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THE NEW DEAL: 19331941

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Title: THE NEW DEAL: 19331941


1
THE NEW DEAL 1933-1941
  • The Hundred Days
  • by the date of Roosevelts inauguration, the
    disintegration of the banking system convinced
    conservatives and radicals alike of the necessity
    for government intervention
  • during the first hundred days of Roosevelts
    presidency, Congress passed an impressive body of
    legislation

2
  • on March 5, 1933, the president declared a bank
    holiday
  • legislation of the Hundred Days created the
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),
    forced the separation of investment and
    commercial banking, extended the power of the
    Federal Reserve Board, established the Home
    Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), and regulated the
    securities exchange

3
  • Roosevelt had no comprehensive plan of action
    rather he employed an ad hoc approach, which
    sometimes resulted in contradictory policies
  • although most measures of the Hundred Days were
    designed to stimulate the economy, the Economy
    Act reduced salaries of federal employees and cut
    veterans benefits

4
  • The National Recovery Administration (NRA)
  • the problems of unemployment and industrial
    stagnation received high priority during the
    Hundred Days
  • Congress appropriated 500 million for aid to the
    needy
  • the newly created Civilian Conservation Corp
    (CCC) employed tens of thousands of young men

5
  • the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), a
    controversial piece of legislation, created the
    Public Works Administration (PWA), allowed
    manufacturers to establish price and production
    limits, established a minimum wage and maximum
    hours, and guaranteed labor the right to bargain
    collectively
  • a variant on the idea of the corporate state, the
    NIRA envisaged a system of industrywide
    organizations of capitalists and workers
    (supervised by government) that would resolve
    conflicts internally

6
  • the National Recovery Administration (NRA),
    created by the NIRA, oversaw the drafting and
    operation of business codes
  • the NIRA failed to end the depression
  • dominant producers in each industry supervised
    the drafting and operation of the codes
  • they used their power to raise prices and limit
    production rather than to hire more workers and
    increase output

7
  • even though the NIRA provided protection for
    collective bargaining, the conservative and
    craft-oriented AFL displayed little enthusiasm
    for enrolling unskilled workers on an
    industry-wide basis
  • John Lewis and other labor leaders created an
    alternative to the AFL by establishing the
    Congress of Industrial Organizations, formed to
    organize workers on an industry-wide basis
    without regard to craft

8
  • The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)
  • the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 combined
    compulsory production limitations with government
    subsidization of staple farm commodities
  • in effect, the AAA paid farmers to produce less
  • while some farmers benefited, others,
    particularly sharecroppers and tenant farmers,
    did not

9
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act of 1933
    created a board authorized to construct dams,
    power plants, and transmission lines, as well as
    to market electrical power to individuals and
    communities
  • the TVA also provided a yardstick for
    evaluating the rates and efficiency of private
    power companies
  • in addition, the TVA engaged in flood control,
    soil conservation, and reforestation projects

10
  • the TVA never became the comprehensive regional
    planning organization some of its sponsors
    intended it did improve the standard of living
    for many in the valley

11
  • The New Deal Spirit
  • Roosevelt infused his administration with a much
    needed wave of optimism
  • Roosevelts receptiveness to new ideas and the
    increased New Deal bureaucracies drew academics
    and professionals into government service
  • the New Deal was never a clearly stated
    ideological movement
  • it drew heavily on populism, Theodore Roosevelts
    New Nationalism, and the Wilsonian tradition

12
  • Washington became a battleground for special
    interests
  • William Leuchtenberg described the New Deal as
    interest-group democracy
  • the New Deal gave interest groups other than big
    business a voice in Washington
  • on the other hand, it slighted the unorganized
    majority

13
  • The Unemployed
  • in 1934, at least 9 million Americans were still
    unemployed, hundreds of thousands of whom were in
    desperate need
  • nevertheless, the Democrats increased their
    majorities in Congress
  • Roosevelts unemployment policies accounted, at
    least in part, for Democratic successes at the
    polls
  • Roosevelt appointed Harry L. Hopkins to head the
    Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in
    1933

14
  • Hopkins insisted that the unemployed needed jobs,
    not handouts
  • in November 1933, he persuaded Roosevelt to
    create the Civil Works Administration (CWA)
  • the CWA employed millions on public works
    projects
  • the cost of the CWA frightened Roosevelt, who
    soon abolished it
  • in 1935, Roosevelt put Hopkins in charge of the
    new Works Progress Administration (WPA)

15
  • in spite of these efforts, at no time during the
    depression did unemployment fall below 10 percent
    of the total work force
  • Roosevelts fear of deficit spending meant that
    many New Deal measures did not provide sufficient
    stimulus to the economy

16
  • Literature in the Depression
  • John Dos Passos published his harshly
    anticapitalist and deeply pessimistic trilogy,
    U.S.A., between 1930 and 1936
  • John Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
    perhaps best portrayed the desperate plight of
    Americas poor
  • Thomas Wolfes autobiographical novels such as
    Look Homeward Angel (1929) and You Cant Go Home
    Again (1940) offered a stark and vivid view of
    the confusion of urban life and the impact of
    hard times

