The only thing we have to fear is fear itself



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FDR and the Three R’s: Relief, Recovery, Reform

  1. On Inauguration Day, FDR asserted, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

  2. He called for a nationwide banking holiday to eliminate paranoid bank withdrawals, and then commenced on his Three R’s

  3. The Democratic-controlled Congress was willing to do as FDR said, and the first 100 days of FDR’s administration were filled with more legislative activity than ever before

    1. Many of the New Deal Reforms had been adopted by European nations a decade before


Roosevelt Tackles Money and Banking

  1. The Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933 as passed first

  2. Then, Roosevelt settled down for the first of his thirty famous “Fireside Chats”

  3. The “Hundred Days Congress” passed the Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act, that provided the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insured individual deposits up to $5000, thereby eliminating the epidemic of bank failure and restoring faith to banks

  4. FDR then took the nation off of the gold standard and achieved controlled inflation by ordering Congress to buy gold at increasingly higher prices

    1. In February 1934, he announced that the U.S. would pay foreign gold at a rate of one ounce of gold per very $35 due


Creating Jobs for the Jobless

  1. Roosevelt had no qualms about using federal money to assist the unemployed, so he created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided employment in fresh-air government camps for about 3 million uniformed young men

    1. They reforested areas, became fire fighters, drained swamps, and controlled floods

    2. However, critics accused FDR of militarizing the youths and acting as dictator

  2. The Federal Emergency Relief Act looked for immediate relief rather than long-term alleviation, and its Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was headed by the zealous Harry L. Hopkins

  3. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) made available many millions of dollars to help farmers meet their mortgages

  4. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) refinanced mortgages on non-farm homes and bolted down the loyalties of middle class, Democratic homeowners

  5. The Civil Works Administration (CWA) was established late in 1933, and it was designed to provide purely temporary jobs during the winter emergency

    1. Many of its tasks were rather frivolous and were designed for the sole purpose of making jobs

  6. One FDR opponent was Father Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest in Michigan who disliked the New Deal and voiced his opinions on radio

  7. Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana was popular for his “Share the Wealth” program, where every family was to receive $5000, allegedly from the rich

    1. His chief lieutenant was former clergyman Gerald L. K. Smith

    2. He was later shot by a deranged medical doctor in 1935

  8. Dr. Francis E. Townsend of California attracted the trusting support of perhaps 5 million “senior citizens” with his fantastic plan of each senior receiving $200 month, provided that all of it would be spent within the month

  9. Congress also authorized the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935, which put $11 million on thousands of public buildings, bridges, and hard-surfaced roads and gave 9 million people jobs in its eight year existence

    1. It also found part-time jobs for needy high school and college students and for actors, musicians, and writers

    2. John Steinbeck counted dogs in his California county


A Helping Hand for Industry and Labor

  1. The National Recovery Administration (NRA), by far the most complicated of the programs, was designed to assist industry, labor, and the unemployed

    1. There were maximum hours of labor, minimum wages, and more rights for labor union members, including the right to choose their own representatives in bargaining

    2. The Philadelphia Eagles were named after this act, which received much support and patriotism, but eventually, it was shot down by the Supreme Court

      1. Besides too much was expected of labor, industry, and the public

  2. The Public Works Administration also intended both for industrial recovery and for unemployment relief

    1. Headed by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, it aimed at long-range recovery by spending over $4 billion on some 34,000 projects that included public buildings, highways, and parkways (i.e. the Grand Coulee Dam of the Columbia River)

  3. One of the Hundred Days Congress’s earliest acts was to legalize light wine and beer with an alcoholic content of 3.2% or less and also levied a $5 tax on every barrel manufactured

    1. Prohibition was officially repealed with the 21st Amendment


Paying Farmers Not to Farm

  1. To help the farmers, which had been suffering ever since the end of World War I, Congress established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which paid farmers to reduce their crop acreage and would eliminate price-depressing surpluses

    1. However, it got off to a rocky start when it killed lots of pigs for not good reason, and paying farmers not to farm actually increased unemployment

    2. The Supreme Court killed it in 1936

  2. The New Deal Congress also passed the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936, which paid farmers to plant soil-conserving plants like soybeans or to let their land lie fallow

  3. The Second Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 was a more comprehensive substitute that continued conservation payments but was accepted by the Supreme Court


