Great Depression
a worldwide economic downturn that started in Oct,1929 and lasted through the 30s. It began in the US and quickly spread to every part of the world. International trade declined sharply, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices and profits.
Black Tuesday (October 29,1929)
notorious for being the worst day in the US stock market, but in terms of percentage loss, the honor goes to Black Monday (1987 and 1929).
Hawley-Smoot Tariff
signed into law on June 17, 1930 and raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels, and, in the opinion of many economists, worsened the Great Depression. Many countries retaliated and American exports and imports plunged by more than half
Debt moratorium
argue that it is a sovereign decision by the government of a nation to suspend payment of debt to its creditors, in the event that to do otherwise would do irreparable harm to the welfare of its citizenry. A debt moratorium may take the form of a complete cessation of debt payments, or a partial cessation
Farm Board
Under the administration of Herbert Hoover, the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1929 established the Federal Farm Board with a revolving fund of half a billion dollars. The original act was sponsored by Hoover in an attempt to stop the downward spiral of crop prices by seeking to buy, sell and store agricultural surpluses or by generously lending money to farm organizations. The Act was not beneficial; as the inflation ran deeper the value of the money started sinking and the losses of the farmers were getting bigger
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
an independent agency of the United States government chartered during the administration of Herbert Hoover in 1932. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation of World War I. After its creation it was given an initial $5 billion capital in order to begin moving towards an economic comeback. The agency gave $2 billion in aid to state and local governments and made loans to banks, railroads, farm mortgage associations, and other businesses. The loans were nearly all repaid.
Bonus march (1932)
an assemblage of about 20,000 World War I veterans, their families, and other affiliated groups who demonstrated in Washington, D.C. during the spring and summer of 1932 seeking immediate payment of a "bonus" granted by the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924 for payment in 1945. They were led by Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant, and encouraged by an appearance from retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most popular military figures of the time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
the 32nd President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. A central figure of the 20th century, he has consistently been ranked as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents in scholarly surveys.
Eleanor Roosevelt:
American political leader who used her stature as First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 to promote her husband's (Franklin D. Roosevelt's) New Deal, as well as civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945 she built a career as an author/speaker, a New Deal Coalition advocate and spokesperson for human rights. She was a suffragist who worked hard to enhance the status of working women, opposing the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would hurt them. In the late 1940s she became a leader in supporting the United Nations, the United Nations Association and Freedom House. She chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Harry S. Truman called her the First Lady of the World in honor of her extensive human rights promotions.
Twentieth Amendment
also called The Lame Duck Amendment, or the "Norris" Amendment, establishes some details of presidential succession and of the beginning and ending of the terms of elected federal officials.
First New Deal
series of programs between 1933-1937 with the goal of relief, recovery and reform of the United States economy during the Great Depression. Dozens of alphabet agencies were created as a result.
Relief, recovery, reform
Three components of the New Deal. Relief was the effort to help the one-third of the population that was hardest hit by the depression, included social security and unemployment insurance. Recovery was the effort in numerous programs to restore the economy to normal health, achieved by 1937. Reform let government intervention stabilize the economy by balancing the interests of farmers, business and labor. There was no major anti-trust program.
Brain Trust
Many of the advisers who helped Roosevelt during his presidential candidacy continued to aid him after he entered the White House. A newspaperman once described the group as "Roosevelt's Brain Trust." They were more influential than the Cabinet.
Bank Holiday
March 1933; Roosevelt closed all banks and forbade the export of gold or redemption of currency in gold.
fireside chats
a series of 30 evening radio talks given by United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944. According to Roosevelt's principal speechwriter, Judge Samuel Rosenman, he first used "fireside chats" in 1929 during his first term as Governor of New York.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: FDIC
a public corporation, established in 1933, that insures, up to a specified amount, all demand deposits of member banks; created so that another Great Depression could not occur because a complete bankruptcy could not occur
Public Works Administration
Created by the National Industrial Recovery Act on June 16, 1933, the Public Works Administration (PWA) budgeted several billion dollars to be spent on the construction of public works as a means of providing employment, stabilizing purchasing power, improving public welfare, and contributing to a revival of American industry. Simply put, it was designed to spend "big bucks on big projects."
The Civilian Conservation Corps was created by the Unemployment Relief Act of 1933. It provided employment in government camps for 3 million uniformed single, young men during the Great Depression. The work they were involved in included reforestation, fire fighting, flood control, and swamp drainage.
