Herbert Hoover

.       Republican President of the United States, 1929-1933

.       Acclaimed as Secretary of Commerce before he became President

.       Great Depression struck months after he took office, ruining his presidency

.       His policies failed to end Depression or help suffering people, making him a hated figure among the public


Huey P. Long

.       Populist U.S. Senator from Louisiana and Governor of Louisiana (simultaneously!)

.       Popular but corrupt; advocated simplistic plan of wealth redistribution from rich to poor

.       Assassinated in Louisiana statehouse, 1935


Eleanor Roosevelt

.       First Lady of the United States; wife (and distant cousin!) of Franklin Roosevelt

.       Advocate of liberal causes and early Civil Rights hero


Franklin Delano Roosevelt

.       Democratic President of the United States, 1933-45

.       Implemented New Deal domestic reforms in response to Great Depression

.       One of most influential presidents in history

.       First and last president to serve four terms in office

.       Died in office, 1945


Upton Sinclair

.       Muckraking author of The Jungle

.       Ran for and nearly won governorship of California, 1934

.       Advocated radical plan to "End Poverty In California" by putting unemployed citizens to work in state-sponsored cooperative factories and farms


Owen Roberts

.       Supreme Court Justice during New Deal

.       Switched from conservative to liberal bloc of court, 1937

.       Roberts's switch probably a political rather than principled decision

.       Saved country from major constitutional showdown as Roosevelt sought to stop Supreme Court from blocking his agenda





1932 Presidential Election

.       Franklin D. Roosevelt pledged a "new deal" for America at Democratic Party convention

.       Roosevelt ran an incoherent campaign but easily defeated unpopular President Hoover, winning 57% of the popular vote and 89% of electoral votes


1933 First Hundred Days

.       FDR called special session of Congress to enact a flurry of legislation at start of his presidency

.       Arguably most significant burst of legislative activity in American history

.       Instituted bank holiday, stabilizing U.S. financial system

.       Legalized the sale of beer after 14 years of Prohibition

.       Created Civilian Conservation Corps, providing jobs in forest conservation

.       Took U.S. off gold standard

.       Passed Federal Emergency Relief Act, providing unemployment benefits

.       Passed Agricultural Adjustment Act, reducing farm overproduction in hopes of raising prices for crops

.       Created Tennessee Valley Authority, which built dams to provide hydroelectric power to rural South

.       Passed Federal Securities Act, committing federal government to regulation of Wall Street

.       Passed National Industrial Recovery Act, signature piece of legislation, which made several major economic changes


1933 Twenty-First Amendment

.       Officially ended Prohibition of alcohol


1934 Federal Housing Admin. Created

.       Provided loans for housing repair and construction; helped struggling housing industry

.       Controversial; many policies have since been attacked as racist


1935 Schechter v. United States

.       a.k.a. the "sick chicken" case; plaintiff was poultry company harmed by New Deal policies

.       National Industrial Recovery Act ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court

.       Beginning of constitutional struggles between Roosevelt and Supreme Court


1935 Social Security Act

.       Established Social Security, which provided retirement benefits to workers

.       Made retirement attainable for middle- and working-class Americans

.       Considered crowning achievement of New Deal; probably most popular government program ever


1937 Court-Packing Controversy

.       Roosevelt, angered by Supreme Court rejection of his programs, proposed raising the number of justices to fifteen to enable him to appoint a favorable majority

.       Blatant violation of separation of powers proved to be most unpopular political move of Roosevelt's career


1937 West Coast Hotel Case

.       Supreme Court flip-flop on constitutionality of New Deal in West Coast Hotel case staved off showdown with FDR

.       Court soon after approved Social Security Act and National Labor Relations Act





Share the Wealth Clubs

.       Organized by Huey Long to advocate for redistribution of wealth from rich to poor

.       Long likened economy to a barbecue:  "We've got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon and Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don't need."

.       Share the Wealth movement collapsed following Long's assassination in 1935


Civilian Conservation Corps

.       Established by Congress, 1933

.       Employed 250,000 young people to work in reforestation in National Parks and Forests


Works Progress Administration

.       Established by Congress, 1935

.       Received $5 billion in funding, employed eight million workers on public-works projects around the country

.       Included artists and writers in ranks

.       Built much infrastructure still used today






.       When an economy's demand for goods and services falls far below potential output

.       Many economists and historians believed underconsumption was fundamental economic problem of Great Depression





Tennessee Valley

.       Heartland of rural South, plagued by underdevelopment and economic crisis during Depression

.       Location of Tennessee Valley Authority, huge federal project to build dams to provide cheap hydroelectric power to promote development of South