The Great Depression and the New Deal: 1929 - 1940
|Département||Département d’histoire générale|
|Cours||The United States and Latin America: late 18th and 20th centuries|
- The Americas on the eve of independence
- The independence of the United States
- The U.S. Constitution and Early 19th Century Society
- The Haitian Revolution and its Impact in the Americas
- The independence of Latin American nations
- Latin America around 1850: societies, economies, policies
- The Northern and Southern United States circa 1850: immigration and slavery
- The American Civil War and Reconstruction: 1861 - 1877
- The (re)United States: 1877 - 1900
- Regimes of Order and Progress in Latin America: 1875 - 1910
- The Mexican Revolution: 1910 - 1940
- American society in the 1920s
- The Great Depression and the New Deal: 1929 - 1940
- From Big Stick Policy to Good Neighbor Policy
- Coups d'état and Latin American populisms
- The United States and World War II
- Latin America during the Second World War
- US Post-War Society: Cold War and the Society of Plenty
- The Cold War in Latin America and the Cuban Revolution
- The Civil Rights Movement in the United States
The 1920s, known as the "Roaring Twenties," was a decade of prosperity and optimism in the United States. Still, it all ended abruptly in October 1929 with the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, the longest and most severe economic downturn in American history. The Great Depression profoundly impacted every aspect of American life, causing widespread unemployment, poverty, and financial instability. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and many businesses and banks failed. The crisis also severely impacted agriculture, with many farmers losing their land. The Great Depression led to significant changes in the role of government in the economy, with the federal government taking on a more active role in managing the economy to stabilize it and promote growth. The New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped to alleviate some of the worst effects of the Great Depression and laid the foundation for the country's economic recovery in the 1940s.
It shocked many Americans, who were used to a decade of prosperity in the 1920s. The Great Depression was also severe and long-lasting, lasting for more than a decade and leaving no sector of the economy or society untouched. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, and savings, and many were forced to rely on government assistance to survive.
The Great Depression also profoundly impacted the psychology and outlook of an entire generation of Americans. It created a sense of uncertainty and insecurity, and many people lost faith in the economic system and the ability of the government to provide for their well-being. The crisis also had a lasting impact on American politics, leading to a shift in the balance of power between the government and the private sector and setting the stage for a more active role for the government in the economy.
The Great Depression also had a significant social impact, leading to the rise of social movements, changes in cultural values and a change in the relationship between government and citizens. It also created a sense of hopelessness and despair among many Americans and left an indelible mark on the nation's collective memory.
The Great Depression profoundly affected the American political system, leading to a shift in power between the Republican and Democratic parties. Before the Great Depression, the Republican Party had been the dominant political force in the United States since the end of the Civil War. However, with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the political landscape shifted dramatically as the Democratic Party, which had traditionally been associated with the South and Irish Catholic immigrants, transformed itself into the party of the left, the party of the working and middle classes, who were suffering from the economic downturn. The New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration were instrumental in this shift, as they were popular among many Americans and helped to establish the Democratic Party as the dominant political force in the United States and also led to the emergence of new political movements such as the Progressive Party, which sought to address the economic and social issues arising from the crisis.
Causes of the 1929 Stock Market Crash[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
The causes of the stock market crash of 1929 were complex and multifaceted. At the time, many Americans looked for the cause of the crash elsewhere and did not anticipate the severe and long-lasting nature of the subsequent economic downturn. One common explanation was that the crash was caused by the economic instability in Europe, specifically the inability of European nations to pay the loans they had taken out with American banks after World War I.
While some historians and economists have pointed to European debt as a contributing factor to the stock market crash of 1929, more recent studies have suggested that the causes of the crash were primarily rooted in the United States itself. The second industrial revolution, which saw rapid technological advancements and increased industrial production, led to a period of economic growth and prosperity in the United States during the 1920s. However, this growth also contained the seeds of its own bankruptcy, as the economy was built on a foundation of speculation and debt.
Other factors contributed to the crash. The stock market had been on a bull run for several years before the crash, with stocks prices rising to unrealistic levels. Many investors were buying stocks on margin, meaning they were borrowing money to purchase stocks and counting on the continued rise in stock prices to pay off their loans. This led to a speculative bubble in the stock market, which ultimately burst in October 1929.
Additionally, the rapid expansion of the automobile and household appliance industry in the United States during the 1920s contributed to the economic downturn that led to the stock market crash of 1929. As these industries grew, they gradually led to a saturation of the domestic market, as American companies produced more cars and appliances than the American people could buy. This caused a decline in consumption, leading to a decline in production. The excess supply of goods led to a decrease in demand and a decline in profits for companies in these industries. This, combined with the overvaluation of stocks in the stock market, led to a decline in business confidence, which was one of the factors that contributed to the crash.
There were also structural issues in the economy that contributed to the stock market crash of 1929. One of these was the increasing importance of consumer credit. As the economy boomed in the 1920s, consumer credit became more widely available, which allowed people to purchase goods and services they could not afford with cash. This led to an increase in consumer spending, which in turn helped to fuel the economic boom of the decade. However, when the economy began to decline, many people could not pay off their debts, which led to a decline in consumer spending and further exacerbated the economic downturn.
Another structural issue that contributed to the crash was the low-interest rates that were in place at the time. Low-interest rates made it easy for people to borrow money, leading to increased speculation and overvaluation of stocks. When interest rates began to rise, many investors could not meet their financial obligations, leading to a stock price decline and a market crash.
Lastly, the lack of regulations on the stock market also contributed to the crash. There were few regulations in place to prevent insider trading or to protect investors from fraud, which led to a lack of transparency in the market. This made it difficult for investors to make informed decisions, and many lost money due to the crash.
