History 416

FDR’s Constitution

November 14, 2005



I. The Good Neighbor Policy

1. FDR and Europe (domestic pressures—ideology; Nye Committee; European events—Hitler and refashioning European balance of power)


            2. East Asia (legacy of Washington System; Manchurian Incident and Stimson Doctrine; public opinion)


3. Competing Strands of Internationalism (Hull, Welles, Gruening)


II. Toward a Second New Deal?

            1. FDR and New Deal Ideology (public spending, associationianlism, anti-monopolism)


            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)


III. FDR’s Constitution

            1. The Ideology of the New Deal (overturning the Taft constitutional doctrine—Norris-LaGuardia Act, Johnson Act; Brandeis and diversity jurisdiction— role of Black & White Taxicab v. Brown & Yellow Taxicab (1928) and power of Swift v. Tyson; anti-monopoly revived—regulatory impulse, “New Dealers” and legal realists--significance of Yale and Harvard connection; Supreme Court response—Schecter v. U.S. (1935); U.S. v. Butler (1936); Morehead v. People of the State of New York (1936))


            2. The Court-Packing Scheme (1936 and limitations of FDR agenda; poor preparation and political coalition; proposal and opposition—significance of Wheeler defection; judicial fallout: West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937); role of Roberts; appointments power and transformation of Court—Black, Douglas, Frankfurter, Murphy; constitutional fallout—emergence of rights-related liberalism, Thurman Arnold and transformation of anti-monopoly rationale)


            3. FDR and Race (traditional view—importance of South, compromises to segregation, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson; revisionist view—liberals, NAACP, and Justice Department; lower court appointments; seeding cases?)