A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 36: “The Great Depression and the New Deal”
~ 1933 – 1938 ~
FDR: A Politician in a Wheelchair
In 1932, voters still had not seen any improvement, and wanted a new president.
was nominated again without much vigor and true enthusiasm,
and he campaigned saying that his policies prevented the
worse than it was.
The Democrats nominated
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
, a tall, handsome man who was
the fifth cousin of famous Theodore Roosevelt and had followed in his footsteps.
FDR was suave and conciliatory while TR was pugnacious and confrontational.
FDR was stricken with polio in 1921, and during this time, his wife,
became his political partner.
Eleanor was to become the most active First Lady ever.
Franklin also lost a friend in 1932 when he and
both sought the
Presidential Hopefuls of 1932
In the campaign, Roosevelt seized the opportunity to prove that he was not an invalid, and
his campaign also featured an attack on Hoover’s spending (ironically, he would spend
even more during his term).
The Democrats found expression in the airy tune “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and
clearly, the Democrats had the advantage in this race.
The Humiliation of Hoover in 1932
Hoover had been swept into the presidential office in 1928, but in 1932, he was swept
with equal force, as he was defeated 472 to 59.
Noteworthy was the transition of Blacks from the Republican to the Democratic Party.
During the lame-duck period, Hoover tried to initiate some of Roosevelt’s plans but was
met by stubbornness and resistance.
Hooverites would later accuse FDR of letting the depression worsen so that he could
emerge an even more shining savior.
FDR and the Three R’s: Relief, Recovery, and Reform
On Inauguration Day, FDR asserted, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
He called for a nationwide banking holiday to eliminate paranoid bank withdrawals, and
then commenced on his Three R’s.
The Democratic-controlled Congress was willing to do as FDR said, and the first 100 days
of FDR’s administration were filled with more legislative activity than ever before.
Many of the New Deal Reforms had been adopted by European nations a decade
Roosevelt Tackles Money and Banking
Emergency Banking Relief Act
of 1933 as passed first.
Then, Roosevelt settled down for the first of his thirty famous