Dust Bowl and Black Blizzards

  1. After the drought of 1933, furious winds whipped up dust into the air, turning parts of Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma into the Dust Bowl and forcing many farmers to migrate west to California (ala The Grapes of Wrath)

    1. The dust was very hazardous to the health and to living, creating further misery

  1. The Fazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act, passed in 1934, made possible a suspension of mortgage foreclosure for five years, but it was voided in 1935 by the Supreme Court

  2. In 1935, FDR set up the Resettlement Administration, charged with the task of removing near-farmless farmers to better land

  3. Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier sought to reverse the forced-assimilation policies in place since the Dawes Act of 1887

      1. He promoted the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Indian “New Deal”), which encouraged tribes to preserve their culture and traditions

      2. Not all Indians liked it; 77 tribes refused to organize under its provisions (200 did)


Battling Bankers and Big Business

  1. The Federal Securities Act (“Truth in Securities Act”) required promoters to transmit to the investor sworn information regarding the soundness of their stocks and bonds

  2. The Securities and Exchange Commission was designed as a watchdog administrative agency, and stock markets henceforth were to operate more as trading marts than as casinos

  3. In 1932, Chicagoan Samuel Insull’s multi-billion dollar financial empire had crashed, and such cases as his resulted in the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935

The TVA Harnesses the Tennessee River

  1. The sprawling electric-power industry attracted the fire of New Deal reformers

    1. New Dealers accused it of gouging the public with excessive rates

  2. Thus, the Tennessee Valley Authority (1933) sought to discover exactly how much money it took to produce electricity and then keep rates reasonable

    1. It constructed dams on the Tennessee River and helped the 2.5 million extremely poor citizens of the area improve their lives and their conditions

    2. Hydroelectric power of Tennessee would give rise to that of the West


Housing Reform and Social Security

  1. To speed recovery and better homes, FDR set up the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 1934 to stimulate the building industry through small loans to householders

    1. It was one of the few “alphabetical” agencies to outlast the age of Roosevelt

  2. Congress bolstered the program in 1937 by authorizing the U.S. Housing Authority (USHA), designed to lend money to states or communities for low-cost construction

    1. This was the first time in American history that slum areas stopped growing

  3. The Social Security Act of 1935 was the greatest victory for New Dealers, since it created pension and insurance for the old-aged, the blind, the physically handicapped, delinquent children, and other dependents by taxing employees and employers

    1. Republican attacked this bitterly


A New Deal for Unskilled Labor

  1. A rash of walkouts occurred in the summer of 1934, and after the NRA was axed, the Wagner Act (aka National Labor Relations Act) of 1935 took its place

    1. Under the encouragement of a highly sympathetic National Labor Relations Board, unskilled laborers began to organize themselves into effective unions, one of which was John L. Lewis, the boss of the United Mine Workers who also succeeded in forming the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) within the ranks of the AF of L in 1935

    2. The CIO later left the AF of L and won a victory against General Motors


Roosevelt’s “Coddling” of Labor

  1. The CIO also won a victory against the United States Steel Company, but smaller steel companies struck back, resulting in such incidences as the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 at the plant of the Republic Steel Company of South Chicago in which police fired upon workers, leaving scores killed or injured

  2. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wages and Hours Bill) was passed, setting up minimum wage and maximum hours standards and forbidding children under the age of sixteen from working

  3. Roosevelt enjoyed immense support from the labor unions

  4. In 1938, the CIO broke completely with the AF of L and renamed itself the Congress of Industrial Organizations (the new CIO)


Landon Challenges “the Champ” in 1936

  1. The Republicans nominated Kansas Governor Alfred M. Landon to run against FDR

    1. Landon was weak on the radio and weaker in personal campaigning, and while he criticized FDR’s spending, he also favored enough of FDR’s New Deal to be ridiculed by the Democrats as an unsure idiot

  2. In 1934, the American Liberty League had been formed by conservative Democrats and wealthy Republicans to fight “socialistic” New Deal schemes

  3. Roosevelt won in a super huge landslide, getting 523 Electoral votes to Landon’s 8

  4. FDR won primarily because he appealed to the “forgotten man,” whom he never forgot


Nine Old Men on the Supreme Bench

  1. The 20th Amendment had cut the lame-duck period down to six weeks, so FDR began his second term on January 20, 1937, instead of on March 4

