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Published by: mambablack on Feb 18, 2008
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Rizwan AlamThe Great Depression and the New DealA.FDR: A Politician in a WheelchairBackground: In 1932, voters still had not seen any economic improvement, and theywanted a new president.1. President Herbert Hoover was nominated again without much vigor and trueenthusiasm, and he campaigned saying that his policies prevented the GreatDepression from being worse than it was.2. The democrats nominated FDR. FDR had been stricken with polio in 1921, andduring this time, his wife, Eleanor, became his political partner.Importance: Because of Hoover’s inability to life the nation out of thedepression, people’s most likely choice would be FDR and if FDR becomes thepresident, his wife would probably become the most active First Lady ever.B. Presidential Hopefuls of 1932Background: The democrats and FDR clearly seemed as the best choice.1. The Democrats found expression in the airy tune “Happy Days Are Here Again,”and clearly, the Democrats had the advantage in this race.Importance: It will be interesting to see how a democratic campaign gets thepeople out of depression.C. The Humiliation of Hoover in 1932Background: Hoover lost with humiliation.1. Hoover had been swept into the presidential office in 1928, but in 1932, he wasswept out with equal force, as he was defeated 472 to 59.2. During the lame-duck period, Hoover tried to initiate some of Roosevelt’splans, but was met by stubbornness and resistance.Importance: Hoover would later accuse FDR of letting the depression worsen so thathe could emerge as an even more shining savior.D. FDR and the Three R’s: Relief, Recovery, and ReformBackground: Hoover was elected president and was expected to get to working rightaway.1. he Democratic-controlled Congress was willing to do as FDR said, and the firstHundred Days of FDR’s administration were filled with more legislative activitythan ever before.Importance: Government was panicking and letting FDR save the nation by acceptingalmost all of his offers.E. Roosevelt Manages the MoneyBackground: Roosevelt tries to organize and manage the tangled currency of thenation.1. The Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933 was passed first. FDR declared a oneweek “bank holiday” just so everyone would calm down and stop running on thebanks.2. The “Hundred Days Congress” passed the Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act, thatprovided the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which insured individualdeposits up to $5000, thereby eliminating the epidemic of bank failure andrestoring faith to banks.3. In February 1934, he announced that the U.S. would pay foreign gold at a rateof one ounce of gold per every $35 due.Importance: Congress was passing almost every idea he brought, because theythought he was their last hope in saving the nation.F. Creating Jobs for the JoblessBackground: There sure was a lot of unemployment and it would be in FDR’s greatinterest if he wants to directly communicate with the nation and try to explainhis plans and attract people to his plans.E. A Day for Every DemagogueBackground: Roosevelt had no qualms about using federal money to assist theunemployed, so he created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which providedemployment in fresh-air government camps for about 3 million uniformed young men.
1. The Federal Emergency Relief Act looked for immediate relief rather than long-term alleviation, and its Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) washeaded by the zealous Harry L. Hopkins.2. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) made available many millions of dollarsto help farmers meet their mortgages.3. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) refinanced mortgages on non-farm homesand bolted down the loyalties of middle class, Democratic homeowners.4. The Civil Works Administration (CWA) was established late in 1933, and it wasdesigned to provide purely temporary jobs during the winter emergency.5. Dr. Francis E. Townsend of California attracted the trusting support of perhaps5 million “senior citizens” with his fantastic plan of each senior receiving $200month, provided that all of it would be spent within the month.6. Congress also authorized the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935, whichput $11 million on thousands of public buildings, bridges, and hard-surfaced roadsand gave 9 million people jobs in its eight years of existence.Importance: FDR did what he promised, he actually went out there and madeorganizations to make jobs and pay people so they can buy the American goods andAmerica’s economy can get back to its stable position. These practices would alsoteach America and American people to understand the economy.F. New Visibility for WomenBackground: Women were getting many rights, and with those rights they looked tomake vast improvements and become social workers, politics, or educators.1. Anthropologist Ruth Benedict helped develop the “culture and personalitymovement” and her student Margaret Mead reached even greater heights with Comingof Age in Samoa.2. Pearl S. Buck wrote a beautiful and timeless novel, The Good Earth, about asimple Chinese farmer which earned her the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.Importance: Eleanor, the active First Lady was an inspiring