New Deal - Opposition from the Right

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Liberty League.

Formed Summer 1934.

Strongly pro-Business, close links to Wall St.

Aim “Defend and uphold the Constitution and to foster the right to work, earn, save, acquire property, and to preserve ownership and the lawful use of property.”

$ came from business.

Membership peaked at 125,000 mid-1936 but it rapidly declined after the landslide 1936 election.

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Support from Business.

Jack Warner of Warner Bros.

Walter Teagle of Standard Oil (Esso)

Many businessmen were advisers to the administration and played a key role in drafting the NIRA and implementing it.

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'Big Business'

Most New Deal legislation was opposed by ‘Big Business’. Too much regulation.
e.g. National Recovery Administration (NRA) 1933

NRA = most well known alphabet agency. Blue Eagle.

During its lifetime (1933-35) it drew up 557 codes of practice for industry:

  • To ensure fair competition.
  • Lay down wage rights and hours of work.
  • Ban child labour (under 16)  
  • Gave employees the right to bargain ‘collectively’ for wages.
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Political Opposition - Republicans.

Rep Party - Largely ineffective against the New Deal.

1934 Mid-terms - Dems increased seats in Congress. (Virtually unheard of in U.S. Politics.)

1936 Pres Election - Alfred Landon was a poor opponent - Landslide victory.

1938 Mid-terms - Republicans doubled their seats in the House & Senate.

New Deal was dead.

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Political Opposition - Democrats.

Nov 1937 - FDR summoned a special session of congress to push through measures pushed aside by congress.

Nothing achieved.

A group of Senators and Congressmen issued a ‘Conservative Manifesto’ - lowering taxes, stopping strikes.

FDR tries to remove 5 senators who he wanted to replace with liberals who would agree with him.

All 5 Democratic Senators he tried to remove won re-election.

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