Schechter v. U.S.
May, 1935 - The U.S. Supreme Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional. It held that Congress had improperly delegated legislative authority to the National Industrial Recovery Administration and that the federal government had exceeded its jurisdiction because Schecter was not engaged in interstate commerce.
Securities Exchange Commission
commonly referred to as the SEC, is the United States governing body which has primary responsibility for overseeing the regulation of the securities industry. It enforces, among other acts, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisors Act. It removed regulatory authority from the Federal Trade Commission.
Second New Deal
The second phase of the New Deal (1935-41), while continuing with relief and recovery measures, provided for social and economic legislation to benefit the mass of working people. The social security system was established in 1935, the year the National Youth Administration and Work Projects Administration were set up. The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938. The Revenue Acts of 1935, 1936, and 1937 provided measures to democratize the federal tax structure. The Supreme Court invalidated a number of New Deal measures, however; in 1935 the NRA was struck down and the following year the AAA was invalidated. The President unsuccessfully sought to reorganize the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, other laws were substituted for legislation that had been declared unconstitutional.
Works Progress Administration
Congress created this in 1935 as an agency that gave jobs to people who needed them. They worked on bridges, roads, and buildings. They spent 11 billion dollars and gave almost 9 million people jobs. It was one of the New Deal Agencies.
Harry Hopkins
was one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest advisors. He was one of the architects of the New Deal, especially the relief programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which he directed and built into the largest employer in the country. In World War II he was Roosevelt's chief diplomatic advisor and troubleshooter and was a key policy maker in the $50 billion Lend Lease program that sent aid to the allies.
National Labor Relations/Wagner Act (1935)
defined unfair labor practices and protected unions against coercive measures such as blacklisting. Set up the National Labor Relations Board and reasserted the right of labor to engage in self-organization and to bargain collectively.
Social Security Act
Social Security Act of 1935 created a federal insurance program based on the automatic collection of taxes from employees and employers throughout people's working careers. They would receive this money in a monthly pension when they reached the age of 65. The unemployed, disabled, and mothers with dependent children would also receive this money.
Father Charles Coughlin
Anti-New Deal Catholic Priest; began broadcasting in 1930; called the "microphone messiah"; slogan was "Social Justice"; silenced in 1942 when his broadcasts became too radical.
Francis Townsend
Townsend was a retired physician who developed a plan in which the government would give monetary resources to senior citizens ages sixty and over. This plan was a type of pension for older Americans. He had a lot of followers. This people thought FDR wasn't doing enough.
Huey Long
Louisiana governor, then U.S. senator, who ran a powerful political machine and whose advocacy of redistribution of income gained him a national political following at the time of his assassination in 1935.
Supreme Court reorganization plan
Roosevelt tried to put an extra justice on the Supreme Court for every justice over 70 years old who wouldn't retire. These justices would be supporters of Roosevelt and there would be a maximum of 15 judges. The plan failed. Congress would not accept.
Congress of Industrial Organizations
this labor union formed in the ranks of the AFL. It consisted of unskilled workers. The AFL got scared of their influence on workers and suspended all members of the CIO. In 1938 it broke with the AF of L. By 1940 it had 4 million members.
John L. Lewis
the leader of the United Mine Workers. He also formed the CIO (Committee for Industrial Organization). He led a "sit-down" strike on General Motors at Flint, Michigan in 1936. Unionists from the Republic Steel Co. wanted to join the CIO, and a fight broke out in 1937 called the
Sit-down strike
A strike in which workers refuse to leave the workplace until a settlement is reached
Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)
FLSA, Federal Law that established certain minimum requirements for employee's hours, wages, premium overtime, and payroll records.
John Maynard Keynes
Believed that the government could pull the economy out of depression by increasing gov't spending, increasing jobs, and increasing consumer buying power.
Depression mentality
millions of people developed an attitude of insecurity and economic concern that would always remain, even in times of prosperity.
Fair Employment Practice Committee
a federal executive order requiring companies with government contracts give not discriminate on the basis of race or religion. It helped African Americans obtain jobs in the home front industry.
A. Philip Randolph
a prominent twentieth century African-American civil rights leader and founder of the first black labor union in the U.S.
Indian Reorganization (Wheeler-Howard) Act (1934)
A U.S. federal legislation which secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives.[1] These include a reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of common holdings of American Indians and a return to local self-government on a tribal basis. The Act also restored to Native Americans the management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for the inhabitants of Indian reservations.