Ch. 15 The New Deal 1933-1940




Chapter 15 Objective:

To understand the impetus for FDR’s New Deal legislations and the impact of these policies on the American nation

Chapter 15 Summary:

Economic Opportunity:

Roosevelt initiated his New Deal policies and programs to address the national crisis of the Great Depression.  FDR created work programs to combat unemployment, and policies to support and regulate agriculture and industry.

Cultural Diversity:

Although discrimination remained widespread in the 1930s, FDR’s New Deal programs created new opportunities for women and minorities.  The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, for example, was aimed at helping Native Americans regain autonomy.

Science and Technology:

Motion pictures and radio programs were the entertainment of the day.  Americans sought a pleasant escape from the harsh realities of the Great Depression.

Chapter 15 Vocabulary:

·         Franklin Delano Roosevelt

·         New Deal

·         Glass-Steagall Act

·         Federal Securities Act

·         Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)

·         Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

·         National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)

·         Deficit Spending

·         Huey Long

·         Eleanor Roosevelt

·         Works Progress Administration (WPA)

·         National Youth Administration

·         Wagner Act

·         Social Security Act

·         Frances Perkins

·         Mary McLeod Bethune

·         John Collier

·         New Deal Coalition

·         Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)

·         Gone With the Wind

·         Orson Welles

·         Grant Wood

·         Richard Wright

·         The Grapes of Wrath

·         Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

·         Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

·         National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

·         Parity

·         Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Chapter 15 Vocabulary Definitions:

1.       Franklin Delano Roosevelt

·         President from 1932-1944, During the Great Depression and World War II

·         Architect of the New Deal

·         Believed the government should provide direct relief programs to help during the Depression

·         Responsible for the vast growth of government power as a result of the New Deal

2.       New Deal

·         Roosevelt’s program designed to alleviate the problems of the Great Depression

·         New Deal policies focused on three general goals: relief for the needy, economic recovery, and financial reform

3.       Glass-Steagall Act

·         Major piece of New Deal legislation that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

·         Insured individual bank accounts up to a certain dollar amount and regulated banking practices

4.       Huey Long

·         Senator from Louisiana

·         Supported Roosevelt at first but soon turned against him

·         Gearing up for a presidential run, he proposed a program called “Share-Our-Wealth”, he promised “every man a king”

·         At the height of his popularity, Long was assassinated

5.       Eleanor Roosevelt

·         Wife of FDR and prominent social reformer

·         A great humanitarian with excellent political skills

·         Eleanor traveled the country observing social conditions and constantly reminded the president of what needed to be done

6.       Works Progress Administration (WPA)

·         Designed to create as many jobs as possible as quickly as possible between 1935 and 1943

·         Spent $11 billion to employ about 8 million, mostly unskilled

·         Built 850 airports, constructed or repaired 651,000 miles of roads and streets, and put up more than 125,000 buildings

7.       Social Security Act

·         Passed in 1935 it was one of the most important achievements of the New Deal

·         Provided Old-age insurance for retirees 65 or older and their spouses

·         Created an unemployment compensation system

·         Gave aid to families with dependent children and the disabled

8.       Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

·         Established to better regulate banking

·         Required banks hold a percentage of all deposits and provided government backing in case of bank failure

9.       Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

·         A government oversight agency designed to regulate stock market trading

10.   Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

·         Built dams that Harnessed water power to generate electricity and helped prevent disastrous floods in the Tennessee Valley


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Section 1: The New Deal Fights the Depression

Main Idea:

After becoming president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used government programs to combat the Depression.

