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FDR & a New Deal for America. “It is hard, today, to imagine the level of expectation that greeted Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he ascended to take.

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Presentation on theme: "FDR & a New Deal for America. “It is hard, today, to imagine the level of expectation that greeted Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he ascended to take."— Presentation transcript:

1 FDR & a New Deal for America

2 “It is hard, today, to imagine the level of expectation that greeted Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he ascended to take the reins from the much-maligned Hoover” (Jennings 155). “ People are looking to you almost as they look to God ” (qtd. in Jennings 157). By the end of his twelve years as president, “people would find it hard to remember a day when he was not their leader, when they could not expect, at a time of need, to hear his soothing voice” (Jennings 157).

3 Roosevelt Takes Office March 4, 1933

4 1933: A Nation in Crisis 1933: The Great Depression was almost 4 years old. Hoover was seen as ineffective Roosevelt was a symbol of hope The economy including the stock market, banks and general unemployment was reeling.

5 FDR’s First Inaugural Address President Hoover, Mr. Chief Justice, my friends: This is a day of national consecration, and I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our nation impels. This is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear...is fear itself... nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. Thoreau had once written, “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.”

6 First Step: Stabilize Bank Holiday (deliberate positive terminology) –Closed all banks to prevent panicked withdrawals, which could lead banks to fail, causing thousands to lose their savings –In one day, rushed legislation through Congress that propped up banks with federal loans –Explained the process and promise of the government’s actions in the first of a series of “fireside chats.”

7 I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking... I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be.... First of all let me state the simple fact that when you deposit money in a bank the bank does not put the money into a safe deposit vault. It invests your money in many different forms of credit-bonds, commercial paper, mortgages and many other kinds of loans. In other words, the bank puts your money to work to keep the wheels of industry and of agriculture turning around. A comparatively small part of the money you put into the bank is kept in currency -- an amount which in normal times is wholly sufficient to cover the cash needs of the average citizen. In other words the total amount of all the currency in the country is only a small fraction of the total deposits in all of the banks. The success of our whole great national program depends, of course, upon the cooperation of the public -- on its intelligent support and use of a reliable system. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith ; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system; it is up to you to support and make it work. It is your problem no less than it is mine. Together we cannot fail. RESULT: People returned to banks $600 million by the end of the week $1 billion by the end of the month There was obvious confidence in FDR’s plan.

8 The First Hundred Days “Without a doubt, the greatest period of reform in American history” (Jennings 159). 15 new initiatives in Congress = the First New Deal: 1)Emergency Banking Relief Act 2)Economy Act 3)Beer-Wine Revenue Act 4)Civilian Conservation Corps 5)Federal Emergency Relief Act (later Admin) 6)Agricultural Adjustment Act 7)Tennessee Valley Authority 8)Federal Securities Act 9)Abandonment of Gold Standard 10)National Employment System Act 11)Home Owners Refinancing Act 12)Banking Act 13)Farm Credit Act 14)Emergency Railroad Transportation Act 15)National Industrial Recovery Act (later the NRA)

9 Objectives of the First New Deal SHORT TERM Provide relief and temporary work for the jobless LONG TERM Restore prosperity by creating federal agencies to establish a proper balance among –Supply –Demand –Prices –Investment Attempted to replace unrestricted competition with a planned economy managed through voluntary cooperation by representatives from labor, business and government.

10 The First New Deal: Theme/Recovery Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) –Helped unemployed young men 18 to 25 years old Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA) –Helped farmers by paying them not to grow crops National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) –Helped business by requiring that businesses in the same industry cooperate with each other to set prices and output –Started Public Works Administration (PWA) –Labor received federal protection for the right to organize. Federal Securities Act –Helped investors, restored confidence in the markets Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) –Helped build dams and other projects along the Tennessee River and its tributaries

11 Radical Left Reactions to the New Deal Conservative Reactions to the New Deal Believed the New Deal did not go far enough in reforming the economy Wanted a complete overhaul of capitalism Huey P. Long, Father Charles Coughlin, Dr. Francis Townsend Attacked the New Deal as a radical break with traditional American ideals Thought the New Deal would drive the country to destruction. American Liberty League Trouble for the New Deal