  2. He controlled Congress, but the Supreme Court kept on blocking his programs, so he proposed a shocking plan that would add a member to the Supreme Court for every existing member over the age of 70, for a maximum possible total of 15 total members

    1. For once, Congress voted against him because it did not want to lose its power

  1. Roosevelt was ripped for trying to be a dictator


The Court Changes Course

  1. FDR’s “court-packing scheme” failed, but he did get some of the justices to start to vote his way, including Owen J. Roberts, formerly regarded as a conservative

  2. So, FDR did obtain his purpose of getting the Supreme Court to vote his way

  3. However, his failure of the court-packing scheme also showed how Americans still did not wish to tamper with the sacred justice system


The Twilight of the New Deal

  1. During Roosevelt’s first term, the depression did not disappear, and unemployment, down from 25%, was still at 15%

    1. In 1937, the economy took another (brief) downturn when the “Roosevelt recession,” caused by government policies, occurred

    2. Finally, FDR embraced the policies of British economist John Maynard Keynes

  2. In 1937, he announced a bold program to stimulate the economy by planned deficit spending

  3. In 1939, Congress relented to FDR’s pressure and passed the Reorganization Act, which gave him limited powers for administrative reforms, including the key new Executive Office in the White House

  4. The Hatch Act of 1939 barred federal administrative officials, except the highest policy-making officers from active political campaigning and soliciting


New Deal or Raw Deal?

  1. Foes of the New Deal condemned its waste, citing that nothing had been accomplished

  2. Critics were shocked by the “try anything” attitude of FDR, who had increased the federal debt from $19.487 million in 1932 to $40.440 million in 1939

  3. It took World War II, though, to really lower unemployment, but the war also created a heavier debt than before


FDR’s Balance Sheet

  1. New Dealers claimed that the New Deal had alleviated the worst of the Great Depression

  2. FDR also deflected popular resentments against business and may have saved the American system of free enterprise, yet business tycoons hated him

  3. He provided bold reform without revolution

  4. Later, he would guide the nation through a titanic war in which the democracy of the world would be at stake


The Role of Roosevelt

  1. How much credit for New Deal policies belongs to Roosevelt is debatable

    1. Roosevelt left most details and some broad principles to his subordinates

  1. His knowledge of economics was skimpy, and his understanding of many social problems remained superficial

  2. Nevertheless, Roosevelt’s personality marked every aspect of the New Deal

      1. His ability to build and manipulate coalitions made the program possible

  3. He personified the government and made citizens believe that the president cared about the condition of ordinary Americans


The London Conference

  1. The 1933 London Conference of the summer of 1933 was composed of 66 nations that came together to try to make a worldwide solution to the Great Depression

      1. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt at first agreed to send Secretary of State Cordell Hull but withdrew that agreement and scolded the other nations for trying to stabilize currencies

      2. As a result, the conference adjourned accomplishing nothing, furthermore strengthening extreme nationalism


Freedom for (from?) the Filipinos and Recognition of the Russians

  1. With hard times, Americans were eager to do away with their liabilities to the Philippine Islands, and American sugar producers wanted to get rid of the Filipino sugar makers due to competition

  2. In 1934, Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act, stating that the Philippines would receive their independence after 12 years of economic and political tutelage, in 1946

    1. Army bases were relinquished but naval bases were kept

  3. Americans were freeing themselves of a liability, creeping into further isolationism, while militarists in Japan began to see that they could take over the Pacific easily without U.S. interference or resistance

  4. In 1933, FDR finally formally recognized the Soviet Union, hoping that the U.S. could trade with the USSR and that the Soviets would discourage German and Japanese aggression


Becoming a Good Neighbor

  1. In terms of its relations with Latin America, the U.S. wanted to be a “good neighbor,” showing that it was content as a regional power, not a world one

  2. In 1933, FDR renounced armed intervention in Latin America at the Seventh Pan-American Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the following year, U.S. marines left Haiti

  3. U.S. also lifted troops from Panama, but when Mexican forces seized Yankee oil properties, FDR found himself urged to take drastic action

    1. However, he resisted and worked out a peaceful deal

    2. His “good neighbor” policy was a great success, improving the U.S. image in Latin American eyes


Secretary Hull’s Reciprocal Trade Agreements

  1. Secretary of State Hull believed that trade was a two-way street, and he had a part in Congress’s passing of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in 1934, which activated low-tariff policies while aiming at relief and recovery by lifting American trade

