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The New Deal - The New Deal I FDR a Characteristics of FDR...

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The New Deal I. FDR a. Characteristics of FDR i. Had to put steel braces on his legs as a kid (this humbled him) ii. Tried for two years to wiggle one big toe (this helped him in patience, tolerance, compassion, and strength of will) iii. Eventually became tall, athletic, and handsome b. Eleanor Roosevelt i. Niece of Teddy Roosevelt; was FDR’s distant cousin ii. She was tall and not pretty iii. Became America’s most active first lady iv. Was a champion of the poor v. Was for civil rights (one stood between an aisle separating blacks and whites; also resigned from Daughters of the American Revolution after they refused to allow Marian Anderson, an African-American, to sing at Independence Hall) vi. Through her lobbying of her husband, her speeches, and her syndicated newspaper column, she powerfully influenced the policies of the national government vii. She traveled countless mils with him or on his behalf in all his campaigns, beginning with his run for the New York legislature before WWI viii. Her personal relationship with her husband was often rocky because of his affairs c. FDR’s Appeal i. Had a commanding presence, great speaking voice, and was charming ii. As governor of New York, he had sponsored heavy State spending to relieve human suffering iii. He was for the “forgotten man” (the poor), which alienated him from the rich d. Democratic Nomination i. Nominated Roosevelt; Al Smith was upset over the nomination – he wanted a second chance ii. Democratic platform: 1. Repeal of prohibition 2. Talked about the Hoover created depression 3. Promised a balanced budget 4. Wanted sweeping social and economic reforms iii. Roosevelt was the first to accept his nomination in person
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II. Presidential Hopefuls of 1932 a. Roosevelt’s Campaign i. Emphasized: 1. He was not an invalid 2. Preached a New Deal for the “forgotten man” 3. Promised a balanced budget 4. Berated Hoover’s deficits ii. Speeches were written by the “Brain Trust” – a small group of reform-minded intellectuals; most were young college professors; like a kitchen cabinet (an informal group of advisors to the president). They authored much of the New Deal legislation b. Hoover’s Campaign i. Emphasized: 1. The worst is past; it might have been worse 2. Reaffirmed his faith in American free enterprise and individual initiative 3. Thought that if the Hawley-Smoot Tariff was to be repealed, it would be a bad thing ii. His campaign was more pessimistic than Roosevelt’s optimistic campaign III. Hoover’s Humiliation In 1932 a. Election of 1932 i. Roosevelt won: 1. 22.8 million-15.8 million 2. 472-59 ii. Was a reaction to being anti-Hoover; any respectable Democrat would’ve won; people wanted a change b. Shift of Blacks To the Democratic Party i. One feature of the election was the beginning of a distinct shift of blacks from the Republican party (had stayed loyal to Lincoln) to the Democratic party ii. Blacks suffered the worst in the depression – last hired and first fired c. The Lame Duck Period For Hoover i. Hoover was helpless to embark upon any long- range policies without the cooperation of Roosevelt.
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