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History 17c Essay

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Lecture Notes Lecture #3 – 4/5/13: Missing: The Range of Prosperity The 1920s: Era of Big Businesses Technological Growth Separation of Ownership and Management Spokespeople for Big Businesses Calvin Collidge * Was famously rich, also known for being a great spokesperson Bruce Barton and The Man Nobody Knows * Jesus as a businessman * The Man Nobody Knows * “he recognized the basic principle that all good advertising is news” * He understood that every word he uttered had to be used * Business presented itself as the handmaiden of Christianity and justified itself by linking profitability to religion Cult of Productivity A cult of productivity accompanied the new business ethos * Frederick Winslow Taylor Henry Ford * Ford symbolized the cult of productivity during the 1920s * “Machinery is the new Messiah” * On the side of tradition * Hates immigrants, Catholics, Jews, etc. * Ford introduced moving assembly line to automobile manufacture * Cuts car prices so that more people can afford to buy it * Raises wages so that workers are able to buy his products as well * Realizes that in order for demand to continue, need to have people who are able to consume products * Superficially, cult of productivity benefited workers Their wages were rising, and they could afford to buy cars and the new mass-produced items * In fact, the cult of productivity meant they had to work at maximum capacity * Ford opposed labor unions, and management’s profits were rising at a much faster rate than workers’ Workers Outside Ford Cult of Consumption * Increased productivity and rising wages lead to the cult of consumption * 9 of top 20 industries in late 1920s specialized in consumer goods Consumption! * Consumption of Entertainment * Particularly movies & films in the 1920s * Became the favorite entertainment of Americans 1930s year after sound was introduced

* Growing popularity of the radio as well * Model T cost $290 in 1925, about three months’ wages for workers * Cars are able to be bought on credit * Urged to buy on installment plan, makes the expansion of all this consumption possible * Encouraged rise of suburbs & road building in the 1920’s Advertisers Create Demand * Advertises lived off of, and created, the cult of consumption * John Watson * Alfred Sloan of GM introduced planned obsolescence * Trying to make newer models a social necessity Themes Home Sanctifies relaxation * Place where people are having fun * Leisure * Usually have a car and a dog * Harmony = buying new things * Ex. if you want friends, buy a fridge so that people will come over to look at it Romantic Love Advertisers believed they wer The Impact on Human Behavior: Sex Lecture #5 – 4/10/13: FDR and the New Deal * FDR was thinking of freedom through the government * FDR wins a huge victory in US * The New Deal – Hoover The Election of 1932: Hoover vs. FDR * FDR wins popular vote * Creation of the modern democratic party FDR * March 1933 took office Contracted polio, could never walk again * Unspoken agreement in the media to never take a picture of FDR in a wheelchair * Public thought that the polio just left him with a limp * Affair with Lucy M? * Family made a fortune with the opium trade Impact * Not only did he have self-confidence and self-assurance, but he was able to relate it to others so that they would feel it as well * Able to communicate all these characteristics at a time of need * Mood of the country seemed to change over night

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* Self-assurance * Experimentalism – least rich president US has had Was willing to try anything; if it didn’t work, try something else * Use of media – shaped public media through radio and public press * Fireside chats, press conferences * Eleanor Roosevelt – FDR’s “eyes and ears” * Served as the voice of the disempowered * Visited everyone from sharecroppers’ shacks to South Pacific * Redefined what it meant to be a first lady * Before no first lady had ever been as visible Contemporaries * Every president since FDR has felt as if he were standing in FDR’s shadow Successors: The Long Shadow * FDR set the agenda for the postwar era, e. g. he debates over: * The extension of Social Security * US responsibility to defend democracies in the world * The proper scope of Presidential power * He created the FDR coalition that combined the South, urban working-class ethnics and African Americans * He’s the barometer against which his successors are judged * Jimmy Carter – his presidential term was a failure * Engineers are not great presidents, like Herbert Hoover * George Bush Senior – mocked him * Nixon – stated that FDR was the one who started to record the Oval office * Poll: who would you most like to have dinner with? * Ronald Regan – FDR was his idol

Significance * Every president wants to be known as another FDR * If not, you’re a Herbert Hoover * Left the idea that the government can do good things for people * FDR established a partial safety net for American people, aimed at providing them security: * National Labor Relations Act/Wagner Act – guaranteed to workers the right to bargain collectively * Giving them the right to join unions and organizations of their choosing * Makes sure that management cannot punish them for joining unions * Establishes protection for those that want to strike * Strongly supported by Senator Robert Wagner FDR belatedly gets on the bandwagon * Sponsors it at the last minute; isn’t completely fair to say he’s responsible for it due to the fact that he only supports it last minute (does happen during his term though) * Work relief – new deal that gives everyone work relief * Ex. Public Works Administration, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, etc. FDR is hugely responsible for bringing this into action * Responsible for building roads, post offices, schools, etc. * These programs together give the US an infrastructure * Federal Government can provide jobs for people in a humane and efficient way

