Great Depression and New Deal. Primary Sources

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Other notable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms; a detailed chronology featuring page references to relevant sections of the narrative; an annotated listing of selected sources for further study; an extensive general bibliography; and a subject index. Each volume in the Defining Moments series covers a wide range of topics that students can use as starting points for further research. Calling from Inside the U. Phone: , 7 days a week, 24 hours a day Fax: Terms of Use Privacy Policy.

The Narrative Overview section provides a detailed, factual account of what led up to the Great Depression and New Deal, the events and issues during the era, and its legacy in American society The Biographies section presents valuable biographical background on leading figures associated with the Great Depression and the New Deal The Primary Sources section collects a wide variety of pertinent primary source materials from the era, including official documents, song lyrics, memoirs, editorials, and other important works Other notable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms; a detailed chronology featuring page references to relevant sections of the narrative; an annotated listing of selected sources for further study; an extensive general bibliography; and a subject index.

Table of Contents PDF. Potential research topics for Defining Moments: The Great Depression and the New Deal are below: Study the factors that contributed to the optimism and prosperity of the Roaring Twenties Investigate the economic and political problems that triggered the Great Depression Provide a day-by-day overview of the Stock Market Crash of Write a story that features the hunger, unemployment, and homelessness that was common during the Depression Describe the environmental and economic devastation of the Dust Bowl, and compare it to modern environmental disasters Review the successes and failures of President Franklin D.

That is, although Richmond held the sociological perspective that individual problems were rooted in the social environment unemployment, etc. Based on this careful collection of client information, treatment would then consist of some combination of individual and environmental change. As the decade of the s progressed, the social work profession increasingly reflected the conservative trend across the nation. Once again, social problems such as poverty and unemployment were traced to the individual.

Psychiatric social work, led in part by Smith College, became the rage within the profession. In the process, the psychoanalytic work of Sigmund Freud, which became popular nationally, provided social workers with needed theory and individual treatment methods. In the s, society viewed individual dysfunction as a sign, not of immorality so much as, emotional disorder.

In any case, the emphasis on casework facilitated the professionalization of social work for numerous reasons. In fact, business and professional people were a ready clientele for psychoanalysis. To establish itself as a profession, social work needed the support of these middle and upper-income groups. It needed their fees for service; it needed their sanction.

Thus the profession of social work with its growing emphasis on casework fit the social, economic, and political needs of the conservative and prosperous s. By , there were 25 graduate schools of social work. This is despite the fact that the profession as a whole was reluctant to return to a social reform i. Yet, during the New Deal, public agencies primarily distributed relief funds to the needy.

This is where the action and the jobs were to be found. And, as stated, social workers played major roles in policy development. She attracted much press coverage and seemed to be everywhere. She was his eyes and ears, his data collector. He knew he could count on her to bring back detailed information concerning public sentiment and social need. Harry Hopkins , a social worker with settlement house experience, was the next most influential person to the President.

In fact, it was Eleanor who first observed Hopkins as a passionate, young social worker in New York and referred him to her husband.

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A third prominent member of the Roosevelt Administration with social work training and settlement house experience was Frances Perkins. In fact, the Federal Emergency Relief Act required that every local public relief administrator hire at least one experienced social worker on their staff. During the s, the number of employed social workers doubled, from about 30, to over 60, positions. This job growth created a major shift in social work practice from primarily private agency settings and clinical roles to public agencies and social advocacy. The New Deal also expanded the scope of social work from a primarily urban profession to a nationwide profession practicing in rural areas as well.

The New Deal had many shortcomings. And although the Social Security Act contained some relative small health programs, the New Deal as a whole established no major national health program. Furthermore, to appease southern politicians and get some reform legislation passed, Roosevelt did relatively little to help African Americans. New Deal legislation concerning old age pensions, unemployment insurance, and minimum wages did not cover workers in these occupations.

Perhaps most regrettable from an ethical standpoint, the New Deal contained no anti-lynching legislation — even though the beating and lynching of black citizens was still a common occurrence in some parts of the nation. If America as a nation suffered during the Great Depression, African Americans and other minorities suffered worst of all. As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has noted, Franklin Roosevelt thought in terms of what could be done politically, while Eleanor thought in terms of what should be done ethically.

For instance, African Americans in southern work relief programs under the WPA received lower wages than their white counterparts. As a result, Eleanor made sure that black leaders received a hearing at the White House, resulting in a executive order from the President barring discrimination in WPA programs. In the context of the times, actions such as these showed African Americans that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt did care about them. More importantly, this advocacy gave young African Americans a glimpse of the potential power of the federal government regarding civil rights.

What ever its shortcomings, the New Deal prevented many Americans, black and white, from starving to death during the Great Depression. While challenging the ideologies of the status quo in the United States, it reformed national institutional structures to meet the massive needs of millions of Americans in poverty. In doing this, the New Deal created a major federal health and human service system in addition to the services of local public and private agencies.

She used this position to advocate for the needs of African Americans during the Great Depression, directing a more equitable share of New Deal funding to black education and employment. She later attended the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago from to An educator, organizer, and policy advocate, Bethune became one of the leading civil rights activists of her era. She later became the first African American woman to have a monument dedicated to her in Washington, D.