12 Leading Critics of the New Deal Huey P. Long (senator from Louisiana) –Believed Roosevelt’s policies were too friendly to banks and businessmen (started the Share Our Wealth Society) Father Charles Coughlin (the “radio priest”) –Believed Roosevelt was not doing enough to curb the power of bankers and financial leaders Dr. Francis Townsend –Criticized the New Deal for not doing enough for older Americans (wanted pensions for people over 60) The American Liberty League –Believed that the New Deal went too far and was anti-business Opposition from the courts –Critics of the New Deal feared that it gave the president too much power over other branches of government. –Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States –United States v. Butler

13 FDR’s Second Inaugural (Jan. 1937) But here is the challenge to our democracy: In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens—a substantial part of its whole population—who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life. I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day. I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.

14 FDR’s Second Inaugural continued I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children. I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions. I see one-third of a nation ill- housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

15 The Second New Deal Accepted the idea of a competitive marketplace and free enterprise, abandoning the First New Deal’s concept of an economy managed through strict codes and federal agencies. Concentrated on other measures, like government regulation and anti-trust laws. Focused on continued farm regulation/relief efforts and strengthening the power of labor unions.

16 The Second New Deal A new wave of government initiatives starting in 1935 resulted in some strong successes for President Roosevelt. 1.WPA: Works Progress Administration 2.Social Security 3.Wagner Act [NLRB Act] 4.Wealth Tax

17 SOCIAL SECURITY ACT One of the most important achievements of the New Deal era was the creation of the Social Security System The Social Security Act, passed in 1935, had 3 parts: Old-Age Pension Unemployment compensation Aid to Americans with Disabilities

18 The Works Progress Administration (WPA) Created May 1935 Most important federal employment program –employing avg. 2.3 million per month! –8.5 million different people employed overall –1.4 million projects funded Types of workers: manual laborers, authors, artists, photographers Types of work: built bridges, roads, parks, airfields, schools, hospitals, wrote & produced plays, made educating and advertising posters, documented slave narratives, photographed the Depression, etc.

19 WPA Success at UNITING America The economic crisis of the 1930s focused the attention of Americans on the lives and struggles of ordinary folk. Not surprisingly, much New Deal art reflected this preoccupation with "the people." Visual artists, writers, filmmakers, and playwrights concentrated many of their creative efforts on the patterns of everyday life, especially the world of work. A recurring theme was the strength and dignity of common men and women, even as they faced difficult circumstances.

20 WPA Success at UNITING America This helped to unite Americans in their understanding of the Depression, of the vastness of the land they occupied and needed, of the common concerns they had, and of the need for them to share the responsibility of citizenship that a democracy requires. With art, the WPA also provided a different kind of “relief” from the Depression – psychological.

21 Wall Hanging by WPA Handcraft Project, Milwaukee, Wisconsin By an unknown artist, Milwaukee Handcraft Project, WPA, ca Block-printed cloth Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and Records Administration (MO B)

22 New York : Federal Art Project, 1936 or 1937 Poster promoting better living conditions by keeping tenement neighborhoods clean. Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress)

23 [1936 or 1937]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC- USZC

24 John Buczak. [1940]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC- USZC

25 Benjamin Sheer. [1936]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC- USZC Earl Schuler. [between 1936 and 1940]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZC

26 I am a photographer hired by a democratic government to take pictures of its land and its people. The idea is to show New York to Texans and Texas to New York. --Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration photographer, U.S. Camera One, 1941.

27 Dorothea Lange CREATED/PUBLISHED 1935 June. REPRODUCTION NUMBER LC-USZ DLC (b&w film copy neg. from file print) COLLECTION Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

28 Home of a dust bowl refugee in California. Imperial County. Dorothea Lange, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1937 Mar. REPRODUCTION NUMBER LC-USF C DLC (b&w film neg.) COLLECTION Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

29 Russel Lee, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1942 Feb. REPRODUCTION NUMBER LC-USF D DLC (b&w film neg.) COLLECTION Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress

30 Dust storm. Oklahoma. Arthur Rothstein, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1936 Apr. REPRODUCTION NUMBER LC-USF E DLC (b&w film neg.) COLLECTION Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

31 The winds of the "dust bowl" have piled up large drifts of soil against this farmer's barn near Liberal, Kansas. Arthur Rothstein, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1936 Mar.

