The Great Depression

I. Background

II. Causes of the Great Depression

6 Basic Theories about what caused the Depression

A. Overproduction/Underconsumption

B. Bad Business Practices

C. Government Policy

D. Worldwide Economic Conditions

E. Business Cycle

F. Uneven Distribution of Wealth

A. Stock Market Crash (immediate cause) - buying on margin

B. Spiral Effect

III. Hoover's rugged individualism (1929-1932)

A. Rugged Individualism - each individual responsible for self

B. Hawley-Smoot Tariff - 1930

C. Moratorium on reparations and war debt payments - 1931

D. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) - Feb. 1932

E. Bonus March, 1932 (Hoovervilles)

IV. Transition - Effects

A. 1932 Election

V. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal (1932-1939)

A. Background Concepts

B. 1st New Deal - 1933-1934

VI. The Second New Deal (launched in '35)


1. Relief - aid to the unemployed - Two types

immediate aid (direct)
cut unemployment (work)

a. Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)

b. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - 1933

c. PWA - 1st New Deal forerunner to WPA - 1933

d. CWA - 1st New Deal forerunner - 1933

2. Recovery - helped industry, banks and farmers recover

a. Bank Holiday declared by FDR - 3/5/33

b. Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) - 1933

c. National Recovery Administration (NRA-Blue Eagle) - 1933

3. Reform - to ward off future depressions

a. Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation (FDIC/FSLIC) - 1933

b. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) - May 1933

c. Gold Reserve Act - 1934

d. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - 1934

e. Federal Housing Administration - 1934

f. Trade Agreement Acts - 1934

D. Criticisms/Shortcomings of New Deal

1. Evolution vs. Revolution

2. Father Coughlin

3. Deficit spending - boondoggling/debt/unemployment = 8 million - 1939

E. 2nd New Deal - 1935-1939

a. Courtpacking Scheme - 1937

4. Basis - Deficit Spending (Pump Priming) - John Maynard Keynes

7. Relief

a. WPA - 1935 - 2nd New Deal

b. National Youth Administration (NYA)

c. Evaluation of Relief

8. Recovery

a. Wagner Act - 1935 - 2nd New Deal - salvaged from NRA

b. Fair Labor Standards Act - 1938 - 2nd New Deal - salvaged from NRA

c. 1938 AAA - paid farmers as before - 2nd New Deal

9. Reform

a. Social Security - 1935 - 2nd New Deal

b. Tax Code Restructuring - 1935 - 2nd New Deal

VII. Impact of the New Deal

IV. Positive Aspects/Achievements of New Deal

A. Confidence restored in US government - riots and strikes that occurred in Europe avoided in 1933

B. Farmers helped some - however not tenant farmers many of whom were black

C. Working people are helped

D. Nation enriched - roads, parks, dams, buildings

Public spending offset private spending leading to recovery

E. Unionism is boosted

F. Reforms in banking and stock exchange - capitalism controlled

G. Dynamic Presidency - strong leadership

H. Minorities (women and blacks) benefited - Eleanor Roosevelt

I. Changes left incomplete - 1939 - attention turned to foreign affairs

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