Given the primary role that the private for-profit market plays in American social welfare, the Great Depression represented the greatest failure of the business sector in American history. As a result of the massive economic collapse in the wake of the stock market crash in , the federal government assumed a much larger role in promoting social welfare. This new partnership among U. To illustrate, both the U.

In fact, some prominent business leaders such as Gerard Swope of General Electric and Marion Folsom of Eastman Kodak publicly supported the legislation. At the same time, many social reformers attacked the Social Security Act and other New Deal legislation for being too moderate, too sexist, and too racist. Were they correct? Should the New Deal have replaced, rather than cautiously reformed, many U. Were Roosevelt and the New Deal too accommodating to the interests of conservative business and political leaders?

Did America miss a fundamental opportunity for significant progress in terms of social and economic justice? The late s and the decade of the s witnessed an increasingly strong U. As the nation entered the s, the U. In fact, there was a large, pent-up demand for most products. Millions of Americans saw the opportunity to keep their urban industrial jobs while living in the suburbs. In addition, developer William J. Levitt began mass-producing affordable homes for middle-class Americans. While the economy grew, American businesses began to shift their priorities for charitable giving.

Experiences of the Great Depression, New Deal, and World War II prompted American businesses to increasingly direct donations to community groups other than the traditional health and human services of the local community chests. The transition was facilitated by a ruling of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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For example, a donation by a railroad company to a local YMCA that provided housing for railroad workers was legal. Thus, a legal precedent was established for corporate giving to a wider range of causes, including educational, cultural, and artistic organizations. At the same time, American corporations were becoming more aware of their responsibility to a wide range of community groups.

The subsequent New Deal legislation, as previously stated, was perceived by business as an enormous threat to the free market system. Thus, business was presented with the option of acknowledging its broader social welfare responsibilities on a voluntary basis or through increased government regulation. As in the Progressive Era, business leaders responded to the threat of further regulation with a renewed emphasis on management professionalism and corporate social responsibility. The idea of business management as the trustee for society at large was increasingly stressed in the business sector.

Business management became more responsive to multiple groups in its environment: stockholders, employees, retirees, consumers, government, and local communities. For example, in , General Electric became the first corporation to match employee and retiree contributions to charity with a corporate donation i.

Although the federal government worked with the business sector during the ls to build homes and highways, there was relatively little new social reform passed at the federal level. However, the administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower were relatively dormant with respect to major new social reform. The legislation that was passed included the National School Lunch Program, the National Mental Health Act providing grants to states for mental health services , and the School Milk Program. As indicated earlier, some of the big government programs of the New Deal had been criticized for being communistic.

American labor unions, to varying degrees, were influenced by Communist members. Events such as the postwar Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe alarmed a U. In the same year, the House Un-American Activities Committee which included a young Congressman named Richard Nixon began a series of investigations of Communist infiltration of American labor unions, government, academia, and motion picture industry.

During these investigations, a senior editor from Time magazine, Whittaker Chambers, admitted to being a former member of the Communist Party and identified a former top U. The Red Scare became even more frightening in when President Truman announced that the Soviet Union had detonated an atomic bomb and when Mao Tse-tung declared communist sovereignty over the entire Chinese mainland. Then in , Alger Hiss, was found guilty of perjury in denying that he had committed espionage for the Soviet Union. State Department on national policy, the Red Scare had become hysterical.

Yet, it also turned public support against further social reform. In the end, this anti-communist sentiment along with a strong economy resulted in relatively little interest in major social legislation by the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations. The conservative trend of the 40s and 50s was, again, reflected in the social work profession. That is, the focus of the social work returned to professional status and to individual treatment i. Based in part on the writings of Heinz Hartman, Melanie Klein, Paul Federn, and Anna Freud, more attention began to be paid by therapists to ego functions.

In summary, the emphasis of the s in social work was casework. Then came the s! Notes 1. Bruce S. James T. Michael B. Katz, In the Shadow of the Poorhouse, 10th ed. New York: BasicBooks, , p. Patterson, p. Katz, p. Paul F.


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Boller, Jr. Edward D. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Jansson, pp. Boller, p. Jansson, p. John H. Goodwin, p. Ehrenreich, pp. Goodwin, pp. Leiby, p. Ehrenreich, p. Walter I.

Time Period

New York: The Free Press, , pp. Zinn, pp. Trattner, p. Sigerman, p. Karl, Corporate Philanthropy: Historical Background. Frank E. Leiby, pp. Billitteri, Thomas J. Matthews, p.

Arthurdale: A New Deal Community Experiment - Supplementary Resources

Ehrenreich, , p. Matthews, , pp. I am reluctant to try and answer your question because social class is a controversial issue, having many competing definitions models. I recommend you Google the subject and review the various responses. Best wishes, Jack Hansan. Marx, Ph. There is no easy or quick answer to your question.

First of all, helping poor people has historically been a function of organizations on the local, state and federal levels of our society. At the local and state level you will find private and public agencies of all kinds.


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At the federal level the best resource for you to research is the Social Security Administration. Your email address will not be published.

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