The Great Depression
Responding to Depression
At the time of the crash nobody could foresee how long the depression would last. In June 1930 President Hoover signed the Hawley-Smoot Tariff. This Tariff set tax increases from 31 to 49 percent on foreign policies. By 1931 conditions became worse and President Hoover proposed a suspension on the payment of international war debts called the Debt Moratorium. Germany and Britain accepted readily but France hesitated.
The Farm Board was originally created in 1929 before the stock market crash but became more prevalent to meet the economic crisis. The board was authorized to help farmers stabilize prices by temporarily holding surplus grain and cotton. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation also known as the RFC was a federally funded, government-owned corporation created by congress in 1932. Hoover reasoned that emergency loans from the RFC would help key businesses get back on their feet and eventually trickle down to smaller businesses and ultimately bring recovery to the economy.
Despair and Protest
Unemployed workers and improvised farmers decided to take direct action to battle the forces that seemed to be crushing them. In many communities, farmers banded together to stop banks from foreclosing ton their farms and evicting them from their homes. In the summer of 1932, a thousand war veterans marched to Washington D.C to demand immediate payment of bonuses promised at a later date. Two casualties were recorded in the mass protest.
The Election of 1932
The election was based on one question: Who could do a better job at ending the depression? Hoover or Roosevelt. Roosevelt came out on top as the victor. During the long period from election to inauguration Hoover offered to work with Roosevelt but Roosevelt declined, not wanting to have any of Hoover’s ideas. Congress in turn passed an amendment to shorten the length of the period from election to inauguration.
FDR's New Deal
The Second New Deal
The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 also known as the Wagner Act guaranteed a worker's right to join and a union's right to bargain collectively. It also outlawed the business practices that were unfair to labor. the National Labor Relations Board was put in place to enforce the law and make sure worker's rights were protected.