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Chapter 34

Chapter 34

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Chapter 34The Great Depression and the New Deal1933-1939 As the
election of 1932
neared, unemployment and poverty brought dissent of PresidentHoover and a demand for a change in policy. The Republicans nominated HerbertHoover to run for president in the election of 1932. The Democrats chose FranklinDelano Roosevelt. He had been born to a wealthy New York family and served as thegovernor of New York. 
FDR: Politician in a Wheelchair
Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was to become the most active FirstLady in history. She powerfully influenced the policies of the national government, battling for the impoverished and oppressed.Roosevelt's commanding presence and golden speaking voice made him the premier American orator of his generation. 
Presidential Hopefuls of 1932
In the Democratic campaign of 1932, Roosevelt attacked the Republican Old Deal andconcentrated on preaching a New Deal for the "forgotten man." He promised to balancethe nation's budget and decrease the heavy Hooverian deficits.Although the campaign for the Republicans was dire, Herbert Hoover reaffirmed his faithin American free enterprise and individualism. He predicted prosperity if the Hawley-Smoot Tariff was repealed. 
Hoover's Humiliation in 1932
Franklin Roosevelt won the election of 1932 by a sweeping majority, in both the popular vote and the Electoral College.Beginning in the election of 1932, blacks became, notably in the urban centers of the North, a vital element of the Democratic Party.
 
 
FDR and the Three
 R
's: Relief, Recovery, Reform
Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933.On March 6-10, President Roosevelt declared a national banking holiday as a prelude toopening the banks on a sounder basis. The
Hundred Days
 
Congress/EmergencyCongress
(March 9-June 16, 1933)
 
 passed a series laws in order to cope with the nationalemergency (The Great Depression).Roosevelt's
New Deal
programs aimed at 3
 R
's:
relief 
,
recovery
,
reform
. Short-rangegoals were relief and immediate recovery, and long-range goals were permanent recoveryand reform of current abuses.Congress gave President Roosevelt extraordinary
blank-check powers
: some of thelaws it passed expressly delegated legislative authority to the president.The New Dealers embraced such
progressive
 
ideas
as unemployment insurance, old-ageinsurance, minimum-wage regulations, conservation and development of naturalresources, and restrictions on child labor. 
Roosevelt Tackles Money and Banking
The impending banking crisis caused Congress to pass the
Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933
. It gave the president power to regulate banking transactions and foreignexchange and to reopen solvent banks. President Roosevelt began to give "fireside chats"over the radio in order to restore public confidence of banks.Congress then passed the
Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act
, creating the
FederalDeposit Insurance Corporation
(
FDIC
). A reform program, the FDIC insuredindividual bank deposits up to $5,000, ending the epidemic of bank failures.In order to protect the shrinking gold reserve, President Roosevelt ordered all privateholdings of gold to be given to the Treasury in exchange for paper currency and then thenation to be taken off the gold standard-Congress passed laws providing for thesemeasures.The goal of Roosevelt's "managed currency" was
inflation
, which he believed wouldrelieve debtors' burdens and stimulate new production. Inflation was achieved throughgold buying; the Treasury purchased gold at increasing prices, increasing the dollar priceof gold. This policy increased the amount of dollars in circulation. 
 
Creating Jobs for the Jobless
President Roosevelt had no qualms about using federal money to assist the unemployedin order to jumpstart the economy. Congress created the
Civilian Conservation Corps
(
CCC
), which provided employment for about 3 million men in government camps.Their work included reforestation, fire fighting, flood control, and swamp drainage.Congress's first major effort to deal with the massive unemployment was to pass the
Federal Emergency Relief Act
. The resulting
Federal Emergency Relief Administration
(
FERA
) was headed by Harry L. Hopkins. Hopkins's agency grantedabout $3 billion to the states for direct relief payments or for wages on work projects.Created in
1933
, the
Civil Works
 
Administration
(
CWA
), a branch of the FERA, wasdesigned to provide temporary jobs during the winter emergency. Thousands of unemployed were employed at leaf raking and other manual-labor jobs.Relief was given to the farmers with the
Agricultural Adjustment Act
(
AAA
), makingavailable millions of dollars to help farmers meet their mortgages.The
Home Owners' Loan Corporation
(
HOLC
) assisted many households that hadtrouble paying their mortgages. 
A Day for Every Demagogue
As unemployment and suffering continued, radical opponents to Roosevelt's New Deal began to arise. Father Charles Coughlin's anti-New Deal radio broadcasts eventually became so anti-Semitic and fascistic that he was forced off the air. Senator Huey P. Long publicized his "Share Our Wealth" program in which every family in the United Stateswould receive $5,000. His fascist plans ended when he was assassinated in 1935. Dr.Francis E. Townsend attracted millions of senior citizens with his plan that each citizenover the age of 60 would receive $200 a month.Congress passed the
Works Progress Administration
(
WPA
) in
1935
, with theobjective of employment on useful projects (i.e. the construction of buildings, roads,etc.). Taxpayers criticized the agency for paying people to due "useless" jobs such as painting murals. 
A Helping Hand for Industry and Labor
The
National Recovery Administration
(
NRA
) was designed to assist industry, labor,and the unemployed. Individual industries, through "fair competition" codes, were forcedto lower their work hours so that more people could be hired; a minimum wage was alsoestablished. Workers were formally guaranteed the right to organize and bargain

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