History 108 Discussion Post

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Discussion of week 9: The New Deal

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Read the attached to this week 9 (FILES) "New Deal U.S. Changing" and "F.D. Roosevelt address..." files as well as other available sources and respond to the following questions:

Discussion Forum Topic for week 9: Did war remedy the Great Depression? How important is war in our capitalist society? Assuming that [we] Americans are the peace-loving nation, how do we explain our involvement in conflicts in almost every decade since World War II. Is this an economic phenomenon of free market capitalism? Explain, elaborate, and provide evidence. This is not an opinion seeking question. This is a research-based exploration. Keep this in mind.

The format for the forum:

The main post: a three to five-paragraphed narrative introducing your idea or reaction, backed with evidence, and a conclusion. A paragraph is understood to be composed of 5-8 sentences with proper citations, references, and style/grammar. The main post is always due on Thursday. Example

The secondary post(s): a free-flowing discussion engaging others' comments, with no length requirement yet academic in nature. Evidence-based material only. If you select to introduce evidence - MLA formatting for citations and bibliography is a must. No speculations and don't forget to cite (in text and at the end of your post). You may start a discussion link through this forum. The secondary post (s) is (are) due by Sunday night, and maybe be posted anytime during the assigned week. They are usually brief and respond or comment to peers in class.

You may choose to write in MLA, APA or Chicago for all our writing assignments in this class (discussions and essays). MLA is the most common and known to students. If you don't know other writing styles and formats - just stick to MLA.