17
  • William Faulkner wrote vividly of southern
    poverty, pride, and racial problems in his novels
  • between 1929 and 1932, he published The Sound and
    the Fury, Light in August, As I Lay Dying, and
    Sanctuary

18
  • The Extremists Long, Coughlin, Townsend
  • Roosevelts moderation provoked extremists on
    both the left and right
  • the most formidable was the Kingfish, Huey
    Long, a senator from Louisiana
  • although he never challenged white supremacy, the
    plight of all poor people concerned him
  • after initially supporting Roosevelt, Long split
    from the administration and introduced his Share
    Our Wealth plan, intended to redistribute the
    nations wealth

19
  • less powerful than Long but more widely
    influential was Father Charles E. Coughlin, the
    Radio Priest
  • Coughlin urged currency inflation and attacked
    the alleged sympathy for communists and Jews
    within Roosevelts administration
  • Coughlins program resembled fascism more than
    anything else

20
  • Dr. Francis E. Townsend proposed old-age
    revolving pensions, which would give 200 per
    month to the nations elderly on the conditions
    that they not hold jobs and that they spend the
    money within thirty days
  • the collective threat of these radical reformers
    forced FDR to adopt a bolder approach toward
    solving the problems of the depression

21
  • The Second New Deal
  • despite Roosevelts efforts, the depression
    continued unabated
  • in the spring of 1935, he launched the Second New
    Deal
  • the Wagner Act (1935) ensured the right of labor
    to collective bargaining and prohibited employers
    from interfering with union organizational
    activities

22
  • the Social Security Act (1935) established a
    federal system of old-age pensions and
    unemployment insurance
  • the Rural Electric Administration (REA) brought
    electric power to rural areas
  • the Wealth Tax (1935) raised taxes on large
    incomes, estates, and gifts
  • critics worried that the New Deal restricted
    liberty
  • the cost also alarmed them

23
  • by 1936, some members of the administration had
    fallen under the influence of John Maynard
    Keynes, who advocated deficit spending to
    stimulate consumption
  • Roosevelt never accepted Keyness theories, but
    the imperatives of the depression forced him to
    increase spending beyond the governments income

24
  • The Election of 1936
  • the election of 1936 matched Governor Alfred M.
    Landon of Kansas and Roosevelt
  • although Landon represented moderate wing of
    Republican party, his campaign was hampered by
    reactionary views of some of his supporters
  • Congressman William Lemke of North Dakota ran on
    the Union party ticket, a coalition of extremist
    groups. Roosevelt won easily, carrying every
    state except Maine and Vermont
  • Democrats also made large gains in city and state
    elections

25
  • Roosevelt Tries to Undermine the Supreme Court
  • the conservative majority in the Supreme Court
    declared several major New Deal programs
    unconstitutional
  • by 1937, all of the major measures of the Second
    New Deal appeared doomed
  • Roosevelt responded by announcing a proposal to
    increase the number of sitting justices, a thinly
    disguised attempt to stack the Court with his own
    appointees
  • Roosevelt severely misjudged the opposition to
    the plan

26
  • Congress and public strenuously objected to his
    tampering with system of checks and balances
  • the president eventually yielded to pressure and
    withdrew his plan
  • alarmed by the attack on the Court, two justices
    changed their positions and voted to uphold New
    Deal legislation
  • moreover, death and retirement created enough
    vacancies on the Court to allow Roosevelt to
    appoint a large pro-New Deal majority
  • nevertheless, Roosevelts personal and political
    prestige suffered from the affair

27
  • The New Deal Winds Down
  • the Court battle marked the beginning of the end
    of the New Deal
  • a series of bitter strikes, starting in 1937,
    alarmed the public
  • in June 1937, FDR responded to a moderate
    increase in economic conditions by curtailing
    government expenditures
  • the resulting Roosevelt Recession included a
    downturn in the stock market, rising
    unemployment, and declining industrial output

28
  • in response, Roosevelt finally committed himself
    to heavy deficit spending, beginning in April
    1938
  • at his urging, Congress passed a 3.75 billion
    public works bill, new AAA programs, and the Fair
    Labor Standards Act
  • these measures did little to ease the recession
    and alienated conservatives
  • particularly after the elections in 1938, a
    coalition of Republicans and conservative
    Democrats gained enough power to halt expansion
    of New Deal reforms

29
  • Significance of the New Deal
  • the outbreak of World War II ended the depression
  • the New Deal ameliorated suffering but failed to
    revive the economy
  • Roosevelts willingness to try different
    approaches made sense because no one knew what to
    do
  • however, his vacillating policies and his desire
    to maintain a balanced budget often proved
    counterproductive

30
  • as a result of the New Deal, the nation began to
    look to the government as the guarantor of its
    public welfare
  • Roosevelt expanded the federal bureaucracy and
    increased the power of the presidency
  • federal bureaucracies now regulated formerly
    private sectors
  • if the New Deal failed to end the depression, the
    changes it effected altered American life and
    society

