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The Great Depression. We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Depression. We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Depression

2 We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. Herbert Hoover, 1928 A host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. FDR, 1933

3 Panic on Wall Street People crowd Wall Street after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Commissioner Whalen dispatched an extra detail of 400 police officers to guard the area.

4 The Great Depression Begins By 1930: – over 4 million were out of work –banks collapsed –people lost their savings –farms were foreclosed The crisis seemed to feed on itself as more and more people lost their jobs


6 What causes the Depression? Decade-long Drought Overproduction by farm and factory Technological advances limiting employment Crash of Stock Market Overexpansion of credit Hawley-Smoot Tariff During the Great Depression, people couldnt even afford DOTted COTs. Everything was plain and practical.

7 Consequences of the Depression Unemployment averaged 20% plus pay cuts –By 1933 over 13 million were out of work Changes in lifestyle: housing, diet, leisure Decline in birthrate in the 1930s Psychological impact: depression and suicide Homelessness & migration (eg. exodusters) Rise in racial tensions & nativism Lack of safety net BUT life goes on (eg. movies as affordable escapism)


9 The Election of 1932 The Republicans re-nominated Hoover –Hoover had won the election in 1928 by promising a chicken in every pot The Democrats nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt (a distant cousin of Theodore) Roosevelt was well-educated and well-spoken, he had also held many important positions in past administrations, but had suffered from polio which left him wearing leg braces

10 During the campaign Roosevelt promised a New Deal for America, but did not elaborate He blamed Hoover and the Republicans for the Depression Roosevelt won the election 472-59 In the Winter of 1932-3 the situation continued to get worse

11 Political Cartoon

12 FDR

13 Inauguration Speech

14 Women in the Administration First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt –conscience of the New Deal. –Most active first lady in US history. Lobbied for her husband, gave speeches, wrote a newspaper column, fought for the impoverished and oppressed. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins –First woman cabinet member

15 The Gameplan His plan – the 3 Rs: –Relief: Relieve the conditions of the unemployed –Recover: Stimulate industry and economy –Reform: prevent another such depression

16 Game Plan Specifics Focus on the first two years for relief and recovery Long term goals to reform current abuses which had produced the boom or bust Return to Progressive ideas side-tracked by WWI and the 1920s: –Unemployment insurance –Old-age insurance –Minimum wage regulations –Conservation and development of natural resources –Restrictions on child labor

17 Banks need immediate attention Roosevelt called Congress to meet for a special session and then closed the banks for a four day holiday –Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act which allowed sound banks to reopen and provided managers for those in trouble

18 Bank Rushes A "bank run" in Detroit, 1933. Panicking customers rushed to withdraw savings.

19 Fireside Chats On March 12, Roosevelt talked to the nation in the first of his fireside chats He told the people to keep their money in the banks and reassured the nation that he was working to solve the problem

20 Cleaning Up Wall Street (1932) In April the country abandoned the gold standard The Federal Securities Act required full disclosure of information about stocks and bonds The Glass-Steagall Banking Act created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits up to $5,000. It also increased the power of the Federal Reserve to regulate credit

21 Securities & Exchange Commission

22 The First Hundred Days From March 9 to June 16 was known as the Hundred Days Congress received and enacted 15 major pieces of legislation After solving the banking problems the administration focused on RELIEF for workers and unemployed

23 The Workers

24 Relief for the People Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which was intended to create work for the unemployed and unmarried men between 18 and 25. –Employed nearly 3 million young men and paid about $30 a month and spent their time building roads, campgrounds, and planting trees

25 Relief for the People The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) sent money through state agencies in the form of grants to create education programs as well as direct cash payments to individuals


27 The first federal attempt at work relief was through the Civil Works Administration –Roosevelt advocated giving people jobs as opposed to financial hand-outs –Provided federal jobs for those who could not find work. –Dissolved in the spring of 1934, but immediately afterwards the number of unemployed skyrocketed

28 Congress created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to manage the programs


30 Industrial Relief Two parts to The National Industrial Recovery Act: –Economic recovery through the National Recovery Administration (NRA) NRA symbol was the Blue Eagle with the words We do our part The legislation was terminated by the Supreme Court in 1935 because it was deemed unconstitutional in the Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States case –Public Works Administration (PWA)

31 Congress Response With NRA terminated by the courts, the Congress passed the Wagner Act of 1935 (National Labor Relations Act) –Created a new National Labor Relations Board –Reasserted the right of labor to organization and bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing. Led to unskilled workers organizing – led by John. Lewis Formed the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) within the AFL – eventually broke away Used the sit-down strike – to stop strikebreakers being used – in Flint with GM

32 More Reform for Labor Fair Labor Standards Act (Wages and Hours Bill) –Minimum wage (.40 an hour) –Maximum hour levels (40 hours a week) –No labor by children under 16 –Excluded agricultural service and domestic workers Minorities and women did not benefit

