Confident, aristocratic Roosevelt swept into
office with an urgent mandate to cope with the depression emergency. His bank
holiday and frantic Hundred Days lifted spirits and created a host of new
agencies to provide for relief to the unemployed, economic recovery, and permanent
reform of the system.
Roosevelts programs put millions of the
unemployed back on the job through federal action. As popular demagogues like
Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin increased their appeal to the suffering
population, Roosevelt developed sweeping programs to reorganize and reform
American history, labor, and agriculture. The TVA, Social Security, and the
Wagner Act brought far-reaching changes that especially benefited the economically
Conservatives furiously denounced the New Deal,
but Roosevelt formed a powerful coalition of urbanites, labor, new
immigrants, blacks, and the South that swept him to victory in 1936.
A decade after the ratification of the Nineteenth
Amendment, women began to exercise their rights, both politically and intellectually.
Roosevelts Court-packing plan failed,
but the Court finally began approving New Deal legislation. The later New
Deal encountered mounting conservative opposition and the stubborn persistence
of unemployment. Although the New Deal was highly controversial, it saved
America from extreme right-wing or left-wing dictatorship.