One of the key issues that contributed to the stock market crash of 1929 was the uneven distribution of wealth. The economic boom of the 1920s was not shared equally, with a large portion of the population not benefiting from the prosperity. Wages for working-class Americans were not keeping pace with the rising cost of living, and the concentration of wealth was becoming more pronounced. While production grew by 43% during the decade, wages for working-class Americans increased by only 11%. This led to a widening gap between the wealthy and the working class, which further eroded consumer confidence and contributed to the crash.
Furthermore, the uneven distribution of wealth also had a negative impact on the economy in the aftermath of the crash. As wealth continued to be too unevenly distributed, too much money went into profits, dividends, and industrial expansion, and too little went into the pockets of workers who are potential consumers. This led to a decline in consumer spending, which in turn led to a decline in production and a decline in employment. The lack of purchasing power among workers and the middle class led to a decrease in demand and further exacerbated the economic downturn.
The Great Depression brought to light the need for government intervention in the economy to redistribute wealth, and provide jobs and social welfare to the population. This led to the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The New Deal programs sought economic relief, recovery, and reform through government-led initiatives, including public works projects, farm subsidies, and financial regulations.
- GDP depression.png
The overall course of the Depression in the United States, as reflected in per-capita GDP (average income per person) shown in constant year 2000 dollars, plus some of the key events of the period.
One way to have potentially avoided the Great Depression would have been for the government or industry leaders to take action to address the gap between production and wages. If wages for working-class Americans had been increased in proportion to the growth in production, the gap between the wealthy and the working class would have been narrower, and more Americans would have had the purchasing power to buy the goods and services that were being produced. This could have prevented the decline in consumer spending that contributed to the crash.
Alternatively, lowering prices to sell more goods and services could have helped avoid the crisis. If prices had been lowered, more Americans would have been able to afford to buy the goods and services produced, which would have helped sustain the economic boom of the 1920s.
However, the Republican governments in power during this time did not take these measures to intervene and the big industrialists refused to see that they were accumulating something that would explode. They focused on short-term profits and not the economy's long-term stability. As a result, the stock market crash of 1929 occurred, and the Great Depression began, which lasted for more than a decade.
The end of World War I also marked the beginning of a decline in the agricultural sector, which continued to worsen throughout the 1920s. The overproduction of agricultural goods led to a decrease in prices, making it difficult for farmers to make a living. This led to a decline in the rural population, as many farmers were forced to leave their land searching for work in the cities.
The decline of the rural sector also had a negative impact on the economy as a whole. The decrease in demand for agricultural goods led to a decline in production and a decrease in employment in the agricultural sector. This, in turn, led to a decline in demand for goods and services in rural areas, further exacerbating the economic downturn.
The situation of the rural population was dire. It led to the introduction of the New Deal programs, which aimed to provide economic relief and recovery for farmers by implementing policies such as crop reduction, price supports and subsidies.
The Republican administrations in power during the 1920s and early 1930s did little to address the issues facing the agricultural sector. The overproduction of agricultural goods and the resulting decrease in prices led to a decline in the rural population, as many farmers were forced to leave their land in search of work in the cities. This led to a migration of people from rural areas to urban areas. As a result, the cities were becoming more populated as the number of workers increased, while the countryside was becoming more depopulated.
This trend of urbanization had a negative impact on the economy as a whole. The decline of the rural sector led to a decrease in production and a decrease in employment in the agricultural sector, which in turn led to a decline in demand for goods and services in the rural areas. This further exacerbated the economic downturn that was already taking place due to the stock market crash of 1929.
The Republican administration's lack of action to address the issues facing the agricultural sector contributed to the worsening of the Great Depression, and it was only with the New Deal programs that farmers were provided with some relief and support.
The Crash of 1929 and its aftermath[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
The crash of late October 1929 resulted from several factors that had been building up over time. The economic boom of the 1920s was based on increasing consumer credit, which allowed people to purchase goods and services that they could not afford to pay for outright. The government lowered interest rates to stimulate credit further, making it cheaper for people to borrow money. However, instead of investing this money in long-term projects such as industrial equipment and infrastructure, many people invested it in the stock market, leading to a speculative bubble in the value of shares.
This artificial boom in the stock market further concealed the underlying issues in the economy, such as the overproduction of goods, the decline of the agricultural sector, and the uneven distribution of wealth. When the bubble finally burst in late October 1929, the stock market crash caused panic and a loss of economic confidence, leading to a downward spiral in economic activity.
The stock market crash can be seen as the trigger that set off the Great Depression, but it resulted from deeper structural issues that had been building up over time. The government's lack of intervention and the focus on short-term profits, coupled with the over-reliance on consumer credit and speculation, contributed to the severity of the depression.
The stock market crash of 1929 was a severe and sudden event. Beginning on October 22nd and continuing through October 29th, the stock market saw a sharp decline in value, with millions of shares being put back on the market but failing to find buyers. Some of the strongest shares lost as much as 80% of their value. This sudden decline in the stock market caused panic among investors and a loss of confidence in the economy.
As a result of the crash, the entire banking system, which was based on credit and confidence, collapsed. This led to widespread bankruptcies and financial ruin for many individuals and businesses. Banks were forced to close their doors, and credit companies could not recover their debts. The crash also led to a decline in consumer spending, as people lost confidence in the economy and tightened their belts, further exacerbating the economic downturn.
This crash was a pivotal moment in the history of the Great Depression, as it triggered a severe economic downturn that lasted for over a decade. The effects of the crash were felt throughout the entire economy, and it profoundly impacted the lives of millions of Americans.
The Great Depression had a severe impact on the American economy. Between 1929 and 1932, the gross national product of the United States fell by more than 40%. Industrial production fell by half, and agricultural production fell similarly. This led to a decline in economic activity and a sharp increase in unemployment. The number of unemployed Americans rose from 1.5 million in 1929 to 12 million in 1932. It had a devastating impact on the lives of many Americans. The unemployment caused by the economic downturn led to a decline in income for many families, resulting in increased homelessness, hunger, and poverty. Many Americans struggled to afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and healthcare.
In rural areas, the situation was similarly dire. The fall in agricultural prices meant that farmers could not make a living from their land, leading to a decline in rural populations. Many farmers were forced to leave their land and move to the cities in search of work. This led to a decline in agricultural production and a further price fall, exacerbating the economic crisis in rural areas.
The Great Depression was a severe humanitarian crisis as well as an economic one, with many Americans struggling to survive in the face of widespread poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity. The government policies and programs implemented during the New Deal era were aimed at providing relief for the unemployed and the poor, and stimulating economic recovery. Still, the problem was systemic and took many years to be solved.
The decline in economic activity and the increase in unemployment led to a decline in consumer spending, further exacerbating the economic downturn. This led to a vicious cycle of declining economic activity, rising unemployment, and falling consumer spending. As a result of the depression, many Americans struggled to make ends meet and could not afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and healthcare.
The Great Depression devastated the lives of millions of Americans, particularly those in the middle class. Many people lost their homes, savings, and livelihoods, and were forced to live in poverty. The government, led by President Herbert Hoover, was slow to respond and many Americans felt abandoned by their leaders.
One of the most visible signs of the crisis was the emergence of "Hoovervilles," makeshift communities of homeless people who lived in shacks and tents on the outskirts of cities. These communities, named after President Hoover, were a reminder of the depth of the crisis and the government's failure to address it. Many Hoovervilles were located near rivers, as residents had to gather water from there, and near the trash dump, they had to scavenge for food.
The residents of Hoovervilles were often immigrants, African Americans, and other marginalized groups who were disproportionately affected by the economic downturn. They were forced to rely on their own resources and the generosity of others to survive. This was a humbling experience for many Americans who were used to a more comfortable standard of living.
During the Great Depression, unemployment and poverty disproportionately affected African Americans and other marginalized groups. They were often the first to lose their jobs and were more likely to be unemployed than white workers. Additionally, many African Americans were forced to leave the cities and return to the South in search of work, leading to an increase in the number of sharecroppers and tenant farmers.
Mexican immigrants were also affected by the economic downturn. Many were deported in large numbers as part of government efforts to reduce unemployment. This was known as the "Mexican Repatriation" and it was estimated that between 500,000 and 2 million people of Mexican descent, both legal and undocumented, were forced to leave the US, many of whom were US citizens.
The situation in Mexico was not better. Many Mexican workers had to return to their country and face a difficult situation, since the economy was not prepared to receive so many workers and unemployment was also high in Mexico. The repatriation caused significant disruption to the lives of many Mexican Americans and their families, and it was a traumatic experience for many.
The Great Depression was a harsh period for many Americans, but it was particularly difficult for marginalized groups such as African Americans and Mexican immigrants. They faced discrimination, unemployment, and poverty, and it was harder for them to access government programs or other forms of relief.
The Election of 1932 and the rise of Franklin D. Roosevelt[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
During the Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover, a Republican, believed that the economy would recover independently and that government intervention would only worsen things. He believed in the principles of "rugged individualism" and minimal government intervention in the economy. He also believed that voluntary actions by businesses and charitable donations from the rich would be sufficient to help those in need. However, as the depression deepened and the number of unemployed and homeless people increased, it became clear that the government needed to take a more active role in addressing the crisis.
In 1932, the Great Depression had been ongoing for several years, and it was clear to many Americans that the Republican Party's laissez-faire approach, which relied on minimal government intervention in the economy, was not working to solve the crisis. Unemployment, poverty, and homelessness were widespread, and the number of people needing assistance rapidly increased. The public was looking for a change, and the election of 1932 presented an opportunity for the Democratic Party, which proposed a more active role for the government in addressing the economic crisis. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic candidate, promised a "New Deal" for the American people, which would include government programs and policies to provide relief to the unemployed, stimulate economic growth, and reform the financial system. This message resonated with the electorate, and Roosevelt was elected in a landslide, signaling a shift in public opinion towards a more interventionist approach to addressing the economic crisis.
During the 1932 presidential election, the Republican Party decided to nominate incumbent President Herbert Hoover for re-election, despite the ongoing economic crisis and widespread public dissatisfaction with his administration's handling of the Great Depression. The party believed that Hoover's experience and leadership during the crisis would be an asset, and they campaigned on the idea that the economy was starting to recover and that Hoover's policies would lead to a full recovery.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was often referred to as a "man of renewal" during his presidency, due to the ambitious and wide-ranging nature of his New Deal programs. He was indeed a distant cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, another President from the Roosevelt family, who also served as President of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in 1882 as the only child of a wealthy New York family. He was educated at Groton, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts. Then he attended Harvard University, where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the varsity rowing team. After Harvard, he attended Columbia Law School, but did not graduate. He went on to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, who was his fifth cousin once removed and a niece of Theodore Roosevelt. She was also from a wealthy and well-connected family, and was known for her active involvement in social and political causes.
Franklin D. Roosevelt had always been interested in politics, even as a young man. After his education, he entered public service and became involved with the Democratic Party. In 1910, he was elected as a member of the New York State Senate, where he served for two terms, from 1911 to 1913. While in the State Senate, he became known for his progressive views and his support for labor and consumer rights. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1920, where he gain more experience and knowledge in politics. In 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt was struck by polio, which left him paralyzed in both legs. Despite this setback, he did not give up on politics and remained active in the Democratic Party. His struggle with polio taught him to be more patient and persevere in facing adversity. He learned to use this experience to be more resilient and to understand the struggles of others better. He became one of the most influential and successful presidents in American history, leading the country through the Great Depression and World War II. He served as President for an unprecedented four terms, from 1933 to 1945.