    1. This act whittled down the most objectionable schedules of the Hawley-Soot law by amending them, lowering rates by as much as half, provided that the other country would do the same for the United States

  2. The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act reversed the traditional high-tariff policy that had damaged America before and paved the way for the American-led free-trade international economic system that was implemented after World War II


Impulses Toward Storm-Center Isolationism

  1. After World War I, many dictatorships sprang up, including Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Benito Mussolini of Italy, and Adolph Hitler of Germany

    1. Of the three, Hitler was the most dangerous, because he was a great orator and persuader who led the German people to believe his “big lie,” making them think that he could lead the country back to greatness and out of this time of poverty and depression

  1. In 1936, Nazi Hitler and Fascist Mussolini allied themselves in the Rome-Berlin Axis

  2. Japan slowly began gaining strength, refusing to cooperate with the world and quickly arming itself by ending the Washington Naval Treaty in 1934 and walking out of the London Conference.

  3. In 1935, Mussolini attacked Ethiopia, conquering it, but the League of Nations failed to take effective action against the aggressors.

  4. America continued to hide behind the shell of isolationism, believing that everything would stay good if the U.S. wasn’t drawn into any international embroilments

    1. The 1934 Johnson Debt Default Act forbade any countries that still owed the U.S. money from borrowing any more cash

  5. In 1936, a group of Princeton University students began to agitate for a bonus to be paid to the Veterans of Future Wars (VFWs) while the perspective front-liners were still alive


Congress Legislates Neutrality

  1. The 1934 Nye Committee was formed to investigate whether or not munitions manufacturers were pro-war for the sole purpose of making more money and profits, as the press blamed such producers for dragging America into the First World War

  2. To prevent America from being sucked into war, Congress passed Neutrality Acts in 1935-37, acts which stated that when the president proclaimed the existence of a foreign war, certain restrictions would automatically go into effect: no American could legally sail on a belligerent ship or sell or transport munitions to a belligerent, or make loans to a belligerent

    1. The flaw with these acts was that they were designed to prevent America from being pulled into a war like World War I, but World War II would prove to be different


America Dooms Loyalist Spain

  1. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), Spanish rebels led by the Fascist General Francisco Franco rose up against the leftist-leaning republican government

    1. In order to stay out of the war, the U.S. put an embargo on both the loyalist government, which was supported by the USSR, and the rebels, which were aided by Hitler and Mussolini

    2. The U.S. just stood by while Franco smothered the democratic government, letting a fellow democracy die just to stay out of war, and it also failed to build up its fleet, since most people believed that huge fleets led to huge wars

      1. It was not until 1938 that Congress passed a billion-dollar naval construction act, but then it was too little too late


Appeasing Japan and Germany

  1. In 1937, Japan essentially invaded China, but FDR didn’t call this combat “a war,” thus allowing the Chinese to still get arms from the U.S., and in Chicago of that year, he merely verbally chastised the aggressors, calling for “a quarantine” of Japan (through economic embargoes, perhaps); this was his famous “Quarantine Speech”

    1. However, this speech angered many isolationists, and FDR backed down a little from any more direct actions

  2. In December 1937, the Japanese bombed and sank the American gunboat, the Panay, but then made the necessary apologies, “saving” America from entering into war against it

    1. To vent their frustration, the Japanese resorted to humiliating White civilians in China through slappings and strippings

  3. Meanwhile, Hitler was growing bolder and bolder after being allowed to introduce mandatory military service in Germany, take over the German Rhineland, persecute and exterminate about six million Jews, and occupy Austria—all because the European powers were appeasing him

    1. They hoped that each conquest of Germany would be the last

  4. However, Hitler didn’t stop, and at the September 9138 Munich Conference, the Allies agreed to let Hitler have Sudentenland of neighboring Czechoslovakia, but six months later, in 1939, Hitler pulled the last straw and took over all of Czechoslovakia


Hitler’s Belligerency and U.S. Neutrality

  1. On August 23, 1939, the USSR shocked the world by signing a nonaggression treaty with Germany

    1. Now, it seemed that Germany could engulf all of Europe, especially without having to worry about fight a two-front war in case war occurred

  1. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, and France and Britain finally declared war against Germany, but America refused to enter the war, its citizens not wanting to be “suckers” again