Why It Matters Now:

Americans still benefit from programs begun in the New Deal, such as bank and stock market regulations and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Americans Get a New Deal

·         Electing Franklin Delano Roosevelt

o   Democrats nominate New York governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt

§  Reform-minded; projects friendliness, confidence

o   Democrats overwhelmingly win presidency, Senate, House

·         Waiting for Roosevelt to Take Over

o   With “Brain Trust,” FDR formulates policies to alleviate problems

o   New Deal – relief for needy, economic recovery, financial reform

·         The Hundred Days

o   FDR launches Hundred Days; passes over 15 major New Deal laws

o   Emergency Banking Relief Act permits Treasury Department to inspect banks

§  Decides which are insolvent, sound, or need loans

§  Public confidence in banks revived

·         An Important Fireside Chat

o   FDR gives fireside chats – radio talks explaining New Deal measures

o   First chat discusses need for public support of government, banks

·         Regulating Banking and Finance

o   Glass-Steagall Act establishes Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

§  Insures individual bank accounts, regulates banking practices

o   Federal Securities Act – companies must give all information on stocks

o   Securities and Exchange Commission created to regulate stock market

o   FDR gets law allowing production of some alcoholic beverages

o   21st Amendment repeals prohibition by end of 1933

Helping the American People

·         Rural Assistance

o   Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) raises food prices, lowers supply

o   Tennessee Valley Authority creates jobs renovating, building dams

·         Providing Work Projects

o   Civilian Conservation Corps – public works jobs for young men

o   Public Works Administration – money to states to create jobs

o   Civil Works Administration builds rural schools, pays teachers

·         Promoting Fair Practices

o   NIRA establishes codes of fair practice for industries

§  Creates National Recovery Administration (NRA)

o   NRA sets standards, prices, limits production

·         Food, Clothing, and Shelter

o   Home Owners Loan Corporation gives loans to prevent foreclosures

o   Federal Housing Administration gives loans for mortgages, repairs

o   Federal Emergency Relief Administration – direct relief to needy

The New Deal Comes Under Attack

·         Opposition to the New Deal

o   Deficit Spending – spending more money than government takes in

§  Funds New Deal

o   Liberals: New Deal does not do enough to help poor, fix economy

o   Conservatives: New Deal used to control business, socialize economy

·         The Supreme Court Reacts

o   Supreme Court strikes down NIRA, AAA as unconstitutional

o   FDR proposes “Court-packing bill”; Congress, press protest

o   Starting in 1937, justices retire; FDR appoints seven new ones

·         Three Fiery Critics

o   Some conservative opponents form American Liberty League

o   Think measures violate respect for personal rights, property

o   Father Charles Coughlin withdraws initial support of New Deal

§  Wants guaranteed income, banks nationalized

o   Dr. Francis Townsend devises pension plan for elderly

o   Presidential hopeful, Senator Huey Long has popular social programs


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Section 2: The Second New Deal Takes Hold

Main Idea:

The Second New Deal included new programs to extend federal aid and stimulate the nation’s economy.

Why It Matters Now:

Second New Deal programs continue to assist homebuyers, farmers, workers, and the elderly in the 2000s.

The Second Hundred Days

·         Furthering the New Deal

o   By 1935, economic recovery not as great as FDR had expected

o   FDR launches second phase: more relief for farmers, workers

o   First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a social reformer, prods president

·         Reelecting FDR

o   1936, Democrats win presidency, large majorities in both houses

o   First time most African Americans vote Democratic

o   First time labor union support presidential candidate

Helping Farmers

·         Focusing on Farms

o   1936 Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act replaces AAA

§  Rewards farmers for practicing soil conservation

o   New Agricultural Adjustment Act avoids unconstitutional provision

o   Resettlement Administration gives loans to small farmers to buy land

o   Farm Security Administration – loans to tenant farmers to buy land

o   FSA fires photographers to shoot rural towns, farms, farmers

Roosevelt Extends Relief

·         Programs for Urban Workers

o   Works Progress Administration (WPA) – creates jobs

o   WPA workers build airports, roads, public buildings

o   Women workers sew clothes for the needy

o   WPA employs professional writers, artists, performers

o   National Youth Administration (NYA) – education, jobs, counseling

o   Gives aid to students in exchange for part-time work

Improving Labor and Other Reforms

·         Improving Labor Conditions

o   National Labor Relations Act, or Wagner Act, replaces NIRA:

§  Protects right to join unions, collective bargaining

§  Prohibits unfair labor practices

o   National Labor Relations Board hears testimony about labor practices

o   Holds elections to determine if workers want unions

o   Fair Labor Standards Act sets maximum hours, minimum wage

·         The Social Security Act

o   1935, Social Security Act creates Social Security system; provides:

§  Insurance for retirees 65 or older

§  Unemployment compensation

§  Aid to disabled, families with children



Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

·         Expanding and Regulating Utilities

o   Rural Electrification Administration brings electricity to farms

o   Public Utility Holding Company Act aims to stop financial corruption


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Section 3: The New Deal Affects Many Groups

Main Idea:

New Deal policies and actions affected various social and ethnic groups.

Why It Matters Now:

The New Deal made a lasting impact on increasing the government’s role in the struggle for equal rights.

The New Deal Brings New Opportunities

·         Women Make Their Mark

o   Frances Perkins, secretary of labor, is first female cabinet member

o   FDR also appoints 2 women as diplomats, 1 as federal judge

o   Women still face discrimination in workplace from male workers

o   NRA sets some lower minimum wages for women

o   Federal work programs hire far fewer women than men

o   Only slight increases in overall percentage of women working for wages

African-American Activism

·         African Americans Take Leadership Roles

o   FDR appoints more than 100 African-Americans to government

§  Mrs. Roosevelt plays key role

o   Educator Mary McLeod Bethune heads Division of Negro Affairs of NYA

o   Helps organize “Black Cabinet” of African-American advisers

o   Daughters of American Revolution refuse Marian Anderson concert

o   Mrs. Roosevelt resigns; arranges for Lincoln Memorial concert

·         The President Fails to Support Civil Rights

o   FDR afraid of upsetting white Southern Democratic voters

o   Refuses to approve anti-lynching law, end to poll tax

o   New Deal agencies discriminate against African-Americans

§  Pay them lower wages, favor whites

o   African-Americans help organize Southern Tenant Farmers Union

o   Generally support Roosevelt administration, New Deal

Mexican-Americans Fortunes

·         Mexican-Americans Under FDR

o   Mexican-Americans generally support New Deal

o   Many come to U.S. in 1920s, settle mainly in Southwest

§  Work on farms

o   CCC, WPA help some Mexican-Americans

o   Disqualify migrant workers with no permanent address

Native-Americans Gain Support

·         Native Americans and the New Deal

o   1924, Native Americans receive full citizenship

o   John Collier, commissioner of Indian affairs, changes policies

o   Indian Reorganization Act favors native autonomy, mandates changes:

§  Lands belong to entire tribe; government can’t sell unclaimed areas

§  Children can attend schools on reservations

§  Tribes elect tribal councils to govern reservations

  FDR Creates the New Deal Coalition

·         The New Deal Coalition

o   New Deal Coalition – different groups that support Democratic Party

·         Labor Unions Flourish

o   Pro-labor legislation leads unions to donate money for FDR reelection

o   1933-1941, union membership grows from 3 million to over 10 million

o   American Federation of Labor traditionally craft unions only

o   Committee for Industrial Organization organizes industrial unions

o   Expelled by AFL, becomes Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)

·         Labor Disputes

o   Sit-down strike important bargaining tactic of 1930s

§  Prevents owners from hiring strikebreakers

o   Some labor disputes violent

o   NLRB forces Republic Steel to negotiate after clash with strikers

·         FDR Wins in 1936

o   Political organizations in large Northern cities support FDR

o   Urban, religious, ethnic groups also support FDR

§  FDR appoints officials or urban-immigrant background


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Section 4: Culture in the 1930s

Main Idea:

Motion pictures, radio, art, and literature blossomed during the New Deal.

Why It Matters Now:

The films, music, art, and literature of the 1930s still captivate today’s public.