In 1920, he ran for Vice President of the United States as James M. Cox's running mate but they lost the election to Warren G. Harding. After his failed Vice Presidential bid, he returned to New York and continued to be active in the Democratic Party. After he struggled with polio, Franklin D. Roosevelt returned to politics as a more progressive Democrat. In 1928, he was elected Governor of the State of New York. At the time of his election, the country was in the midst of the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. As Governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented a number of progressive reforms and aid programs to address the economic crisis. He created a commission for the unemployed to help provide assistance to those in need and he also spoke out in favor of retirement pensions and laws in favor of workers' unions. These actions demonstrated his commitment to addressing the country's economic and social issues and helped build his reputation as a leader who was willing to take bold action to address the crisis. As Governor, he implemented a number of progressive reforms and began to build a political base that would help him win the Presidential election in 1932. These actions also helped him to build a political base that would support him in his run for the presidency in 1932, where he promised to implement similar policies on a national level with his New Deal program.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's experience as Governor of New York and his progressive reforms and aid programs to address the economic crisis helped to establish him as a strong leader and potential candidate for the presidency. He campaigned on a "New Deal" platform for the American people, which would include government programs and policies aimed at providing relief to the unemployed, stimulating economic growth, and reforming the financial system. His message resonated with the American people, and he was chosen as the Democratic nominee for the presidential election of 1932. He went on to win the election in a landslide victory against the incumbent president Herbert Hoover, who was running for re-election on the Republican ticket.
At the nomination for the presidential election he promised a "New Deal for the American people". He promised to implement government programs and policies to provide relief to the unemployed, stimulate economic growth, and reform the financial system. His New Deal programs included the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the National Recovery Administration, and the Social Security Act, among others. These programs aimed to provide immediate relief to those in need and implement long-term reforms to stabilize the economy and create a more equitable society. His message resonated with the American public, and he was elected in a landslide victory in the 1932 presidential election.
Roosevelt's speeches during the campaign were filled with hope and optimism, and he promised to take bold action to address the economic crisis. He campaigned on the idea of a "New Deal" for the American people, which would include government programs and policies aimed at providing relief to the unemployed, stimulating economic growth, and reforming the financial system. He also promised to take on the powerful interests that had contributed to the crisis, such as Wall Street bankers and large corporations. His message resonated with the electorate, and he was elected in a landslide, defeating incumbent President Herbert Hoover. His ability to connect with the American people and his ability to convey a sense of hope and optimism helped him to win the support of the electorate, and he was able to implement many of his New Deal programs during his presidency. Some historians have drawn parallels between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lazaro Cardenas, a Mexican politician who served as President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940. Both were seen as leaders who sought to implement progressive policies and redistribute wealth in their respective countries. Cardenas, like Roosevelt, implemented a number of social and economic reforms, including the nationalization of key industries and the expansion of land reform programs. Both leaders also had a charismatic and convincing speaking style that resonated with the public, and both were known for their ability to mobilize popular support for their policies.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's victory in the 1932 presidential election marked the end of the Republican's nearly uninterrupted control of the White House since the Civil War. With the Democrats also winning control of both houses of Congress, Roosevelt had a mandate to implement his "New Deal" policies to address the economic crisis and provide relief to the American people. This included a wide range of programs, such as the creation of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the National Recovery Administration, and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, as well as the establishment of social welfare programs like Social Security and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Roosevelt's election in 1932 marked a significant shift in American politics. He brought together the Democratic Party, which had been divided along regional lines, and his victory ushered in a period of Democratic dominance that lasted until the election of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. With a solid Democratic majority in Congress, Roosevelt implemented his New Deal program, which aimed to address the effects of the Great Depression through a range of economic and social reforms. The New Deal included a number of significant programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and the National Recovery Administration, which aimed to stimulate economic growth and provide assistance to those in need.
The Brain Trust helped Roosevelt develop his New Deal program, which included a number of policies and programs aimed at addressing the economic crisis of the Great Depression. These included the establishment of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), which provided direct relief to the unemployed and underemployed, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), which aimed to increase farm incomes by reducing crop surpluses, and the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which sought to stabilize prices and wages and promote fair competition in business. Additionally, the New Deal also included the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which employed young men to carry out conservation and development projects, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insured bank deposits to prevent bank failures. All these policies and programs were designed to boost economic activity and provide relief for those suffering during the Great Depression.
This idea was known as the "New Deal" and it was based on the belief that government intervention in the economy was necessary to stimulate growth and reduce unemployment. Roosevelt's administration implemented a series of policies and programs, such as the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), to achieve these goals. The New Deal also aimed to provide relief for the unemployed, support for farmers and rural communities, and to increase access to housing, education, and healthcare.
The New Deal: 1933 - 1935 (programs and achievements)[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
Upon its election, Roosevelt's call for action included programs to aid the unemployed and a greater role for the federal government in the economy. He stated in a speech, "The only thing to fear is fear itself. Above all, every American must regain confidence in themselves and in the American nation." This statement became one of his most famous quotes, and he used it to reassure the American people that he would take action to combat the economic crisis. He quickly implemented a series of policies and programs, known as the New Deal, to address the country's economic problems. These included measures such as the creation of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the National Recovery Administration. The New Deal aimed to promote economic recovery, increase employment, and improve the standard of living for Americans. These policies and programs significantly impacted the economy and helped alleviate the suffering caused by the Great Depression.
The goal of Roosevelt's policies was not to fundamentally alter the American economic and social system, but rather to revitalize capitalism and implement reforms that did not infringe on private property, unlike the approach taken in Mexico where state capitalism was being established.
