Early 20th Century SS8H8
The Boll Weevil • The Boll Weevil is an insect that can and does destroy cotton crops. The insect was blamed for nearly causing the collapse of the South’s economy in the early 20th century. • Yield losses associated with the boll weevil reduced cotton acreage from a historical high of 5.2 million acres during 1914 to 2.6 million acres in 1923.
Eugene Talmadge • A controversial and colorful politician, Eugene Talmadge played a leading role in the state's politics from 1926 to 1946. During his three terms as state commissioner of agriculture and three terms as governor, his personality and actions polarized voters into Talmadge and anti-Talmadge factions in the state's one-party politics of that era. He was elected to a fourth term as the state's chief executive in 1946 but died before taking office.
As Governor • Talmadge proved to be a strong governor. When the legislature refused to lower the price of automobile tags, he did so by executive order. When the Public Service Commission, a body elected by the voters, refused to lower utility rates, he appointed a new board to get it done. When the highway board resisted his efforts to control it, he declared martial law and appointed more cooperative members to the board. When the state treasurer and comptroller general refused to cooperate, the governor had them physically removed from their offices in the state capitol. Critics denounced him as a dictator, a demagogue, and a threat to the tranquility of the state, but his supporters considered him a friend of the common man and one of the state's outstanding governors.
His Downfall • During his third term Governor Talmadge forced the University System Board of Regents to remove two faculty members, claiming that they were undermining the state's racial status quo, in what became known as the Cocking affair. In response to this political interference, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools voted to withdraw accreditation from the state's white colleges. Promising to restore accreditation, state attorney general Ellis Arnall ran against Talmadge in the 1942 gubernatorial primary and handed him the only loss Talmadge suffered in a gubernatorial contest.
Talmadge decided to run again. The federal courts' invalidation of the Democratic Party's white primary before the 1946 primaries gave Talmadge an important issue. While Arnall supported the federal courts' decisions, Talmadge, denouncing the courts' actions as a threat to segregation, promised to restore the white primary and to keep blacks in their place in Jim Crow Georgia. At that time, statewide elections in Georgia were governed by a county unit system of votes, which greatly favored candidates whose support came from rural counties. Under this system counties cast two, four, or six votes, depending on their classification as rural, town, or urban areas, respectively. Although the anti-Talmadge candidate James V. Carmichael received the most popular votes in the primary, Talmadge, who had very strong support in rural areas, won the gubernatorial nomination by obtaining a majority of the county unit votes.
The New Deal • Georgia was helped perhaps as much as any state by the New Deal, which brought advances in rural electrification, education, health care, housing, and highway construction. The New Deal also had a particularly personal face in Georgia; Warm Springs was U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt's southern White House, where he met and worked with many different Georgians. From the 1920s and throughout the Great Depression, he saw firsthand the poverty and disease from which the state was suffering, and he approached its problems much as a Georgia farmer-politician would. At the same time, the state's conservative politicians, voicing fears that the New Deal would destroy traditional ways of life, fought tooth and nail against what they saw as government meddling in local affairs, and many of Georgia's political battles of the 1930s revolved around opposition to new federal programs.
In simple terms • The “New Deal” was a series of laws passed to improve the economy and to help the unemployed. • It contained such programs as the CCC, AAA, REA, NYA (National Youth Association), WPA (Works Progress Administration)
Critics • Critics claimed New Deal initiatives destroyed southern institutions through unwarranted and unconstitutional federal imposition upon state jurisdiction, particularly in the social arena and in cultural life. Wealthy landowners complained that New Deal support for improved pay would lead to labor shortages, because tenant farmers, wage hands, and sharecroppers would refuse to work for local planters if they could earn the higher wages paid by the federal government. Urban projects also led to protests against government interference in local communities.
CCC • Among the numerous New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) is remembered as one of the most popular and effective. Established on March 31, 1933, the corps's objective was to recruit unemployed young men (and later, out-of-work veterans) for forestry, erosion control, flood prevention, and parks development. The president's ambitious goal was to enroll a quarter of a million men by July 1, 1933. In what is considered to be a miracle of cooperation, four government agencies collaborated to turn Roosevelt's goal into reality.
AAA • With Farm the coming of the Great Depression and the advent of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the AFB(American Farm Bureau) became an ardent advocate of a number of New Deal programs. It saw a significant victory with the passage in 1933 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), which sought to raise the value of farm products by limiting production. The AFB was especially pleased with the AAA legislation because the Extension Service, and by association the AFB, was vital in the program's early administration.
Rural Electrification • http://www.gpb.org/georgiastories/videos/rural_electrification_administration