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Ch. 21 - The New Deal, 1932-1940
Terms in this set (44)
"public works revolution"
They transformed the American economy and landscape during the 1930s. The Roosevelt administration spent far more money on building roads, dams, airports, bridges, and housing than any other activity. The Grand Coulee Dam was part of it.
By March 1933, banking had been suspended in a majority of the states—that is, people could not gain access to money in their bank accounts. Roosevelt declared this, which temporarily halting all bank operations, and called Congress into special session.
Emergency Banking Act
On March 9, Congress rushed to pass this, which provided funds to shore up threatened institutions. Was the first of an unprecedented flurry of legislation during the first three months of Roosevelt's administration.
It barred commercial banks from becoming involved in the buying and selling of stocks. Until its repeal in the 1990s, the law prevented many of the irresponsible practices that had contributed to the stock market crash. The same law established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC
Was a law established by the Glass-Stealgall Act. It was a government system that insured the accounts of individual depositors.
the Hundred Days
Extraordinarily productive first three months of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration in which a special session of Congress enacted fifteen of his New Deal proposals. It also brought the government into providing relief to those in need.
National Industrial Recovery Act
Is the centerpiece of Roosevelt's plan for combating the Depression. It was to a large extent modeled on the government-business partnership established by the War Industries Board of World War I. Roosevelt called it "the most important and far-reaching legislation ever enacted by the American Congress." The act established the National Recovery Administration (NRA).
National Recovery Administration (NRA)
Was established by the National Industry Recovery Act. It worked with groups of business leaders to establish industry codes that set standards for output, prices, and working conditions. It reflected how even in its early days, the New Deal reshaped understandings of freedom. It called for market competition to operate, unrestrained by the government and it recognized the workers' right to organize unions. Was headed by Hugh S. Johnson. It quickly established codes that set standards for production, prices,
and wages in the textile, steel, mining, and auto industries.
Its symbol was the Blue Eagle. Soon after initial public enthusiasm, it became mired in controversy. In the end, it produced neither economic recovery nor peace between employers and workers. In 1935, in a unanimous decision, the Court declared it unlawful because in its codes and other regulations it delegated legislative powers to the president and attempted to regulate local businesses that did not engage in interstate commerce.
Hugh S. Johnson
He was a retired general and businessman. He headed the NRA, and under him, it quickly established codes that set standards for production, prices, and wages in the textile, steel, mining, and auto industries. He also launched a publicity campaign to promote the NRA and its symbol, the Blue Eagle, which stores and factories that abided by the codes displayed.
One of the first measures of the Hundred Days had been this, which reduced federal spending in an attempt to win the confidence of the business community. But with nearly a quarter of the workforce unemployed, spending on relief was unavoidable.
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
In May 1933, Congress created this, to make grants to local agencies that aided those impoverished by the Depression. FDR, however, much preferred to create temporary jobs, thereby combating unemployment while improving the nation's infrastructure of roads, bridges, public buildings, and parks.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
In March 1933, Congress established this, which set unemployed young men to work on projects like forest preservation, flood control, and the improvement of national parks and wildlife preserves. By the time the program ended in 1942, more than 3 million persons had passed through its camps, where they received government wages of $30 per month.
Public Works Administration (PWA)
One section of the National Industrial Recovery Act created this, with an appropriation of $3.3 billion. Directed by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, it built roads, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities, including New York City's Triborough Bridge and the Overseas Highway between Miami and Key West, Florida.
Civil Works Administration (CWA)
In November, this agency was launched. By January 1934, it employed more than 4 million persons in the construction of highways, tunnels, courthouses, and airports. But as the cost spiraled upward and complaints multiplied that the New Deal was creating a class of Americans permanently dependent on government jobs, Roosevelt ordered that it be dissolved.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
It was another product of the Hundred Days. It built a series of dams to prevent floods and deforestation along the Tennessee River and to provide cheap electric power for homes and factories in a seven-state region where many families still lived in isolated log cabins. It put the federal government, for the first time, in the business of selling electricity in competition with private companies. It was a preview of the program of regional planning that spurred the economic development of the West.