person to all thewomen and as more and more leaders and inspiring achievers come out and as womenget more rights they would eventually become as equal as the guys during thehippies era.G. Helping Industry and LaborBackground: The National Recovery Administration (NRA), by far the mostcomplicated of the programs, was designed to assist industry, labor, and theunemployed.1. The Public Works Administration (PWA) also intended both for industrialrecovery and for unemployment relief.2. One of the Hundred Days Congress’s earliest acts was to legalize light wine andbeer with an alcoholic content of 3.2% or less and also levied a $5 tax on everybarrel manufactured.3.Prohibition was officially repealed with the 21st Amendment.Importance: This would greatly help America in long term. The practice of projectswould teach them a way to start and make economy stable without a war. Projectswould teach people to think of more and make communication easier through roads.The 21st amendment would also help industries put rules on the workers. This wouldeventually lead to lead psychological managers, and open an opportunity to youngkids to look upon.H. Dust Bowls and Black BlizzardsBackground: After the drought of 1933, furious winds whipped up dust into the air,turning parts of Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma into the DustBowl and forcing many farmers to migrate west to California and inspiredSteinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath.1. The Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act, passed in 1934, made possible asuspension of mortgage foreclosure for five years, but it was voided in 1935 bythe Supreme Court.2.Commissioner of Indian Affairs was headed by John Collier who sought to reversethe forced-assimilation policies in place since the Dawes Act of 1887.3.He promoted the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Indian “New Deal”), which
encouraged tribes to preserve their culture and traditions.Improvements: This is another thing America was starting to get. They tried tomake economy fair for everyone so everyone could be competitive and make thedeserved money.I. Battling Bankers and Big BusinessBackground: The Federal Securities Act (“Truth in Securities Act”) requiredpromoters to transmit to the investor sworn information regarding the soundness oftheir stocks and bonds.1. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was designed as a stock watchdogadministrative agency, and stock markets henceforth were to operate more astrading marts than as casinos.2. In 1932, Chicagoan Samuel Insull’s multi-billion dollar financial empire hadcrashed, and such cases as his resulted in the Public Utility Holding Company Actof 1935.Importance: America was now getting tough on its own business.J. The TVA Harnesses the Tennessee RiverBackground: The sprawling electric-power industry attracted the fire of New Dealreformers.1. Thus, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (1933) sought to discover exactlyhow much money it took to produce electricity and then keep rates reasonable.2. It constructed dams on the Tennessee River and helped the 2.5 million extremelypoor citizens of the area improve their lives and their conditions.Importance: Hydroelectric power of Tennessee would give rise to that of the West.K. Housing Reform and Social Security1. To speed recovery and better homes, FDR set up the Federal HousingAdministration (FHA) in 1934 to stimulate the building industry through smallloans to householders.2. Congress bolstered the program in 1937 by authorizing the U.S. HousingAuthority (USHA), designed to lend money to states or communities for low-costconstruction.3. The Social Security Act of 1935 was the greatest victory for New Dealers, sinceit created pension and insurance for the old-aged, the blind, the physicallyhandicapped, delinquent children, and other dependents by taxing employees andemployers.4. Republicans attacked this bitterly, as such government-knows-best programs andpolicies that were communist leaning and penalized the rich for their success.They also opposed the pioneer spirit of “rugged individualism.”Importance: This would give motivation to individualism.L. A New Deal for LaborBackground: A rash of walkouts occurred in the summer of 1934, and after the NRAwas axed, the Wagner Act (AKA, National Labor Relations Act) of 1935 took itsplace. The Wagner Act guaranteed the right of unions to organize and tocollectively bargain with management.1. Under the encouragement of a highly sympathetic National Labor Relations Board,unskilled laborers began to organize themselves into effective unions, one ofwhich was John L. Lewis, the boss of the United Mine Workers who also succeeded informing the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) within the ranks of the AFof L in 1935.2. In 1938, the CIO broke completely with the AF of L and renamed itself theCongress of Industrial Organizations.Importance: America was getting a better understanding of the Labor workers andhow labor worked.M. Landon Challenges “the Champ”Background: The elections were up again.1. Landon was weak on the radio and weaker in personal campaigning, and while hecriticized FDR’s spending, he also favored enough of FDR’s New Deal to beridiculed by the Democrats as an unsure idiot.2. In 1934, the American Liberty League had been formed by conservative Democrats

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