Sources of Freedom Exercises

This chapter concentrates on the history of the New Deal era, examining legislation, protest movements, and the impact of the New Deal upon minorities. The chapter opens with the Grand Coulee Dam, a magnificent piece of civil engineering, yet it flooded hundreds of acres of Indian hunting and farming land for which the Native Americans were not compensated.

Roosevelt’s New Deal accomplished significant achievements, but also had many limitations. The chapter explores the economic recovery programs of the First New Deal and the subsequent wave of protests from men like Upton Sinclair, Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, and Dr. Francis Townsend. Pressured by these voices of protest, Roosevelt’s Second New Deal focused more on economic security.

Labor made remarkable gains during the New Deal, as seen with the establishment of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Led by John Lewis, the CIO had a clear vision of what democracy and freedom meant for labor. This understanding is highlighted in his 1936 radio address in Voices of Freedom. Roosevelt’s "reckoning with liberty" is discussed next, looking at how he gave liberalism its modern meaning as well as his court fight. The limits of the New Deal are then explored, examining the hardships faced by women, Indians, Mexicans, and African-Americans. Finally, the chapter looks at the appeal of the Communist Party during the New Deal and the conservative congressional response to the Popular Front with the establishment of House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Smith Act.

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