of an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group
New Dealers, determined
to fi nd a domestic solution to the crisis
and ideologically inclined to place
limits on corporate power, argued
that the Depression was a crisis of
“underconsumption,” that low wages
and high prices had made it too diffi
cult to buy the products of the
industrial economy; and that a lack
of demand had led to the economic
causing to become constant
Ever since 1931, leaders of the United States Chamber of
Commerce and many others had been urging the government
to adopt an antidefl ation scheme that would permit
trade associations to cooperate in
within their industries.
a serialized program dealing with dramatic situations
Soap operas, also later to become staples of television
programming, were enormously popular as well in the
1930s, especially with women who were alone in the
house during the day.
tendency to use fantasy to retreat from unpleasant realities
stations occasionally carried socially and politically provocative
programs, the staple of broadcasting was
comedies such as Amos ’n Andy (with its humorous,
if demeaning, picture of urban
blacks); adventures such as Superman,
Dick Tracy, and The Lone Ranger; and other entertainment
substituting a mild term for a harsher or distasteful one
So great was the panic about
bank failures that the “bank holiday,” as the president
euphemistically described it, created a general sense of
a painting that is applied to a wall surface
MURAL ART The Federal Arts Project
of the Works Progress Administration
commissioned an impressive series of public
murals from the artists it employed.
The American gross national product
from more than $104 billion in
1929 to $76.4 billion in 1932—a
25 percent decline in three years.
expel or eject without recourse to legal process
He received 57.4 percent of the popular
CLEARING OUT THE BONUS MARCHERS In July 1932,
President Hoover ordered the Washington, D.C., police
evict the Bonus marchers from some of the public
buildings and land they had been occupying.
regular payment to allow a person to subsist without working
The act proposed to balance the federal budget by cutting
the salaries of government employees and reducing
pensions to veterans by as much as 15 percent.
entangled or hindered
Within months, however, the New Deal
mired in serious new diffi culties—a result of continuing
opposition, the president’s own political errors, and
major economic setbacks.
governmental provision of assistance to persons in need
Moreover, many public offi cials believed that an
welfare system would undermine the moral
fi ber of its clients.
assign to a lower position
It was more receptive to women and to
blacks than the AFL had been, in part because women
and blacks were more likely to be
relegated to unskilled
jobs and in part because CIO organizing drives targeted
previously unorganized industries (textiles, laundries,
tobacco factories, and others) where women and minorities
constituted much of the work force.
force into some kind of situation or course of action
At the 1935 AFL convention, Lewis became
embroiled in a series of angry confrontations (and one
celebrated fi stfi ght) with craft union leaders before
fi nally walking out.