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Chapter 33 – The Great Depression and the New Deal – 1933 -1939- NOTES*** AND INFO
Page #’s are Based on the digital edition—the places to stop are the main idea topics that are the same in the text 

Part 1- 777-785 “A day for every demagogue” NEW DEAL 1

Part 2- 785-794 “Housing reform and social security” NEW DEAL 2

Part 3 - 794- 805 v.v. “How radical was the New Deal?”

MAIN IDEA OF ALL OF CHAPTER 33*******************************************************************
Roosevelt’s New Deal tackled the Great Depression with massive federal programs designed to bring about relief, recovery, and reform.
Summary of all of Chapter 33:
Confident, aristocratic Roosevelt swept into office with an urgent mandate to cope with the depression emergency. His bank holiday and frantic Hundred Days lifted spirits and created a host of new agencies to provide for relief to the unemployed, economic recovery, and permanent reform of the system.

Roosevelt’s programs put millions of the unemployed back on the job through federal action. As popular demagogues such as Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin increased their appeal to the suffering population, Roosevelt developed sweeping programs to reorganize and reform American history, labor, and agriculture. The TVA, Social Security, and the Wagner Act brought far-reaching changes that especially benefited the economically disadvantaged.

Conservatives furiously denounced the New Deal, but Roosevelt formed a powerful coalition of urbanites, labor, new immigrants, blacks, and the South that swept him to victory in 1936.

A decade after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, women began to exercise their rights, both politically and intellectually.

Roosevelt’s Court-packing plan failed, but the Court finally began approving New Deal legislation. The later New Deal encountered mounting conservative opposition and the stubborn persistence of unemployment. Although the New Deal was highly controversial, it saved America from extreme right-wing or left-wing dictatorship.


1. Which of Roosevelt’s measures were most effective in fighting the depression? Why?

2. What were the differences between Hoover and Roosevelt, both personally and politically?

3. What were Roosevelt’s goals of relief, recovery, and reform to help America get out of the Great Depression?

4. What were the main criticism, from both the left and the right, of Roosevelt’s New Deal program?

5. How did Roosevelt deal with the business community and what gains did labor make under his administration?

6. What were the long- and short-term benefits to Roosevelt’s New Deal?

7. How did Roosevelt alter the role of the federal government in American life? Was this necessary for American survival?

8. How did ordinary workers and farmers effect social change in the 1930s?

9. What were the positive and negative effects of the New Deal’s use of the federal government as an agency of social reform?

QUOTES: Important—there is FDR—Republicans & Communists - (critics on the right and left politically)

1- “There are two ways of viewing the Government's duty in matters affecting economic and social life. The first sees to it that a favored few are helped and hopes that some of their prosperity will leak through, sift through, to labor, to the farmer, to the small business man. That theory belongs to the party of Toryism, and I had hoped that most of the Tories left this country in 1776...

My program… [NEW DEAL] is based upon this simple moral principle: the welfare and the soundness of a Nation depend first upon what the great mass of the people wish and need; and second, whether or not they are getting it.

On the farms, in the large metropolitan areas, in the smaller cities and in the villages, millions of our citizens cherish the hope that their old standards of living and of thought have not gone forever. Those millions cannot and shall not hope in vain.
I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people...” FDR (1932)

2- “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. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days… This Nation asks for action, and action now.” FDR (1933)

  • 3-“America is in peril. The welfare of American men and women and the future of our youth are at stake. We dedicate ourselves to the preservation of their political liberty, their individual opportunity and their character as free citizens, which today for the first time are threatened by Government itself. For three long years the New Deal Administration has dishonored American traditions and flagrantly betrayed the pledges upon which the Democratic Party sought and received public support…The New Deal Administration constantly seeks to usurp the rights reserved to the States and to the people…It has insisted on the passage of laws contrary to the Constitution... It has destroyed the morale of our people and made them dependent upon government. Appeals to passion and class prejudice 
have replaced reason and tolerance… To a free people, these actions are insufferable... (Republican Party Platform, 1936)

4- “Our land is the richest in the world. It has the largest and most skilled working class. Everything is present to provide a rich and cultured life for the whole population. Yet millions starve. The whole nation suffers, because capitalism is breaking down, because profits are the first law and are put above human needs — and the capitalist rulers are turning to fascism and war...” (Communist Party Platform, 1936)

5- “The New Deal was fundamentally intended as a modern expression of ideals set forth one hundred and fifty years ago in the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States—'a more perfect union, justice, domestic tranquility, the common defense, the general welfare and the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.' But we were not to be content with merely hoping for these ideals. We were to use the instrumentalities and powers of Government actively to fight for them. (FDR-1938)

Notes –CH. 33 Part 1 To: “A Day For Every Demagogue”

Opening quote:

The Country needs and… demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, But ABOVE ALL, TRY SOMETHNG.” FDR- 1932

Without question this quote illustrates the theme of the “New Deal,” that FDR calls his program, to provide the three (3) R’s to the American People- Relief, Recovery, and Reform.


Voters were in an angry mood as the presidential election of 1932 neared. More and more of the American People were homeless, unemployed, and too many were simply starving to death.

FDR is nominated by the Democratic Party to run against the Republican sitting President, Herbert Hoover. FDR was the wealthy, Harvard educated, NY Governor—and he was a cripple—forced into wearing leg braces to stand and “appear” to walk—most of the time he was confined to a wheelchair.

FDR: Politician in a Wheelchair

FDR was struck with polio in 1921 at the age of 39 and permanently crippled by the disease. Up to this point he was described by others as arrogant and somewhat of a “lightweight” intellectually. BUT SUFFERING humbled him and by courageously fighting his way back from complete helplessness, with the help of his amazing wife, Eleanor, he schooled himself in patience, tolerance, compassion, and strength of will. “After trying for two years to wiggle one big toe, all else seemed easy.” (FDR)

His wife, Eleanor, is without question the most significant and most active FIRST LADY in American History—she becomes FDR’s Legs—and is called, “the conscience of the New Deal.” She travels countless miles with him – Through her lobbying of her husband, Congress, State Legislatures, and Foreign Leaders—Her speeches—Her syndicated weekly national newspaper column—SHE powerfully influenced the policies of the National Government and the US people—ALWAYS SHE BATTLED FOR THE IMPOVERISHED AND OPPRESSED—sitting in the middle of a segregated Black Audience in Birmingham, Alabama despite the threat of arrest—and supporting equal rights for all Americans—and after FDR’s Death as the First US Representative to the United Nations and the leader of their Committee on Human Rights for the World. She is condemned by conservatives, vilified, and loved by liberals—SHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL PUBLIC FIGURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY*************************

“Well behaved Women rarely MAKE HISTORY.”

“ No one can make you fell inferior with your consent.”

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

FDR’s political appeal was amazing—he was the premier American Orator of his generation. He believed that money, rather than humanity, was expendable. He was called a “traitor to his class,” yet always worked to improve the conditions of the “Forgotten Man.”

In the Election of 1932 FDR promised not only a “balanced budget” ***(he was very wrong here, as we will see—he becomes a practitioner of “deficit spending/Keynesian economics” –THE ‘BUBBLE UP” PHILOSOPHY) ---but also sweeping social and economic reforms—FDR states--

I pledge you, I pledge myself to a new deal for the American People.”

Presidential Hopefuls of 1932

FDR was aided by the “Brain Trust” –a small group of reform-minded intellectuals that were predominantly college professors—a kind of informal, “kitchen cabinet.” This “Brain Trust” actually authors much of the New Deal legislation.

FDR’s successful campaign song and slogan was: “Happy Days are Here Again” which coincided with promise to do something, even at the risk of bold experimentation.


Hoover’s Humiliation in 1932

HH was swept into office in 1928 by the rising tide of prosperity---he was ridden out by the receding tide of depression.

FDR won the Electoral Vote—472 to 59—A LANDSLIDE VICTORY—HH only won 6 states.



FDR and the THREE R’S—Relief, Recovery, and Reform******you must know these*******

On Inauguration Day March 4, 1933 FDR provided the American People an inspirational new hope—“The Government must make WAR on the Great Depression as it would wage WAR on an armed foe.”

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1 – He declares a NATIONAL BANK HOLDAY- all banks closed from March 6-10, 1933 and only allowed those banks to re-open that were sound.

2- He summons Congress into a “special session” to create legislation to begin to deal with the myriad of issues that needed solutions—THE FIRST 100 DAYS ************** (sometimes called “The New Deal 1”) March 9 – June 16, 1933.

The NEW DEAL—Relief, Recovery, and Reform—

Short-Term Goals: relief and immediate recovery, especially in the first two (2) years.

Long-Term Goals: permanent recovery and reform of current abuses.

These goals overlapped somewhat but Congress was about to ACT***1st 100 days*** [see chart p. 781 digital edition that breaks down all of the Acts passed by Congress during the 1st 100 days}*

Most significant 1st 100 Days Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by FDR:******************************************************************

Emergency Banking Relief Act, Beer and Wine Revenue Act, Unemployment Relief Act-creates the CCC, Gold Standard Act (ended the currency based on gold—could print as much as they wanted), Federal Emergency Relief Act-creates FERA, Agricultural Adjustment Act-creates the AAA, Tennessee Valley Authority Act-creates the TVA, Federal Securities Act-eventually creates the SEC in 1934*, Home Owners Refinancing Act-creates the HOLC, National Industrial Recovery Act-creates the NRA and PWA, Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act- creates FDIC. {ALPHABET AGENCIES}************

So many acts were passed in the 1st 100 days it was said, “That if FDR asked Congress to commit suicide… they’d do it.”

“ANY movement or action of the Federal Government—even in the wrong direction seemed better to the American People—THAN NO MOVEMENT AT ALL.”

Many of the acts passed in the New Deal 1 & 2 were influenced by the Progressive Movement (1900-1920)

-Unemployment Insurance

-Old-Age Insurance

-Minimum Wage

-Conservation and Development of Natural Resources

-Restrictions on Child Labor

Roosevelt Tackles Money and Banking [see chart p. 782 ***Bank failures before and after the Glass-Steagll Act –FDIC}—“0” bank failures after 1934 for the rest of FDR’s 4 terms in office*

-Banking chaos mandated immediate action. In the first 8 hours of their “special session” they create the Emergency Banking Relief Act—The new law gave the President the power to regulate banking transactions and foreign exchange and to re-open banks.

-FDR wanted to communicate his and Congresses actions to the American People—and suggested that it was SAFER NOW TO KEEP $$$ IN THE NEW RE-OPENED BANKS THAN UNDER YOUR MATTRESS” Confidence is restored to the Banking Industry

*******“FIRESIDE CHATS”—Using the Radio (35 million people listening at one time) FDR gives at least 30 chats to the American People ---on a variety of topics, and why he is called , THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR, these “chats” were the first time a President initiated, using the media, a direct and intimate conversation with the American People—This REVOLUTIONIZED the relationship between the public and the President—in the future (TV) this will be critical especially beginning with the 1st nationally televised Presidential Debate between JFK and Nixon in 1960*

********The Glass-Steagall Reform Act passed in the 1st 100 days—provided for the FDIC which insured individual deposits in banks up to 5000$ (today I believe it is 100,000) BANK FAILURES DISAPPEAR FROM AMERICA---remember the failures of the “wildcat banks” in the 1820’s….

FDR and Congress takes the USA off the Gold Standard---and pays the USA’s debts in PAPER $$$ --Beginning the “managed currency” idea of today. FDR’s goal of a “Managed Currency” was inflation—which they believed would relieve debtor’s burdens and stimulate new manufacturing. He increased America’s purchase of gold to offset some of the worst inflationary evils—The price of Gold goes from 21$ an ounce in 1933 to 35$ an ounce in 1934—which stays stable at this price FOR FORTY YEARS. Once inflation settled down FDR returns the USA to a “limited gold standard” in 1934 for purpose of International Trade Only---Until 1971 (when we abandon the gold standard permanently) The USA would pay foreign bills in gold if requested at 35$ an ounce--- Gold Coin Circulation was banned from this point forward—No more Gold US coins were ever made for general circulation.

Creating Jobs for the Jobless

Unemployment called for prompt action more than any other issue. The USA experienced the HIGHEST LEVEL OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN OUR HISTORY at this point –and since.

FDR’s plan was to “Prime the Pump” use Gov’t $$$ to assist – The 1st 100 Days Congress got the message—Creating the CCC*******(Most Popular of ALL of the New Deal Programs)******* The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) provided employment in “fresh air” Government camps for about 3 MILLION Young Unmarried Men from struggling families, ages 17 - 28—their work was useful—reforestation (planting 3 billion trees), fire-fighting, flood control, swamp drainage, built 800 parks nationwide, improved national park roads,etc…—The men were provided shelter, food, and clothing (uniform) and were paid 30$ a month OF WHICH 25$ WAS SENT HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES—


The First major effort to grapple with the MILLIONS of Adult Unemployed was the Federal Emergency Relief Act (100 Days) (FERA) – its chief aim was immediate relief—(FERA) Federal Emergency Relief Administration was created by (FERAct) and was headed by Harry Hopkins—one of FDR’s most trusted advisors*********we will see him a lot *************************** Hopkins agency granted about $3Billion to the States for DIRECT ROLE PAYMENTS (Welfare today) OR PAYMENTS ON WORK PROJECTS

(CWA) (100 Days) – FDR by executive order created the Civil Works Administration. [a branch of FERA (above) Also run by Harry Hopkins—Designed to provide TEMPORARY JOBS- 10’s of thousands were employed in actions such as raking leaves in parks and other tasks--

Farms and Homes:

The Agriculture Adjustment Act—gave Millions to farmers to pay their mortgages (loan on farms to banks) (100 days) (AAA) Agricultural Administration Agency) is created by this act to aid farmers—more about this tomorrow

(HOLC) (100 days) – The Home Owner’s Loan Corporation- was designed to re-finance loans on non-farm homes. It assisted over a million home-owners from losing their homes.

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