Eleanor Roosevelt-conscience of the New Deal and Champion of the dispossessed
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
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.
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.
Relief• Works Progress Administration (WPA)—paid men to build highways, public building, parks, bridges and airports. Also, artist, musicians and actors were hired.• Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)—built dams in the Tennessee Valley to control flooding and provide electric power-radical program-drew criticism
Civil Conservation Corps (CCC)—paid young men to plant trees, build roads, clear forests.
Recovery• National Recovery Act (NRA) –asked businesses to set prices, production limits and wages—very complex-needed “self-sacrifice”
• Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)-passed to help farmers, raised prices, the government bought surplus crops—taxed processors of farm products
Reform• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)- insured bank deposits—restored confidence- Glass Steagall Banking Act• Off the Gold Standard
• Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)- created to oversee the stock market and prevent another collapse
• 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” and from the Left/Liberals- “not doing enough”
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 ecomony.
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
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.