4. FDR then took the nation off of the gold standard and achieved controlled inflation by ordering Congress to buy gold at increasingly higher prices. o In February 1934, he announced that the U.S. would pay foreign gold at a rate of one ounce of gold per every $35 due. VI. Roosevelt Manages the Money 1. The Emergency Banking Relief Act gave FDR the authority to manage banks. 2. FDR then went on the radio and reassured people it was safer to put money in the bank than hidden in their houses.
o The Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act was passed. o This provided for the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) to insure the money in the bank. 3. FDR wanted to stop people from hoarding gold. o He urged people to turn in gold for paper money and took the U.S. off the gold standard. o He wanted inflation, to make debt payment easier, and urged the Treasury to buy gold with paper money. VII. A Day for Every Demagogue 1. Roosevelt had no qualms about using federal money to assist the unemployed, so he created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided employment in fresh-air government camps for about 3 million uniformed young men. o They reforested areas, fought fires, drained swamps, controlled floods, etc. o However, critics accused FDR of militarizing the youths and acting as dictator. 2. The Federal Emergency Relief Act looked for immediate relief rather than long-term alleviation, and its Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was headed by the zealous Harry L. Hopkins. 3. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) made available many millions of dollars to help farmers meet their mortgages. 4. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) refinanced mortgages on non-farm homes and bolted down the loyalties of middle class, Democratic homeowners. 5. The Civil Works Administration (CWA) was established late in 1933, and it was designed to provide purely temporary jobs during the winter emergency. o Many of its tasks were rather frivolous (called “boondoggling”) and were designed for the sole purpose of making jobs. 6. The New Deal had its commentators.
o One FDR spokesperson was Father Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest in Michigan who at first was with FDR then disliked the New Deal and voiced his opinions on radio. o Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana was popular for his “Share the Wealth” program. Proposing “every man a king,” each family was to receive $5000, allegedly from the rich. The math of the plan was ludicrous. His chief lieutenant was former clergyman Gerald L. K. Smith. He was later shot by a deranged medical doctor in 1935. o Dr. Francis E. Townsend of California attracted the trusting support of perhaps 5 million “senior citizens” with his fantastic plan of each senior receiving $200 month, provided that all of it would be spent within the month. Also, this was a mathematically silly plan.
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