Archive for the ‘Chapter 33’ Category

Updated Upcoming Assignments

Monday is an A day.

I will probably not be able to check chapter 34 until Tuesday, so I will offer extra credit for those who have already completed it on Monday and have the comparison between Liberal and Conservative assessments of the New Deal (see below). Grab this chance!

I do not know when we will make up the 90 minutes 2nd hour missed. We will have to figure this out this week. We may have more rotten weather Tuesday-Wednesday. See? This is why I scheduled extra time for review before the AP exam. Stoopid Missouri weather.

I posted some extra information to help us stay current under this post. Use it wisely.


Our essential question Wednesday was: How did the New Deal change and challenge Americans’ expectations about government?

1. On Monday, please have a handwritten summary of Liberal and Conservative assessments of the New Deal from the 1930s to now. This is to be 250 words at a minimum. Make sure you include modern perspectives. You will need to do some research, and make sure you include specific points.

2. In addition, please make sure you have read the material on the Migrant Mother and the links to the other photographs and Dorothea’s Lange’s perspective. I would like to discuss this on Monday.

The First Fireside Chat

Here is an audio file to listen to excerpts if you wish (Uses Quicktime)

What positive emotional words does Roosevelt use?

On the Bank Crisis

March 12, 1933

Address of President Roosevelt by radio, delivered from the President’s Study in the White House at 10 PM today.

I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking — with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking but more particularly with the overwhelming majority who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks. I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be. I recognize that the many proclamations from State Capitols and from Washington, the legislation, the Treasury regulations, etc., couched for the most part in banking and legal terms should be explained for the benefit of the average citizen. I owe this in particular because of the fortitude and good temper with which everybody has accepted the inconvenience and hardships of the banking holiday. I know that when you understand what we in Washington have been about I shall continue to have your cooperation as fully as I have had your sympathy and help during the past week.

First of all let me state the simple fact that when you deposit money in a bank the bank does not put the money into a safe deposit vault. It invests your money in many different forms of credit-bonds, commercial paper, mortgages and many other kinds of loans. In other words, the bank puts your money to work to keep the wheels of industry and of agriculture turning around. A comparatively small part of the money you put into the bank is kept in currency — an amount which in normal times is wholly sufficient to cover the cash needs of the average citizen. In other words the total amount of all the currency in the country is only a small fraction of the total deposits in all of the banks.

What, then, happened during the last few days of February and the first few days of March? Because of undermined confidence on the part of the public, there was a general rush by a large portion of our population to turn bank deposits into currency or gold. — A rush so great that the soundest banks could not get enough currency to meet the demand. The reason for this was that on the spur of the moment it was, of course, impossible to sell perfectly sound assets of a bank and convert them into cash except at panic prices far below their real value.

By the afternoon of March 3 scarcely a bank in the country was open to do business. Proclamations temporarily closing them in whole or in part had been issued by the Governors in almost all the states.

It was then that I issued the proclamation providing for the nation-wide bank holiday, and this was the first step in the Government’s reconstruction of our financial and economic fabric.

The second step was the legislation promptly and patriotically passed by the Congress confirming my proclamation and broadening my powers so that it became possible in view of the requirement of time to entend (sic) the holiday and lift the ban of that holiday gradually. This law also gave authority to develop a program of rehabilitation of our banking facilities. I want to tell our citizens in every part of the Nation that the national Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — showed by this action a devotion to public welfare and a realization of the emergency and the necessity for speed that it is difficult to match in our history.

The third stage has been the series of regulations permitting the banks to continue their functions to take care of the distribution of food and household necessities and the payment of payrolls.

This bank holiday while resulting in many cases in great inconvenience is affording us the opportunity to supply the currency necessary to meet the situation. No sound bank is a dollar worse off than it was when it closed its doors last Monday. Neither is any bank which may turn out not to be in a position for immediate opening. The new law allows the twelve Federal Reserve banks to issue additional currency on good assets and thus the banks that reopen will be able to meet every legitimate call. The new currency is being sent out by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in large volume to every part of the country. It is sound currency because it is backed by actual, good assets.

A question you will ask is this – why are all the banks not to be reopened at the same time? The answer is simple. Your Government does not intend that the history of the past few years shall be repeated. WE do not want and will not have another epidemic of bank failures.

As a result we start tomorrow, Monday, with the opening of banks in the twelve Federal Reserve Bank cities — those banks which on first examination by the Treasury have already been found to be all right. This will be followed on Tuesday by the resumption of all their functions by banks already found to be sound in cities where there are recognized clearinghouses. That means about 250 cities of the United States.

