Eleanor Roosevelt-conscience of the New Deal and Champion of the dispossessed
A shift in African Americans towardthe Democratic Party-The Roosevelt Coalition
“First of all, let me assert my firm belief thatthe only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
The New Deal• The New Deal was not based on a clear strategy shaped by a single philosophy. He was not an intellectual—he was just a practical politician. FDR was willing to try a variety of approaches to see what worked.• Acted like a quarterback- some old progressive ideas as well• But the New Deal did change the role of government. It made the government responsible for managing the economy.• This was the beginning of Big Government
Brain Trust and other Advisers• In shaping this “New Deal” FDR relied on a group of advisers who had assisted him while he was governor of New York, as well as a group of university professors known as the Brain Trust.• The people that he appointed to high government positions were the most diverse in US history—Af. Am., Catholics, Jews and the first Women Frances Perkins, as his Sec. of Labor
First Hundred Days• He pushed through Congress legislation( unprecedented support) in his first hundred days that would try and solve the depression--setting a precedent for all other presidents to follow.
Fire-side Chats• Within the first week of being in office he called for a Bank Holiday—closed all banks. Emergency Banking Relief Act-- ordered the National Treasury Department print millions of dollars to be sent to the banks. He spoke to the American people via the radio and assured them that it was now safe to put their money back into the banks. When the banks opened the day after the speech, deposits far out weighed withdrawals. The banking crisis was over.• http://youtu.be/z9CBpbuV3ok
The New Deal can be classified into 3 categories:• Relief—short term action to help people right immediately• Recovery—measures designed to restore the economy• Reform—measures aimed at remedying or fixing defects• The result was a number of “alphabetical agencies” designed to stimulate the economy.
Financial Recovery Programs• The Emergency Banking Relief Act• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)- guaranteed individual bank deposits• The Home Owners Loan Corp. (HOLC)- provided refinancing of small homes to prevent foreclosures• The Farm Credit Admin.
Relief for the Unemployed• The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)- offered money to states and local governments for soup kitchens and other forms of relief for jobless• Public Works Administration (PWA)-gave money to state and local government to build roads, bridges, dams and other public works
Civil Conservation Corps (CCC)—paidyoung men to plant trees, build roads, clear forests on Federal lands.
• Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)—built dams in the Tennessee Valley to control flooding and provide electric power-radical program-drew criticism—a huge experiment in public planning and regional development
Industrial Recovery• National Recovery Act (NRA) –asked businesses to set prices, production limits and wages—very complex-needed “self-sacrifice”
NRA• The law gave workers the right to organize and bargain collectively.• It set codes for wages, hours of work, levels of production and prices of finished goods.• It operated for 2 years before the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional
• Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)-passed to help farmers, raised prices, the government bought surplus crops—taxed processors of farm products• Later it was declared unconstitutional
• Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)- created to oversee the stock market and prevent another collapse
Reform• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)- insured bank deposits—restored confidence- Glass Steagall Banking Act• Off the Gold Standard
The Second New Deal• FDR’s first 2 years in office were largely focused on recovery. After mid term elections swept in more Democratic victories, he perceived this as a mandate to seek another round of laws and programs concentrated on the other two R’s- relief and reform
More ReliefWorks Progress Administration (WPA)-billions was spent on employing over 3.4 million people with jobs. They built roads, bridges, airports and public buildings. Also the WPA employed artists, writers and actors
Reform• National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act— replaced the labor provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act after that law was declared unconstitutional. This act guaranteed a worker’s right to join a union.
• Social Security Act—provided workers unemployment insurance, old age pensions, and death benefits. It was the most important act of the New Deal.
A Day for Every Demagogue• FDR got criticism from the Right/Conservatives— “doing too much—a social welfare state” -being a Traitor to your Class• and from the Left/Liberals- “not doing enough”—not enough for the ethnic minorities, women and the elderely
Father Charles Coughlin• supported FDR’s "New Deal“, but within two years, Coughlins steadfast support turned to dedicated disdain--Eventually, he became known as simply "anti-government”, "anti- American“ and anti-semitic.
Dr. Francis E. Townsend• Proposed giving $200 per month to older citizen with the understanding that it had to be spent within 30 days—believed it would stimulate the economy.
Huey “Kingfish” Long• Politician from Louisiana-preached his “Share the Wealth” program- his way of solving the issue of poverty and homelessness, by redistributing the nation’s wealth from the wealthiest to all those underneath them--$5000 for every family
Election of 1936 20th Amendment-shorten lame• duck period
Court-Reorganization Plan• The Conservative decisions of the Supreme Court proved to be the most frustrating for FDR. The Court killed both the NRA and AAA.• FDR decided to put an end to the obstacles posed by the Court• He proposed to appoint to the Court an additional justice fore each current justice who was older than a certain age (70.5). It would have allowed Roosevelt to add up to 6 more justices to the Court—of the Liberal persuasion
• Criticism comes from both sides—the makings of a dictator-tampering with the system of Checks and Balances• He did not back down
• Ironically, while FDR was fighting to “pack” the Court, several Justices were backing off of their former resistance to some of his programs.• And also several justices retired during his second term, enabling him to appoint several judges thereby ensuring the court support of his programs
Last Phase of the New Deal• Fair Labor Standards Act—final victory for labor, represented the last major reform of the New Deal—• A minimum wage (40 cents an hour)• 40 hour work week• Child labor restriction of 16
John Maynard Keynes• Keynesian—an economic theory that calls for “planned deficit spending.”• Vast government spending in times of recession-then when economy recovers, the government should reduce spending.