Pre-New Deal Statistics

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Pre-New Deal Statistics

13-14 million unemployed in months leading up to inauguration

40 million people who could not count on regular source of income

1932 1,456 bank failures

$715 million in lost deposits

1933 (first two months) 4,004 banks go under

$3.6 billion lost

Longer breadlines, Hoovervilles more crowded

New Deal

Speech Given at Acceptance of nomination


Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor

Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of Interior

William Woodin Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of Treasury

Cordell Hull, Secretary of State

Harry Hopkins, had supervised FDR’s relief programs in NY, chosen to do it at federal level. Head up FERA
First 100 Daysset tone for this measurement for future presidents

The Beginning

I. Finance


Four day bank holiday beginning Monday, March 6

-so that congress could write legislation to deal with the banking system


Emergency Banking Act of 1933 (passed by Congress on 3/9 after 38 minutes of debate…more conservative than they had expected…Senate overwhelmingly passed it by 7:30 that evening…73 to 7)

Banks start to reopen on March 13 (end of the month, ¾ reopened)

(FDR=fiscal conservative, call for balanced budgets throughout term)

EBAto stabilize banking system not change it

RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corporation)

AUDIO: Fireside Chat (March 21, 1933)



Off gold standard (April 19) and Federal Securities Act (May 27)

Long term impact but little immediate effect

Non financial relief programs

(“…the government’s relief programs, which were indisputably direct, massive in scale, and, if flawed and too often confused and confusing, affected the lives of millions at the level of survival itself.” Watkins, 124)

FDR opposite of Hoover’s individuals help themselves, private sector, etc

FDR wanted to “provide federal relief to as many people as possible as soon as possible.” (Watkins, 124)

II. Federal Emergency Relief Administration (May (12) 1933)

FERA nfunded by $500 million provided by RFC

Grants to states for half of the 500 mill.

Each state must establish and support a local FERA office

Other half=matching grants ($1 fed money for every $3 local)

Administered through the AAA

III. National Industrial Recovery Bill (NIRA) June 16

Introduced in Congress on May 15$3 billion allocated for relief

Fund federal, state and municipal projects

How paid for? (manufacturers sales’ tax or ‘breakfast table tax’)

Two parts

Title I

--created NRA

National Recovery Adminsitration (NRA)

Get prices and wages under control

Government control over industry (not since WW I)

Hugh Johnson to administer it

Blue Eagle emblem, “We Do Our Part” (films of support)

Title II

--created Public Works Administration

Public Works Administration (PWA)

Directed by Ickes

$3.3 billion to run it

fed gov had supported public works projects previously

transcontinental railroads, Rivers and Harbors Act,

during its six years it would finance 34,508 projects at a cost of over $6 billion, employing, in any given year, 500,000 workers or more

--in all but three of the nation’s 3,073 counties there would be at least one project (Watkins, 145, examples as well)

NIRA would be invalidated by SCOTUS in January 1935

IV. Farm Relief Act signed into lay by FDR May 12

--president the power to adjust the value of the dollar to implement inflation; a “measure long desired by price-hungry farmers, it appalled conservatiuve economists, including FDR’s budget director, Lewis Douglas, who said, “Well, this is the end of Western civilization,” and later resigned” (Watkins 160)

Created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)

--controlled production, inducing higher prices by paying farmers to take land out of cultivation or reducing livestock production—money came from a processing tax on food products

--mortgage relief

V. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) May 18, 1933

Description, Watkins, 151

Civil Works Administration (CWA), October 1933

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), (passes congress on March 31) April 5, 1933

Part of Reforestation Relief Act


Outlining the New Deal

VI. Court Packing (Watkins, 307)

--FDR calls meeting February 5, 1937 with cabinet and Senate Dem. Leaders

--Announced intention to ask congress, that afternoon, for legislation empowering him to appoint one additional judge to the federal judiciary for every judge who reached the age of 70 but declined to retire. Targets? 6 of 9 SCOTUS justices

--Set in motion events that would erode relationship with congress and “condemn the ND to a long legislative twilight”

--essentially ended the New Deal

--on July 22 the Dem controlled Senate voted 70-20 to recommit the legislation to

the Judiciary Committee—way to bury it.

--next few years, deaths and retirements

--he eventually appointed 8 justices

Court Make-up



James McReynolds (1914-1941) Wilson (aging)

Willis Van Devanter (1911-1937) Taft

George Sutherland (1922-1938) Harding

Pierce Butler (1923-1939) Harding
Moderates (at best)

Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1910-16) Taft (CJ 1930-41) Hoover

More often than not, he voted to uphold controversial legislation of New Deal, though in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), he wrote the opinion that found the act that created the NIRA to be unconstitutional. He vigorously opposed Roosevelt's unsuccessful effort to reorganize the Supreme Court in 1937.

Owen J. Roberts (1930-45) Hoover

Liberals (always count on to support ND?)

Louis Brandeis (1916-1939) Wilson (“a sometimes ally-sometimes enemy of New

Deal policy” Watkins, 241)

Harlan Stone (1925-41) Coolidge

Benjamin Cardozo (1932-1938) Hoover

". . .the great generalities of the Constitution have a content and a significance that vary from age to age. The method of free decision sees thru the transitory particulars and reaches what is permanent behind them."

Important Decisions

1/7/35 on: several decisions invalidating portions of New Deal measures

5/7/35 Schecter v. United States -- “Black Monday” – invalidated code-making

and price-fixing powers of Title I of National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) “This is the end of this business centralization, and I want you to go back and tell the president that we’re not going to let this government centralize everything. It’s come to an end.” – Brandeis to Thomas Corcoran

Spring 1936 Invalidated Bituminous Coal Conservation Act (BCC) “little NIRA”

for coal industry

Struck down major portions of AAA

Suggestion of trouble for National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

March 29 – May 24, 1937 A series of decisions supporting ND – made the enemy

look like it supported his policies

Additional Information

Media Against Roosevelt

Chicago Tribune – “Shall the Supreme Court be turned into the personal organ of the President…is fundamental because, if Congress answers yes, the principle of an impartial and independent judiciary will be lost in this country.”

Walter Lippman – Roosevelt was “drunk with power”
Constituents (from Watkins, 308)

defy the kind of tyranny that “Cornwallis and Howe fought for in 1776”

Don’t, don’t let that wild man in the White House do this dreadful thing to our country.”
Senator Joseph Robinson – who had been fighting for it against growing opposition in

Senate died on July 14, 1937.


Draft of the Proposed Law
Judicial Branch Reorganization Plan

Editorial, The New York Herald-Tribune, February 8, 1937.
Title: Issues and Men, by Villard, Oswald Garrison, Publication:     The Nation
Editorial, The Nation

The President Faces the Court," The New Republic
FDR Speech in support
Reasons for President's Plan and the Remedy
Homer S. Cummings
Attorney-General of the United States
By radio, February 14, 1937

The Naked Question of the Constitutionality of the Court Proposal

John H. Clarke
Former Associate Justice, U. S. Supreme Court
Over NBC, March 22, 1937
This is No Lawyer's Dispute over Legalisms
Herbert Hoover
Chicago. February 20, 1937


FDR’s accepts Dem Party nomination July 7, 1932

On the Reorganization of the Judiciary (Fireside Chat)
Franklin D. Roosevelt , March 9, 1937 text:


Charles E. Coughlin
Supreme Court Decisions

Backing the President's Court Proposal

Political Cartoons

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