History 4321/Children’s Studies 401

The New Deal and the Changing Nature of American Liberalism

September 19, 2005



I. 1920s


1. Origins of Academic Freedom (progressivism and education, creation of AAUP)


2. Effects of Academic Freedom (Sacco and Vanzetti; national and international reaction)


3. Leopold and Loeb (debate over death penalty and psychiatric testimony; symbolism and juvenile justice)


II. Cultural Confrontations of the 1920s (continued from last time)

            1. The 1920s Divide (gender issues and sexual freedoms; jazz and new cultural norms; Hollywood, radio, and new consumer culture; modern art and architecture; changing composition of universities; Prohibition and its effects; rise of KKK; cultural polarization—Democratic 1924 convention; Republicans and “normalcy”; Democrats and ethnics; weakness of progressives; Al Smith and 1928)


            2. Scopes Trial (anti-evolution movement and transformation of American fundamentalism; Scopes prosecution; ACLU and Darrow; national attention and press bias; Darrow and Bryan strategies—highlight broad effects of issue; cross-examination of Bryan; verdict and effect)


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


            1. FDR and New Deal Ideology (FDR as political figure; FDR as governor; three early New Deal tracks—federal spending programs—PWA, WPA; anti-monopoly revived—regulatory impulse, “New Dealers” and legal realists; associationalism—AAA and NRA)


            2. Constitutional Revolution (Supreme Court response to the New Deal—Schecter v. U.S. (1935); U.S. v. Butler (1936); Morehead v. People of the State of New York (1936); the court-packing scheme; 1936 and limitations of FDR mandate; 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)


            3. Youth Issues (CCC and linkage between youth, public works, and environmentalism; NYA—coupling education and public works, patronage growth and LBJ, importance of Eleanor Roosevelt; FDR’s Justice Department, race, and education; NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund)