FDRs views on federal power
Roosevelt believed that government should help the country out of the depression. He also believed in big government and a lot of federal power.
The "Hundred Days"
During the 1st 100 days of his tenure in office, Roosevelt and Congress passed many bills. The Emergency Banking Act allowed the RFC to provide the funds to banks, provided for bank inspections, and recalled gold and gold certificates. The Economy Act slashed salaries of government workers by 15%, reduced the size of government agencies, and reduced veteran pensions. Congress amended the Volstead Act to legalize light wines and beer. The Hundred Days shaped Roosevelts presidency and set a precedent for future presidents.
Banking Crisis; Emergency Banking Act
Banks had no money to pay those who had deposited their savings. The Emergency Banking Act approved Roosevelts declaration of a bank holiday and permitted the RFC to provide necessary funds to banks. This act was really drafted mostly by Hoover. 20th Amendment
Known as the Lame Duck Amendment, this amendment moved the inauguration from March to January 20th.
Gold Reserve Act
This 1934 Act took the United States off the gold standard by abolishing gold coinage. Gold prices were set at $35 an ounce. The dollar was devalued by 40%. This act helped to aid the nations eventual economic recovery.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was established in June of 1933. It guaranteed individual bank accounts up to $2500. Insured banks that failed would be reorganized. The FDIC has been used and is still used to protect our banking accounts.
Securities Exchange Act
This June 1934 and set up a five-person Securities Exchange Commission. The SEC licensed stock exchanges, prevented pools and price manipulation, and required registration for securities listed on the exchanges. This act was able to secure the stock exchange which had crashed in 1929.
A.A.A.; purpose and provisions of
The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was designed to raise crop prices. The government bought surpluses and paid farmers to destroy crops. Hogs were slaughtered and distributed to people on relief. This act was declared unconstitutional in 1936. This act succeeded in raising crop prices.
N.I.R.A. (NRA); purpose of
The National Industrial Recovery Act was passed in June of 1933. Industries were given exemptions from antitrust laws, but were encouraged to create codes of fair competition. Workers were also guaranteed the right of collective bargaining. N.I.R.A. also established the Public Works Administration and gave it $3.3 billion to employ people for construction work. The National Recovery Administration was also established to set up a code for businesses to follow. N.I.R.A. worked in theory, but prices still rose and workers and industries became more hostile towards each other.
Section 7(a); "codes of fair competition"
This was the part of NIRA that guaranteed the right of collective bargaining for workers. Employers could not restrain or coerce this bargaining. Section 7(a) was ineffective as employers found and used loopholes to get around it.
P.W.A.; purpose of
$3.3 billion was given to the Public Works Administration by NIRA. The PWA put people to work building dams, highways, post offices, courthouses, navy vessels, army camps, hospitals, schools, and parks. Harold Ickes was in charge of this project.
C.C.C.; purpose of
The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933. Millions of men between the ages of 17 and 25 were hired for forestry and park projects. 17 million acres of forest were created. The CCC also prevented fires, controlled plant diseases and soil erosion, and improved fisheries and reservoirs. The CCC did not significantly reduce unemployment. However, FDR believed that it built the character of the nations youth.
T.V.A.; purpose of and controversy over
The Tennessee Valley Authority was created in May 1933. The TVA cleared rivers, restocked forests, and provided flood control and improvement of inland navigation for the Tennessee Valley area. New dams were built and the government charged lower electric rates. The TVA was controversial because it strove for long term goals instead of ending the depression. Utilities also called it socialist as the government was selling electricity. A Supreme Court case later ruled the TVA constitutional. This was the 1st long term goal set during the depression.
This amendment ended prohibition.
These were Roosevelts advisors that were very well educated. Many were Columbia University Professors.
The government would provide interests with money (farmers, banks, etc.). The government is a broker and decides who to give money to.
John Maynard Keynes; "pump priming"
Keynes was a British economist that believed in preserving economic freedom and elimination the boom and bust of the business cycle. He believed in "priming" the economic "pump." The government had to increase spending to provide jobs and money.
American Liberty League
This group was formed by Al Smith, a former Roosevelt ally who called the New Deal "alphabet soup," and big business leaders such as DuPont. They denounced Roosevelts New Deal as "radicalism."
Huey Long: "Share the Wealth"
Long was the leader of a political machine in Louisiana. He supported old-age pensions, free education, and a minimum income of $5000 per family. Long was assassinated in 1935.
Father Charles Coughlin
Coughlin, "The Radio Priest," promoted fascism and racism. Originally a supporter of Franklin Roosevelt, Coughlin eventually denounced the New Deal, capitalism, Wall Street, Jews, and Communists because he believed they were the cause of the depression. Coughlin was influential among the lower-middle class.