* Can make the opposite argument; can point to selective failures of the WPA * Create makeshift jobs that sap the spirit of the American people * Social Security * FDR signs SS into Law @ 1935 Benefits paid for in part by employee, who already paid taxes on wages * Millions left out, especially domestic servants and farm laborers because of southern veto * Unemployment insurance and welfare benefits varied dramatically from state to state * No national health insurance * Should be identified with FDR * Imperfect: * FDR’s farm policy subsidized large landowning white farmers, at the expense of farmhands * African American workers are standing by while the white farmers are getting checks Criticisms Work release * Social security * Farm program * All flawed: uninvolved until the last moment * The New Deal did not bring economic recovery, and its range of reforms were inadequate for future and perpetuated poverty and racial injustice * New Deal was hardly perfect * A lot of protest Lecture #6 – 4/12/13: The “Second New Deal”; The Collapse of World Order Review – Previous Lecture * New Deal did not bring the US out of the depression * However, it did raise morale of the country Themes * In the mid-1930’s, Franklin D.

Roosevelt responded to growing criticism FINISH * This “second new deal” failed to end the Great Depression, but it cemented FDR’s hold on the elaborate * By the late 1930s the nation faced a fresh set of challenges, as international order unraveled and global war loomed Challenges to New Deal, Mid-1930s * American Liberty League – from conservatives (Anti-New Deal) * Widespread perception * From socialists and communists * During “Popular Front” period (1935-1939), Soviet government urged American communists to cooperate with “anti-fascist” elements, including FDR administration * Joseph Stalin In 1934, novelist Upton Sinclair ran for Governor of California on Democratic ticket (but socialist platform) * Was defeated by a Republican * Creation of political attacks (in media) * Dr. Francis Townsend’s movement: * Pensions * Father Charles Coughlin: * Used his radio channel to comment on political platforms * Depression caused by bankers, especially those who ran the private reserve bank * Called for dismantling of national bank system * Formed National Union for Social Justice * Senator Huey Long of Louisiana: Popular among impoverished people in Louisiana * Oscar K. (“OK”) Allen * Initially supported FDR * “Share Our Wealth” Plan – use the tax system to confiscate wealth from the richest Americans and redistribute that wealth to other households in need * Alternative to the New Deal * Long had presidential ambitions, might run as a 3rd party * FDR: worried that he would take votes away from the democratic party * 1935: * In Schecter vs. US, supreme court ruled the NRA unconstitutional * NRA = FDR’s creation * “Second New Deal”: Continued to dispense relief and create jobs, but did so on larger scale and in more populist tones

* Revenue Act of 1935 * Social Security Act, 1935 * Those initially denied SS benefits: * Domestic workers * Farm laborers * Growing concern on the elderly, impoverished, and the * Works Progress Administration (WPA), 1935 – created jobs by putting people to work on government projects * Federal government started to fund the arts for the first time * Infuse arts with the democratic spirit and make it more accessible to the public * National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), 1935 Senator Robert Wagner * Made unions take a more active stance * Helped FDR secure labor’s political support * Fall 1935 – Huey Long assassinated, eliminating political threat to FDR * Threat to FDR’s campaign eliminated * 1936 – FDR defeated Governor Alf Landon in landslide Second Term Blues * FDR’s “Court-Packing” scheme, 1937 * Proposed to add new judges for every old justice over the age of ? * Opposition grew when this was suggested * Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes The Recession of 1937-1938 Scaled back/cut budgets for relief and job creations programs * Unemployment rates started to go down, causing them to take this action Challenges from “Revisionist” Powers * 1935 – FINISH * 1937 – Imperial Japan invaded China * 1938 – Nazi Germany annexed Austria and demanded part of Czechoslovakia Munich Agreement, September 1938 * Britain and France agreed to German annexation of part of Czechoslovakia * Fear that US would be dragged into a war in which we didn’t have that much of a stake in American reactions to growing instability abroad Popularity of “Merchants of Death” thesis * Senator Gerald Nye – held hearing in the senate trying to elicit testimony trying to support this view * Antiwar activism: * Veterans of Future Wars demonstrate in New York City, 1936 * Tendency to use humor and satire to talk about the growing request to go abroad Benito Mussolini Charlie Chaplin & Adolf Hitler * 1940 – spoofed Adolf Hitler * Underestimated threat posed *a