33 The Farmers

34 Relief for Farmers With the drop in farm commodities prices, many farmers could not afford to plant crops The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933 planned to pay farmers to destroy their crops in an attempt to raise prices –Eventually animals were slaughtered as well as crops destroyed The decline in supply did increase the prices, but the shortage was as much due to the dust bowl which wiped out many farms on the Great Plains between 1932 and 1935

35 One Farmers balance sheet. 1928 Income1932 Income Cream Sales for full year $ 105.90 Cream Sales for full year $ 6.45 Egg Sales for full year161.07Egg Sales for full year1.85 Wheat, in March sold 614 bushels @ $1.21/bu. & Sept. 205 bu @.84/bu. 920.24 Wheat, in May sold 226 bushels @ $.42/bu. 68.75 Corn, in August sold 435.5 bushels @.83/bu. 361.80 Corn, in August sold 901 bushels @.25 and.26/bu. 231.50 Livestock, throughout the year he sold a steer, 26 hogs, an "old cow" and bull calf. 608.74 Livestock, in July he sold one bull 25.00 "Western land rent" on wheat land Otto owned near Hayes Center, Nebraska, in Dec. 238.50 "Western land rent" in March 68.75

36 Parity Govt studies showed that farmers costs were on par with the crop prices in 1910- 1914 AAA states the govt goal to keep prices need parity

37 RELIEF for Farmers Review Name of ActYear Passed SummaryUpheld by the Courts? Agricultural Adjustment Administration AAA 1933Artificial scarcity and parity No – struck down in 1936 Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act 1936Allow land to lie fallow and be paid – focus on conservation Yes 2nd Agricultural Adjustment Administration New AAA 1938Conservation payments and parity payments Yes

38 Dust Bowl

39 Farmer and sons...dust storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma. 1936.

40 Other New Deals

41 The Tennessee Valley Authority One of the largest and most successful programs was the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) The Tennessee Valley was a very underdeveloped and impoverished area The idea was to build a series of dams on the Tennessee River. The result would be more industry, better schools and libraries, and cheap hydroelectric power.

42 Helping Housing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) –Goal: speed recovery and better homes –How? Provided small loans t householders to improve homes or complete new homes –Very popular and long-standing Added to the FHA with the United States Housing Authority (USHA) –Goal: Build low-income housing –How? Lend money to states or communities –Helps to shrink slum areas

43 The Elderly Traditional economic security: family, labor, or charity First 150 years of American history, most citizens are farmers –Close to family and assumed elderly would be cared for Second Industrial Revolution change this – now dependant on wages to live –Also left elderly parents on the farm to move to the city People now living longer

44 Social Security Administration (SSA) What can you do? –Nothing –Hoovers Volunteerism –Expand current state welfare –FDRs proposal of social insurance SSA Included two major programs: –Federal system of old-age benefits for retired workers who had worked in industry and commerce –Federal-State system of unemployment insurance. Most important New Deal agency


46 Repealing Prohibition Congress passed the Beer-Wine Revenue Act which amended the Volstead Act and permitted the sale of low levels of alcohol –Provided taxable revenue and employment The Twenty-First Amendment was passed in December of 1933 ended Prohibition

47 Native Americans Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 –Encouraged tribes to establish local self- governments and preserve native crafts and traditions –Worked to reverse the Dawes Act of 1887 –Some Indians worried it was back to blankets –Nearly 200 tries organized tribal governments

48 New Deal Critics Not everyone approved of the New Deal legislation and attacks from all sides –H. L. Mencken complained that Roosevelt was creating a welfare state –Father Charles Coughlin the radio priest by 1934 he had turned against Roosevelt – calling the president a liar. Dr. Francis Townsend suggested that all people over 60 receive $200 a month, the money could be raised through a sales tax. The most vocal critic was Huey Long, once governor and senator of Louisiana –Long was nicknamed the modern-day Robin Hood for his share our wealth plan – limit income of the rich Communist party felt the New Deal was too conservative

49 Election of 1934 Overwhelmingly for Democrats –FDRs appeal to the forgotten man –South, unions, blacks, urbanites, New immigrants, and the poor vote Dem In new term, FDR sought to pack the Supreme Court –6 of the 9 justices were over 70 –Had ruled against FDR in 7 of 9 cases –Asked Congress to add a new justice to the Court for every member over 70 –STRONGLY opposed

50 End of the 1930s New Deal does not end the Depression A recession hits in 1937 Roosevelt turn to Keynesian economics –British economist John Maynard Keynes –Deficit spending By 1938 no more rabbits to pull out of FDRs hat

51 THE NEW DEAL OPPONENTS Waste, incompetence, confusion Lefty socialists Too much improvising without a real plan Growth of bureaucracy – states fade further National debt Business and republicans hated it Too much presidential powers DIDNT FIX THE DEPRESSION!! SUPPORTERS Some waste, but relief was needed Headed off a more radical swing with a moderate option Government was morally bound to prevent mass hunger – govt is to be used, not feared Citizens retained self-respect Deflected hatred of business New Deal did relieve the worst of the crisis in 1933

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