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you must argue how the period from 1932 to around 1950 was more beneficial than detrimental

Do not argue that the period was both beneficial and detrimental (which, of course,it was). Make sure you argue the side assigned to you. Be sure to argueHOW the period was either beneficial or detrimental. What one major issue or theme made the period either beneficial or detrimental, and for whom was it beneficial or detrimental, as well as how was it beneficial or detrimental to the nation as a whole.

In order to make your argument, you MUST useone primary source (the documents) each from Chapters 21-23 in Voices of Freedom and two examples from the lectures (at least fiveexamples in total). You will be graded on the quality of your examples and explanations, not the quantity of your examples. Be sure to fully explain how your examples support the position you are arguing.

Papers should be about 4-5 pages long (typed and doubled-spaced), but length is less important than content. For citations from the book, cite the document and page number. You do not need to cite information from the lectures, but should you bring in outside sources (which is not necessary), be sure to provide a full citationfor them. See the “Guide to Writing the Papers” for more details.

Guide to Writing the Papers

These guidelines are applicable to all the assignments in this course.

1) Be sure to clearly state your argument in the first paragraph. Your argument should be more than just a statement that things during the period under consideration were beneficial or detrimental, it should say how they were beneficial or detrimental.

2) Select the best sources to support your argument. Use examples from the lectures and documents to support your argument. You do not need to cite material from the lectures, but examples from the textbook should be cited after the material and/or quote appears in your paper by providing the name of the document and page number parenthetically.

3) Be sure your examples cover the whole period under question, for example you do not want all of your examples for the first assignment to all be from Reconstruction.

4) Be sure all your examples support the same general idea. For example, if your argument is that events of a certain time period were beneficial because of general prosperity which benefitted most Americans, then make sure that all your examples support the idea that most Americans were benefitting economically.

5) You should spend more time explaining your examples than you do describing them. Describing just says what happened, while explaining says how it is beneficial or detrimental.

6) Ask questions. If you have questions about your argument, or specific examples, please ask them either in class, in office hours or by email. The Teaching Assistants and I are available to assist you.

7) Papers should be typed and doubled-spaced. While there is no length requirement or limit, 4 to 5 pages is average. Explaining your argument with the required number of examples is what matters most. More examples will not increase your grade.

FDR and New Deal Relief

  • Everything on here was passed in the first hundred days of FDR being in office.

Relief and the First Hundred Days

  • Banking
  • First thing FDR does is orders all the banks to close (banking holiday).
  • He calls Congress into special session the day after the holiday. They pass the Emergency Banking Act the day after.
  • Emergency Banking Act
  • Loans money to banks so they can reopen.
  • The amount of money that Roosevelt was willing to put into this effort was much greater than Hoover was. Roosevelt was much better at selling this idea to the public than Hoover was.
  • Explains how the banking system works, how the Emergency Banking Act will help get the banks back on their feet during his “fireside chats”. You need to redeposit your money back into the banks, not take them out.
  • The day after the banks are reopened, more than a billion dollars are deposited back into the banks. For the first time since the stock market crash, more money was being deposited into the banks than being taken out.
  • Security Exchange Commission
  • Job is to regulate businesses that sell stock.
  • Businesses must provide investors with accurate information.
  • Trying to prevent a huge stock bubble from occurring again.
  • Agriculture
  • People are very dependent on farmers, but farmers have been struggling all throughout the 1920s.
  • Agricultural Adjustment Act/Administration (AAA)
  • Job is to increase the profitability of farms by decreasing production.
  • Basic supply and demand. Less supply equals greater demand and higher prices.
  • Pays a subsidy to farmers who do not grow crops.
  • Idea was this would bring down the amount of farm products being produced and raise prices.
  • Those farmers who have farm mortgages can refinance them at a lower interest rate.
  • Unemployment
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
  • Would give out money to each state, those states would create an Emergency Relief Administration. Those states could use that money in a variety of ways: employ people, build houses, etc.
  • People were afraid that federal government would overpower state and local governments. By creating this state level administration was a way to get around that criticism.
  • The federal government provides funds for emergencies.
  • National Industrial Recovery Act/ National Recovery Administration (NIRA/NRA)
  • Coordinates industries so they will work together more, force them to comply with certain standards and regulations.
  • Standardizing operations, pay, and working hours.
  • Eliminates competition between businesses and their workers. Consistency.
  • Idea is that this creates a much more efficient industry. They will be able to share the profits with a larger number of people. Not just to shareholders of the company.
  • Would take a while to have an impact.
  • Section 7a of NIRA
  • Workers have the rights to form unions. Idea is to help protect workers.
  • National Labor Board
  • The National Labor Relations Board is an independent agency of the federal government of the United States with responsibilities for enforcing U.S. labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices.
  • Employees will retain their jobs if they ask for advancements for themselves.
  • Public Works Administration (PWA)
  • A more immediate way of finding jobs for people.
  • Created to hire people to work on public projects. Things like building dams, roads, schools, post offices, etc.
  • Builds the highway connecting all the Keys in Florida to one another.
  • Ends up employing one million people. Not constant employment, but the idea is that it helps stimulate the economy.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
  • Created in order to employ young men ages 18-25 on Conservation projects: fighting forest fires, digging fire breaks, making trails, etc.
  • Created the Appalachian Trail.
  • Idea is if you take these young men out of their homes and to a CCC camp, it means one less mouth to feed for that family, and officials feared a lot of unemployed young men. The people most likely to engage in criminality or to plan a revolution.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • The most successful New Deal program.
  • An exercise in regional planning.
  • Took the most depressed areas of the country, the Tennessee Valley, and built dams to help control flooding, and the dams would help create electricity.
  • This area finally had functioning electricity.
  • The standard of living was raised for all in the Tennessee Valley.
  • This area was susceptible to constant flooding. Nobody wants business in areas that flood all the time. Underdeveloped area.
  • Private utility companies hate the TVA.
  • Electricity is being sold at a much lower rate from the government than it would be from private utility companies.

