The New Deal (so called after the 1932 nomination speech of F.D.R.)
only started once the “Lame-Duck” months had ended.
It had two main phases:
· The First 100 days- March/June 1933. This had
to rescue the US economy from over 4000 bank collapses in January of that
year, amongst many problems.
· The Second New Deal- laws passed after 1935.
The first series solved immediate emergencies, tried to relieve poverty
and aid immediate recovery. The second series made longer lasting change
(e.g. The Wagner Act of 1935).
A Summary of the New Deal
Income did improve, but only in 1940 did it reach the levels of the
Boom year of 1927. !933 to 1937 saw a large fall in unemployment. Millions
found work in the new public works organisations thanks to high public
spending. When FDR cut this spending in 1937, the numbers rose again.
It was only really WW2 that solved the US jobs problem.
The minimum wage laws and the Alphabet Agencies helped to alleviate
but did not remove poverty. Indeed the survival of the depression until
the war ensured opposition to the New Deal continued. The poorest third
of the US remained no different. People often found work for public agencies,
but not in the private sector. Despite the Wagner Act unions still fought
over job security. Old Age Pensions, benefits still caused problems. For
Blacks and women, especially in the south, little changed. The Farmers
received a great deal of help, perhaps because they could shout the loudest.
EXAMPLES/ KEY CONCEPTS
· THE ALPHABET AGENCIES Set up in the first 100
days, with the aim of solving employment problems immediately.
· Trading with the Enemy Act. This allowed for
a President to seize broad Executive powers in the time of a National
Emergency, such as a war. It had been passed in 1917 during WW1. It had
not been cancelled in 1918, so was still effective although unused. FDR
felt that in order to defeat the enemy of depression he had to have the
power to pass laws with out the consent of Congress. This law allowed
him to do that.
· Fireside Chats Given on Radio by FDR 1933-1945
to explain his policies. They were likened to chats as if FDR was in peoples
homes. The first, in 1933, was to stop the Bank crisis. Its novelty value
was greatly used by FDR to get his message across. He was the first President
to do this.