The New Deal.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Christine Berkowitz

The New Deal: - Franklin Roosevelt believed regional economic planning would promote economic growth, ease the domestic and working lives of Americans, and keep control of key natural resources in public rather than private hands - Changed the meaning of liberalism > referred to the active efforts by the national government to uplift less fortunate members of society - The New Deal elevated a public guarantee of economic security to the forefront of American discussions of freedom - Time of social upheaval > social and political activists > labor movement placed new issues on the political agenda - Economic security > had at last been recognized as a political condition of personal freedom - Regional economic planning reflected this understanding of freedom ^ - Social Security Act > offered aid to the unemployed and aged - First Labor Standards Act > established a national minimum wage - New Deal significantly expanded the meaning of freedom, it did not erase freedom’s boundaries ..its benefits flowed to industrial workers but not tenant farmers, to men (more than women) and to white americans more than blacks who in the south were still deprived of basic rights Roosevelt Franklin: - Symbolic representative of ordinary citizens - His willingness to throw off the dogmas of the quite past to confront an unprecedented national crisis - He promised a new deal for the American ppl - Conceived of the new deal as an alternative to socialism - He hoped to reconcile democracy, individual liberty, and economic planning - Drew on the reform traditions of the progressive era - Saw bigness as inevitable in a modern economy… so the competitive marketplace, they argued, was a thing of the past, and large firms needed to be managed and directed by the government, not dismantled. > this view called the first new deal The banking crisis: - spent much of 1933 trying to reassure the public - he confronted a banking system on the verge of collapse. As bank funds invested in the stock market lost their value and panicked depositors withdrew their savings, bank after bank had closed its doors - pass the Emergency Banking Act, the Glass-Stegall Act > these measures recued the financial system and greatly increased the government’s power over it - in 1936 not a single bank failed in the U.S NRA: - he rapidly passed laws that he hoped would promote economic recovery > and so rapidly expanded the role of the federal government in ppl’s lives - centerpiece of his plan for combating the depression = National Industry Recovery Act - ^ work with groups of business leaders to establish industry codes that set standards for output, prices and working conditions. Thus cutthroat competition (in which companies took losses to drive competitors out of business) would be ended - the older idea of liberty was that the best way to encourage economic activity and ensure a fair distribution of wealth was to allow market competition to operate, restrained by the government public-works projects: - launced acts that built roads, schools, hospitals and other public facilities - employed more than 4 million persons in the construction of highways, tunnels, courthouses and airports - but as the cost spiraled upwards and complaints multipled that the new deal was creating a class of americans permanently dependents on governments jobs, he ordered the Civil Works Administration Act dissolved The New Deal and Housing: - not until the new deal, did the government systematically enter the housing market - he spoke of the security of the home as a fundamental right akin to the security of livelihood - moved energetically to protect home owners from foreclosure and to stimulate new construction. - The Home Owners Loan Corporation
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