History 416

Origins of the New Deal

November 7, 2005



I. The Depression

1. Origins (Hoover as president; explanations: international, domestic, government policies)


2. Collapse of the International Order (economic decline and its effects: East Asia; Europe, Latin America; the tariff wars)


3. Toward 1932 (Parker nomination and Hoover’s declining strength; 1930 midterm elections; Hoover policies—RFC, McNary-Haugen, Insull collapse, deflationary spiral, bank run)


II. The Election of 1932

            1. Democratic Race (FDR and national politics; FDR gubernatorial record—Frankfurter, appeal to progressives—regulation, taxation, public power; challengers—Smith, Garner, Baker; FDR, agriculture, and South)


            2. Creating the New Deal Coalition (1920s and changing nature of Democratic Party—role of ethnic Democrats; South, Depression, and poverty; FDR and intellectuals—Frankfurter connection, NYC and DC journalists; black migration and Democratic outreach to African-Americans—from DePriest to Mitchell in Chicago; Hoover weakness, flexibility of FDR vision—“balanced budget”; Democratic triumph)


III. Depression, New Deal, and the Origins of the American Welfare State

            1. FDR and New Deal Ideology (the FDR cabinet; FDR as administrator; 100 Days; three early New Deal tracks—federal spending programs—PWA, WPA, CCC; anti-monopoly revived—regulatory impulse, decline of business’ political clout, FDIC, SEC, “New Dealers” and legal realists, TVA, Glass-Steagall; associationalism—AAA and NRA)


            2. Critics Left and Right (Huey Long and share-the-wealth; Charles Townsend and old-age pensions; old progressives and reconciling to new era; Smith and Liberty League; role of race)


            3. Second New Deal? (gearing up for 1936; Long assassination; tackling the public utilities issue; Social Security, Wagner Act, and establishment of modern American welfare state; limits of FDR vision—temporary nature and Morganthau, eclectic management style)


1929: 659 failures; 1930: 1350 1931: 2293; 1932: 1453 1933: 4000 1934: 57

total # of banks: 24,633 1929; 15,015 1933


1933 GNP-2.1%; unemployed 24.9%

1934 gnp+7.7% unemployed 21.7%