Roosevelt New Deal Questions and Answers
1. What was the Wagner Act? Why did Roosevelt support this legislation?
When the Supreme Court invalidated the national industrial recovery act in 1935 that act guaranteed that workers could organize in unions the Wagner act which is the national Labor relations act of 1935 gave workers federal protection created enforcement of the national Labor relations Board NLRB. The president signed it because American workers by 1935 were voters and his political future depended on them.
2. What is the background regarding the formation of the CIO? What was the CIO and what was its focus?
The AFL was a union for crafts or skilled labor they had fights about allowing unskilled labor in and when they threw them out they became their own organization
CIO is the Congress of industrial organization it was a rival of the AFL the CIO was better to women and blacks than the AFL had been. The CIO with the union for unskilled labor and went after an organized industries like textiles, laundry, tobacco where women and minorities worked. The CIO was more militant than the AFL and it was organizing the automobile and steel industry.
3. What was the UAW? Why did General Motors agree to recognize them? What tactics did the strikers use and why did they abandon these tactics soon afterward?
The United autoworkers got big in the 30s but corporations wouldn’t recognize them in December 1936 they had a sitdown strike employees in several GM plant in Detroit sat down in plants and refuse to work or to leave so the company could use strikebreakers. They had a big strike where National Guard was brought in but sitdown strikes were illegal and there was a lot of public outcry against it so they stopped using it.
Small steel companies called little skill opened fire on a group of marchers that were marching toward the steel plant 10 demonstrators were killed the 1937 strike failed it was called the Memorial Day massacre.
4. What was the status of labor unions at the end of the 1930s? In 1937, what percent of the strikes ended favorably for the workers? Compared with 1932, how did union membership stack up? By 1941? Why did US Steel give in to the demands of the workers without a fight?
80% of the strikes were in favor of the unions. They were 4720 strikes in 1937 alone. In 1932 there were 3 million union members. There were 8 million workers that were members of unions in 1938. By 1941 there were 10 million union members.
The US still gave in to the demands of the workers without a fight because they didn’t want to risk a costly strike when the steel industry was recovering from the depression.
5. What was the Social Security Act and what did it provide for? Make sure to discuss specifics regarding the elderly, pensions, and unemployment insurance.
Social Security was from the first movements of the new deal. It is a system of federally sponsored social insurance for the elderly and unemployed. Social Security act in 1935 the elderly had two types of assistance they could get up to $15 a month in federal assistance many working Americans were incorporated into a pension system they would contribute by paying a payroll tax and it would give them money after they retired. Pension payments did not begin until 1942 and provided tenant to $85 a month.
Blacks and women were excluded from the program
unemployment system that employers alone would finance gave money to laid-off workers as temporary government assistance.
It also established a system of federal aid to disabled people
and aid to dependent children
it was a system of insurance not welfare it was similar to private insurance programs where contributions from participants benefited everybody it was based on need
it was meant to give support to people who couldn’t take care of themselves but later generations saw that it got larger and larger
6. The framers of the Social Security Act wanted a system of “insurance,” not “welfare.” Describe what this means, with examples from the text.
The new dealers believe that some people had “earned social protection… Because they or their employers had contributed to the programs from which they drew. Old age pensions and unemployment insurance or because they have performed some special service to the nation… Civil War and World War I veterans”
the other group of people that had earned money included “women that needed benefits because they were incapable of supporting themselves” the new dealers were willing to provide benefits for them as well although “less generously donated for those they believe had earned them”.
It was insurance because people got a payout for working and they and their employers had put in the money over a long period of time and it was to be paid out after their retirement. It was not welfare because they had put the money in themselves to work over a long period of time. Women worse a special class of people that didn’t need to work for it because they were considered unable to provide for themselves that is why it is not welfare.
7. What was the Works Progress Administration? What major projects did it oversee and how many people did it employ? Discuss how it helped workers who were not manual laborers.