All this New Deal ends up being attacked in one way or another.

The New Deal: Reaction and Reform


  • Most severe criticism came from people on the left.
  • Huey Long
  • A US Senator and previous Governor of Louisiana.
  • Assassinated in 1935.
  • Did a lot of good things but not always done in an ethical manor.
  • Every Man a King (1933)
  • Book where the Share Our Wealth Plan was published in.
  • Share Our Wealth Plan
  • The redistribution of wealth.
  • Tax incomes severely. Anything made over 1 million goes toward the government.
  • Taking money from the wealthy and redistributing it to the poor.
  • Idea is it should help the economy.
  • People would be guaranteed $5,000 a year.
  • This plan becomes very popular.
  • Dr. Francis Townsend
  • Medical doctor from California.
  • Townsend Old Age Pension Plan
  • Plan in which retirees would receive a $200 payment from the government every month.
  • People must spend that money before receiving their next payment.
  • Idea is that it will free up jobs for younger workers. Trying to pump up the economy by increasing spending.
  • Plan becomes very popular especially with senior citizens.
  • His plan becomes Social Security.
  • Father Charles Coughlin
  • Catholic priest in Michigan.
  • Gave sermons over the radio. Would collect funds not only from people who come to church but also people listening.
  • Becomes very popular. Gets more fan mail from America than the President.
  • As Depression worsens, his sermons become more and more political. He becomes more radical.
  • He pollutes the government. To take over the banking system.
  • National Union for Social Justice
  • Became critical of bankers and Jewish bankers.
  • Schechter v. United States (1935)
  • Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935) The Supreme Court case that invalidated as unconstitutional a provision of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that authorized the President to approve “codes of fair competition” for the poultry industry and other industries.
  • Schechter was convicted in a federal district court, lost an appeal to the circuit court, and appealed to the Supreme Court, which reviewed the case in 1935. The Supreme Court held that the Live Poultry Code was unconstitutional, and that the conviction of Schechter must be overturned.
  • Court Packing Plan
  • The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to obtain favorable rulings regarding New Deal legislation that the Court had ruled unconstitutional.
  • If someone is over the age of 70, they can add another justice.
  • Very little public and congressional support. Completely falls flat.

These 3 groups try to come together as one to challenge the New Deal.

Reform and the Second New Deal

  • Not just an attempt to redo the first New Deal. This is much more focused on long term reform.
  • Banking Act of 1935
  • Not about loaning money to banks, but about regulating the banks.
  • Sets limits on the banks.
  • Separates the investment function of the bank from the commercial banking aspects.
  • Banks can’t take money from one side of the function and use it towards the other side.
  • Tries to fix the banking industry.
  • AAA of 1938
  • Rewrites the first AAA. Says we are going to pay you for conserving your land in order to enrich the soil. It is now constitutional.
  • The first AAA was unconstitutional because it paid people for not doing work.
  • Industry
  • The government can only regulate interstate companies.
  • Government can’t regulate a company if all their operations are in one state.
  • NIRA and Section 7a are deemed unconstitutional.
  • Labor
  • Wagner Act (1935) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • The Wagner Act, or the National Labor Relations Act, was a New Deal reform passed by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5, 1935. It was instrumental in preventing employers from interfering with workers’ unions and protests in the private sector.
  • Company unions are not allowed.
  • Workers have the right to form their own unions.
  • NLRB – arbitrates dispute between unions and companies.
  • Will listen to both sides of the stories and will come up with a conclusion that both sides must abide by.
  • Wealth and Income
  • Social Security Act (1935)
  • Funding for this comes from a fund that is contributed to by employers and employees.
  • Pays people who are retired who have contributed to this program.
  • Pays people who are disabled, minors who lose their parents.
  • Recipients of this money do not have to spend their money to get additional payments.
  • On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.