On Wednesday and succeeding days banks in smaller places all through the country will resume business, subject, of course, to the Government’s physical ability to complete its survey. It is necessary that the reopening of banks be extended over a period in order to permit the banks to make applications for necessary loans, to obtain currency needed to meet their requirements and to enable the Government to make common sense checkups.

Let me make it clear to you that if your bank does not open the first day you are by no means justified in believing that it will not open. A bank that opens on one of the subsequent days is in exactly the same status as the bank that opens tomorrow.

I know that many people are worrying about State banks not members of the Federal Reserve System. These banks can and will receive assistance from member banks and from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. These state banks are following the same course as the national banks except that they get their licenses to resume business from the state authorities, and these authorities have been asked by the Secretary of the Treasury to permit their good banks to open up on the same schedule as the national banks. I am confident that the state banking departments will be as careful as the National Government in the policy relating to the opening of banks and will follow the same broad policy.

It is possible that when the banks resume a very few people who have not recovered from their fear may again begin withdrawals. Let me make it clear that the banks will take care of all needs — and it is my belief that hoarding during the past week has become an exceedingly unfashionable pastime. It needs no prophet to tell you that when the people find that they can get their money — that they can get it when they want it for all legitimate purposes — the phantom of fear will soon be laid. People will again be glad to have their money where it will be safely taken care of and where they can use it conveniently at any time. I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress.

The success of our whole great national program depends, of course, upon the cooperation of the public — on its intelligent support and use of a reliable system.

Remember that the essential accomplishment of the new legislation is that it makes it possible for banks more readily to convert their assets into cash than was the case before. More liberal provision has been made for banks to borrow on these assets at the Reserve Banks and more liberal provision has also been made for issuing currency on the security of those good assets. This currency is not fiat currency. It is issued only on adequate security — and every good bank has an abundance of such security.

One more point before I close. There will be, of course, some banks unable to reopen without being reorganized. The new law allows the Government to assist in making these reorganizations quickly and effectively and even allows the Government to subscribe to at least a part of new capital which may be required.

I hope you can see from this elemental recital of what your government is doing that there is nothing complex, or radical in the process.

We had a bad banking situation. Some of our bankers had shown themselves either incompetent or dishonest in their handling of the people’s funds. They had used the money entrusted to them in speculations and unwise loans. This was of course not true in the vast majority of our banks but it was true in enough of them to shock the people for a time into a sense of insecurity and to put them into a frame of mind where they did not differentiate, but seemed to assume that the acts of a comparative few had tainted them all. It was the Government’s job to straighten out this situation and do it as quickly as possible — and the job is being performed.

I do not promise you that every bank will be reopened or that individual losses will not be suffered, but there will be no losses that possibly could be avoided; and there would have been more and greater losses had we continued to drift. I can even promise you salvation for some at least of the sorely pressed banks. We shall be engaged not merely in reopening sound banks but in the creation of sound banks through reorganization. It has been wonderful to me to catch the note of confidence from all over the country. I can never be sufficiently grateful to the people for the loyal support they have given me in their acceptance of the judgment that has dictated our course, even though all of our processes may not have seemed clear to them.

After all there is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold, and that is the confidence of the people. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system; it is up to you to support and make it work.

It is your problem no less than it is mine. Together we cannot fail.

The New Deal

From our friends across the pond– giving a European view of the New Deal. Also explains how opinion polls were first used to help determine government actions.

The use of primary source interviews: The Slave Narratives

This video can also be found at

Professor James Horton discusses the significance of the WPA Slave Narrative project.

Upcoming Assignments

Our essential questions today was: How did the New Deal change and challenge Americans’ expectations about government?


1. On Friday, please have a handwritten summary of Liberal and Conservative assessments of the New Deal from the 1930s to now. This is to be 250 words at a minimum. Make sure you include modern perspectives. You will need to do some research, and m,ake sure you include specific points.


2. In addition, please make sure you have read the material on the Migrant Mother and the links to the other photographs and Dorothea’s Lange’s perspective. I would like to discuss this on Friday.

The Dust Bowl Experience

Be ready to discuss this Wednesday-Thursday- make sure you have gone to the link and listened to the interview.

Read this, and then go here ( to see and hear Florence Thompson, the subject of Dorothea Lange’s iconic photograph.