32 Dust storm. It was conditions of this sort which forced many farmers to abandon the area. Spring New Mexico. Dorothea Lange, photographer. CREATED/PUBLISHED 1935 Apr. REPRODUCTION NUMBER LC-USF E DLC (b&w film neg.) COLLECTION Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

33 "CCC Boys at Work" Prince George County, Virginia Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs ARC Identifier: ARC

34 Unemployed Men Eating in Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen, Washington, D.C. Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs ARC Identifier: ARC

35 Roosevelt Showcased his achievements: unemployment cut in half, income and business earnings were up, New Deal programs provided hope and help Spoke out against big business His Critics Republicans argued that the New Deal was overly bureaucratic and was creating a planned economy. American Liberty League tried to stop Roosevelt’s attack on big business. Republican Alf Landon did not pose a serious threat. The Election of 1936 The Results A tremendous victory for Roosevelt Alf Landon carried only two states. The Democrats again gained seats in both houses.

36 1936 Election

37 A Troubled Year Roosevelt surprised Congress with a plan to reorganize the nation’s courts. In the fall of 1937, the nation’s economy suffered another setback. Although the Supreme Court began to rule in favor of New Deal legislation and the economy began to rebound in the summer of 1938, the positive feelings about Roosevelt and the New Deal had begun to fade.

38 The Court-Packing Plan Roosevelt’s Plan Gave the president power to appoint many new judges and expand the Supreme Court by up to six judges Roosevelt argued that changes were needed to make the courts more efficient. Most observers saw plan as effort to “pack” the court with friendly justices. The Result Plan did not pass; however, the Supreme Court made some rulings that favored New Deal legislation. Supreme Court upheld a minimum wage law in Washington state. Court ruled in favor of a key element of the Wagner Act. Court declared Social Security plan to be constitutional.

39 The Nation’s Economy Economic Theory 1937 witnessed an economic downturn that began with a sharp drop in the stock market. By the end of the year, about 2 million Americans had lost their jobs. Roosevelt had hoped to cut back on government spending, for he feared the growing federal budget deficit. As unemployment rose during 1937 and 1938, the government spent large sums of money to help the unemployed. British economist John Maynard Keynes argued that deficit spending could provide jobs and stimulate the economy. The economy did begin to rebound in the summer of Economic Downturn of 1937

40 Life during the New Deal The Main Idea The Great Depression and the New Deal had a deep impact on American culture during the 1930s. Reading Focus How did the public roles of women and African Americans change during the New Deal? How did artists and writers of the era tell the story of the Great Depression? What forms of popular entertainment were popular during the Great Depression?

41 New Roles for Women Women Roosevelt promoted and recognized women. Frances Perkins – Secretary of Labor – was the first woman to head an executive office. Ruth Bryan Owen served as minister to Denmark. Roosevelt appointed women to such posts as director of the U.S. Mint and assistant secretary of the Treasury. Women served as leaders in several New Deal agencies. Still, women faced challenges and discrimination. –Lower wages –Less opportunities –Hostility in the workplace

42 New Roles for African Americans Roosevelt’s administration also appointed many African Americans. –William Hastie became the first black federal judge. –A group of African Americans hired to fill government posts were known as the Black Cabinet, and they served as unofficial advisors to the president. –The Black Cabinet met under the leadership of Mary McLeod Bethune, director of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration. Still, African Americans continued to face tremendous hardships during the 1930s. –Severe discrimination –Thousands of African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers were not helped by New Deal programs. –Southern Democrats in Congress opposed efforts to aid African Americans. Many African American switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party during the 1930s.

43 Art of the Great Depression Painters and sculptors fashioned works depicting the struggles of the working class. Authors and playwrights focused on the plight of the rural and urban poor. –Writer John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath –Songwriter Woody Guthrie celebrated the lives of ordinary people. –Writer James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men Photographers –Dorothea Lange recorded images of jobless people and the rural poor. –Walker Evans depicted the lives of sharecroppers in the Lower South.

44 Dorothea Lange Dorothea Lange was a celebrated chronicler of the Great Depression. She recorded images of jobless people in her hometown of San Francisco. Lange worked for the Farm Security Administration. She was hired to document the plight of the poor and, through her images, gain public support for New Deal programs. Lange’s photographs of the rural poor helped raise awareness about the poorest of the poor – sharecroppers and tenant farmers. In 1937 the federal government finally began to provide help to sharecroppers and tenant farmers.

45 Movies Millions of Americans went to the movies each week. Most films were upbeat and allowed viewers to “escape” the depression. Grand musicals and comedies were popular. Animation and color photography delighted audiences. Radio Provided politics, religion, music, sports, and other forms of entertainment Introduced new music styles such as jazz and swing Action shows such as The Lone Ranger and comedies such as Fibber McGee and Molly were popular. Popular Entertainment of the Great Depression Sports Interest in sports remained strong in the 1930s. Baseball was popular. Babe Ruth Joe DiMaggio Boxing was hugely popular. Joe Lewis

46 Analyzing the New Deal The Main Idea The New Deal had mixed success in rescuing the economy, but it fundamentally changed Americans’ relationship with their government. Reading Focus What was the impact of the New Deal on the nation in the 1930s? In what ways was the impact of the New Deal limited? How did the New Deal come to an end?

47 The Impact of the New Deal The New Deal promised relief, recovery, and reform. –Relief programs put billions of dollars into the pockets of poor Americans. –The New Deal was less successful in delivering economic recovery. –New Deal reforms were successful and long-lasting. The New Deal changed the link between the American people and their government. –Roosevelt believed that government could help businesses and individuals achieve a greater level of economic security. –The New Deal required a much bigger government. –Americans now began to look regularly to government for help.

48 Relief Millions of Americans enjoyed some form of help. Direct relief or jobs that provided a steady paycheck Programs such as Social Security and unemployment insurance became a fixture of government. Recovery Not as successful at economic recovery Unemployment remained high. Some critics argued that Roosevelt needed the support of big business. Other critics said that the New Deal didn’t spend enough money. The Impact of the New Deal Reform More successful and long-lasting FDIC restored public confidence in the nation’s banks. SEC restored public confidence in stock markets. New Deal left thousands of roadways, bridges, dams, public buildings, and works of art.

49 Limits of the New Deal Relief programs gave aid to millions of people, but they were not meant to be a permanent solution to joblessness. Also, they did not provide jobs to everyone who needed one. The level of government assistance varied by state. For example, a family needing assistance in Massachusetts might receive $60 per month, while a family in Arkansas might get $8. New Deal programs permitted discrimination against African Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, and others.

50 The End of the New Deal Roosevelt tried to influence voters in the South during the congressional elections of 1938; however his candidates lost. The Republicans made gains in the both houses. Roosevelt lacked the congressional support he needed to pass New Deal laws. Weakening Support Setbacks such as the court-packing fight and the 1937 economic downturn gave power to anti-New Deal senators. Opposition in Congress made passing New Deal legislation more difficult. Only one piece passed in 1938: the Fair Labor Standards Act (which set up a minimum wage) Elections The New Deal ended in Americans turned their attention to the start of WWII. After the New Deal

51 "Stringing rural TVA transmission line." Rural Electrification Administration (REA) - Tennessee Valley Administration (TVA) Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs ARC Identifier: ARC

52 In depicting the course of daily life, New Deal artists memorialized routine events such as waiting for a train or watching workers from a city window. Behind these celebrations of the mundane, however, lay a belief that such vignettes represented the essence of modern American life as lived by most individuals. Artists considered it to be their responsibility to capture such core experiences.

53 Michigan artist Alfred Castagne sketching WPA construction workers By an unknown photographer, May 19, 1939 National Archives, Records of the Work Projects Administration (69-AG-410)

54 "Church in shacktown community. It is used by different sects, including Pentecostal. The curtains are made of flour sacks.... Near Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, May 10, 1940" By Dorothea Lange, Bureau of Agricultural Economics National Archives, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (83-G-41382)

55 Photograph from the "Food for New York City" series By Sol Libsohn, New York City Federal Art Project, WPA, 1939 National Archives, Records of the Work Projects Administration (69-ANP-8-P )

56 SOURCES US National Archives (NARA) s/fdr_inaugural_address/fdr_inaugural_address.ht ml s/fdr_inaugural_address/fdr_inaugural_address.ht ml r_the_arts/celebrating_the_people1.html#http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/new_deal_fo r_the_arts/celebrating_the_people1.html# Library of Congress me.html me.html


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