CH_21_The New Deal


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CH_21_The New Deal

  1. 1. Chapter 21
  2. 2. Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)  Born to wealth and privilege; moderate successful politician before he was crippled by polio in 1921  Overcame the handicap and elected governor of NY; took almost absolute control of the Democratic party  Infinite charm, charisma, a good speaker, and a total hardcore politician
  3. 3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)  Easily defeats Hoover in 1932 by assembling southern/western farmers, industrial workers, immigrants, and Catholics against the Republican Party  Took the oath of office when the country was virtually at “rock bottom” psychologically; his primary goal was to regain their confidence in the government  FDR campaigned for fixing the country, but was vague and probably didn’t have a full plan for what he was going to do  He surrounded himself with expert advisors for virtually all aspects of government
  4. 4. The First New Deal  The First Hundred Days  Exceptional in the amount of legislation he got passed  CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)  FERA (Federal Emergency Relief Administration)  CWA (Civil Works Administration)  A total of 15 major laws
  5. 5. The First New Deal  In the first 3 months, FDR saves the banking system from collapse  Declares a bank holiday (Hoover thought of it, but FDR convinced him it wouldn’t work so he could use it for his own benefit)  Temporarily halts all banking operations and calls Congress into session to pass the Emergency Banking Act  Passage of federal insurance of bank accounts (FDIC)  Slowly gets America off the gold standard
  6. 6. The First New Deal  FDR’s goal was not to nationalize the economy (think back to the fears of the anti-Federalists)  All he was after was reforming and restoring the US to its former glory in the early 1920s  FDR as the master politician used “fireside chats” to attempt to personally relate to Americans; making them feel like someone in government cared individually for him
  7. 7. The First New Deal  FDR saw the New Deal as an alternative to socialism and the conservative/totalitarian responses to the global economic crisis in Europe  FDR’s first administration was noted for conservation, regional planning, and development of public power sources (Tennessee Valley Authority)  After the first Hundred Days, FDR set his sights on long term economic recovery as his flurry of legislation provided temporarily relief
  8. 8. The First New Deal  FDR wanted to put “first things first”; deal with domestic issues and worry about foreign policy later; however, he did extend recognition to the Soviet Union, easing some tensions left over from WWI  Kept the Good Neighbor Policy in Latin America, but Mexico tested him numerous times
  9. 9. National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)  The centerpiece of FDR’s plan for beating the Depression  Allowed FDR to gain control of industry and business within the US to permit cartels and monopolies to operate more freely to encourage and stimulate the economy  This is just one aspect of how FDR became the most powerful figure in the Western world during the 1930s; he took Article 2 of the Constitution to new extremes
  10. 10. National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)  NRA set standards for production, prices, and wages in the textile, steel, mining, and auto industries  This is almost a temporarily nullification of all the Progressive era legislation that battled corporate trusts
  11. 11. Agriculture’s New Deal  The entire South and Great Plains region had been devastated by the “Dust Bowl”; tenants and sharecroppers sought help from the federal government and even made their own union
  12. 12. Agriculture’s New Deal  Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA); agricultural problems were addressed and helped landowners, but did nothing for tenants and sharecroppers  FDR didn’t want to touch that subject as he was fearful that he would lose support from those more conservative because he it might look like he was being supportive of black/minority farmers  AAA helped raise farm prices and incomes for larger farms; set quotas for major crops and paid farmers not to plant more than needed
  13. 13. The New Deal and Housing  Home ownership was becoming a mark of respectability, but the Depression had caused many foreclosures and was devastating the housing industry  Hoover’s administration established a federally backed bank to issue home loans
  14. 14. The New Deal and Housing  FDR quickly moved to protect homeowners from foreclosures and stimulate new construction  Home Owners Loan Corporation ○ Purpose was to refinance homes to prevent foreclosures; amortized shorter loans to ones with longer time periods (20 to 30 years)  Federal Housing Administration ○ Improve housing standards and conditions; find funding for homeowners
  15. 15. Labor and Critics of the New Deal  Earliest critics were members of the American Liberty League; attempted to unseat Democrats in the 1934 election by scare tactics of big government controlling almost all facets of American life  Huey Long was FDR’s biggest challenge and critic; Governor of Louisiana  Pushed a radical populist/socialistic proposal to make “every man a king” through radical redistribution of the nation’s wealth  He became so popular among FDR’s constituents that he seemed to be a real threat to run against FDR as an independent candidate, but he was assassinated in 1935
  16. 16. Labor and Critics of the New Deal  Father Charles Coughlin; the ‘Radio Priest’ who pushed for free silver wanted to nationalize banks; sort of a kickback to William Jennings Bryan; had a tenuous relationship with Huey Long, saw him as a pseudo-political adversary  Both Coughlin and Long had one thing in common; they both thought that FDR was doing a terrible job
  17. 17. Labor and Critics of the New Deal  Labor Movements  Previous depressions in the 1870s and 1890s had devastated the labor movements  FDR’s election helped to boost morale for labor unions; really pushing for recognition and support with the leadership of fairly militant individuals  Explosion of strikes in 1934 shook FDR’s connection with labor as radical ideas and connections with communism/socialism influenced labor movements  Labor’s goal was simple: fairer, freer, more equal America