31
  • Women as New Dealers The Network
  • largely because of the influence of Eleanor
    Roosevelt and Molly Dewson, head of the Womens
    Division of the Democratic National Committee,
    the Roosevelt administration employed more women
    in positions of importance than earlier
    administrations
  • Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins became the
    first woman to hold a cabinet post

32
  • Molly Dewson and Eleanor Roosevelt headed an
    informal, yet effective, network of influential
    women whose goal was the placement of
    reform-minded women in government
  • Eleanor Roosevelt exerted significant influence,
    particularly in behalf of civil rights

33
  • Blacks During the New Deal
  • while minimal in 1932, the shift of black voters
    from the Republican to the Democratic party
    became overwhelming by 1936
  • however, Roosevelt remained unwilling to alienate
    southern members of Congress and deferred to them
    on racial matters
  • new Deal programs often treated blacks as
    second-class citizens
  • in 1939, black unemployment was twice that of
    whites, and wages paid to whites were double
    those received by blacks

34
  • despite this situation, an informal Black
    Cabinet, including Mary McLeod Bethune and
    Charles Forman, lobbied the federal government in
    behalf of better opportunities for blacks
  • in the labor movement, the new CIO recruited
    black members
  • thus, while black Americans suffered during the
    depression, the New Deal brought some relief and
    a measure of hope

35
  • A New Deal for Indians
  • the New Deal built on earlier policies toward
    Native Americans
  • while retaining many paternalistic and
    ethnocentric attitudes, government policies
    improved after the appointment of John Collier as
    Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1933
  • under Collier, the government expressed a
    willingness to preserve traditional Indian
    cultures
  • at the same time, it attempted to improve
    economic and living conditions

36
  • the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 allowed a
    degree of autonomy by attempting to reestablish
    tribal governments and tribal ownership of Indian
    lands
  • some critics, including many Indians, charged
    Collier with trying to turn back the clock
  • others attacked him as a segregationist
  • not all Indians, moreover, particularly those who
    owned profitable allotments, were willing to
    yield their privately held land to a tribal
    corporation

37
  • The Role of Roosevelt
  • how much credit for New Deal policies belongs to
    Roosevelt is debatable
  • Roosevelt left most details and some broad
    principles to his subordinates
  • his knowledge of economics was skimpy, and his
    understanding of many social problems remained
    superficial
  • nevertheless, Roosevelts personality marked
    every aspect of the New Deal

38
  • his ability to build and manipulate coalitions
    made the program possible
  • he personified the government and made citizens
    believe that the president cared about the
    condition of ordinary Americans

39
  • The Triumph of Isolationism
  • although an internationalist at heart, Roosevelt,
    like other world leaders, placed the economic
    recovery of his own nation ahead of global
    recovery
  • isolationist sentiment in America intensified
    during the 1930s
  • Senator Gerald P. Nye headed an investigation
    (1934-1936), the findings of which convinced
    millions of Americans that financiers and
    munitions makers had been responsible for
    Americas entry into World War I

40
  • Congress passed a series of neutrality acts,
    which severely restricted the options available
    to the White House and State Department
  • in part because of domestic problems and in part
    because of his own vacillation, Roosevelt seemed
    to lose control over foreign policy

41
  • War Again in Europe
  • the aggression of Japan, Italy, and Germany
    convinced Roosevelt of the need to resist
    aggression
  • fear of isolationist sentiment, however, led
    Roosevelt to move cautiously and to be less than
    candid in his public statements
  • the invasion of Poland and subsequent
    declarations of war by Great Britain and France
    budged Congress to adopt cash and carry
    legislation

42
  • in the fall of 1939, Roosevelt sold arms to
    Britain and France, although he lacked legal
    authority to do so
  • Roosevelt also approved a secret program to build
    an atomic bomb
  • when Britain ran out of money in 1940, Roosevelt
    swapped destroyers for British naval bases
  • in September 1940, Congress established the
    nation's first peacetime draft

43
  • A Third Term for FDR
  • Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented third term in
    the presidential election of 1940
  • partisan politics and his belief that only he
    could control the isolationists undoubtedly
    played a role in Roosevelts decision to seek
    reelection
  • Wendell L. Willkie, a moderate from Indiana,
    headed the Republican ticket

44
  • since he supported the basic structure of the New
    Deal, Willkie focused on opposing the trend of
    Roosevelts foreign policies
  • while rejecting isolationism, Willkie accused
    Roosevelt of intending to take the United States
    to war
  • Roosevelt won the election handily

45
  • The Undeclared War
  • Roosevelts victory encouraged him to expand aid
    to Great Britain
  • in March 1941, Congress approved the Lend-Lease
    Act
  • the American navy began to patrol the North
    Atlantic and to pass intelligence data to the
    British navy

46
  • in April 1941, the United States occupied
    Greenland in July it occupied Iceland
  • after the Greer incident and the sinking of the
    Reuben James, the United States had, for all
    practical purposes, although not officially, gone
    to war
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