1930s Social Life
  • Whites

    • Men

      • Upper Class
        • business leaders tried to protect US market from foreign competition – European countries counteract by adding higher tariffs against US goods
          • also lost money due to lower consumer spending
          • had to deal with unions and new rights created with New Deal programs
        • speculative practices condemned by govt and prevented by SEC
        • bank leaders reformed policies due to New Deal programs
      • Middle Class
        • farmers not able to be helped by programs
          • Federal Farm Board tried to stabilize prices by holding surplus in storage
          • too much overproduction
          • joined together to stop banks from farm foreclosures and evictions
            • 1932: Farm Holiday Association tried to increase prices by keeping grain from market but failed
          • given aid through New Deal’s Farm Credit Association, AAA (temporary)
        • workers lose jobs due to depression
          • helped with New Deal programs (CWA, FHA, WPA, Fair Labor Standards Act
          • union workers aided by Wagner Act; formed CIO
        • veterans marched to D.C. in 1932 to demand payment of bonuses promised to them for 1945 – driven out by army
        • farmers (Okies) hit with Dust Bowl in early 1930s
          • migration to California
      • Lower Class
        • unable to find jobs due to migration of southerners that took over during WWII
        • many evicted from homes
        • more stress with holding responsibility for providing for family even with little or no income
        • helped by FERA, PWA, CCC, TVA, CWA, FHA, WPA, Social Security
    • Women

      • Life during the Depression
        • Low income posed a challenge to feeding and clothing the children.
        • Women in the workforce
          • to supplement family income, women sought work.
          • women were accused of taking jobs that belonged to men even though men and women did not do the same work.
          • New Deal Women
          • The New Deal did not offer much to women’s equality Because unemployment was higher for men, some states outlawed the hiring of married women.
          • Some women (such as waitresses) were excluded from benefits such as Social Security pension
  • Farmers

    • Who were they? What did they do? What role did they play in the economy? What was their social standing?
    • Dust Bowl Farmers
      • Farmers on the Great Plains whose crops suffered as a result of a severe drought in the 1930s
      • The severe weather in that area prevented farmers from growing crops
      • Farmers (Mainly from Okalahoma, “Okies”) migrated west toward CA
      • Farmers moved into small towns and took jobs in factories
    • The Stock Market Crash and its effects on Farmers
      • People not have money because invested it in stocks so were unable to buy as many farmed goods
      • Farmers were left with a surplus of crops and no one to buy they, therefore the prices of crops dropped dramatically
    • Help for Farmers
      • Agricultural Adjustment Act/Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)
        • Farmers paid to keep portions of land out of cultivation to reduce the surpluses
        • National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA)
      • Soil Conservation Service (SCS)/Domestic Allotment Act
        • Taught farmers how to conserve soil
        • Justified removal of land from cultivation for conservation reasons rather than economic
    • Efforts to help farmers usually did nothing or made problems worse
  • African Americans and Other Minorities

    • African Americans

      • the New Deal reproduced patterns of racial discrimination
      • in Northern cities, African Americans did benefit from New Deal programs, but in the rural South they were barred from New Deal programs or were paid less in programs such as the CWA
      • although FDR never had the fight for racial justice very high on his list, his wife did work towards some amount of racial equality
        • when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to let a black singer, Marian Anderson, perform in their concert hall, she left the group and organized a performance for her on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
      • segregationist practices were eliminated from the federal government
      • FDR appointed African Americans to important second-level posts in his administration creating the “Black Cabinet” but would not support it if it meant alienating white southern senator
aas_in_segregated_schools.jpg 5
    • Native Americans

      • Native Americans had always had a stubborn resistance to government efforts to eliminate them
      • BIA banned religious ceremonies, forced children to go to federal boarding schools, banned polygamy, and imposed limits on the length of men’s hair in 1920s
      • when the BIA commissioner became John Collier CCC, AAA, and other New Deal programs included Native Americans in the New Deal era
      • whites were still trying to convert Native Americans into Christians native_americans_and_church.jpg6
      • Pueblo Relief Act of 1933
        • compensated Pueblos for land taken from them in the 1920s
      • Johnson-O’Malley Act of 1934
        • offered funds to states who provided Natives with health care, welfare, and education
      • Collier also abolished federal boarding schools, encouraged enrollment in local public schools, and created community day schools
      • Indians Arts and Crafts Board (1935)
        • nurture traditional Native American Artwork and help then market their work
      • Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA)
        • revoked the allotment provisions of the Dawes Act
        • restored land to tribes
        • granted Natives the right to establish a constitution and by-laws for self-government
        • provided support for tribal corporations that would regulate use of communal lands
        • opposed by some Native American tribes, but a large majority supported it and used it to their advantage native_americans_in_school.jpg7
    • Mexican Americans

      • growth in white migrant workers because of high unemployment rates and a drought pushed the Mexican immigrants out of work
      • Secretary of Labor in 1931, William N. Doak, announced plans for repatriating illegal aliens, and targeted Mexican immigrants in California and the Southwest
      • US Immigration Service staged a number of public raids rounding up large numbers of Mexicans and Mexican Americans and those who could not prove legal residence were deported
      • local governments pressured many more into leaving
        • LA County officials “persuaded” 12,000 unemployed Mexicans to leave by threatening them and offering free railroad tickets to Mexico
        • Colorado officials secured the departure of 20,000 Mexicans by using similar techniques
      • the efforts of federal, state, and local governments pushed out 500,000 Mexicans
        • many were legal residence who just couldn’t produce their legal proof
      • efforts of the New Deal in 1933 eased but did not eliminate pressure on the Mexican Americans mex_american_migrant_workers.jpg8
    • Eastern and Southern European
      • in the 1920s they were subject to racial and religious discrimination, but in the 1930s they had gained more power and respect even though they were still seen as inferior to other whites
      • a political force in the Democratic Party
      • Roosevelt understood their importance and made sure to accommodate them in his New Deal, and thus won their votes
      • the New Deal allowed them to believe that there was some hope that they would overcome the second-class status they had long held
      • they also benefited from their presence in the labor force and contributions to labor’s gainsurban_street_cricket.jpg9

1: TVA workers
2: Dust Storm in 1935
3: Bread line during the Great Depression
African Americans enrolling in CCC
5: African Americans in a segregated school in Missouri
6: Father Peter Huell with some Paiutes in front of a Church in Burns Oregon
7: Native Americans in school
8: Mexican immigrant workers
9: boys playing street cricket in the 1930s