HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal

Sample Answer for HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal Included After Question

Initial Post Instructions:

For the initial post, pick two (2) of the following (any program and/or act of the New Deal):

ProgramsActs
Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Public Works Administration (PWA) Civil Works Administration (CWA) Works Progress Administration (WPA) Farm Security Administration (FSA)Emergency Banking Relief Act Economy Act Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA) National Employment System Act (Wagner-Peyser Act) Home Owners Loan Act National Industrial Recovery Act (NIA) Glass-Steagall Act (Banking Act) Securities & Exchange Act Emergency Relief Appropriation Act Resettlement Administration (RA) Rural Electrification Administration (REA) National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) Social Security Act Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Reflecting over the weekly reading and lesson video The New Deal Coalition (also linked in the Required Resources), address the following for your selections:

  • Consider workers, immigrants, and African Americans. Explain how minorities were represented by the New Deal.
  • Analyze to what extent you think that the New Deal effectively ended the Great Depression and restored the economy.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal

Title: HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal

The New Deal and the Second New Deal were programs that were enacted to help provide relief from the depression and get Americans working again. Programs were focused on both skilled and unskilled works and included public works and projects such as bridge building and services that help protect the land and even included funding for the arts and theater. While not eliminating the depression, the Deal did provide relief to many. 

Under the first New Deal, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA) focused on providing relief to a specific region. It was designed to enhance regional economic growth and started by gaining hydroelectric power from the Tennessee river providing water and electricity for the region and allowing Industries such as the textile to bring their manufacturing plants to the area. (Corbett et. al., 2014)

During the Second New Deal, some felt that the government was not doing enough for the underprivileged. This led to the passing of the Social Security Act which is still enacted today. I aided with the needs of the underprivileged, the elderly, disabled, and unemployed.

These two acts did not have the same impact on women and African Americans, however. The TVA Act did not meet the needs of women early on as many of the jobs required significant labor, but once the Industries began to arrive, it did open the door for more female jobs.

The Social Security Act, while providing for those in need, especially excluded benefits for the domestic worker, primarily underprivileged and American women as well as farmers which at that time had a significant number of African Americans working the land.              

We did see the emergence of a new movement for women and African Americans in Eleanor Roosevelt during this time. She actively reached out to both of these groups and south to bring them together and be united in the cause of improving the standard of living and having a stronger voice in government programs. (Dryer, 2005).  

Corbett, P.S., Janssen, V., Lund V., Pfannestiel, T., Waskiew, S, V., (2014) U.S. History.

https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/26-2-the-first-new-deal

Dyer, J. (2005). Lesson 12, Part 5, A New Deal: Part 5.  Transforming U.S. History Since 1877. Dallas County Community College District.

A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal

Title: HIST 405 Discussion 1: The New Deal

No other group in the United States suffered as devastating consequences of the Great Depression as African Americans. While overall unemployment reached approximately a quarter of the labor force, for black workers, the rate was well over 5o%. Those who were able to find employment were excluded from better paying and more stable professions and usually held menial jobs, for which they were paid lower wages than their white fellow workers.

The crisis in agriculture that began long before the onset of the Great Depression also greatly affected African Americans, many of whom still lived off the land, more often as sharecroppers and other tenants than landowners. Segregation was rampant, racial violence common (particularly in the South), and at the time when many white Americans struggled for survival, the struggled of black Americans only intensified (OpenStax. (2019).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legacy in respect to black Americans remains ambiguous at best. As the 1932 presidential candidate, he embraced the segregationist stand of the Democratic party. Already as president, Roosevelt’s many critical decisions were driven by his need to please white Southerners, who held substantial power in Congress. He repeatedly refused to support of black communities were often influenced by Eleanor Roosevelt’s, who continued to push her husband to pay more attention to black leaders and needs of African Americans (OpenStax. (2019).

While the New deals was formally designed to benefit African Americans, some of its flagship programs, particularly those proposed during the first New Deal, either excluded African Americans or even hurt them. For example, the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) drove many black farmers from the land. As subsidies were paid to (usually white) landlords for not growing certain crops on a part of their land. Black (and white) sharecroppers and other tenants were the first victims of the policy (Fishback. (2016) The evicted farmers were often forced to migrate to northern cities as the southern countryside had no alternative to offer.

The 1033 National Recovery Administration, the main First New Deal agency responsible for industrial recovery, had hardly anything to offer to African Americans as the National Industrial Recovery Act’s (NIRA) provisions covered the industries from which black workers were usually excluded. Neither farm nor domestic labor, two sectors where African Americans constituted substantial labor force, were covered under NIRA. Similarly, the original version (later amended) of the 1935 Social Security Act did not provide old-age pensions for farm and domestic workers, which automatically excluded a substantial number of senior African Americans. In the South, that number was nearly 40% (Fishback. (2016).

However, other New deal programs produced much more positive outcomes for African Americans. The New Deal agenda stipulated that up to 10% of all the programs’ beneficiaries must be African Americans (approximately equal to the rate of the black population in the United States). Black workers participated in all the major programs that created employment, including the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration, and the works progress Administration. Under the provisions of the latter, the youth coming from the families that had at least one member working for WPA also received support that allowed them to continue their high school or college education (Fishback. (2016).

African American participation in the New Deal work programs did not change rampant discrimination practices. Black workers were still delegated to the most menial jobs and largely segregated from white workers. When the economy began to row as a result of war-related demand, the situation did not alter. Although production intensified and industrial jobs began to mushroom, African American workers still received the lowest pay, held mostly unskilled jobs, and faced hostility from both employers and their white counterparts. In light of the lack of changes under the new economic reality, black leaders intensified their efforts to make sure that this time, African Americans would not be entirely excluded from emerging opportunities.

According to Fishback. (2016). the reason the New Deal effectively ended the great depression and restored the economy is because Roosevelts felt they knew what caused it. In knowing what caused the depression Roosevelt and his team of advisors created multiple solutions. “They believed that it was caused by abuses on the part of a small group of bankers and businessmen, aided by Republican policies that built wealth for a few at the expense of many.” To weed out the abuser they felt the answer was to do a banking reform. In addition, the tweaked the manufacture and utilization of farm and industrial goods. They wanted to increase the common people purchasing power and put regulation with National Recovery Administration (NRA) and Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA). (2014)

References

 OpenStax. (2019). U.S. history. OpenStax CNX. Retrieved    from https://openstax.org/books/us-history/Links to an external site. 

 Fishback, Price. How Successful Was the New Deal? The Microeconomic Impact … Dec. 2017, newdeallegacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/jel.newdeal.fishback.2016.01.14.pdf.