“I left Oklahoma in 1925 and went to Oroville [California]. That’s where them three girls’ dad [Cleo] died, in Oroville, 1931. And I was 28 years old [in 1931], and I had five kids and that one [the baby in this photo, Norma] was on the road. She never even saw her daddy. She was born after he died. It was very hard. And cheap. I picked cotton in Fireball, when that girl there was about two years old, I picked cotton in Fireball for 50-cents a hundred.”
Question: “A ‘hundred’ [meaning] weight?”
“A hundred pounds.”

Question: “How much could you pick in a day, then?”
“I generally picked around 450, 500. I didn’t even weigh a hundred pounds. I lived down there in Shafter, and I’d leave home before daylight and come in after dark. We just existed! Anyway, we lived. We survived, let’s put it that way. I walked from what they called a Hoover camp ground right there at the bridge [in Bakersfield], I walked from there to way down on First Street, and worked at a penny a dish down there for 50-cents a day and the leftovers. Yeah, they give me what was leftover to take home with me. Sometimes, I’d carry home two water buckets full.
“Well, [in 1936] we started from L.A. to Watsonville. And the timing chain broke on my car. And I had a guy to pull into this pea camp in Nipomo. I started to cook dinner for my kids, and all the little kids around the camp came in. ‘Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite?’ And they was hungry, them people was. And I got my car fixed, and I was just getting ready to pull out when she [Dorothea Lange] come back and snapped my picture.
“I come to this town [Modesto] in 1945. I transferred from Whittier State to Modesto. And when this hospital opened up out here, I went to work there. And the first eight years I lived in this town, I worked 16 hours out of 24. Eight-and-a-half years, seven days a week.”
Question: “Are you comfortable now?”
–Florence Thompson, the famous “Migrant Mother” from the Dorothea Lange photo

Florence Thompson was born on an Indian reservation – “in a tepee,” she said – in Oklahoma in 1903. Her father died when she was 13 months old, but her mother lived to be 108. Even before the Depression, Florence, her husband Cleo and their growing family left Oklahoma for California. For a time, they found work around Shafter, California. But as the Depression settled in, they were forced to become migrant farm workers. They followed the harvests until the war created jobs. Florence settled in Modesto, California in 1945. Her family put down roots, although Florence was most comfortable living in a mobile home. She died of cancer in 1983.

Now read what Dorothea Lange remembers about this experience:

Here is where you can see the famous photo and more from the series that Dorothea Lange took:

US Indian Policy during the New Deal

This is the second part of a paper I wrote in graduate school, the previous section of which is located here:

The Indian New Deal

The election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 brought about a sea change in Indian policy. The two most influential officials for Indian policy in the federal bureaucracy were the secretary of the interior and his subordinate, the commissioner of Indian affairs. Roosevelt’s nominees for these posts were both active veterans of the Indian reform movement. Harold Ickes, who was chosen as secretary of the interior, was a former director of the American Indian Defense Association with strong credentials as a Progressive. Roosevelt chose an outspoken critic of the Indian Bureau as his commissioner of Bureau of Indian Affairs. John Collier had organized the Pueblo Indians against many federal policies, and had been a founder of the American Indian Defense Association, which had fought steadfastly against Eurocentric proposals put forth by the Indian Bureau under Coolidge and Hoover. Collier and Ickes had worked together and shared many ideas about Indian reform.

Before his nomination as Indian commissioner, Collier had been a vocal opponent of allotment policies. Collier had begun his career as a settlement worker in the community center movement to help impoverished urban dwellers improve their lives through pooling their resources. The idea of community drove Collier’s public career. His attention to Indian policy began in 1920 when he visited a pueblo in Taos, New Mexico. Here Collier believed he had found the ingredients for a perfect community, a “Red Atlantis” which, if protected from the European-American concepts of excessive individualism and materialism, could develop into a model for reform of American society at large. With the backing of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Collier was engaged in the fight to preserve the traditional organization of the Pueblos against assimilationist schemes of Congress and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. With two million members in the GFWC, Collier gained the attention of several Indian reform groups and government officials to lobby for the protection of the Indians.

