The Great Depression

By Alexus Croom

Opponents of the New Deal

Socialists and liberals that were in the deomcratic party talked bad about the new deal because they payed more attention to the business than the unemployed people and the working poor. They also talked about how the president failed to pay attention to the problems of ethnic minorities, women, and the elderly. These critics felt that relief programs like WPA and the labor laws like the Wagner Act fringed on socialism and communism. Business leaders were shocked by increased regulations, second new deal's stance, and the financing of government's programs with borrowed money. Many critics played with the American people's desperate need to have immediate solutions to their everyday problems. They used the radio to get in touch with an audience, they made schemes to end "evil conspiracies". Father Charles E. Coushlin attracted a large popular following during the early 1930s with his weekly radio broadcasts. He founded the national union for social justice, which gave an inflated currency and nationalized all banks. His attack on the new deal became rapidly anti-Semitic and fascist. Of all the challenges that came with Roosevelt's leadership in his first term in office. In two cases in 1935, the supreme court killed the NRA for business recovery, and the AAA for agricultural recovery. Roosevelt interpreted his own landslide reelection in the year 1936 as a popular mandate to stop the obstacles formed by the court.

Rise of Unions

While the unions grew in size, tensions and conflicts between unions got big with intensity. Several different unions that make up the American federation of labor was dominated by skilled white men that worked and were organized with crafts. Groups of unions that were in the A.F. Of L. Wanted a union membership to go to all of the workers in an industry no matter what their race and sex was,even those who were unskilled. The year of 1935, industrial unions came together as the committee of industrial organizations. The leader of (C.I.O.) was John L. Lewis, a president of the United mine workers. 1936, the A.F. Of L. Suspended the C.I.O. Unions. C.I.O. Broke away from the A.F. Of L. And became known as its chief rival. Even though bargaining became protected by federal law, many companies still continued to resist union demands. Strikes were then a frequent occurrence in the depression decade. The final political victory for organized labor in the 1930s also represented the last major reform of the new deal.

Last Phase of the New Deal

1933 to 1937, the economy showed signs of pulling out of its nosedive. Banks were now stable, business earnings increased, and unemployment, which was still bad, but declined from the 25 percent figure in 1933. The winter of 1937, the economy had a backward slide once again and went into a recessionary period. The government policy was part of the blame. Even though the economy improved, there was no boom, and the problems still remained. In 1937, after the court packing fight people and congress no longer followed F.D.R. And the 1938 elections gave a reduced democratic majority in congress. Republicans and conservative democrats blocked further new deal reform legislation. In 1938, the fears about the aggressive acts of Nazi Germany diverted attention from domestic concerns.

Life During the Depression

During the depression, pressures were placed on the family while unemployed fathers searched for work, declining incomes showed severe challenges for moms in feeding and clothing of their children. To help with family income, women sought work, and the percentage of the total labo force icreased. Women were often accused of taking jobs from men even though they didn't get the heavy faculty jobs that many lost. A severe drought during the early 1930s ruined the crops in the great plains. This became a dust bowl, while poor farming practices coupled with high winds blew away tons of dried topsoil. Racial discrimination continued into the 1930s with shocking effects on African Americans, they were hired last and fired first. Their unemployment rate was higher than the national average. Despite their poverty, jobless African Americans weren't included in state and local relief programs. The hard times increased racial tensions, mostly in the South where the lynchings continued. John Collier , advocate of Native American rights, was chosen as commisioner of the bureau of indian affairs in 1933. He made conservation and CCC projects on reservations and got Native American involvement in the WPA and other new deal programs. Mexicans suffered from discriminatory practices as well in the 1930s. In California and the Southwest they were a principal source of agricultural labor in the 1920s. During the depression high unemployment and drought in the midwest caused dramatic growth in the white migrant workers who went west in search of work.