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)
It was another policy initiative of the Hundred Days addressed the disastrous plight of American farmers. It authorized the federal government to try to raise farm prices by setting production quotas for major crops and paying farmers not to plant more. Many crops already in the field were destroyed. In 1933, the government ordered more than 6 million pigs slaughtered as part of the policy, a step critics found strange at a time of widespread hunger. It succeeded in significantly raising farm prices and incomes. But not all farmers benefited. Benefits flowed to property-owning farmers, ignoring the large number who worked on land owned by others. Its policy of paying landowning farmers not to grow crops encouraged the eviction of thousands of poor tenants and sharecroppers. Many joined the rural exodus to cities or to the farms of the West Coast. In January 1936, it fell in United States v. Butler, which declared it an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power over local economic activities.
The onset in 1930 of a period of unusually dry weather in the nation's heartland worsened the Depression's impact on rural America. By mid-decade, the region suffered from the century's most severe drought. Mechanized agriculture in this semiarid region had pulverized the topsoil and killed native grasses that prevented erosion. Winds now blew much of the soil away, creating this, as the affected areas of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado were called. One storm in 1934 carried dust as far as Washington, D.C. The drought and dust storms displaced more than 1 million farmers.
"The Grapes of Wrath"
Written by John Steinbeck in (1939). It was novel and a popular film that captured the farmers plight, tracing a dispossessed family's trek from Oklahoma to California.
Federal Communications Commission
It was establishment by Roosevelt i his first two years of office to oversee the nation's broadcast airwaves and telephone communications.
Securities and Exchange Commission
It was establishment by Roosevelt i his first two years of office to regulate the stock and bond markets and help end the Depression.
"United States v. Butler"
In January 1936, the AAA fell during this, which declared it an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power over local economic activities.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
When the AFL convention of 1935 refused the creation of unions of industrial workers, the head of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, led a walkout that produced this new labor organization. It set out to create unions in the main bastions of the American economy. It aimed, said Lewis, at nothing less than to secure "economic freedom and industrial democracy" for American workers—a fair share in the wealth produced by their labor, and a voice in determining the conditions under which they worked. Its unions helped to stabilize a chaotic employment situation and offered members a sense of dignity and freedom. It also put forward an ambitious program for federal action to shield Americans from economic and social insecurity, including public housing, universal health care, and unemployment and old age insurance.
Tactic adopted by labor unions in the mid- and late 1930s, whereby striking workers refused to leave factories, making production impossible; proved highly effective in the organizing drive of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. It was first put together by the United Auto Workers, a fledgling of CIO.
In California, this novelist won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1934 as the head of the End Poverty in California movement. HE called for the state to use idle factories and land in cooperative ventures that would provide jobs for the unemployed. He lost the election after being subjected to one of the first modern "negative" media campaigns. His opponents circulated false newsreels showing armies of unemployed men marching to California to support his candidacy and a fake endorsement from the Communist Party.
He offered another sign of popular dissatisfaction with the slow pace of economic recovery. His career embodied both Louisiana's Populist and Socialist traditions and the state's heritage of undemocratic politics. Driven by intense ambition and the desire to help uplift the state's "common people," he won election as governor in 1928 and in 1930 took a seat in the U.S. Senate. From Washington, he dominated every branch of state government. He used his dictatorial power to build roads, schools, and hospitals and to increase the tax burden on Louisiana's oil companies. One of the most colorful characters in twentieth-century American politics, he was referred to by both admirers and critics as the "Kingfish." In 1934, he launched the Share Our Wealth movement, with the slogan "Every Man a King." He was assasinated before he could run for president.