In 1923, Collier founded the American Indian Defense Association so that he could fully focus on policy reform. He was a frequent witness on behalf of the AAIA at congressional hearings and was sharply critical of the Indian Bureau’s policies and its stewardship of Indian reservations. He opposed the leasing of Indian lands by Bureau officials without Indian consultation, especially for the exploitation of mineral resources. He battled compulsory attendance of Christian services at boarding schools, prohibitions on customary marriages, and charging tribes for reservation construction projects that primarily benefited non-Indians. He also helped draft legislation such as the Tribal Councils Bill which would have authorized the creation of tribal councils. This bill would have allowed tribes to elect a committee to create a tribal constitution and bylaws. Among the provisions was the election of a tribal council under this tribal constitution that would have the power to represent the tribe before federal authorities and to employ attorneys to help them preserve their rights. Although this bill failed to pass, many of its ideals would live on in the Indian Reorganization Act.
After some political maneuvering, Collier was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 20, 1933. As commissioner, it was obvious Collier was not going to promote policies that contradicted his Edenic view of Indian society. Collier immediately declared that freedom of religion would be extended to all Indians. He cancelled debts that had been charged Indian tribes without tribal authorization and managed to achieve the dissolution of the Board of Indian Commissioners. This group, which had its genesis as administrators of the Dawes Act provisions in the late nineteenth century, was a visible proponent of the old ways of Indian policy.

Collier faced immediate crises upon taking office. Severe weather during the winter of 1932-33 on many western reservations created a real danger of starvation, and relief efforts were immediately set in motion. Collier initiated action on employment and environmental problems by using funds from the Civilian Conservation Corps to establish an Indian adjunct, the Emergency Conservation Work program, whose mission was to promote soil conservation and prevent overgrazing on tribal lands. From 1934 to 1942, when the CCC was abolished, Indians were greatly aided by this program which provided training and experience as well as conservation work. Other New Deal programs which were active on reservations included the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Works Progress Administration, and the Civil and Public Works Administrations.
Another action taken in the early days of the Roosevelt administration dealt with the lack of social services on Indian reservations. For decades the funding the BIA allocated to build schools and hospitals and to hire the staff to operate such facilities was sorely deficient. Therefore, in April 1934 the Johnson-O’Malley Act was passed into law. This new law authorized the federal government to contract with states to provide social services for their Indian inhabitants. The Act specifically listed education, medical, agricultural, and social welfare or relief services as eligible for such contracting. The Act allowed states to take over any existing buildings constructed for such purposes to facilitate the delivery of services. Oklahoma Indians were excluded from this Act.

In Collier’s first annual report, he called for ending allotment and emphasized “group organiz-ation and tribal incorporation” to enable Indians to begin managing their own resources and economic destinies. Collier set out to reverse the decades old push for the destruction of Indian communities through his design of the Indian Reorganization Act. Through this legislation Collier attempted to end the forced absorption of individual Indians into the general culture and economy. Instead, he sought to give new powers to tribal government and to have Indians achieve new power through tribal identity.
Three events gave added impetus to the policy shift toward cultural pluralism. In 1928 the secretary of the interior had asked the Brookings Institution to analyze the conditions on reservations. The results of this study were published under the title The Problem of Indian Administration (also known as the Meriam Report) in 1928. The report criticized the government for inadequately funding Indian programs, for being less concerned about Indians than about exploiting their natural resources, and for refusing to give Indians a voice in their own affairs. The report recommended, among other things, that a loan program be made available to Indians, that boarding schools be abolished, and that allotments be curtailed to enable better land use policies. The report also suggested a reorientation of the Indian service, although with the goal of assimilation still in the forefront:

… [The survey staff] would not recommend the disastrous attempt to force individual Indians to be what they do not want to be, to break up their pride in themselves and their Indian race, or to deprive them of their Indian culture…. The fact remains, however, that the hands of the clock cannot be turned backward. The Indians are face to face with the predominating civilization of the whites …[which has] largely destroyed the economic foundation upon which the Indian culture rested. This economic foundation cannot be restored as it was. The Indians cannot be set apart away from the whites.”

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs also sent a subcommittee to tour most of the reservations in the US as part of an investigation of the Indian Bureau, and their discoveries led to the resignation of the current Indian commissioner in 1929. Further, a meeting of all Indian reform groups at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. in January 1934 agreed on several suggestions to improve the conditions of Indian life. Among these proposals was a call for the end of allotment, tribal consolidation and ownership of fractionated heirship lands with remaining trust lands, and the organization of tribal councils vested with limited powers of government. The reformers advocated the reimposition of federal guardianship over Oklahoma Indians, who had been universally accorded citizenship and had “final disposition of the affairs” of tribal governments through an amendment to the Dawes Act in 1901, much to their detriment. Tribal governments in Oklahoma had been dissolved in 1914.