  • Second New Deal incorporates elements of the backlash from the first New Deal. This nullifies the criticism of the Second New Deal.
  • The government is getting involved into people’s lives more than it ever has before.
  • Despite all that it accomplishes, it doesn’t end the Great Depression.
  • Not until the US enters WWII that the Great Depression ends.
  • The main benefits of the New Deal went to white men. Women and minorities got the short stick from the New Deal.

Marginal Minorities and the New Deal

  • New Deal focused its attention on white men.
  • Didn’t resolve any discriminatory practices in the US.


  • Work
  • Number of women working during the Depression increases.
  • Because married women must take more of a role taking care of the family.
  • Jobs that are available to women tend to be much lower paying.
  • Men would earn more than women while doing the same job.
  • Men worked to provide for family, women worked to supplement the family.
  • Depression increased demand for women to work in the home.
  • Women make clothes for family, housekeeping, women workload increases.
  • New Deal solidifies the idea that women can be paid less than men.
  • Also, in order to help as many families as possible, only one family member could get New Deal jobs or relief payments. Because of this, the preference was always the male.
  • Average working woman made $525 a year; average working man made $1025 a year.
  • Most people in American society believed married women should not work outside of a house. They believed it took jobs away from other men.
  • Social Status
  • 1920s were viewed as a liberation period for women.
  • More women going to college, entering professions, delaying marriage, and smoking.
  • When the Great Depression hits, these thoughts reverse. Men are the breadwinners again.
  • In 1920s, women in ads are single women. In 1930s, women in ads are mothers.
  • Marriage rate and birth rate drop. This alarms many people. Emphasizes that women should stay home and take care of the household and children.
  • A lot of people wanted to blame the Great Depression on the advancement of women in society.
  • Politics
  • An open and new opportunity for women is in politics.
  • Senator Hattie Caraway, (Arkansas)
  • Wife of a Senator. When he died, she took over and finished his term.
  • At the end of this term, she decides to run again.
  • She wins that Senate seat on her own.
  • Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor
  • First female Cabinet member.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Most popular women in politics.
  • FDR battled with polio; he was crippled.
  • Because he was crippled, she took a much more public role than previous First Lady’s.
  • She became the face of the government for many people.
  • She argued that the New Deal could not have happened before 1920 because women did not have the right to vote.
  • Not until 1950s and 1960s that women move toward the feminist movement.

African American

  • African Americans benefit some from the New Deal. But for the most part, there is not much change.
  • Because the prosperity of the 1920s did not include many African Americans, things don’t get any better or worse. Massive drop for elite whites.
  • African Americans received smaller relief payments than whites.
  • TVA segregated African Americans.
  • CCC at first denied young African American men for work at the beginning.
  • Increase of violent crimes (lynching’s) during this time period.
  • People would be taken out of jail and lynched to death.
  • African American unemployment rate is twice the white unemployment rate.
  • National average for white was 25%. African American average was close to 50%.
  • The way the New Deal was structured, African Americans got less even though they needed more.
  • And Hoover
  • Hoover did several things that upset the African Americans.
  • Hoover nominates a Supreme Court Justice, nominated someone who has campaigned for taking the vote away from African Americans.
  • When war widows and mothers of soldiers loved ones die, they can be sent to see their loved one’s grave. On the trip to the grave, the blacks were segregated from the whites.
  • And FDR
  • FDR was not any better for African Americans.
  • Each time he runs for re-election, he gains a greater percentage of the black vote.
  • By his last election, he has 95% of the black vote.
  • Black community starts supporting FDR because of symbolic reasons. He was someone who supported the black community in his words. He appointed several African Americans to prominent positions in his staff.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt was a prominent advocate for the black community.
  • Marion Anderson
  • World famous opera singer who was African American.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution invited her to sing a concert in Constitutional Hall. They did this without knowing she was black. When they found out she was black, they disinvited her.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt dropped out of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and invited Marion Anderson to do a free concert on the steps of Lincoln Memorial.
  • Walter White, NAACP
  • Starts lobbying for an anti-lynching law. This would try to protect people who are incarcerated and a right to a fair trial.
  • Very few of these people were ever prosecuted. An anti-lynching law would be able to prosecute these people.
  • A lot of Democrats will turn against FDR if he tries to support the black community.
  • White Southern Democrats were the most powerful in Congress.
  • Walter White – president of the NAACP. FDR tells him that he supports them, but politically he cannot support them.
  • As a result, the anti-lynching law never solidifies into a law.

