Please read the day's post below. Here you will find a sample response to the practice DBQ. The argument is a little underdeveloped, as we'd prefer to not see the separate body paragraphs for Native Americans, but this would be awfully close to a 7/7 for 20 minutes work.
Was it a new deal for everyone practice dbq
In what ways and to what degree did the New Deal address economic and social issues facing various groups of American during the Great Depression
Time period: 1930s
Themes: Culture and Society/ WXT
Skill: Continuity and Change
CONTEXTUALIZATION: The Great Depression was a crisis caused by more than just the crash of Black Tuesday in 1929, but by fundamental issues in the economy such as over-extension of commercial and consumer credit, increased tariffs through the Hawley-Smoot bill (in opposition to 1,000 economists of the time), and income inequality rising as a result of the 1923 law. The depression in turn impacted Americans in ways varied not only by economic class but by location, race, and gender. This is illustrated most clearly by the overall unemployment rate peaking at 25% while the Black unemployment rate hitting 50%(!). This dire crisis directly led to the election of Roosevelt and the passage of his New Deal. THESIS: The New Deal substantively addressed the economic concerns of some, mostly white Americans, but it failed to address economic and social issues facing other groups of more-marginalized Americans during the Great Depression.
Roosevelt’s New Deal did address the economic and social issues facing some Americans during the Great Depression. The famed First 100 Days were a bonanaza of newly-created Federal Agencies meant to encourage recovery, relief, and reform. 250,000 young (mostly white) men were hired by the Civilian Conservation Corps to reforest America, give funds to families in need, and avoid overconcentration of young, unemployed men that might lead to trouble. This program is representative of many that addressed economic needs created by the Great Depression. Women were also helped explicitly by the New Deal. Leseur in “New Masses,” shows that women also needed relief as much as men who might be more obvious, asking, “what happens to them?” (Doc 2). The New Deal was one answer. The WPA hired women, most famously photographer Dorothea Lange who captured the evocative shot of “Migrant Mother” and her children. At the Democratic Women’s Regional Conference, Ms. Woodward asserted the New Deal had brought “no discrimination.” But she notes “unemployed women are without [exogenously commodified in a patriarchy] skills” which presumably made employment prospects more difficult (Doc 5). This connects to the historical situation through American history of the division between “skilled” and “unskilled” labor and how the Knights of Labor under Powderly allowed in unskilled laborers but the AFL under Gompers did not. Gendered assumptions about the abilities and efficacy of women would continue throughout the 1930s, with notable change being achieved in the 1940s personified by the “Rosie the Riveter” woman working an industrial job producing supplies for America’s involvement in World War II. This shows that women were helped by the New Deal, though that help was constrained by the general patriarchal social and economic norms of the time.
African Americans experienced benefits during this time, with the Crisis writing “government has taken on [new] meaning.” (Doc 1) This is the newspaper of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and as such would be well situated to evaluate and judge the impact of the New Deal on Black populations. This positive pronouncement indicated the amount of change that did in fact happen. In all these ways, the New Deal addressed economic concerns of mostly white men and women, but also African Americans in the Great Depression.
Despite those successes, it is important to note the New Deal did not benefit all groups. The same Crisis excerpt that emphasized change also stated “government policies have harmed the race” (Doc 1). This, paired with the later positive statement, proves the New Deal was not monolithically successful. African Americans, who served gallantly in the US Armed Forces of WWI and made up the most-decorated unit of “Harlem Hellfighters,” still did not receive equal treatment by the New Deal. This is most clearly exhibited by the redlining of the HOLC and by the exclusion of farm and domestic workers in the Social Security Act. Famed Harlem Renaissance writer wrote that a “dream deferred” might “explode,” but it is important to note that even facing this inequity African Americans served again with honor in World War II. The New Deal didn’t address all economic or social inequality, but that didn’t stop varied groups of Americans from believing in the ideals of America.
Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were differentially impacted by the New Deal. Boulder County appropriated funds to deport Mexican Families to Mexico (doc 3). The purpose of this document was to identify who was a legitimate recipient of the benefits of the New Deal, but it is not apparent in the text how much care, if any, was used to differentiate between Mexicans and Mexican-Americans (or the further complications of birthright-citizenship). Many Mexican-Americans chose to self-deport during this time because they understood they would not be considered as recipients of the federal programs helping so many Americans. Ultimately 84,000 were deported and migrant workers were especially vulnerable (Doc 6). This relates to the historical situation of migrant workers being encouraged to come into America throughout American history and demonstrates that Mexicans (and possibly Mexican-americans) did not fully benefit from the New Deal.
Native Americans gained some advantages during the New Deal, such as the opportunity for scholarship loans, but generally represented a continuity in “Americanizing” influences (Doc 7). This is most closely associated with the Carlisle School, led by Pratt, which had the motto “kill the Indian, save the man.” Under the paternalistic, racist standard of the day this was represented as benefit but certainly in comparison with other groups Native Americans did not receive the benefits of the New Deal.
The New Deal was an incredibly impactful group of legislative efforts and represents a massive shift in the public’s interaction with the American Government. While the goal was to provide “relief, recovery, and reform” for the American people, as demonstrated above not all groups saw their economic and social needs met.
[group response] Despite those successes, it is important to note the New Deal did not benefit all groups in America. The county commissioners of Bolder, Colorado appropriated funds to deport “unemployed” Mexicans to Mexico (Doc. 3). The purpose of this document is to ensure American relief funds are going to Americans, not foreign nationals, and achieving this by deportation, which by definition excluded groups that were in America. In this way we see the American New Deal relief program did not address economic issues for all groups in America.
The county commissioners of Bolder, Colorado appropriated funds to deport “unemployed” Mexicans to Mexico (Doc. 3). The purpose of this document is to marginalize some communities and focus relief monies for those deemed most worthy, here an unstated, presumably WASP-ish population. In this way we see the New Deal did not address economic issues for all Americans.