Roosevelt's main focus was to address the immediate issues of unemployment and economic insecurity faced by the American people. He called for immediate government assistance programs and increased federal intervention in the economy. He also emphasized the importance of restoring confidence and trust in the American people and the nation. Additionally, he proposed a plan to address the banking crisis by closing weak banks and providing subsidies to strong ones.
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a federal agency during the New Deal era, to promote economic recovery and stability. The agency sought to achieve this by implementing codes of fair competition for various industries, establishing minimum wages and maximum working hours, and encouraging collective bargaining. Despite these efforts, the NRA faced criticism for its overbearing approach and emphasis on raising prices rather than boosting production. In 1935, the Supreme Court deemed the organization unconstitutional.
As part of agriculture Roosevelt created the Agriculture Adjustent Administration, which is also there to curb overproduction; what the government is doing is encouraging farmers to give up some of their land by giving them subsidies for land they will not farm. AAA is successful in reducing production and raising prices, but only benefits the large farmers who own their land and still have enough money to buy the machinery and fertilizers needed to produce on less land more profitably; on the other hand, this policy further ruins small farmers, smallholders and sharecroppers. This decision accelerates the transformation of U.S. agriculture into an agribusiness in the hands of the most efficient.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was another significant program implemented as part of the New Deal during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program aimed to stimulate economic development in the Tennessee Valley region, which had been particularly affected by the Great Depression. The TVA implemented large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the construction of dams and power plants, in order to provide electricity, control flooding, and improve navigation in the region. The program was intended to create jobs, promote industrialization, and improve the overall standard of living in the region.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program was a federal program established during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal. The program aimed to combat unemployment and poverty by providing young men from poor urban families with jobs in conservation and development projects. Participants in the CCC program were sent to work on projects such as building roads, trails, and other infrastructure in national parks and forests and developing recreational facilities. They received a small allowance for their work, which they could use to support their families. The CCC program was widely regarded as a success and helped to improve the living conditions of many young people during the Great Depression.
The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) is another program established by Roosevelt to provide emergency aid to the unemployed and the poor. It was created in 1933 and was later replaced by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935. The WPA was a large-scale public works program that provided jobs to millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression. It funded the construction of roads, bridges, schools, and public buildings, as well as the creation of jobs in the arts, such as theater and music. It was one of the most successful New Deal programs and is credited with helping to reduce unemployment and stimulate economic growth.
The WPA, or Works Progress Administration, was an ambitious New Deal program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to combat unemployment during the Great Depression. With a budget of $5 billion, the program provided federal jobs and wages for the unemployed, including artists, writers, and other creative professionals. The WPA also oversaw the construction of infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, public buildings, and parks, which helped to improve the country's physical infrastructure and provide much-needed jobs. Additionally, the WPA supported the arts and cultural programs, preserving American culture and providing opportunities for artists during the Great Depression. The WPA had a program to support photographers who traveled to rural areas and Hoovervilles to document a significant portion of the population, providing them with an exceptional photography training. The WPA was widely popular and successful in reducing unemployment. However, it was gradually phased out in the 1940s as the economy improved and the country entered World War II. Interestingly, this program was similar to the programs implemented in Mexico before the Great Depression.
Intensification of Reforms: 1935 - 1936 (Social Security, WPA, etc.)[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
These programs implemented in the years 1933 to 1935, such as the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), were heavily influenced by similar programs that had been implemented in Mexico prior to their implementation in the United States. Despite their initial successes in reducing unemployment and improving the economy, these programs still failed to address the needs of the most marginalized and disadvantaged segments of society. As a result, in 1935 and 1936, reforms were intensifying to address these issues and provide more comprehensive aid to those most in need. Despite these efforts, unemployment remained high, with an estimated 30% of the population still out of work.
As a result, in 1935 and 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt intensifies his reform efforts. He introduces new programs, such as the National Youth Administration and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to address the ongoing issue of unemployment. These programs were designed to provide federal salaries and work opportunities for the unemployed, including artists, writers, and photographers. The WPA, in particular, created jobs and infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, public buildings, and parks. The WPA also supported the arts and cultural programs, including theater, music, and visual arts, which helped to preserve American culture and provide opportunities for artists during the Great Depression. Despite the efforts of these programs, unemployment remained high, with an estimated 30% of the population unemployed. This was partly because these programs primarily benefited the well-organized social partners, such as large corporations, large farmers, and unionized workers, leaving out the most deprived sections of society. This dissatisfaction with the inequalities of American society led to some politicians leaving the Democratic Party and protesting against the government's policies.
In an effort to address the ongoing issue of high unemployment and to gain support for his re-election campaign, President Franklin D. Roosevelt intensified his New Deal program with new reforms in 1935-1936. These reforms aimed to provide greater assistance to marginalized groups and address the inequalities in American society. However, despite these efforts, the programs implemented in the years 1933-1935 primarily benefited well-organized social partners, such as large corporations, large farmers, and unionized workers, leaving many of the most disadvantaged in society still struggling. This led to growing discontent among politicians and citizens, with some leaving the Democratic Party in protest. Despite these challenges, Roosevelt continued to push forward with his reform agenda, determined to impact all Americans' lives positively.
The Social Security Act, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, was a groundbreaking piece of legislation and a cornerstone of the New Deal program. Prior to its implementation, the United States had no formal program in place to provide support and assistance to vulnerable individuals and families, particularly those affected by poverty. This act not only marked a significant shift in the government's approach to social welfare, but also served as a model for other countries to follow in providing a safety net for their citizens. The Social Security program was a three-part system that included:
- The first part of the Social Security program is the pension program, which both employers and employees fund. This program provides financial assistance to individuals who have reached retirement age or are otherwise eligible for benefits. The funds for this program are collected through payroll taxes and are used to provide a steady income for retired individuals.