  18. 18. Labor and Critics of the New Deal  Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)  Labor upheaval in 1934 posed a challenge to the leadership of the American Federation League (AFL)  A walkout led by John Lewis led to the formation of the CIO  CIO contended that the Depression was caused by the imbalance of wealth and income in the nation  By 1940, union membership was close to 9 million
  19. 19. The Second New Deal  1935 and 1936 were trying times for FDR as his inability to bring about full recovery of the economy led more to attack him and his policies  His advisors argued that he should move further to the left in order to quell the radicals  To make matters worse, Americans were realizing “first things first” wasn’t the only issue; fascism in Europe was demanding a president that would respond appropriately for the US
  20. 20. The Second New Deal  The election of 1936 was a total landslide; one of the most one-sided elections in American history; greatly boosted FDR’s esteem for himself, self-affirmation  African Americans came over in droves to support the Democratic party due to the inclusion of blacks in New Deal policies; also social and political recognition of black leaders
  21. 21. The Second New Deal  The Second New Deal had one goal in mind: economic security  Social Security Act of 1935 – what we’re still dealing with today; national pension fund, unemployment insurance; the nation’s most expensive domestic program today; led to the idea of the “American Welfare State”  Critics argued (and still argue today) that the system will eventually kill itself by too few people being able to collect (advanced democracy socialist welfare; too many collecting and not enough young people working; our baby boom in the late 1940s is causing issues for the program today)
  22. 22. The Second New Deal  The Second New Deal had one goal in mind: economic security  FDR knew it wasn’t perfect, but it was the best he could hope for at the time  However, this is a totally dramatic and verging on radical departure from the traditional role of government in the US  FDR felt the best way to make money for the program was to tax workers and employers
  23. 23. The Second New Deal  Works Progress Administration (WPA)  Led by Harry Hopkins; changed the physical face of the US  Purpose was to create “jobs, jobs, jobs!!” according to Hopkins  Notably known for the (pre-oral history) interviews with former slaves; some of the earliest oral history work and some of it is very good research material
  24. 24. FDR and Foreign Policy  Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy posed a serious threat to the peace of Europe during the 1930s  As they became more belligerent, Americans became more worried, wanted some type of response from FDR  Most Americans preferred to declare neutrality (there’s enough problems at home; all we need now is to get back into another war)
  25. 25. FDR and Foreign Policy  Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1936  Civil War in Spain contributed to divisions within the United States; Americans were choosing sides, but the government remained neutral  America was forced again to remain neutral in 1938 as Nazi Germany grew to a greater menace, especially after Hitler began systematically targeting Jews in 1938
  26. 26. FDR and the Court Packing Incident  FDR was growing tired of the Supreme Court attempting to strike down his New Deal laws (executive branch trying to dominate the judicial branch)  He asked Congress to enlarge the SC because he thought that the workload was too much for the old justices, but he was really trying to pack the court with like-minded people to get his laws out of the muddy waters of constitutionality
  27. 27. FDR and the Court Packing Incident  Public opposition quickly caused him to back down and give up on the idea (he had been given so much control, and he was trying anything to make the executive branch dominant over the other two)  The public (and Republicans) were screaming that he was going to be the third major world dictator  However, after the incident, the SC had a new willingness to accommodate his New Deal polices
  28. 28. Minorities in the New Deal Era  Women  Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the role of the first lady; acted as a model for an activist woman  However, women at large saw their position and rights decline; losing jobs at faster rates than men; almost no New Deal legislation helped them  Indians  Gained greater control over their own rights by the Indian Recognition Act of 1934
  29. 29. Minorities in the New Deal Era  Blacks  Still subject to lynching, denial of rights by poll taxes; racism still very prevalent in the south ○ Sundown Towns; Vidor, Texas; Comanche County  The “Southern Veto” helped affirm the right to a welfare state entitled to middle class or above, white Americans only  The SSA Act denied coverage to agricultural and domestic workers (blacks and poor whites)
  30. 30. Minorities in the New Deal Era  Blacks were easily the hardest hit by the Depression; survival in general was their rallying cry  FDR did appoint a number of blacks to federal appointments  Federal employment practices discriminated on the basis of race  Blacks would finally win inclusion in New Deal programs in the 1960s through Johnson’s Great Society program
  31. 31. The End of the New Deal Era  After FDR’s court packing incident and his lack of funding support for his own New Deal programs in 1936, Republicans gained enough support to win seats in Congress  FDR could no longer dominate Congress; his attempts to unseat conservative Democrats and Republicans failed
  32. 32. The End of the New Deal Era  Roosevelt was blamed for the severe economic slump in 1937; he had to resort to huge government spending again  By the end of 1938, the Republican party was revived and a challenge to FDR  The Depression doesn’t end here, it takes another devastating world war to do that.