HOUSING REFORM & SOCIAL SECURITYThe New Deal had meanwhile framed sturdy new policies for housing construction.Describe the following federal programs:* Federal Housing Administration (FHA)* U.S. Housing Authority (USHA)* Social Security Act (1935)
A NEW DEAL for UNSKILLED LABOR When the Supreme Court axed the blue eagle of the NRA, a Congress sympathetic to labor unions undertook to fill the vacuum. The fruit of its labor was the Wagner, or National Labor Relations Act of 1935 – explain the components of this legislation.
Under the encouragement of a highly sympathetic National Labor Relations board, a hostof unskilled workers began to organize themselves into effective unions. The leader ofthis drive was John Lewis. He succeeded in forming the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) within the ranks of the skilled-craft American Federation of Labor. What was the reaction of skilled workers? How did the CIO respond?
The CIO, undaunted, moved on a concerted scale into the huge car industry. Late in 1936the workers resorted to a revolutionary technique known as the sit-down strike. Describethe circumstances. What was the outcome?
ROOSEVELT’S “CODDLING” of LABORUnskilled labor now pressed their advantage despite fierce resistance from businessowners, especially smaller ones. A better deal for labor continued when Congress passedthe Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) – explain the major provisions. And in later NewDeal days, labor unionization flourished. Why did FDR encourage unionization? And didthe two major labor unions always get along?
LANDON CHALLENGES “the CHAMP” in 1936As the presidential campaign of 1936 neared, the New Dealers were on top of the world. They hadachieved considerable progress. The exultant Democrats renominated FDR on a platform squarelyendorsing the New Deal.The Republicans were hard pressed to find someone to feed to the “champ.” They finally settled onGov. Alfred Landon of Kansas. Describe his profile and his party’s platform.
FDR won in a landslide and Congressremained in Democratic control.Explain how the election resultsbore out Republican charges ofclass warfare.And why did FDR win by such alarge margin?
NINE OLD MEN on the SUPREME COURTFlushed with victory, FDR interpreted his reelection as a mandate to continue New Dealreforms. But in his eyes the cloistered old men on the supreme bench stood stubbornly inthe pathway of progress. What alarmed FDR about the Court? Had he appointed any of the justices? And what was FDR’s biggest fear?
Explain FDR’s Court scheme. What was the reaction (public; congressional) to hisscheme? How did FDR both “win” and “lose” with his scheme?
THE TWILIGHT of the NEW DEALFDR’s first term did not banish the depression. Unemployment stubbornly persisted in 1936 at 15%,down from the grim 25% in 1933.
Despite the inventiveness of New Deal programs and the billions of dollars in “pump-priming,” recovery had been dishearteningly modest, though the country seemed to beinching its way back to economic health. Then in 1937 the economy took another sharpdownturn, a surprisingly severe depression-within-the-depression that the president’scritics dubbed the “Roosevelt recession.”
Only at this late date did FDR deliberately embrace the recommendations of Britisheconomist John Maynard Keynes. Explain “Keynesianism” Criticism of New Dealers wasincreasing in 1937. What actions was Congress taking to regulate New Dealers?Thus, clearly by 1938, the New Deal lost most of its early momentum. The internationalcrisis, beginning in 1938-39, shifted public attention away from domestic reform and nodoubt took the heat off FDR.
NEW DEAL or RAW DEAL?Foes of the New Deal condemned its allegedwaste, incompetence, confusion, contradictions, and cross-purposes, as well as thechiseling and graft in the alphabet agencies – “alphabet soup,” sneered Al Smith. Identify& describe the primary areas of criticism.
New Dealers staunchly defendedtheir record.Describe their arguments thattheir efforts were worthy.
FDR’s BALANCE SHEETRoosevelt, like Jefferson, provided bold reform without bloody revolution – a real feat,given the desperate times. Choosing the middle road, he was Hamiltonian in his espousalof big govt., but Jeffersonian in his concern for the “forgotten man.” And he helpedpreserve democracy in America in a time when democracies abroad were disappearingaround the world.