- The second part of the Social Security program is the unemployment assistance program. This program provides financial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs and are unable to find new employment. The funds for this program are also collected through payroll taxes and are used to provide temporary financial assistance to those who are out of work.
- The third part of the Social Security program is the federal assistance program for state programs for the blind, disabled, elderly, and children in need. This program provides funding to state governments so that they can provide additional financial assistance to those who are most in need. The funds for this program are also collected through payroll taxes and are used to support those most vulnerable in society. Overall, the Social Security program was put in place to provide a safety net for individuals who are unable to support themselves due to age, disability, or unemployment.
This act was a significant achievement in the New Deal program. It marked a turning point in American history as it provided much-needed support for vulnerable populations during the Great Depression.
Despite its aims to provide aid to those in need, this Social Security program faced several criticisms and issues. One major issue was that the aid provided was relatively small, and those who were in most need of assistance, such as small farmers, sharecroppers, and domestic workers, were often excluded from the program due to a lack of a formal employer-employee contract, and therefore were unable to join the system. Additionally, trade unions also were not able to access the program.
In 1935, a significant advancement in state intervention in the American industrial sector occurred when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibited "in-house" unions and promoted collective bargaining between unions and employers on an industry-wide level. This act aimed to provide a more level playing field for workers, giving them the right to organize and bargain collectively with their employers for better wages and working conditions. The NLRA also established the National Labor Relations Board to oversee and enforce the provisions of the act. This was a significant step towards protecting workers' rights and promoting fair labor practices in the United States.
The Second Term of Franklin D. Roosevelt: 1936 - 1940 (Supreme Court battles, economic challenges)[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a second term as President of the United States in 1936. He campaigned with his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and defeated his Republican opponent, Alf Landon. During the campaign, Landon accused Roosevelt of betraying the founding fathers and implementing socialist policies in the United States. Despite these accusations, Roosevelt was triumphantly elected and served as President from 1936 to 1940.
The election of 1936 was indeed a significant turning point in the bipartisan system of the United States. The New Deal coalition, a coalition of various groups who supported or had benefited from Roosevelt's New Deal policies, played a major role in his re-election. This coalition included traditional white Southern Democrats, residents of large industrial cities, workers of all races, immigrants, union members, and impoverished farmers. As a result, Roosevelt won the election in all states except Maine and Vermont, and this coalition would go on to play a major role in Democratic Party politics for several decades to come. This electoral victory also solidified the power of the Democratic Party as the leading party in the United States and marked a shift in the country's political landscape.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term in 1940 and a fourth term in 1944, making him the only president in United States history to serve more than two terms. However, after his death in April 1945, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1951, which limits the number of terms a president can serve to two. This amendment was ratified by the required number of states in 1951 and became part of the Constitution. So, as a result of this amendment, no president since then has been able to serve more than two terms in office.
During his second presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt continued his New Deal programs, including state aid to farmers. One of the new programs he established during this time was the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which aimed to help small farmers with loans. However, the program was not very well-funded and only around 2% of small farmers could benefit from it. Additionally, in the Southern states, the program had little impact and many tenant farmers, both white and black, lost their homes due to the economic struggles of the time. Despite these shortcomings, the FSA did provide some relief to farmers through low-interest loans, technical assistance, and other forms of support.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) programme aimed to help small farmers with loans, but it also served to promote and provide work on large plantations. Indeed, the programme also provided consulting and technical services to help large landowners improve their management and yield. This has led to a more efficient and sustainable development of large farms and improved farm workers' working and living conditions. As a result, the FSA programme has positively impacted American agriculture as a whole and has helped improve the economic conditions of farmers, landowners and farm workers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938 and established a federal minimum wage, maximum workweek, and overtime pay for certain workers. The law was originally intended to protect non-unionized workers from being exploited by employers. Still, it ended up benefiting unionized workers as well, as it helped to establish a minimum standard for wages and working conditions across the country. However, the law only applied to workers in certain large and important industries, such as manufacturing, transportation, and communication. Workers in other industries, such as agriculture and domestic service, were not covered by the FLSA. Over time, the FLSA has been amended to include more workers and industries and to increase the minimum wage. The law has played an important role in setting standards for wages and working conditions in the United States, and it continues to be a major piece of labor legislation today.
Social Impact of the New Deal: Assessing the legacy of the policies and programs[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
The New Deal, a series of economic programs implemented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s, is generally considered to have been successful in addressing the economic challenges of the Great Depression. One of its key components was the expansion of labor rights, which increased union membership and a closer alignment between the Democratic Party and the working class. However, the New Deal also had its critics, who argued that it did not go far enough in addressing the needs of the poor and that it was too focused on government intervention in the economy. Overall, the New Deal is still a subject of debate and different assessments among scholars and experts.
In 1929, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) was one of the largest and most powerful labor unions in the United States. It was a federation of craft unions, representing skilled workers in specific industries, such as carpenters, printers, and electricians. The AFL had a conservative approach to labor organizing, which focused on negotiating with employers for better wages and working conditions for its members.
At the time, there were also other labor unions in the United States, but they were smaller and less influential. Additionally, the AFL had a policy of excluding certain groups of workers, such as unskilled workers and black workers, from its membership. This policy reflected the broader racial and economic inequalities of the time and was a major limitation of the AFL's ability to represent the interests of all workers.
The New Deal's policies, particularly the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provided a legal framework to support labor organizing and collective bargaining rights. This led to the rise of new unions, such as the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which represented unskilled and industrial workers, and the United Auto Workers (UAW), which organized workers in the automotive industry. These unions were more diverse and more inclusive of black workers and other minorities, which helped to increase the representation of these groups in the labor movement.
In 1935, the AFL established the Committee on Industrial Organization (CIO) to organize unskilled industrial workers, who were not represented by the existing craft unions. This marked a shift in the labor movement towards more inclusive and industrial unionism, which aimed to organize all workers in a particular industry, rather than just skilled workers in specific crafts.