The WPA was for millions of unemployed Americans that had immediate needs it was established in 1935. The WPA had a $5 billion budget it was a huge agency the WPA was responsible for building hundred and 10,000 schools post offices government and office buildings, constructing 600 airports, 500,000 miles of road, 100,000 bridges
2.1 million workers were employed at the WPA and it pumped money into the national economy
the WPA helped painters sculptors through federal music projects and federal theater projects that put on concerts and plays creating work for unemployed musicians actors and directors and artists
8. How did the way in which the government spent money during the New Deal reflect traditional assumptions of social (gender) roles?
Men got jobs and women got money. Most women got money through aid to dependent children programs through Social Security to assist single mothers. Government assumed men were going to be paid workers and that women needed to be treated in the context of the family
9. Describe the presidential election of 1936? What were the results of this election? The impact?
1936 presidential election Franklin Roosevelt and the new deal the economy was getting better he was sure to win a second term the Republican Party nominated the governor of Kansas L Landon a leader named Hugh belonged was assassinated in 1935 they had this union party. Pres. Roosevelt won with 61% of the vote to landings 36% of the vote he won every state except for Maine and Vermont the greatest landslide in American history the Democrats controlled the Western and Southern farmers and the urban working classes the poor and unemployed the black communities of the northern cities as well as new liberals and the majority of the electorate it would be decades before Republican Party could create a majority
10. What did Roosevelt want to do regarding the Supreme Court in 1937? What was Roosevelt’s public argument for overhauling the Supreme Court? Why did he really want to overhaul the Court? What became of this plan? (Was it necessary?)
Roosevelt overhauled the justice system including the Supreme Court said that the soup report was overworked but he really wanted to appoint new liberal justices and change the rulings of the court for justices consistently opposed the new deal and three generally supported it of the remaining two they often sided with the progresses the Supreme Court didn’t like the court packing bill and Congress ultimately defeated it
the court was not an obstacle to the new deal reforms when the older justices began to retire they were replaced by Roosevelt’s new appointed by the court packing episode had lasting political damage to the Roosevelt administration
11. Why did Roosevelt ask for $5 billion dollars in April of 1938? What approach to government spending did Roosevelt’s policies (and experiments) appear to support? (p.723)
Roosevelt believed that the reduction in government spending was the reason the economy was not going well so in April 1938 the president asked Congress for $5 billion for public works and relief programs in government money came back into the economy it seemed to be working and the economy approved which he believed was proof that spending would aid in recovery
12. Why did John Collier promote the Indian Reorganization Act? (refer to the idea of “cultural relativism”)
cultural relativism is the theory that every culture should be accepted and respected on its own terms and that no culture is inherently superior to another. Collier wanted the legislation to reverse pressure on Native Americans to assimilate and allow them to remain Indians the Indian reorganization act of 1934 tribe collectively to elect tribal governments, 13 years after the passage of the bill tribal land increase by 4,000,000 acres and agricultural income increased dramatically from 2 million in 1934 to 49,000,000 in 1947 but there is still the poorest people in the United States
13. List what you believe to be the most significant lasting effects of the New Deal. (At Least Four) Be able to explain why in class.
Social Security when you are too old to work the government had a forced system of savings and would pay back slowly so you could survive without a job
Indian reorganization act of 1934 it stopped years of land grabs against Native Americans and the decimation of Native American culture. It made Native Americans more proud of their own culture and stopped our attempts to assimilate them into white culture. Tribal land increased by 4,000,000 acres
unemployment insurance it gave people a lifeline in between jobs so they could have food and shelter
assistance to disabled this group is perceived as being genuinely unable to support themselves
14. What impact did the New Deal have on American politics?
Roosevelt was most powerful man for eight years as president for two terms it would be decades before the Republican Party could create a lasting majority coalition on its own the Democrats controlled Western and Southern farmers, urban working class, the poor, the unemployed, the blacks, northern cities, progresses, new liberals.