The Lure of Motion Pictures and Radio

·         Movies are a Hit

o   About 65% of population goes to movies once a week

o   Films offer escape from reality; show wealth, romance, fun

o   Gone With the Wind – perhaps most famous film of era

o   Musicals – live action or animated – way to forget problems

o   Comedies, realistic gangster movies especially popular

o   Several films present New Deal policies in positive light

·         Radio Entertains

o   90% of households have a radio; families listen together every day

o   Dramas, variety shows play in evening

o   Orson Welles – actor, director, producer, writer

o   Soap operas for homemakers broadcast in middle of day

o   Children’s shows after school hours

o   Immediate news coverage becomes customary

The Arts in Depression America

·         Artists Decorate America

o   Federal Art Project pays artists to make art, teach in schools

o   Aim to promote art appreciation, positive image of America

o   Murals typically portray dignity of ordinary people at work

o   Many outstanding works painted by artists, including Grant Wood

·         Woody Guthrie Sing of America

o   Singer, songwriter Woody Guthrie sings of plight of poor

·         Diverse Writers Depict American Life

o   Federal Writers’ Project supports many who become major writers

o   Richard Wright, African-American author, writes Native Son

o   John Steinbeck writes The Grapes of Wrath about Dust Bowl migrants

o   Some writers examine difficulty of life in 1930s

o   Others show dignity of ordinary people, values of small-town life


Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Section 5: The Impact of the New Deal

Main Idea:

The New Deal affected American society not only in the 1930s but also in the decades that followed.

Why It Matters Now:

Americans still debate over how large a role government should play in American life.

New Deal Reforms Endure

·         The New Deal Ends

o   By 1937, economic improvement convinces many Depression is ending

o   Congress wants to cut back programs; by 1939, New Deal over

·         Supporters and Critics of the New Deal

o   Conservatives think FDR made federal government too large

§  Stifled free enterprise, individual initiative

o   Liberals: didn’t do enough to socialize economy, end inequalities

o   Supporters: did help country recover from economic difficulties

·         Expanding Government’s Role in the Economy

o   FDR expands power of federal government, president

o   Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulates banking

o   Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates investment

o   New Deal does not end Depression; does reduce suffering, give hope

o   Federal government goes deeply into debt to create jobs, give aid

o   Massive spending on equipment, supplies for WWII end Depression

·         Protecting Workers’ Rights

o   New Deal laws set standards, ban child labor, permit unions

§  Establish policies followed today

o   National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) still mediates labor disputes

·         Banking and Finance

o   SEC still monitors stock market, enforces laws on stock, bond sales

o   FDIC still protects individual investors in case of bank failure

Social and Environmental Effects

·         Social Security

o   Federal government takes responsibility for citizens’ welfare

o   Provides for aged, disabled, needy

·         The Rural Scene

o   Commodity Credit Corporation makes loans to farmers

§  Based on amount of farmer’s surplus, parity price

o   Parity price – prices intended to keep farmer’s income steady

o   Agricultural price supports set precedent of federal aid to farmers

·         The Environment

o   CCC plants tree, builds hiking trails, fire lookout towers

o   Soil Conservation Service teaches methods to preserve soil

o   Taylor Grazing Act reduces grazing on public lands

o   Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) creates electricity, prevents floods

o   Government adds national parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas

o   Government-sponsored strip-mining, coal burning cause pollution




Chapter 15: The New Deal, 1933-1940

Chapter 15 Study Questions:

Section 1

1.       How did Franklin Roosevelt change the role of the federal government during his first Hundred Days?

2.       Summarize the reasons why some people opposed the New Deal.

Section 2

3.       In what ways did the New Deal programs extend federal aid?

4.       How did the Wagner Act help working people?

Section 3

5.       Summarize the impact the New Deal had on various ethnic groups.

6.       Why did many urban voters support Roosevelt and the Democratic Party?

Section 4

7.       What purpose did movies and radio serve during the Great Depression?

8.       Explain how the New Deal programs supported artists and writers in the 1930s.

Section 5

9.       List five New Deal agencies that are still in place today.

10.   What benefits did the Tennessee Valley Authority provide and what negative impact did it have?


Assignments & Presentations: