Political Systems


  Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt
[audio]The Election of 1932

  • People didn't trust big businesses because they caused many people to lose money and jobs. People didn't trust the Republican Party because they thought that the Republican Party represented these large businesses. Hoover was very unpopular.

Franklin Delanor Roosevelt

  • Franklin Roosevelt was paralyzed by polio.


The election campaign

  • Both Hoover and Roosevelt thought that the government and businesses needed to work together to end the depression. They both thought that the government should not spend more money than it earned.
  • Roosevelt thought that the government should provide a lot of help to the people. It should make sure that there were jobs for people.
  • Hoover wanted less government involvement. He thought people should be self- dependent.


[audio]Roosevelt's goals

  • Some business leaders thought that Roosevelt was a socialist. They thought he was taking power away from them.
  • Some Labor union leaders didn't trust Roosevelt. They thought that the unions, not the government, should find jobs for the workers.
  • While some people compared Roosevelt to Hitler and Stalin, their ideas were different. Roosevelt wanted the American public to be in charge of the economy. He wanted political officials to compromise.
  • Hitler and Stalin wanted permanent control over economy and society. They were used to running violent governments.


Pressure to do more

  • The Agricultural Adjustment Act gave money to owners of big farms, but not as much to small farm workers and owners.
  • Pension is money paid to a person who has met set requirements.
  • Huey Long's organization wanted incomes over $1 million to be highly taxed. Long wanted inheritances over $5 million to be greatly taxed, as well. The taxes would help to make sure everyone had a home and an income of $2500.
  • Roosevelt's reporters worried that if Long ran for President, he would win votes that would have would have gone to Roosevelt.
  • Huey Long was assassinated in 1935.


[audio]Pressure to do less

  • While some business people disagreed with Roosevelt, they didn't protest because many people blamed them for the depression.
  • Businessmen objections of Roosevelt:
    1)Taxes too high
    2) Government spending too much
    3) Roosevelt supported the union too much
  • Many justices on the Supreme Court had been appointed by pro-business presidents. Justices thought that government must not interfere with businesses.
  • The Supreme Court said that many of the New Deal programs were unconstitutional (i.e., the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act).
  • More New Deal Legislation was needed because the Supreme Court had ended some of the previous measures. Roosevelt felt that America still needed help getting out of the depression.


The Election of 1936

  • The people who had suffered most from the Depression supported Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election. Small farmers, city dwellers, and union members followed Roosevelt, as did many Democratic southerners.


[audio]Roosevelt Falters

Packing the court

  • Roosevelt wanted to make sure that the Supreme Court did not declare the second New Deal programs unconstitutional. He wanted to put more justices on the Supreme Court who thought as he did.
  • Both Republicans and Democrats thought that Roosevelt's plan to "pack the court" would give him too much power.
  • Many justices retired from the Supreme Court, so Roosevelt was able to appoint seven new justices. The court started to support New Deal laws.


The End of the Second New Deal

  • After 1938, there were no more new New Deal laws because
    1) Roosevelt's popularity was lessening, legislators were stopping new bills.
    2) Roosevelt wanted Congress's support because he knew that there might be a war in Europe. He didn't want to pressure Congress with New Deal bills.