Native Americans

  • Reorganization
  • John Collier
  • A white reformer. Head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Indian Reorganization Act (1934)
  • Reconstitutes the reservations.
  • Goal is to try reinvigorating NA culture.
  • Creates reservations and gives power to tribes over those lands but does nothing else. Not a big difference.

From Isolation to Global War, Part 1

Postwar Isolationism

  • War Debts and Reparations
  • The amount of money that the various WWI countries owe to US banks
  • War Debt estimated at 11 billion dollars. With added interest, the total amount of money that would have been paid would be closer to 22 billion dollars.
  • Needed to collect reparations from Germany. Germany had to pay up for the cost of the war.
  • Germany is not in a good position to pay these reparations. Their currency is worthless due to inflation.
  • These companies can sell goods to the US to help pay the loans that are owned.
  • Policy was to raise tariffs in the 1920s. This made it harder for foreign companies to sell their goods in the US because of high tariffs. The whole system of reparation payments ends up falling apart.
  • By 1934, every country that owes money to the US defaults on that loan.
  • Only one country pays back their loan, that country is Finland.
  • Johnson Debt Default Act (1934)
  • The US and American banks cannot loan money to any country who has previously defaulted on a loan.
  • This is key for WWII when countries need money from the US.
  • Hoping to keep the US out of another World War.
  • Disarmament
  • Reduce the chance of another war by reducing arms.
  • Washington Armaments Conference (1921)
  • Meeting of 9 countries who come together to write treaties.
  • The purpose of these treaties is to reduce the size of the militaries of each of these countries.
  • Five Power Naval Treaty – Great Britain, US, Japan, France, Italy. They will reduce the size of their navies. Great Britain and US get largest navies. Japan gets a percentage size of Great Britain’s and US navy. France and Italy get the smallest navies.
  • Specifies which oceans and seas each country gets dominance in.
  • Four Power Treaty – Great Britain, US, Japan France. The four countries with the most possessions in Asia. They agree they will not infringe on each other’s resources in Asia.
  • If there is conflict, they will settle it without war.
  • Nine Power Treaty – All nine countries at the Washington Armaments Conference. Trying to maintain political integrity in China.
  • All the countries adopt the Open-Door Policy.
  • Problem with these treaties is there is no enforcement of them.
  • All of these were very popular with the American public.
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact (Pact of Paris, 1928)
  • Begins with the French Foreign Minister proposing to the US that they should never go to war with one another.
  • US knows France wants this so the US never takes the opposite side of France.
  • By signing this agreement, it makes France never have to worry about the US.
  • Kellogg cannot say no to Briand, but he doesn’t want to say yes.
  • He says this is such a great idea, but we will open it up and allow other countries to sign it as well.
  • Briand cannot say no to this. So, in the end it is signed by 62 countries.
  • All the countries that sign it end up fighting one another in WWII.
  • In the end, the Pact of Paris is ineffective. All counties had to do was say they were going to war for self-safety.
  • “Good Neighbor Policy”
  • The US decides it will withdraw all occupation forces from Latin AMerican countries.
  • They try to get on good terms with these Latin American countries.
  • Idea is if the US is on good terms with its immediate neighbors, then it can remain isolated from what’s happening in Europe and Asia.
  • Peace in Western Hemisphere doesn’t have to deal with the rest of the world.
  • The US does not want to get involved in another war.

