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Political Pressure and the Second New Deal. Tony Nguyen. Business Opposition. Business Opposition. Partial economic recovered => wealthy business leaders became vocal critics of New Deal. Some accused: too much taxation and government regulation.

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business opposition1
Business Opposition
  • Partial economic recovered => wealthy business leaders became vocal critics of New Deal.
    • Some accused: too much taxation and government regulation.
    • Some condemn: deficit financing of relief and public works.
  • 1934, leaders of major corp. joined with Al Smith (former presidential candidate).
    • No longer support conservative Democrats to establish American Liberty League.
    • This group created campaign against New Deal “radicalism”.
  • Liberty League attempted
    • Turn southern white against the New Deal and split Democratic Party.
    • Also secretly send and allow funds to racist group in South.
demagogues and populist

Demagogues and Populist

Demagogues: a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason

demagogues and populist1
Demagogues and Populist
  • Populists thought government favored business too much + paid too little attention to the needs of common people.
  • Unemployment decreased, but still 9 million people unemployed.
  • Dissatisfaction raised, and appeal of various demagogues.
    • Sought power by
      • playing to the prejudices,
      • unreasoning passions of the people,
      • presented simple explanation for their difficult situation.
demagogues and populist2
Demagogues and Populist
  • With social welfare left to the states, only 400,000 of 6.6 million elderly Americans received any sort of state-supplied pension.
    • Employment and savings disappeared with the depression =>
    • Elder fell into desperate poverty.
father charles coughlin
Father Charles Coughlin
  • Roman Catholic priest
  • Weekly radio => appealed to the fears and frustrations of people.
  • People who: lost control of lives to the elites and impersonal forces.
  • Increasing anti-New Deal, Coughlin also increasing anti-Semitic.
  • He stated that the cause of their troubles/problems was International conspiracy of Jewish banker.
dr francis townsend
Dr. Francis Townsend
  • Public health officer in CA
  • Proposed:

Americans (60+) should receive government pension.

200$ a month.

Financed by a new “transaction” (sales) tax.

  • Failed!

¾ Americans worker => earned 200$(-) a month.

Sales tax rates same for everyone =>People w/ less income - loss more into taxes.

  • Another proposed:

Massive transfer of income

From the working poor => non-working elderly

  • However, ⅕ American adults

Concerned about the condition of the elderly - not the funding.

huey long
Huey Long
  • Successful populist demagogue
  • 1928, elected for governor of Louisiana.
  • At first, support New Deal => Believe Roosevelt had fallen captive to big business.
huey long1
Huey Long


  • Countered with Share Our Wealth Society.
  • Argue for the seizure of all income exceeding $1 million a year and of wealth in excess of $5 million per family.

From these funds

  • Government would provide
    • Family annual income of $2,000 and one-time homestead allowance of $5,000
  • Long’s plan was impossible.
  • Long died in September 1935.
left wing crisis
Left-Wing Crisis
  • Political left was gaining ground.
  • Wisconsin, re-elected Robert La Follette Jr. to Senate.
    • Provide 7 of state’s 10 representatives in Congress.
  • Muckraker and socialist Upton Sinclair
    • Won Democratic gubernatorial nomination in CA
    • Slogan “End Poverty in California”
left wing crisis1
Left-Wing Crisis
  • US Communist Party
    • Found new support,
    • Change its strategy:
      • Disclaim intention of overthrowing US government
      • Cooperate with left-wing labor unions, student groups and writers’ organizations in a “Popular Front” against fascism abroad and racism at home.
  • Norton, Katzman, Blight, Chudacoff, Logevall, Bailey, Paterson, and Tuttle, A People and A Nation, Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, 557.