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A Level History (African Americans) > New Deal (1929-1945) > Flashcards

Flashcards in New Deal (1929-1945) Deck (13)
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How did the depression impact African Americans

- By, 1933, gross national 24.9 per cent of the labour
force was unemployed, industrial and agricultural
production had more than halved, and average
earnings had dropped from $25 to $17

- The big cities, where African Americans and
immigrants formed a large percentage of the
population, were particularly badly hit – In Chicago
there was 60% black unemployment

- The entire cotton economy collapsed, meaning
thousands of African Americans urbanised in
search of work


What was the 'New Deal'

- 4 March 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt, was sworn in as US

- Roosevelt intended to wage war against unemployment and
poverty – his new deal measures were centralised around
relief, recovery and reform


In what ways were the 'New Deal' policies positive for African Americans

- Separate Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps were set up
for black Americans and many found temporary work

- The agricultural policies of the New Deal enabled some African-
American sharecroppers to own their own land through its
compensation and credit schemes


In what ways were the 'New Deal' policies negative for African Americans

- The preferential treatment of white workers in the allocation of
white workers in the allocation of jobs disadvantaged African

- Minimum wage rates were set at a lower level for black than
for white workers – this situation was upheld by the major
trade unions, which discriminated against black workers in
every respect

- When it came to agricultural polices, many illiterate black
people were easily cheated and tricked when it came to
allocating funds

- Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA) attempted
to resolve the problem of plummeting agricultural prices by
cutting production, destroying crops where there had been
some degree of overproduction and putting areas of land out
of use – this compulsory reduction affected sharecroppers in
the south (half of which were African American)


How did the political influence of African Americans grow in this period

- During the 1930s, the African-American vote became
increasingly influential, especially in the north

- Moreover, black voters themselves were becoming
increasingly aware that the vote potentially empowered them

- This growing awareness coincided with the increasing sense
of self-awareness and of community that ghetto dwelling

- In some cities, such Chicago, the black vote was deciding


Cabinet of African Americans (1933)

- Roosevelt made the decision to assemble a ‘cabinet’ of African
Americans in 1933 – although they were not politicians, they
were highly educated and highly trained – this is indicative of
the educational opportunities that were arising for at least
some black people

- The numbers of black people in federal employment increased
from 50,000 in 1933 to 200,000 in 1946


How did the growth of trade unions support the position of African Americans in this period

- The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was set up in

- Its responsibility was to produce job-creation schemes and
establish regulations to address working hours and conditions,
such as sweatshops and the use of child labour – these were
beneficial to exploited immigrant labour – including African

- In 1935, the unions set up the Committee of Industrial
Organisation (CIO), its aim was to organise all workers in mass-
production industries and, in the process, to abolish racial
discrimination – shown by the joining of a large number of
industries such as steel, clothing and textiles that employed
mostly African Americans


Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA)

Aimed to raise the price of farm produce in order to help farmers out of the Depression.

This was done by paying farmers compensation or subsidies either to change their crop or reduce the amount of produce actually going to thee market.


How did President Roosevelt fail to act on lynchings in this period

- 1935 alone, 21 people lynched in the South

- Attempts to make lynching a federal crime failed to be passed
by Congress in 1935 and again in 1938, these would have
punished sheriffs who failed to protect their prisoners from
lynch mobs

– Failures of President Roosevelt to intervene, although he had the
power to do so, added to this


How did the lynchings of African Americans in the 1930s contribute to the struggle for civil rights

- Suffering increased the determination among African-
Americans to resist persecution and to bring about change

- Anti-lynching measures were high on the agenda of the
NAACP and the UNIA

- Black women became active in the campaign to stop

- They formed the ‘Association of Southern Women
for the prevention of Lynching’ and received support from
Eleanor Roosevelt, the president’s wife, who campaigns
against racism and encouraged women to oppose lynching
and rape


What were the beliefs of Philip Randolph (1890-1979)

- A socialist, Randolph sought to achieve better economic
conditions for black workers by co-operating with the white
labour movement


What impact did Philip Randolph have on the civil rights movement

- Became the President of the National Negro Congress (NNO)
in the 1930s – a key group in the 1960s movement

- In 1941, Randolph suggested a march on Washington by
thousands of black people to try and gain equality of
opportunity for black people when it came to defence industry
jobs in the federal government

- Only 10 percent of defence contractors employed black
people in 1940

- President Roosevelt agreed to make concessions - He ordered
the setting up of the Fair Employment practices (FEPC) that
would try and gain equality and opportunity for black people in
defence industry

- It had some effect – black people were employed in the
aircraft factories for the first time and there was a 25%
increase in those working in the iron and steel industry

Randolph is a key figure in linking the aspirations and ideals of previous leaders with the organisation necessary to put effective pressures on administrations


What were the common employment philosophies among white employees towards African Americans

'last to be hired, first to be fired’