As a result of the CIO's efforts, union membership in the United States increased significantly. In 1929, there were approximately 3 million union members. By 1939, the number had grown to almost 10 million. However, despite this growth, unionized workers still comprise a relatively small percentage of the total workforce. In 1939, only 28% of all workers were union members.
The CIO's success in organizing large numbers of new workers was significant, but the CIO also faced challenges. The CIO was often met with resistance from employers and conservative elements in the AFL, and the government's labor policies were inconsistent and not always supportive of organized labor.
The New Deal's social programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), were designed to provide jobs and assistance to unemployed and underemployed individuals during the Great Depression. However, these programs were not always equally accessible or beneficial to all groups of people, particularly women.
In general, the New Deal programs were geared towards providing jobs to men, which left women at a disadvantage. For example, the CCC and the WPA were primarily focused on providing employment opportunities in outdoor and manual labor, which were traditionally seen as "men's work." As a result, fewer women could participate in these programs, and many were relegated to lower-paying and lower-skilled jobs.
Additionally, the criteria for receiving assistance under the FERA were often gender-biased, with preference given to men who were the primary breadwinners for their families. As a result, fewer women received federal assistance than men. In fact, among the unemployed, 37% were women, but only 19% of those receiving assistance were women.
It is important to note that the New Deal was a complex set of programs and policies, and the lack of gender-inclusiveness was not a specific intent, but rather a result of the social norms and biases of the time. Nevertheless, women's groups, labor unions, and other organizations began to advocate for more inclusive policies that would benefit women and other marginalized groups.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a prominent advocate for women's rights and social justice during the New Deal era. She used her position as First Lady to raise awareness of issues affecting women and other marginalized groups, and she worked to ensure that their perspectives were taken into account in developing and implementing New Deal programs.
As a result of her efforts, women became more active in politics and began to mobilize more effectively. The New Deal era saw an increase in the number of women involved in political activism and advocacy, as they sought to ensure that the government was addressing their needs and concerns. Although women had only been able to vote since 1920, many women took advantage of the new opportunities provided by the New Deal to become more politically engaged.
Frances Perkins is a notable example of a woman who achieved significant political success during the New Deal era. She was the first woman to hold a cabinet-level position in the United States government, serving as Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945. Perkins was a strong advocate for workers' rights and for the inclusion of women and minorities in the labor force. Her appointment as Secretary of Labor was an important step forward for women's representation in government and in the labor movement.
While the New Deal did bring about some improvements for marginalized groups, such as women, it did not do much to address the issues faced by racial minorities, particularly African Americans. Despite President Franklin D. Roosevelt's commitment to social justice, his administration did not take a strong stance against racism and discrimination.
African Americans were disproportionately affected by the Great Depression and were often excluded from New Deal programs. Many New Deal programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Public Works Administration (PWA), had discriminatory practices that effectively excluded African Americans from participating in these programs. African Americans also faced discrimination in the labor market, and were often the last to be hired and the first to be fired.
Additionally, many New Deal programs and policies were administered at the state and local level, where racism and discrimination were rampant. As a result, African Americans were often denied access to benefits and services that were intended to help them.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the President's wife, was more vocal on issues of racial inequality and she tried to push her husband and his administration to address the issues faced by African Americans. She supported anti-lynching legislation and desegregation of the armed forces, and also advocated for fair employment practices. However, her influence was limited and her efforts did not lead to significant changes in policy.
The New Deal's labor and economic programs did not provide much benefit to African Americans, who were disproportionately represented in low-paying, low-skilled jobs, such as domestic servants, janitors, and farm workers. Many of these jobs were not covered by union protections, so African Americans were often excluded from the benefits of New Deal labor laws and policies.
In the South, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was intended to raise crop prices and benefit farmers, but it had a negative impact on many tenant farmers and sharecroppers, who were disproportionately African American. The AAA's policies, which included paying farmers to reduce crop production, led to many tenant farmers and sharecroppers being evicted from their land, as landowners sought to cut costs by reducing the number of tenant farmers on their land.
African American workers also faced discrimination in the administration of New Deal programs, which were often administered at the state and local level, where racism and discrimination were rampant. As a result, African Americans were often denied access to benefits and services that were intended to help them.
The New Deal programs, while bringing some economic and social progress, they failed to address the issues of racial inequality and segregation fully, and many African Americans continued to face discrimination and poverty during this period.
The Great Depression severely impacted Mexicans and Americans of Mexican origin, many of whom were forced to return to Mexico. The economic downturn led to widespread unemployment and poverty, and many Americans blamed immigrants, particularly Mexicans, for taking jobs away from native-born workers.
The Federal government, and some state and local governments, launched repatriation campaigns to encourage or force Mexicans and Mexican Americans to return to Mexico. These campaigns were often brutal and inhumane, with families being separated and individuals being rounded up and forcibly removed from the country. It is estimated that between 500,000 and 2 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were repatriated during the 1930s.
Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans also faced discrimination and racism in the workplace and their communities, making it even harder for them to find work and support themselves during the Great Depression. This led to many people returning to Mexico, where they could face the same economic problems, but in a more familiar environment.
The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act, was a federal law that aimed to reverse the allotment policy, which had been in place since the late 19th century. The allotment policy had resulted in the loss of 90 million acres of tribal land, with the remaining lands becoming fragmented and held by individual tribal members. The Indian Reorganization Act was intended to stop the further loss of communal lands and to promote self-government and economic development among the tribes.
The Indian Reorganization Act recognized the right of tribes to own and govern their own lands and to form tribal governments. It also provided funding for the restoration of tribal lands and resources and for the development of infrastructure and economic development programs. Additionally, the law established a system of credit for tribes and individuals, which was intended to support economic development and self-sufficiency.