War Clouds

  • Asia
  • Kuomingtang (Chinese Nationalist Party)
  • Chinese who don’t want foreign interference in their country.
  • Kuomingtang starts gaining strength and support in China. Able to gain as a movement in Southern and Central China.
  • Problems happen when they go to Northern China where Russia and Japan have strongholds.
  • When they gain popularity in Northern China it threatens Russia and Japan.
  • Manchuria
  • Japan responds by invading Manchuria.
  • Japan goes in there to protect their own economic interests.
  • This happens in 1931.
  • This violated the Nine Power Treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and Japans stance in the League of Nations.
  • No one comes to the assistance of Manchuria. As a result, Japan takes control of Manchuria.
  • Japan’s first step in solidifying its power in Asia.
  • How do you approach the Depression? You expand inward or expand outward.
  • Italy and Germany
  • Benito Mussolini, II Duce
  • In Italy, Benito Mussolini breaks from the Socialist Party and starts building a power base.
  • By 1922, he can be elected as the leader of Italy.
  • He does this through the Fascist Party. Fascism is a party that has Nationalism and Socialism.
  • He abandons the Socialist platform and focuses on Nationalism.
  • He is the nation, and if you oppose him you are the enemy.
  • In a year he gets himself declared as II Duce, translated to “The Leader”.
  • Adolf Hitler, Reichsfuhrer
  • Hitler is trying to do the same in Germany as Mussolini.
  • Tries to come to power in 1922, but he fails.
  • His party, the Nazi Party gets into the German Parliament.
  • He says the whole Depression is due to the punishment they were given for WWI. He says Allied Powers screwed over Germany. They must take power back that they lost from Treaty of Versailles. This is very popular among Germans.
  • As a result, Hitler builds his power base and in 1933 he is appointed Chancellor of Germany.
  • The following year, 1934, the President of Germany dies. Hitler takes on the title of President as well.
  • As a result, he gains dictatorship powers over Germany.
  • He pulls Germany out of League of Nations. Says he has authority to take over areas where majority of people speak German.
  • The Expanding Axis
  • In 1934, Japan renounces the Five Power Naval Treaty.
  • In 1935, Mussolini invades Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa that is ruled by Africans.
  • In 1936, Hitler reoccupies the Rhine Land. In violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • In 1936, Spanish Civil War begins.
  • Francisco Franco
  • Military in Spain starts a war against the Spanish Republic.
  • He gets support of Germany and Italy.
  • After three years of fighting, Franco establishes himself as Dictator of Spain.
  • In 1937, Japanese and Chinese forces come into conflict. Start of the war.
  • Anti-Comintern Pact (1937)
  • An agreement by Japan, Italy, and Germany that they will assist each other in their fight against Communism.
  • Argues that Japan, Germany, and Italy are all under threat of the Comintern. Therefore, they must come together to fight Communism.
  • Communism was a convenient focus for an agreement between these three countries. By coming to agreement, they can divide up the world between the three of them.
  • This Pact is a way for these countries to coordinate their efforts.
  • They are all after the same goals.
  • Becomes known as the Axis Powers.

From Isolation to Global War, Part 2

  • First thing Germany does in 1930 is they unite Austria into Germany.
  • Hitler also reaches an agreement with Great Britain and France that allows Germany to take control over parts of Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland)
  • Germany invades Poland in 1939. Great Britain and France finally say enough is enough. They declare war on Germany on September 1st, 1939.

Continued Neutrality

  • With all that is going on, America remains neutral.
  • The Nye Committee (1934-1937)
  • Investigate whether American industrialists had an influence on the US entering the first World War.
  • Most people believe those big companies led the government into declaring war.
  • They don’t find any evidence that these industrial illegally influenced the government.
  • They found out that these people got incredibly wealthy from the first World War.
  • Many Americans are adamant about getting involved in another way because the first World War had no benefits for America.
  • Neutrality Acts (1935, 1936, 1937)
  • Legislation that is intended to keep the US from being engaged from the rest of the World.
  • Neutrality Act 1935 – when two countries go to war and the president acknowledges that it is a war, American companies cannot sell arms or ammunition to either side of the war.
  • Neutrality Act 1936 – loans are not allowed to those countries as well. Expansion of 1935.
  • Neutrality Act 1937 – you cannot sell arms or ammunition to either sides in a Civil War as well.
  • US still stays in trade with China while they are fighting. There was no official declaration of war. American trade with China increases and decreases with Japan.

Taking Sides

  • Neutrality Act (1939)
  • Allows the government to sell American arms to foreign countries that are at war. Only if these countries are allies and they must purchase these on a cash and carry basis.
  • “Cash and Carry”
  • Pay for goods upfront, no credit. Countries must come to the US and get these arms
  • Trying to maintain a distance from the war. Keeping American ships safe.
  • Blitzkrieg
  • “Lighting war”
  • Germany military overwhelms a territory with sheer numbers. Targeted all in one area.
  • Very effective form of warfare.
  • First unleashed on Denmark in April 1940. Germany overruns and takes control of Denmark in one day. Next, they go to Norway and takes them over in a coupl

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