Dr. Frances Townshend
Townshend was a retired physician who had lost all of his savings. He proposed a $200 pension for citizens over the age of 60 as long as they spent the money and helped the economy. Townshend established the Share-Our-Wealth Society. Later, the Social Security Act was passed in 1935. Social Security is still around today. Townshend was very influential among the elderly. He also formed the Share Our Wealth Society.
Schechter v. U.S.
This May 1935 case overturned the NIRA which had helped large companies. The Shechter brothers won in a challenge of the NRAs power to regulate wages and hours and prohibit the distribution of sick chickens.
W.P.A.; purpose of
The Works Progress Administration was created in 1935 and was give $1.4 billion to employ people on projects. Harry Hopkins headed this group which built roads, cams, parks, playgrounds, schools, and libraries. The WPA also had adult-education classes, free childrens lunches, and medical and dental clinics. The WPA became an integral part of the 2nd New Deal.
Wealth Tax Act
This 1935 Act attempted to spread the wealth of the country through heavy taxes on the rich. A graduated income tax, excess profits tax, and high estates tax were passed. This Act later proved to be useless as it had very little effect on the distribution of wealth in the United States.
Social Security Act
This 1935 Act provided retirement pensions, unemployment insurance, and care for the dependent and disabled. Employers were forced to match the small deductions from their workers salaries for this federal pension. This Act is still in effect today as it provides the elderly with some financial assistance.
Wagner Act: provisions of
The Wagner Act of 1935 promised government protection of the exclusive right of labor unions to collective bargaining. Management could not interfere with labor unions. Company unions were declared illegal. The National Labor Relations Board was established to arbitrate on labor disputes. The Wagner Act was a turning point in labor rights. Labor was finally able to gain some power.
Election of 1936
Republicans nominated Alfred M. Landon, the governor of Kansas. Republicans attacked Roosevelt legislation as socialist and had the support of newspapers and big buissness. Roosevelt turned to the middle and lower classes for support. With a brilliant campaign in which he traveled the country, Roosevelt won in a landslide 523 to 8 in the electoral vote. Roosevelt easily won because economic prosperity in the United States was being restored.
New Deal [Roosevelt] Coalition
This was a democratic group that was formed in 1936 and would stay together until the 1970s. This was a group formed by Catholics, Jews, and Northern Blacks.
U.S. v. Butler
This 1936 case overturned the AAA. The Supreme Court stated that the government was not allowed to use its taxing powers to regulate agriculture. A coal conservation act was declared unconstitutional and a New York law for minimum-wage for women was not allowed. This strict interpretation of the Constitution threatened other legislation including the Social Security Act, the Wagner Act, and the Holding Company Act.
FDRs "court packing" scheme
Roosevelt hoped to change the composition of the Supreme Court because many of his policies were being declared unconstitutional. Roosevelt proposed that if a justice did not retire by age 70, the President could appoint a new justice. The number of justices could no exceed 15. The idea died as Roosevelt was accused of over-stepping his authority. However, many justices did realize that change was necessary.
NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin
In this case, the constitutionality of the Wagner Act was upheld because the government could regulate a manufacturing establishment if its product was in or affected interstate commerce. The Supreme Court was now observing the Constitution with a looser interpretation and saving Roosevelts legislation.
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish
In this case, a Washington state minimum wage law was upheld as a proper use of police power. This was another victory for Roosevelt as he supported the minimum wage legislation.
1937 Recession: causes and impact of
In 1937, Roosevelt was unsuccessful in passing more legislation. Suddenly, the nation fell into a recession. Instead of trying to pass more legislation, Roosevelt tried to cut government spending. When that failed, Roosevelt finally created new public works projects. Unemployment had already soared from 6 to 10 million when Roosevelt was still cutting costs. The stock market had already crashed.
C.I.O.: John L. Lewis
John Lewis founded the Committee for Industrial Organization in 1935 because he believed organizing by industry. In 1937, the AFL expelled committee members. Lewis then reorganized as the Congress of Industrial Organization which eventually merged back with the AFL in 1955. CIO members were radical and often went on strike. Many strikes were sit-down strikes.
This tactic was used often by the CIO. Workers would sit down and refuse to work until they were granted the right of collective bargaining. Productions was stopped and it was hard to hire strike-breakers. The UAW was able to win recognition from Chrysler and General Motors by using this technique.
Memorial Day Massacre
The Steel Workers Organizing Committee and U.S. Steel agreed to an eight-hour workday and 40-hour work week in 1937. Other steel companies refused to agree with this plan. In Chicago, strikers formed a peaceful picket line in front of Republic Steel. The police opened fire and killed 10 people.
Fair Labor Standards Act
This 1938 Act was the last piece of the New Deal. It created a minimum wage of $.40 an hour and a 40-hour workweek. Employment of children under 16 was declared illegal and overtime pay was set at 1.5 times normal pay. This Act helped the employee get decent wages and better working hours.