Share Our Wealth movement
Was established by Huey Long and had the slogan, "Every Man a King." It called for the confiscation of most of the wealth of the richest Americans in order to finance an immediate grant of $5,000 and a guaranteed job and annual income for all citizens. It claimed a following of 5 million.
Father Charles E. Coughlin
Also in the mid-1930s, the "radio priest," he attracted millions of listeners with weekly broadcasts attacking Wall Street bankers and greedy capitalists, and calling for government ownership of key industries as a way of combating the Depression. Initially a strong supporter of FDR, he became increasingly critical of the president for what he considered the failure of the New Deal to promote social justice. His crusade would later shift to anti-Semitism and support for European fascism.
A plan by which the government would make a monthly payment of $200 to older Americans, with the requirement that they spend it immediately. By the end of 1934, its Clubs claimed more than 2 million members.
Rural Electrification Agency
Congress passed this to bring electric power to homes that lacked it—80 percent of farms were still without electricity in 1934—in part to enable more Americans to purchase household appliances. It proved to be one of the Second New Deal's most successful programs. By 1950, 90 percent of the nation's farms had been wired for electricity, and almost all now possessed radios, electric stoves, refrigerators, and mechanical equipment to milk cows.
Works Progress Administration
In 1934, Roosevelt had severely curtailed federal employment for those in need. Now, he approved the establishment of this which hired some 3 million Americans, in virtually every walk of life, each year until it ended in 1943. Under Harry Hopkins's direction, it changed the physical face of the United States. It constructed thousands of public buildings and bridges, more than 500,000 miles of roads, and 600 airports. It built stadiums, swimming pools, and sewage treatment plants. Unlike previous work relief programs, it employed many out-of-work white-collar workers and professionals, even doctors and dentists.
Perhaps the most famous of its projects were in the arts. It set hundreds of artists to work decorating public buildings with murals. It hired writers to produce local histories and guidebooks to the forty-eight states and to record the recollections of ordinary Americans, including hundreds of former slaves. Thanks to this, audiences across the country enjoyed their first glimpse of live musical and theatrical performances and their first opportunity to view exhibitions of American art.
Is another major initiative of the Second New Deal. It was known at the time as "Labor's Magna Carta." This brought democracy into the American workplace by empowering the National Labor Relations Board to supervise elections in which employees voted on union representation. It also outlawed "unfair labor practices," including the firing and blacklisting of union organizers. The bill's main sponsor, Robert Wagner of New York, told the Senate that the ability of workers to pool their strength through collective bargaining represented the "next step" in "the evolution of American freedom." He also promised that unionization and higher wages would aid economic recovery by boosting the purchasing power of ordinary Americans.
Social Security Act
The centerpiece of the Second New Deal was this of 1935. It embodied Roosevelt's conviction that the national government had a responsibility to ensure the material well-being of ordinary Americans. It created a system of unemployment insurance, old age pensions, and aid to the disabled, the elderly poor, and families with dependent children. It launched the American version of the welfare state, to refer to a system of income assistance, health coverage, and social services for all citizens. It illustrated both the extent and the limits of the changes ushered in by the Second New Deal. The American welfare state marked a radical departure from previous government policies. Was funded by taxes on employers and workers, rather than out of general government revenues.
"Land of the Free"
(1938) In this volume, the poet Archibald MacLeish used photographs of impoverished migrants and sharecroppers to question the reality of freedom in desperate times. "We told ourselves we were free," he wrote. Now, "we wonder if the liberty is done . . . or if there's something different men can mean by Liberty."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's failed 1937 attempt to increase the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices from nine to fifteen in order to save his Second New Deal programs from constitutional challenges.
minimum wage laws
Beginning in March 1937, the Court suddenly revealed a new willingness to support economic regulation by both the federal government and the states. It upheld a minimum wage law of the state of Washington similar to the New York measure it had declared unconstitutional a year earlier. In subsequent cases, the Court affirmed federal power to regulate wages, hours, child labor, agricultural production, and numerous other aspects of economic life.
