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The Great Depression
Transcript of The Great Depression
individualism and service The EVE of the CRASH overproduction & falling demand for durable goods
high tariffs countered by foreign countries
farmers debt cycle HERBERT HOOVER influx of money into the stock market artificially inflated share prices speculators bought on margin and couldn't cover their debts when stock prices fell investors bought stocks with other people's money borrowed from banks - in essence from other people's savings accounts HOOVER'S RESPONSE Rejection of Laissez-Faire urged by wealthy businessmen to do nothing
chose to foster volunteerism:
asked bankers & industrialists do their part (avoid layoffs and wage cuts)
asked the same of labor union leaders (accept hourly reductions)
invested in long-planned federal construction projects The Worsening Economic Situation and Hoover's unprecedented response To cope with massive unemployment, Hoover created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Emergency Relief Act loaned money to states for public works programs He gave $1.5 billion to banks and corporations, but it never trickled down ...and the Hoovervilles kept growing EVICTING THE BONUS MARCHERS Hoover's Last Move 1932: WWI vets march on DC demanding payment of bonus bonds; set up Hoovervilles, demonstrated on capitol steps
Hoover believed they were a dangerous, radical, communist-inspired group
After a skirmish between local police and marchers, Hoover sent federal troops to restore order
In an act of insubordination that Hoover never publicly revealed, General Douglas MacArthur drove at the veterans with tear gas at bayonet point "If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." Key New Deal Legislation 1933: Reconstruction Finance Corporation federal loans to businesses and banks 1933: National Industrial Recovery Act Allowed businesses to set price, wage and production values 1933: Agricultural Adjustment Act Paid farmers to plant less and raise crop prices 1933: Civilian conservation Corps Employed young men in reforestation and construction 1933: Public Works Administration Construction projects provided work relief to poor 1933: Glass Steagall Act Insured bank deposits; separated commercial and investment banking More Alphabet Soup Legislation 1933: Tennessee Valley Authority Brought electricity to rural areas, stopped devastating floods 1935: Social Security Act Guaranteed eligible works a pension, unemployment insurance, aid to disabled and widows with dependent children 1935: Wagner Act Offered government protection to unions 1935: Works Progress Administration Extensive public works programs employed 8 million from artists to construction workers 1938: Fair Labor Standards Act Established federal minimum wage and maximum weekly hours Stop the Decline Help those in Need Fix the System so this doesn't Happen Again! "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." Bank Holiday "It was the Government's job to straighten out this situation" Glass Steagall Act (1933) created the FDIC and prevented banks from making loans or buying stocks with depositors' money Established the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate stock sales FDR's Opponents Father Charles Coughlin The Supreme Court Irish radio priest from Detroit
singled out bankers and financiers for causing the Depression
criticized fiscal policy for helping elite and hurting common people
initially an advocate of FDR, broke with him and criticized FDR of doing too little to control banking interests
became extremist; taken off the air in 1942 struck down several of FDR's programs as unconstitutional
FDR sought to "pack" the Court Get people back to work: CCC, WPA, PWA
Make people solvent: RFC, FERA Stabilize wages: NRA Created Social Security Administration Agricultural Adjustment Act The Dust Bowl The Migrants a comprehensive social-welfare system that protected the aged, the unemployed, the disabled and widows with dependent children 1935:
Public resentment for the rich intensfied
Roosevelt allied himself with labor
National Industrial Recovery Act: declared the workers' right to organize
endorsed collective bargaining
declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court FDR's Response: The Wagner Act created the national Labor Relations Board to supervise union elections
prevented firing or blacklisting of union members
prevented employers from infiltrating unions with spies 1933 to 1941 union membership rose from 2.9 to 8.7 million workers 1932: majority northern blacks vote Republican
1936: 76% northern blacks vote Democrat
New Deal Coalition: Despite southern congressional resistance, blacks still received more aid than ever before
Eleanor was a huge champion of civil rights earning the loyalty of many blacks in the U.S.
FDR appointed first black federal judge and his unofficial black cabinet to advise on racial matters liberals, trade unionists, Catholics, northern blacks; FDR no longer needed southern votes to pass legislation