8. The First 100 Days. Mateo Alejandro Cárdenas-Clarimón. Impact of FDR’s personality and policies. Even though Franklin Delano Roosevelt was voted into office by the vast majority of the poor, he was actually a very wealthy man.
Mateo Alejandro Cárdenas-Clarimón
Even though Franklin Delano Roosevelt was voted into office by the vast majority of the poor, he was actually a very wealthy man.
Although he had a lot of wealth, FDR was said to never want anything money could buy, meaning he didn’t care about his wealth and would be fine without it.
Along with this, FDR strongly disliked businessmen. Throughout his career, FDR would object to businessmen being in government. “Business must get out of politics”, he would say, or “[keep] the control of our government out of the hands of professional money-makers”. It was obvious that he disliked those who used their power to make a profit, while the poor suffered at their expense.
The day before the inauguration, Arthur Krock reported that the mood of the people was “distinctly hopeful”, as they were waiting for the return of “leadership”, which the American people had “been clamoring for two years”. One of the reasons for “the almost visible air of hope”, Krock wrote, was the FDR’s “cheery demeanor”, which was the opposite of President Hoover’s sour public view.
The day before FDR’s Inauguration, both New York and New Jersey had declared “bank holidays”, along with most of the country. FDR used this crisis to aid his own efforts to restore confidence in the American public.
He clearly stated his goal by pronouncing in his inaugural address, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”.
Roosevelt also said “if I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we ha e never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take, but we must give as well.” Roosevelt perfectly used the mood of the American populace to his advantage, and used it to create hope for the people and the nation.
The day after his inaugural speech, FDR declared a four day bank holiday so that citizens would stop taking their money out of the already unstable banks.
On March 9, congress passed FDR’s Emergency Banking Act. This reorganized the banks and closed the ones that had gone bankrupt.
Three days after that, during his first “fire side chat”, he advised that all citizens put their savings into the bank again.
By the end of the month, nearly three quarters of the banks reopened.
Created during the 1932 presidential election , the New Dealers were the members of the New Deal Coalition. These men consisted of interest groups and voting blocks who all supported FDR and his New Deal policies.
The New Deal Coalition allowed the Democratic party to win every presidential election but two, both of which were won by Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956.
On March 7, 1933, Americans begun to bring back their gold in large quantities to the banks because FDR wanted the nation to get off of the gold standard.
The day before this, he had privately announced “We are now off the gold standard”, which caused several of his advisors to panic and prophesies the doom of the United States
On a press conference that Wednesday, FDR explained that paper money was no longer exchangeable for gold and that gold was not to be exported.
Once Roosevelt’s program was law, he officially controlled the value of the dollar. He had the power to adjust the value of the currency to match the economic needs.
As part of the New Deal programs, the Civilian Conservation Corps. This group was part of the new deal that FDR planned.
It was created to rehabilitate young men who were jobless and suffered from physical and spiritual malnourishment.
To become part of the CCC, you needed to be between eighteen and twenty-five, unmarried, and a citizen of the U.S.
One of the conditions was that out of a thirty dollar pay, twenty five dollars went home to assist their families.
Once they were chosen, the men would be organized, conditioned, transported and supervised by the Department of War, all the way until they were discharged.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power provider and a corporation of the U.S. government.
Organized to deliver low-cost electricity and the management of natural resources.
Their power service territory included most of Tennessee, and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.
Their territory covered 80,000 square miles and served more than 9 million people.
80,000 square miles is nearly as big as the state of Kansas
There are nearly 9 million people in the state of New Jersey.
The National Industrial Recovery Act was designed to promote recovery and reform, encourage collective bargaining for unions, set up a maximum work hours and minimum wages, as well as forbid child labor in industry
For a short time, the NRA had a code system of “fair competition”. Those codes had the force of law and were exempt from antitrust provisions.
The president was given the executive power not only to approve the code but to impose his own conditions on those codes, make additions or deletions without needing to approve them, and was free to write them himself if there weren't any.
This basically gave the president the authority to make laws, which is the job of the Congress
During FDR’s presidency, the supreme court turned out to be one of his greatest obstacles.
Big businesses supported the NRA codes, but smaller businesses felt the codes interfered with their business, and they resented the domination of big business and the administrative complexity required by the codes themselves
In 1935, in the Schechter Poultry Corp. C. United States case, the court struck down the National Recovery Administration as “an unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the executive branch”.
The Gold Reserve Act of 1934: this was “an act to protect the currency system of the united states, to provide for the better use of the monetary gold stock of the united states, and for other purposes.” as the economy deteriorated, the US nationalized gold and prohibited the private ownership of gold except with a license. It gave the president the power to devalue the gold dollar up to forty percent.
"Every Federal Reserve bank shall maintain reserves in gold certificates or lawful money of not less than 35 per centum against its deposits and reserves in gold certificates of not less than 40 per centum against its Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation: Provided, however, That when the Federal Reserve agent holds gold certificates as collateral for Federal Reserve notes issued to the bank such gold certificates shall be counted as part of the reserve which such bank is required to maintain against its Federal Reserve notes in actual circulation."
O: The Gold Reserve Act, 1934 January 30
P: To state that the Federal Reserve Banks must maintain both gold notes and gold itself
V: This is a glimpse of exactly what FDR was first trying to do with his New Deal Acts
L: This is only a small excerpt of the entire Act itself, and is therefore lacking and incomplete.
The Silver Purchase Act required the U.S. Treasury secretary to purchase silver in large quantities and allowed President FDR to nationalize all private silver holdings.
In 1934, the U.S. government had decided to increase federal holdings of gold and silver to back its currency.
It was later repealed in the 1960’s
“Gabriel Over the White House” is a movie made during the Great Depression, and was released shortly before President FDR was sworn into office.
It begins with the election of Judson C. “Judd” Hammond, a friendly but crooked politician, who is not interested in the job of president, but seemingly more in its benefits and title
After a near fatal crash, the president is left in a coma. While the doctors predict his death, he is visited by the Archangel Gabriel, who revives him.
When an “Army of the Unemployed” arrive on Washington's doorstep, he refuses to send the Army to disperse the crowd, and instead creates the “Army of Construction”, relatable to the CCC.
Hammond also begins to fight organized crime. He repeals the 18th Amendment and tells crime boss Nick Diamond that government liquor stores will be opening and that Diamond should return to his own country voluntarily. Diamond orders the bombing of the first liquor store and attempts to assassinate the president.
In retaliation, Hammond creates the Federal Police, which capture Diamond and Court Martial him.
Lastly, Hammond demands that the other nations pay their large war debts. He invites the world’s ambassadors on board a yacht, with a worldwide radio audience, and demands repayment
Not surprisingly, the ambassadors protest, saying they do not have the money to pay. Hammond counters by refusing the Naval Limitations Agreement, which would send the world into an arms race. He then gave a speech about the “the total destruction of humanity to come in ‘the next war’” unless they choose to use the military budget to repay the debts. The ambassadors agree and sign a peace convent. As Hammond writes his name, he collapses and promptly dies.
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