelt. In 1934, Butler testified under oath before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the "McCormack–Dickstein Committee") on these revelations. Interestingly enough, no one was prosecuted.
At the time of the incidents, most major news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a "gigantic hoax". 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.
- Brockell, Gillian (January 13, 2021). "Wealthy bankers and businessmen plotted to overthrow FDR. A retired general foiled it". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- NPR interview with Sally Denton, author of the book: When The Bankers Plotted To Overthrow FDR
- Schlesinger, p. 85
- "Credulity Unlimited". The New York Times. November 22, 1934.
- Burk, Robert F. (1990). The Corporate State and the Broker State: The Du Ponts and American National Politics, 1925–1940. Harvard University Press.
- Schmidt p. 226, 228, 229, 230
- Fox (2007). The Clarks of Cooperstown. Knopf.
- Schlesinger, p. 83