In March 1931, sheriffs deputies arrested nine blacks in Paint Rock, Alabama (near Scottsboro). They were charged with beating up some white vagrants and tossing them off the train. Two prostitutes lied and claimed that the black men had raped them. Eight of the nine defendants were quickly convicted of rape and sentenced to die. Haywood Patterson was sentenced to die after many trials. The Supreme Court intervened and a new trial gave Patterson a 75-year sentence and 4 other life in prison. All five were out of prison by 1950. This was an example of the racial ugliness of the South in the 1930s.
This was the 1st time that so many blacks were cabinet members. William Hastie and Robert Weaver headed the Department of the Interior while Mary McLeod Bethune headed the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Steinbeck criticized the current system which left many mid-western farmers bankrupt and caused them to be migrant workers.
A. Philip Randolph: March on Washington
A. Philip Randolph was the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. In 1941, he lead a plan to march on the capital for equal access to defense industry jobs. President Roosevelt feared riots; therefore, he gave in and issued Executive Order No. 8802 which created the Fair Employment Practices Committee. This was a victory against discrimination and provided a tactic that would be used in the future.
Executive Order #8802
Issued on June 25, 1941, Executive Order #8802 created the Fair Employment Practices Committee. This was a victory against discrimination and gave blacks a chance to get jobs in the Nations defense industries.
Indian Reorganization Act: John Collier
John Collier, the founder of the American Indian Defense Association, was appointed commissioner of Indian affairs. The Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934. It restored lands to tribal ownership and forbode the division of Indian lands. Tribes were allowed to obtain loans for economic development and to establish self-government. This gave autonomy back to the Indians and preserved their tribal ownership.
Anderson was a black contralto (alto singer) who was barred from singing in Washingtons Constitution Hall in 1939 by its owners. Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to sing at the Easter Memorial on Easter Sunday.
Reactions of the 1920s fundamentalism is ended Lever Act bans distilling Morris Sheppard- father of national Prohibition morality- youth, parties, promiscuity lovers lane, speakeasies literature reflects 1920s Pickford, Barrow- movies Sinners in Silk, Her Purchase Price Womens movement- Paul- equal rights (1923) League of Women Voters (1919) 8.2 to 10.4 million women in the workforce "New Negro"- caused black migration Harlem Rennaissance Locke Eugene ONeal, Anderson Garvey- UNIA 1927- Garvey deported Court Decisions of the 1920s Guinn v. United States outlaw grandfather clauses Buchannan v. Worley outlaw residential segregation Moore v. Dempsey black trials which exclude blacks from jury violate due process system 1928- Oscar DePriest- 1st black Congressman since 1901 (George White) (1st from North)- Chicago NAACP- put pressure on the nomination for Supreme Court decision Judge John Parker is candidate Parker had denounced negro suffrage as Governor of North Carolina Parker is not confirmed by Senate Literature- New Modernism some say as important as Renaissance, Victorianism Chicago is hotbed of literature Greenwich Village, NY "Lost Generation" Mencken- writing spurs So. Rennaisance calls South a cultural waste land Anderson and Faulkner (Southern Writers) Fugitive Poets at Vanderbilt University (Davidson, Tate, Warren) At the end of 20s South is land of Literary Promise Hoover becomes President 1929- Hoover tries to rally the nation attempt to right economy (volunteerism) handouts undermine American character Federal Farm Board- provide money to co-ops govt. buys surplus Congress cuts taxes Federal Works Project (construction of Boulder Dam) 1930- Democrats gain control of the House Failure of Federal Policies Failed to regulate Stock Market Fail to check growing power of industries Fail to check spread of wealth Federal Reserve Board had easy credit- should have tight Tighten up as Depression starts- should be loose 1932- RFC Bonus March 4 of 5 banks closed Election of 1932 Roosevelt vs. Hoover (last Pres. in office until March) 1933- Lame Duck Amendment (20th) March to January 20th for inauguration Brain Trust (Roosevelts advisors)- from Columbia Moley, Tugwell, Girul March 4, 1933- Roosevelts inauguration 15 major policy changes by June (1st 100 days) 21st Amendment- Prohibition repealed Inflation/Deflation Thomas (Oklahoma)- reflation (free coinage of silver to solve problems) Silver Purchase Act of 1924- does very little Administration Reorganization Act NLRB investigate narrowed scope of New Deal agencies New Deal Accomplishments Simulated National Economy Provided Relief Restored Confidence Assisted the middle-class Preserve Capitalism and Democracy Offers faith and intelligence experimentation Failure Full recovery did not help poor urban problems end discrimination Legacy Growth of executive branch Growth of federal beauracracy 588,000 to 1,370,000 workers in 10 years (1931-1941) Establishment of a welfare state Social Security and Wagner Act Big business can no longer expect neutral and beneficial government Democrats become dominant party Government as regulator of economy Kenesian Theory and regulation of money Frontier Individualism and self-reliance irrelevant in urban America Government seen as hand-out state