Gathering Doubts: The Congressional Years (1926-1933)
Although James M. Beck found in the Solicitor Generalship and in his return to private practice no real relief from the disturbing tendencies of modern American society, he did not succumb to resigned acceptance. From 1927 on as a Congressman from Philadelphia he fought strenuously for his principles of constitutionalism, individualism, and laissez-faire.
Much of his time and effort during the late 1920's and early 1930's were devoted to the attack against prohibition, in which he was the leading congressional spokesman. With a fine political instinct, be fixed upon this issue as particularly congenial to the expression of his individualistic views, and as in the case of the pro-Allied movement in the First World War, he finally saw his efforts crowned with success. But the essentially peripheral nature of the prohibition controversy became apparent in the early years of the 1930's as the Great Depression descended upon America, and he found his conservative ideology subjected to its most stringent challenge.
LESS than a year after his 1925 resignation as Solicitor General, Beck returned to political controversy. But the time offered no issues comparable in scope to the World War or the League of Nations, and he was limited to so modest a cause as