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The New Deal Comes Under Attack

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1 The New Deal Comes Under Attack
Opposition to the New Deal grew among some parts of the population. Liberal critics argued that the New Deal did not go far enough to help the poor & to reform the nation’s economic system. Conservative critics argued that FDR spent too much on direct relief & used New Deal policies to control business & socialize the economy.


3 Supreme Court Reacts New Deal
Two Supreme Court decisions opposed the New Deal. 1935, the Court struck down the NIRA as unconstitutional, declaring that the law gave the legislature powers to the executive branch when dealing with industry. 1936, the Court struck down the AAA on the grounds that agriculture is a local matter & should be regulated by the states rather than the federal government. FDR upset by the rulings & feared that further Court decisions might dismantle the New Deal, in 1937 he proposed that Congress reorganize the Federal Judiciary & allow him to appoint six new Supreme Court Justices. FDR’s goal was to make the Court more sympathetic to his New Deal programs. Many in press & public became outraged (charged him with “court packing”) at FDR’s attempt to increase his power & threaten the separation of powers. Later, rulings of the Court began to shift in Roosevelt’s favor as justices retired & FDR appointed his supporters (7 new Justices )


5 New Opportunities for Women
FDR named several women to important official positions. Frances Perkins, became the first female Cabinet member (Sec of Labor). She played a major role in crafting the Social Security Legislation & crafting of labor legislation. In making the appointments, FDR appealed to a new voting base = Female voters. New Deal laws yielded mixed results for women. Women earned lower wages then men in the New Deal work programs & the CCC only hired men. However, women in the workforce did increase in the 1930’s, especially married working women (up 15%).

6 African Americans FDR had a mixed record when it came to civil rights.
He created “Black Cabinet” of influential African Americans to advise him on racial issues. Eleanor Roosevelt played a critical role in opening doors for African Americans. However, FDR never fully committed to civil rights for African Americans. He was afraid of upsetting Southern whites, an important segment of voters. He refused to support a federal anti-lynching law & an end to poll taxes, two key goals of the civil rights movement. He allowed AA’s to benefit from New Deal programs but favored white workers for providing direct relief & jobs. AA’s also received lower wages than whites & were segregated from whites. Many AA’s did support FDR & New Deal and abandoned their traditional allegiance to the Republican Party. Many AA’s saw FDR as their best hope.

7 Mexican Americans Tended to support the New Deal, though received fewer benefits than African Americans. Large # of Mexican Americans came to U.S. in 1920’s & settled mainly in the Southwest. Most worked as farm laborers which wasn’t an occupation that was protected by the Govt. Wages remained low & tried to unionize, but were met with resistance & violence.

8 Native Americans In 1924, Native Americans received full citizenship by law & later strongly supported the New Deal. FDR’s administration with the assistance of John Collier (NA activist) created the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Act strengthened Native Americans land claims by prohibiting the Govt from taking unclaimed reservation lands & selling them to people other than Native Americans. 1934 Act was able to restore some reservation lands & tribal ownership.

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