While the Indian Reorganization Act was seen as a positive step in recognizing the rights of tribes, it was not fully implemented and had mixed results. In some cases, it lead to the reconstruction of tribal governments and the revitalization of tribal cultures and economies. Still, in other cases, it was met with resistance from tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as from non-Native interests.
Conclusion: Summarizing the impact of the New Deal on the country and its people[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
The final balance sheet of the New Deal is a mixed one. On one hand, the New Deal programs successfully reduced unemployment and provided economic relief during the Great Depression. The New Deal policies such as the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Public Works Administration (PWA), and the Social Security Act helped to provide jobs and income for millions of Americans who were struggling to make ends meet.
On the other hand, the New Deal did not fully achieve its goal of eliminating unemployment. Despite the various programs and policies that were implemented, unemployment remained high, with 9 million people still unemployed in 1939, or 18% of the labor force in the United States. Additionally, many of the New Deal programs were not as effective as intended, and some programs such as the National Recovery Administration (NRA) were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, the New Deal did not address the needs of all groups equally. Many women, minorities, and immigrants did not fully benefit from New Deal programs, and discrimination and racism were often not addressed. Additionally, the New Deal did not bring the country out of the Great Depression, and it was not until the massive spending on World War II that the economy fully recovered.
The New Deal did launch a series of national and federal programs that had a significant impact on the political and social life of the United States. The New Deal programs were designed to provide economic relief and create jobs during the Great Depression, but they also had broader social and political effects.
One of the most important effects of the New Deal was the expansion of the federal government's role in American society. Prior to the New Deal, the federal government had a limited role in the economy and in the lives of citizens. The New Deal programs, however, greatly increased the federal government's involvement in the economy and in people's daily lives. This expansion of the role of the federal government helped to establish a new expectation that the government should be responsible for the welfare of its citizens and has set the precedent for future government policies.
The New Deal also led to the strengthening of the Democratic Party as the party of working class. The New Deal programs were primarily implemented by the Democratic Party, which gained support from the working class as a result. This alignments helped to solidify the Democratic Party as the party of working class and the party of the New Deal.
Additionally, the New Deal programs helped improve many Americans' lives. For instance, the Social Security Act provided retirement benefits for the elderly, the National Labor Relations Act protected the rights of workers to organize, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) ensured that bank depositors would not lose their savings in the event of a bank failure. These programs and policies helped improve many Americans' lives and have had a lasting impact on American society.
From an economic and unemployment standpoint, the Second World War indeed played a significant role in leading the United States out of the Great Depression. The war effort required large-scale industrial production, which created jobs and stimulated economic growth. The government's increased spending on war-related materials, such as tanks, airplanes, and weapons, increased demand for goods and services, which in turn led to jobs and a decrease in unemployment.
The unemployment rate in the United States fell from an average of 18.2% in 1940 to 1.2% in 1944. This rapid decrease in unemployment was largely due to the massive increase in government spending on the war effort, which created jobs in industries such as steel, shipbuilding, and transportation.
In addition, the war also led to the development of new technologies and innovations, which helped spur economic growth and job creation in the post-war period.
Annexes[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
- 1929-1939 : Une décennie de misère (La Grande Dépression au Canada)
- Textes sur la Grande crise des années 1930 Cliotexte.
- Souvenirs et réflexions sur l'âge de l'inflation de Jacques Rueff, économiste et ancien fonctionnaire du Trésor Français.
- Le Crach de 1929 et la grande Dépression - Comment éviter une répétition de la débâcle Keynésienne
- 1932 popular vote by counties
- How close was the 1932 election? — Michael Sheppard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Foreign Affairs,. (2015). The Great Depression. Retrieved 29 October 2015, from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/1932-07-01/great-depression
References[modifier | modifier le wikicode]
- ↑ Aline Helg - UNIGE
- ↑ Aline Helg - Academia.edu
- ↑ Aline Helg - Wikipedia
- ↑ Aline Helg - Afrocubaweb.com
- ↑ Aline Helg - Researchgate.net
- ↑ Aline Helg - Cairn.info
- ↑ Aline Helg - Google Scholar
- ↑ When Did the Great Depression Receive Its Name? (And Who Named It?), 2-16-09, by Noah Mendel, History News Network though Hoover is widely credited with popularizing the term,
- ↑ Per-capita GDP data from MeasuringWorth: What Was the U.S. GDP Then?
- ↑ Klingaman, William K. (1989). 1929: The Year of the Great Crash. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-016081-0.
- ↑ Harold Bierman, Jr. (April 1998). The Causes of the 1929 Stock Market Crash: A Speculative Orgy or a New Era?. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 19–29. ISBN 978-0-313-30629-7.
- ↑ "Market crash of 1929: Some facts of the economic downturn". Economic Times. Times Inernet. October 22, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
- ↑ Carswell, Andrew T. (2012). "Hooverville". The Encyclopedia of Housing (Second ed.). SAGE. p. 302. ISBN 9781412989572.
- ↑ "Hoovervilles and Homelessness". washington.edu.
- ↑ Roosevelt's official speech was "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people". (Source : http://www.u-s-history.com
- ↑ "The Roosevelt Week", Time, New York, July 11, 1932
- ↑ first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32nd President of the United States was held on Saturday, March 4, 1933
- ↑ James Ciment, Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and the New Deal (2001) Vol. 1 p. 6
- ↑ "Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives: About this Collection". Library of Congress. 1935
- ↑ Charles Kenneth Roberts, Farm Security Administration and Rural Rehabilitation in the South. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2015
- ↑ James Ciment, Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and the New Deal (2001) Vol. 1 p. 6
- ↑ Indian Reorganization Act - Information & Video - Chickasaw.TV
- ↑ Texte de l’Indian Reorganization Act et de ses amendements