United States Housing Act
Passed in 1937, initiating the first major national effort to build homes for the poorest Americans.
Fair Labor Standards
This bill failed to reach the floor for over a year. When it finally passed in 1938, it banned goods produced by child labor from interstate commerce, set forty cents as the minimum hourly wage, and required overtime pay for hours of work exceeding forty per week. This last major piece of New Deal legislation established the practice of federal regulation of wages and working conditions, another radical departure from pre-Depression policies.
"The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money"
In 1936 John Maynard Keynes had challenged economists' traditional belief in the sanctity of balanced budgets. Large-scale government spending, he insisted, was necessary to sustain purchasing power and stimulate economic activity during downturns. Such spending should be enacted even at the cost of a budget deficit (a situation in which the government spends more money than it takes in). By 1938, Roosevelt was ready to follow this prescription, which would later be known as Keynesian economics. In April, he asked Congress for billions more for work relief and farm aid. By the end of the year, the immediate crisis had passed.
Most prominent woman in government of all was her, FDR's distant cousin whom he had married in 1905. She transformed the role of First Lady, turning a position with no formal responsibilities into a base for political action. She traveled widely, spoke out on public issues, wrote a regular newspaper column that sometimes disagreed openly with her husband's policies, and worked to enlarge the scope of the New Deal in areas like civil rights, labor legislation, and work relief.
Indian New Deal
Under Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier, the administration launched an this. Collier ended the policy of forced assimilation and allowed Indians unprecedented cultural autonomy. He replaced boarding schools meant to eradicate the tribal heritage of Indian children with schools on reservations, and dramatically increased spending on Indian health. He secured passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, ending the policy, dating back to the Dawes Act of 1887, of dividing Indian lands into small plots for individual families and selling off the rest. Federal authorities once again recognized Indians' right to govern their own affairs, except where specifically limited by national laws. Such limitations, however, could weigh heavily on Indian tribes. The New Deal marked the most radical shift in Indian policy in the nation's history. But living conditions on the desperately poor reservations did not significantly improve, and New Deal programs often ignored Indians' interests.
the Popular Front
Was a period during the mid-1930s when the Communist Party sought to ally itself with socialists and New Dealers in movements for social change, urging reform of the capitalist system rather than revolution; and at its hight, Communists gained an unprecedented respectability. In theater, film, and dance, its vision of American society sank deep roots and survived much longer than the political moment from which it sprang. In this broad left-wing culture, social and economic radicalism, not support for the status quo, defined true Americanism, ethnic and racial diversity was the glory of American society, and the "American way of life" meant unionism and social citizenship, not the unbridled pursuit of wealth. It forthrightly sought to promote the idea that the country's strength lay in diversity, tolerance, and the rejection of ethnic prejudice and class privilege. Its culture presented a heroic but not uncritical picture of the country's past. Another central element of its public culture was its mobilization for civil liberties, especially the right of labor to organize.
This case revolved around nine young black men arrested for the rape of two white women in Alabama in 1931. Despite the weakness of the evidence against them and the fact that one of the two accusers recanted, Alabama authorities three times put them on trial and three times won convictions. Landmark Supreme Court decisions overturned the first two verdicts and established legal principles that greatly expanded the definition of civil liberties—that defendants have a constitutional right to effective legal representation, and that states cannot systematically exclude blacks from juries. But the Court allowed the third set of convictions to stand, which led to prison sentences for five of the defendants. In 1937, a defense lawyer worked out a deal whereby Alabama authorities released nearly all the defendants on parole, although the last of them did not leave prison until thirteen years had passed.
In 1940 Congress enacted this, which made it a federal crime to "teach, advocate, or encourage" the overthrow of the government.
House Un-American Activities Committee
Formed in 1938 to investigate subversives in the government and holders of radical ideas more generally; best-known investigations were of Hollywood notables and of former State Department official Alger Hiss, who was accused in 1948 of espionage and Communist Party membership. Abolished in 1975.
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