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The Future of the New Deal Author(s): William F. Ogburn Source: The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 39, No. 6 (May, 1934), pp. 842-848 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2767430 Accessed: 08/02/2010 15:24 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ucpress. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The American Journal of Sociology. http://www.jstor.org The New Deal Hist 2b Prof. Tomasz Stanek Images The New Deal (RRR) • The New Deal was the name that Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to a complex package of economic programs he effected between 1933 and 1935 with the goals of what historians call the 3 Rs, of giving Relief to the unemployed and badly hurt farmers, Reform of business and financial practices, and promoting Recovery of the economy during the Great Depression. Economic situation • When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, the nation was deeply troubled. • Every bank in the nation had closed its doors and no one could cash a check or get at their savings. • The unemployment rate was 25% and higher in major industrial and mining centers. • Farm prices had fallen by 50%. Mortgages were being foreclosed by tens of thousands. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The Coming of the New Deal (1959), p, 32 Jonathan Alter, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, esp. ch 31. (2007) First New Deal • The "First New Deal" (March 4, 1933) focused on a variety of different groups; from banking and railroads to industry and farming. The New Deal instituted banking reform laws, work relief programs, agricultural programs, and industrial reform (the National Recovery Administration, NRA), and the end of the gold standard. The exception was a minimum wage law in 1938, which also finally abolished child labor. William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (1963) p. 262-63 Second New Deal • A "Second New Deal" in 193435 included the Wagner Act to promote labor unions, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief program, the Social Security Act, and new programs to aid tenant farmers and migrant workers. The Supreme Court ruled several programs unconstitutional; however, most were soon replaced, with the exception of the NRA. After 1936, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was the only major legislation; it set maximum hours and minimum wages for most categories of workers. Kennedy, David M (1999). Freedom From Fear: The American people in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Oxford University Press. pp. 364. New Deal Criticism • • • • • Historians on the left have denounced the New Deal as a conservative phenomenon that let slip the opportunity to radically reform capitalism. Since the 1960s, "New Left" historians have been among the New Deal's harsh critics. Barton J. Bernstein, in a 1968 essay, compiled a chronicle of missed opportunities and inadequate responses to problems. The New Deal may have saved capitalism from itself, Bernstein charged, but it had failed to help and in many cases actually harmed those groups most in need of assistance. Paul K. Conkin in The New Deal (1967) similarly chastised the government of the 1930s for its policies toward marginal farmers, for its failure to institute sufficiently progressive tax reform, and its excessive generosity toward select business interests. Howard Zinn, in 1966, criticized the New Deal for working actively to actually preserve the worst evils of capitalism. National Debt as % of GNP time line Unemployment and the US economy during New Deal Analysis • According to Gene Smiley, writing on the Web site of Liberty Fund, "a number of economists" believe the New Deal delayed economic recovery. • A 1995 survey of economic historians asked whether "Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." Of those in economics departments 27% agreed, 22% agreed 'with provisos' (what provisos the survey does not state) and 51% disagreed. Of those in history departments, only 27% agreed and 73% disagreed. How did FDR’s New Deal start? - first 100 days • • • • • • Emergency Bank Relief Act, Mar 9, 1933: Banks reopen, deposits…rather than withdrawals… Economy Act: Mar 20; reducing federal expenditures: salaries and pensions Civilian Conservation Corps: Mar 31, (CCC), 1933-1942: employed young men to perform unskilled work in rural areas; under US Army supervision. Gold Standard abandoned on Apr 19 Agricultural Emergency Relief Act: May 12 Tennessee Valley Authority Act: May 18, TVA), 1933: effort to modernize very poor region (most of Tennessee), centered on dams that generated electricity on the Tennessee River; still exists 100 days continued: Mar-Jun • Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), 1933: raised farm prices by cutting total farm output of major crops and livestock • National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), 1933: industries set up codes to reduce unfair competition, raise wages and prices; • Public Works Administration (PWA), 1933: built large public works projects; used private contractors (did not directly hire unemployed) • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits in banks in order to restore public confidence in banks; still exists • Securities Act of 1933, created the SEC, 1933: codified standards for sale and purchase of stock, required risk of investments to be accurately disclosed; still exists • Civil Works Administration (CWA), 1933-34: provided temporary jobs to millions of unemployed Civilian Conservation Corps • • • • • • • As part of the New Deal legislation proposed by (FDR), the CCC was designed to aid relief of the unemployment resulting from the Great Depression while implementing a general natural resource conservation program on national, state, county and municipal lands. Flood Control: irrigation, drainage dams, ditching, channel work Forest Culture: planting trees and shrubs, timber stand improvement, seed collection, nursery work Forest Protection: fire prevention, fire suppression, fire fighting, insect and disease control Landscape and Recreation: public camp and picnic ground development, lake and pond site clearing and development Range: stock driveways, elimination of predatory animals Wildlife: stream improvement, stocking fish, food and cover planting; Miscellaneous: emergency work, surveys, mosquito control. A typical CCC enrollee was a U.S. citizen, unmarried, unemployed male, 18-25 years of age. Each enrollee volunteered, and upon passing a physical exam was enrolled for a six month term with the option to serve as much as two years. He lived in a work camp, received $30 a month (with a compulsory allotment $22-25 sent to dependents) as well as food, clothing and medical care. During a six month period an enrollee gained an average of .277 inches height and 7.23 pounds. Ermentrout, Robert Allen, "Forgotten Men: The Civilian Conservation Corps," (1982) p. 99 CCC example from Michigan Civil Work Administration • • • • • Road building Sewers 1000 airports 50,000 teachers 4 mln young people employed in the federal programs amounting to over 1 bln. • FDR disbanded in 1934 for fear of …fed jobs dependency…which resulted in additional 4 mln unemployees Work Progress Administration WPA - by H. Hopkins • Apart from “hard” projects: sewers, roads, and airports WPA created theatre, music, and writing institutions. • Part-time student employment • Expired in 1943 but employed 3 mln. DUST BOWL • • • Devastating draught over plains states 1932-1935 John Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2), centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. The Dust Bowl was an ecological and human disaster caused by misuse of land and years of sustained drought. Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as "Okies", since so many came from Oklahoma) traveled to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left. Owning no land, many traveled from farm to farm picking fruit and other crops at starvation wages. Franklin D. Roosevelt Inaugural Address March 4, 1933 I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days. In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and 1 minds of men. True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men. Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live. Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources. Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural 2 products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly. Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order: there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits: and investments, so that there will be an end to speculation with other people's money; and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency. These are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress, in special session, detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States. Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment. The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in and parts of the United States - a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure. In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor - the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors. If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we 3 have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife. With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems. Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations. It is to be hoped that the normal balance of Executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure. I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken Nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption. But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis - broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe. For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less. We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of 4 national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life. We do not distrust the futu ...
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The great depression was the worst economic meltdown of the industrialized world
history that lasted between 1929 to 1919. According to Tekahashi, this period of economic crash
led to the drop of economic spending and it also wiped out investment in major sectors of the
economy. The great depression brought about unemployment, industries had to scale back on
production, the prices in agriculture dropped to unprecedented levels, there was unequal
distribution of wealth around America and countries around the world were faced with a lot of
economic difficulties.
The events of the great depression started to take a toll on investors where countries
around the world started to feel the string of economic hardships. Banks in major economies
such as Austria failed, Germany imposed currency controls and Great Britain started off the gold
standard to try and streamline the economy. The events of this period pushed a lot of people to
the wall, a lot of people were not able to buy the surplus of the goods produced by the industries
which meant that many workers had to stay out of work. Desperate times calls for desperate
measures, many people started to make tough decisions on how to spend the little money they
had. The great depression came with social and psychological effects where people became so
demoralized. Women who stayed home and didn’t go to work before had to look for jobs to help
in supporting their families as men were out for work too.


Many people especially the historians and economists believe that the stock market crash
of 1929 commonly known as the black Tuesday was a major contributor to this crisis. Secondly,
the banks failed their clients for their inefficiency, where bank deposits were uninsured leading
to lose of savings. The stock market crash came in with fears of further economic breakdown,
leading to the reduction in the production power across the world. The American policy with
Europe dealt a big blow to many investments where it imposed heavy taxes for imports into the
American economy leading to less trade. According to John Steinbeck the droug...

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