    1. They were anti-Hitler and anti-Nazi and wanted Britain and France to win, but they would not permit themselves to be dragged into fighting and bloodshed

  2. European powers needed American supplies, but the previous Neutrality Acts forbade the sale of arms to nations in war, so a new Neutrality Act of 1939 allowed European nations to buy war materials, but only on a “cash-and-carry” basis, which meant that they’d have to provide their own ships and pay for the arms in cash

    1. Since the British and French controlled the seas, the Germans couldn’t buy arms from America—as it was intended


Aftermath of the Fall of France

  1. After the fall of Poland, Hitler positioned his forces to attack France, leading to a lull in the war (so that men could move) that was pierced only by the Soviet Union’s attack and conquering of Finland, despite $30 million from the U.S. (for nonmilitary reasons)

  2. Then, in 1940, the “phony war” ended when Hitler overran Denmark and Norway, and then took over the Netherlands and Belgium

    1. Blitzing without stop or mercy, he then forced a paralyzing blow toward France, which was forced to surrender by late June of that year

    2. The fall of France was shocking, because now, all that stood between Hitler and the world was Britain: if the English lost, Hitler would have all of Europe to operate, and he might take over the Americas as well

  3. Finally, Roosevelt moved and called for the nation to massively build up its armed forces, with expenses totaling more than $37 million, and he also had Congress pass the first peacetime draft in U.S. history on September 6, 1940

    1. 1.2 million troops and 800,000 reserves would be trained

  4. At the Havana Conference, the U.S. warned Germany that it could not take over orphan colonies in the Americas, as such action wouldn’t be tolerated



Bolstering Britain with Destroyer Deal (1940)

  1. Now, with Britain the only power fighting against Germany, FDR had to decide whether to remain totally neutral or to help Britain

    1. Hitler launched air attacks against the British in August 1940 and prepared an invasion scheduled to start a month later, but the tenacious defense of the British Royal Air Force stopped that

  1. Those who supported helping Britain formed the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, while those for isolationism (including Charles A. Lindbergh)were in the America First Committee, and both groups campaigned and advertised for their respective positions

  2. Britain was in dire need for destroyers, and on September 2, 1940, FDR boldly moved to transfer 50 old-model, four-funnel destroyers left over from WWI, and in return, the British promised to give the U.S. eight valuable defensive base sites stretching from Newfoundland to South America

    1. These would stay in American ownership for 99 years

    2. Obviously, this caused controversy, but FDR had begun to stop playing the silly old games of isolationism and was slowly starting to step out into the spotlight


FDR Shatters the Two-Term Tradition (1940)

  1. At first, it was thought that Robert A. Taft of Ohio or Thomas E. Dewey would be the Republican candidate, but a colorful and magnetic newcomer who went from a nobody to a candidate in a matter of weeks, Wendell L. Willkie, became the Republican against Democratic candidate…Franklin D. Roosevelt, who waited until the last moment to challenge the two-term tradition

    1. Democrats felt that FDR was the only man qualified to be president, especially in so grave of a situation as was going on

  2. Willkie and FDR weren’t really different in the realm of foreign affairs, but Willkie hit hard with his attacks on the third term

  3. Still, FDR won because voters felt that, should war come, FDR was the best man to lead America


Congress Passes the Landmark Land-Lease Law

  1. Britain was running out of money, but Roosevelt didn’t want all the hassles that came with calling back debts, so he came up with the idea of a lend-lease program in which the arms and ships, etc… that the U.S. lent to the nations that needed them would be returned when they were no longer needed

    1. Senator Taft retorted that in this case, though, the U.S. wouldn’t want them back because it would be like lending chewing gum that was chewed, then taking it back

  1. The lend-lease bill was argued over heatedly in Congress, but it passed, and by war’s end, America had sent about $50 billion worth of arms and equipment

    1. The lend-lease act was basically the abandonment of the neutrality policy, and Hitler recognized this

    2. Before, German submarines had avoided attacking U.S. ships, but after the passage, they started to fire upon U.S. ships as well, such as the May 21, 1941 torpedoing of the Robin Moor


Hitler’s Assault on the Soviet Union Spawns the Atlantic CharterUB

  1. On June 22, 1941, Hitler attacked Russia, because ever since the signing of the nonaggression pact, neither Stalin nor Hitler had trusted each other, and both had been plotting to double-cross each other

    1. Hitler assumed his invincible troops would crush the inferior Soviet soldiers, but the valor of the Red army, U.S. aid to the USSR (through lend-lease), and an early and bitter winter stranded the German force at Moscow and shifted the tide against Germany

  2. The Atlantic Conference was held in August 1941, and the resort was the eight-point Atlantic Charter, which was suggestive of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points

    1. There would be no territorial changes contrary to the wishes of the natives

    2. The charter also affirmed the right for people to choose their rulers (i.e. no dictators)

    3. It declared disarmament and a peace of security, as well as a new League of Nations

  3. Critics charged that “neutral America” was interfering, ignoring that America was no longer neutral


U.S. Destroyers and Hitler’s U-Boats Clash

  1. To ensure that arms sent to Britain would reach there, FDR finally agreed that a convoy would have to escort them, but only as far as Iceland, as Britain would take over from there

  2. There were clashes, as U.S. destroyers like the Greer, the Kearny, and the Reuben James were attacked by the Germans

  3. By mid-November 1941, Congress annulled the now-useless Neutrality Act of 1939.


Blacks and the New Deal

  1. Blacks suffered more than other people from the depression

    1. Unemployment rates were much higher

    2. Before 1933 they were often excluded from state and local relief efforts

  1. Blacks did not benefit from many New Deal relief programs, but about 40% of black workers were sharecroppers or tenants who suffered from the provisions of the first AAA

  1. FDR was afraid to endorse legislation such as anti-lynching bill for fear of alienating the southern wing of the Democratic Party

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt supported civil rights, and a “Black Cabinet” of advisors was assembled in the Interior Department

  2. More blacks were appointed to government positions by Roosevelt than ever before

  3. In 1941, A. Philip Randolph, the president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, proposed a black march on Washington to demand equal access to defense jobs

  1. To forestall such an action, FDR issued an executive order establishing the Fair Employment Practices Committee to insure consideration for minorities in defense employments


Native Americans and the New Deal

  1. Congress repealed the Dawes Act of 1887 by passing the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934

    1. The law restored tribal ownership of lands, recognized tribal constitutions and government, and provided loans to tribes for economic development

  2. The Indian Conservation Program, a Native American CCC for projects on the reservations, was formed


Women During the New Deal

  1. The burden of the depression fell on women as much or more as it did on men

  2. Wives and mothers found themselves responsible for stretching meager budgets by preparing inexpensive meals and patching old clothing

    1. “Making do” became a slogan of the period

  1. More women had to supplement or provide the family income by going to work

    1. 1930 there were 10.5 million working women compromising 29% of the work force

    2. 1940 there were 13 million and 35%

    3. Areas of female employment such as retail sales were not hit as hard as heavy industry (male fields of work)

  2. There was much criticism of working women based on the idea that they deprived men of jobs


Unions During the First New Deal

  1. The National Industrial Recovery Act gave labor unions new hope when Section 7a guaranteed the right to unionize

    1. During 1933 about 1.5 million new members joined unions

  1. In 1934 there were many strikes, sometimes violent, including a general strike in San Francisco involving about 125,000 workers

  2. The passage of the National Labor Relations or Wagner Act in 1933 resulted in a massive growth of union membership but only at the expense of bitter conflict with the labor movement


Literary Developments

  1. The writers and intellectuals who had expressed disdain for the middle class materialism of the 1920s found it even more difficult to deal with the meaning of the crushing poverty in America and in the rise of fascism in Europe during the 1930s

  2. Some turned to communism


Popular Culture

  1. There was an increase in games and sports among family groups and friends

    1. The WPA and CCC constructed thousands of playgrounds, playing fields, picnic areas, and the like for public use

  2. FDR and Harry Hopkins wanted to develop an appreciation for culture by having the WPA produce murals in buildings, traveling plays, concerts, and exhibits, and with community art centers

  3. Radio was the favorite form of entertainment during the depression

  4. By 1939 about 65% of the people went to the movies at least once a week

    1. The movie industry was one of the few which did not suffer financially from the depression

    2. Movies were the great means of escape, providing release form the pressures of the depression by transporting people to a make-believe of dancers and beauty, mystery, or excitement

  5. The popular music of the decade was swing, and the big bands vied for public favor

  6. Comic strips became a standard newspaper feature as well as a source of comic books during the decade


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