Both Collier and Ickes had participated in the Cosmos Club meeting, and Collier took the recommendations to heart. The legislation to implement this change was the work of many people who shared Collier’s views on tribal sovereignty. Collier set to work with William Zimmerman, who served as the assistant Indian commissioner, and two attorneys on the legal staff of the interior department, Nathan Margold and Felix Cohen. Zimmerman, Margold, and Cohen had all worked as lawyers with the AAIA. A month after the Cosmos Club meeting, these men had crafted a detailed, forty-eight page bill to address the complete reorganization of federal Indian policy. The finished product was sent to the chairs of the House and Senate Indian Affairs Committees, who presented it to Congress under their sponsorship. The legislation therefore bore their names as the Wheeler-Howard Bill.

The original bill was divided into four titles. Title I echoed the Tribal Council bill of 1932. One fourth of the adult residents on a reservation could petition the secretary of the interior to grant a charter that would allow tribal self-government under a constitution, which would allow the tribal government to contract with the federal government for services as well as determine tribal policies. An important provision required the secretary of the interior to submit annual budgets to each tribe to provide input upon before being submitted to Congress. Title II dealt with increasing educational opportunities so that Indians with at least one-fourth Indian ancestry could meet civil service requirements for Bureau positions. The bill also required that each Indian civilization be studied, preserved and taught in Indian schools. Title III specifically repealed the Dawes Allotment Act. Further allotments were forbidden and trust periods on current allotments would be extended indefinitely. Unsold surplus land was to be returned to the reservation. To solve fractionation, tribal members would transfer their interests in productive land to the tribe to consolidate holdings into usable parcels. In return, the Indians would be granted a proportionate interest in tribal property. The secretary of the interior could impose usage regulations for soil conservation and to prevent overgrazing. Title IV reformed the Courts of Indian Affairs into two tiers: a local level run under the tribal charter, and a national Court of Indian Affairs. This national Court was akin to the United States Supreme Court and would reclaim jurisdiction over major criminal cases from federal courts. These judges would go to the reservations to hear cases rather than force litigants to travel long distances.
When hearings were held on the bill, those who opposed Indian self-government questioned Collier about what they viewed as its anti-assimilationist bias. Several congressmen who came from states with sizeable reservations already chafed at the idea of mineral wealth locked away from exploitation and saw self-government as a further stumbling block to economic development for their states. These mostly western representatives further opposed the loss of tax revenue which resulted from the federal trust umbrella placed over Indian lands, and adjudged self-government as merely perpetuating Indian evasion of their civic responsibilities as citizens. As Rep. Theodore Werner of South Dakota remarked, under the proposed bill Indians would enjoy “all of the rights of citizenship, but would not participate in any of [its] burdens.”

As groundbreaking as the Wheeler-Howard bill was, it nonetheless demonstrated the limited faith that even champions such as Collier had in the ability of Indians to completely govern themselves. Economic decisions still had to be approved by the secretary of the interior. Matters regarding land acquisition and transfer of title to the tribe were still at the discretion of the secretary. Contracts to lease land or mineral rights were also subject to interior department approval. Even the assignment of tribal lands to individual members of the tribe had to be vetted by Bureau officials. Tribes could review appropriations requests submitted to Congress by the Indian Bureau, but could not initiate them independently. Many reformers were afraid that tribes who had little experience with budgetary considerations would rashly distribute any funds under their control as per capita payments. The economic crisis that affected all of America during the Depression was particularly acute on reservations, and large amounts of money could be squandered on a quick fix to desperate situations.

The greatest flaw of the Wheeler-Howard bill was that it included too many radical changes. Each title would have been more than adequate as a separate bill, and each change had unforeseen consequences. The level of detail was also a problem, because there was not room for differences among Indians and tribes. Collier’s ideas about tribal control of property impinged upon the freedom of those individuals who had adjusted to the concept of private property. Further, a bill whose intention was to increase Indian participation and self-government had been crafted with surprisingly little input from Indians.

Although Collier professed to be a champion of Indian self-government, the Wheeler-Howard bill was yet another piece of legislation created for Indians without consultation with them. To rectify this situation, Collier called a series of Indian congresses to explain the bill’s proposals and seek Indian input and support. Support for Collier’s ideas was far from unanimous among Indians. The Navajo tribe strongly protested efforts to reduce the amount of stock that they could own. The rangeland of the Navajo reservation could support only 35,000 people, yet 61,000 were trying to wrest a living from the arid soil. As wealth had been traditionally measured by the size of one’s herd, any attempt to limit livestock struck at the heart of Navajo society as the most glaring paternalism. