The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era
Author: Landon R. Y. Storrs
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Category: Political Science
Offering fresh insights into the history of labor policy, the New Deal, feminism, and southern politics, Landon Storrs examines the New Deal era of the National Consumers' League, one of the most influential reform organizations of the early twentieth century. Founded in 1899 by affluent women concerned about the exploitation of women wage earners, the National Consumers' League used a strategy of "ethical consumption" to spark a successful movement for state laws to reduce hours and establish minimum wages for women. During the Great Depression, it campaigned to raise labor standards in the unregulated, non-union South, hoping to discourage the relocation of manufacturers to the region because of cheaper labor and to break the downward spiral of labor standards nationwide. Promoting regulation of men's labor as well as women's, the league shaped the National Recovery Administration codes and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 but still battled the National Woman's Party, whose proposed equal rights amendment threatened sex-based labor laws. Using the National Consumers' League as a window on the nation's evolving reform tradition, Civilizing Capitalism explores what progressive feminists hoped for from the New Deal and why, despite significant victories, they ultimately were disappointed.
Author: Timothy P. Lynch
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
The Depression brought unprecedented changes for American workers and organized labor. As the economy plummeted, employers cut wages and laid off workers, while simultaneously attempting to wrest more work from those who remained employed. In mills, mines, and factories workers organized and resisted, striking for higher wages, improved working conditions, and the right to bargain collectively. As workers walked the picket line or sat down on the shop floor, they could be heard singing. This book examines the songs they sang at three different strikes- the Gastonia, North Carolina, textile mill strike (1929), Harlan County, Kentucky, coal mining strike (1931-32), and Flint, Michigan, automobile sit-down strike (1936-37). Whether in the Carolina Piedmont, the Kentucky hills, or the streets of Michigan, the workers' songs were decidedly class-conscious. All show the workers' understanding of the necessity of solidarity and collective action. In Flint the strikers sang: The trouble in our homestead Was brought about this way When a dashing corporation Had the audacity to say You must all renounce your union And forswear your liberties, And we'll offer you a chance To live and die in slavery. As a shared experience, the singing of songs not only sent the message of collective action but also provided the very means by which the message was communicated and promoted. Singing was a communal experience, whether on picket lines, at union rallies, or on shop floors. By providing the psychological space for striking workers to speak their minds, singing nurtured a sense of community and class consciousness. When strikers retold the events of their strike, as they did in songs, they spread and preserved their common history and further strengthened the bonds among themselves. In the strike songs the roles of gender were pronounced and vivid. Wives and mothers sang out of their concerns for home, family, and children. Men sang in the name of worker loyalty and brotherhood, championing male solidarity and comaraderie. Informed by the new social history, this critical examination of strike songs from three different industries in three different regions gives voice to a group too often deemed as inarticulate. This study, the only book-length examination of this subject, tells history "from the bottom up" and furthers an understanding of worker culture during the tumultuous Depression years.
The Great Depression, Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Shaping of the New Deal
Author: Michael Golay
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Documents the 18-month journey of woman journalist Lorena Hickok during the height of the Great Depression, recounting her experiences and influence in some of the nation's worst-hit regions as documented in almost daily letters written to close friend Eleanor Roosevelt.
1933-1935, The Age of Roosevelt
Author: Arthur M. Schlesinger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Coming of the New Deal, 1933-1935, volume two of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, describes Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first tumultuous years in the White House. Coming into office at the bottom of the Great Depression, FDR told the American people that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. The conventional wisdom having failed, he tried unorthodox remedies to avert economic collapse. His first hundred days restored national morale, and his New Dealers filled Washington with new approaches to recovery and reform. Combining idealistic ends with realistic means, Roosevelt proposed to humanize, redeem, and rescue capitalism. The Coming of the New Deal, written with Schlesinger’s customary verve, is a gripping account of critical years in the history of the republic.
Letters from the Forgotten Man
Author: Robert S. McElvaine
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Down and Out in the Great Depression is a moving, revealing collection of letters by the forgotten men, women, and children who suffered through one of the greatest periods of hardship in American history. Sifting through some 15,000 letters from g
The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage
Author: Kirstin Downey
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Presents a portrait of the first female cabinet member and one of the most influential women of the twentieth century, whose efforts to improve the lives of America's working people resulted in such initiatives as unemployment insurance and Social Security.
A History of Arkansas Ozarkers & Their Image
Author: Brooks Blevins
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
In the first comprehensive social history of the Arkansas Ozarks from the early 19th century through the end of the 20th century, Blevins examines settlement patterns, farming, economics, class, and tourism. He also explores the development of conflicting images of the Ozarks as a timeless arcadia peopled by quaint, homespun characters or a backward region filled with hillbillies.
Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920-1940
Author: Gerald H. Gamm
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
"Why is The Making of New Deal Democrats so significant? One of the major controversies in the study of American elections has to do with the nature of electoral realignments. One school argues that a realignment involves a major shift of voters from one party to another, while another school argues that the process consists largely of mobilization of previously inactive voters. The debate is crucial for understanding the nature of the New Deal realignment. Almost all previous work on the subject has dealt with large-scale national patterns which make it difficult to pin down the precise processes by which the alignment took place. Gamm's work is most remarkable in that it is a close analysis of shifting voter alignments on the precinct and block level in the city of Boston. His extremely detailed and painstaking work of isolating homogeneous ethnic units over a twenty-year period allows one to trace the voting behavior of the particular ethnic groups that ultimately formed the core of the New Deal realignment."—Sidney Verba, Harvard University
Author: Murray Newton Rothbard
Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute
Category: Business cycles
Applied Austrian economics doesn't get better than this. Murray N. Rothbard's America's Great Depression is a staple of modern economic literature and crucial for understanding a pivotal event in American and world history. The book remains canonical today because the debate is still very alive. This book applies Austrian business cycle theory to understanding the onset of the 1929 Great Depression. Rothbard first summarizes the Austrian theory and offers a criticism of competing theories, including the views of Keynes. Rothbard then considers Federal Reserve policy in the 1920s, showing its inflationary character. The influence of Benjamin Strong, the Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was especially important. In part, his expansionary policy was motivated by his desire to help Britain sustain the pound. Strong was close friends with Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England. After the 1929 crash, Herbert Hoover followed an interventionist policy that prefigured the New Deal. He favored keeping wage rates high and thus contributed to rising unemployment. Against the popular stereotype, Rothbard shows that Hoover was not a partisan of laissez-faire.
Letters from Children of the Great Depression
Author: Robert Cohen
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Impoverished young Americans had no greater champion during the Depression than Eleanor Roosevelt. As First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt used her newspaper columns and radio broadcasts to crusade for expanded federal aid to poor children and teens. She was the most visible spokesperson for the National Youth Administration, the New Deal's central agency for aiding needy youths, and she was adamant in insisting that federal aid to young people be administered without discrimination so that it reached blacks as well as whites, girls as well as boys. This activism made Mrs. Roosevelt a beloved figure among poor teens and children, who between 1933 and 1941 wrote her thousands of letters describing their problems and requesting her help. Dear Mrs. Roosevelt presents nearly 200 of these extraordinary documents to open a window into the lives of the Depression's youngest victims. In their own words, the letter writers confide what it was like to be needy and young during the worst economic crisis in American history. Revealing both the strengths and the limitations of New Deal liberalism, this book depicts an administration concerned and caring enough to elicit such moving appeals for help yet unable to respond in the very personal ways the letter writers hoped.
Women, Work, and Fiction in the American 1930s
Author: Laura Hapke
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Daughters of the Great Depression is a reinterpretation of more than fifty well-known and rediscovered works of Depression-era fiction that illuminate one of the decade's central conflicts: whether to include women in the hard-pressed workforce or relegate them to a literal or figurative home sphere. Laura Hapke argues that working women, from industrial wage earners to business professionals, were the literary and cultural scapegoats of the 1930s. In locating these key texts in the "don't steal a job from a man" furor of the time, she draws on a wealth of material not usually considered by literary scholars, including articles on gender and the job controversy; Labor Department Women's Bureau statistics; "true romance" stories and "fallen woman" films; studies of African American women's wage earning; and Fortune magazine pronouncements on white-collar womanhood. A valuable revisionist study, Daughters of the Great Depression shows how fiction's working heroines--so often cast as earth mothers, flawed mothers, lesser comrades, harlots, martyrs, love slaves, and manly or apologetic professionals--joined their real-life counterparts to negotiate the misogynistic labor climate of the 1930s.
How Veteran Politics Shaped the New Deal Era
Author: Stephen R. Ortiz
Publisher: NYU Press
The period between World Wars I and II was a time of turbulent political change, with suffragists, labor radicals, demagogues, and other voices clamoring to be heard. One group of activists that has yet to be closely examined by historians is World War I veterans. Mining the papers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion (AL), Stephen R. Ortiz reveals that veterans actively organized in the years following the war to claim state benefits (such as pensions and bonuses), and strove to articulate a role for themselves as a distinct political bloc during the New Deal era. Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill is unique in its treatment of World War I veterans as significant political actors during the interwar period. Ortiz’s study reinterprets the political origins of the "Second" New Deal and Roosevelt’s electoral triumph of 1936, adding depth not only to our understanding of these events and the political climate surrounding them, but to common perceptions of veterans and their organizations. In describing veteran politics and the competitive dynamics between the AL and the VFW, Ortiz details the rise of organized veterans as a powerful interest group in modern American politics.
Prize Winning Programs
Author: Jeffry M. Diefendorf
During World War II, many European government authorities and planners believed that the damage caused by bombing constituted a great opportunity to transform their cities. Even as the fighting continued, a great many plans were drawn up, and this has been the subject of much scholarship. However, what is often overlooked is wartime planning in cities not damaged in the war. United States cities were not bombed, but in Boston, one of its leading cities, the last years of the war brought a major effort to encourage both new plans to modernize the city and also means of implementing those plans. The wartime initiative to transform Boston had several sources. Both the Great Depression and the war had led to major measures by the federal government to try to deal with fiscal challenges and the need for new housing for the many people who relocated during the war because of the creation of new industries to help the war effort. Boston hoped it could benefit from these measures. Moreover, in the late 1930s, Harvard University had become a key residence for figures important in modernist planning, including Joseph Hudnut, Walter Gropius and Martin Wagner. These factors combined in 1944 to inspire what was called The Boston Contest. Its goal was to suggest solutions to many problems found in the metropolitan area. These issues included commercial and industrial developments, housing, transportation, education, recreation, welfare, urban finances, metropolitan government, and citizen participation in solving problems. This book, published in 1945 contains the top 3 prize winning entries and excerpts from 9 of the other nearly 100 entries. It gives a fascinating insight into the developing ideas of urban planning in the United States at a critical juncture.
The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century
Author: Michael D. Bordo,Claudia Goldin,Eugene N. White
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Business & Economics
In contemporary American political discourse, issues related to the scope, authority, and the cost of the federal government are perennially at the center of discussion. Any historical analysis of this topic points directly to the Great Depression, the "moment" to which most historians and economists connect the origins of the fiscal, monetary, and social policies that have characterized American government in the second half of the twentieth century. In the most comprehensive collection of essays available on these topics, The Defining Moment poses the question directly: to what extent, if any, was the Depression a watershed period in the history of the American economy? This volume organizes twelve scholars' responses into four categories: fiscal and monetary policies, the economic expansion of government, the innovation and extension of social programs, and the changing international economy. The central focus across the chapters is the well-known alternations to national government during the 1930s. The Defining Moment attempts to evaluate the significance of the past half-century to the American economy, while not omitting reference to the 1930s. The essays consider whether New Deal-style legislation continues to operate today as originally envisioned, whether it altered government and the economy as substantially as did policies inaugurated during World War II, the 1950s, and the 1960s, and whether the legislation had important precedents before the Depression, specifically during World War I. Some chapters find that, surprisingly, in certain areas such as labor organization, the 1930s responses to the Depression contributed less to lasting change in the economy than a traditional view of the time would suggest. On the whole, however, these essays offer testimony to the Depression's legacy as a "defining moment." The large role of today's government and its methods of intervention—from the pursuit of a more active monetary policy to the maintenance and extension of a wide range of insurance for labor and business—derive from the crisis years of the 1930s.
Author: William E. Leuchtenburg
Publisher: Harper Collins
When the stability of American life was threatened by the Great Depression, the decisive and visionary policy contained in FDR's New Deal offered America a way forward. In this groundbreaking work, William E. Leuchtenburg traces the evolution of what was both the most controversial and effective socioeconomic initiative ever undertaken in the United States—and explains how the social fabric of American life was forever altered. It offers illuminating lessons on the challenges of economic transformation—for our time and for all time.
Author: Carole Marsh
Publisher: Gallopade International
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
For nearly ten years, the wealth and prosperity of the "roaring '20s" had electrified America. The Stock Market was making people richer by the day. But in three fateful days in October 1929, all of that wealth vanished, and prosperity turned to poverty. The Great Depression had begun, and with it came record levels of unemployment, job loss, and despair. Then, just when all hope seemed lost, a presidential candidate promised "a new deal for the American people." That man was Franklin D. Roosevelt, and this is the story of the Great Depression and how the New Deal saved the United States. In this book, kids will wander the streets of the largest cities and smallest towns with adults looking for any way to eke out a living. They'll ride creaky old wagons in the mass exodus out of the Dust Bowl that was once the Great Plains, and they'll wade through the "alphabet soup" of New Deal programs that President Roosevelt created - just in the nick of time! This 32-page book is reproducible and educational. A partial list of the Table of Contents include: A Timeline of Events "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime": The Great Depression & The New Deal Herbert Hoover The Great Stock Market Crash Banks Fail Franklin D. Roosevelt New Deal Tennessee Valley Authority Social Security Federal Communications Commission Securities and Exchange Commission Additional Resources Glossary And More This fun-fill activity book includes: Create the Front Page of a Newspaper Make Indian Pudding Do the Math Maze Chronological Order Matching Unscramble Words True or False And Much More!
A History of Social Work and Social Policy in the United States
Author: John H. Ehrenreich
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Social work and social policy in the United States have always had a complex and troubled relationship. In The Altruistic Imagination, John H. Ehrenreich offers a critical interpretation of their intertwined histories, seeking to understand the problems that face these two vital institutions in American society. Ehrenreich demonstrates that the emphasis of social work has always vacillated between individual treatment and social reform. Tracing this ever-changing focus from the Progressive Era, through the development of the welfare state, the New Deal, and the affluent 1950s and 1960s, into the administration of Ronald Reagan, he places the evolution of social work in the context of political, cultural, and ideological trends, noting the paradoxes inherent in the attempt to provide essential services and reflect at the same time the intentions of the state. He concludes by examining the turning point faced by the social work profession in the 1980s, indicated by a return to casework and a withdrawal from social policy concerns.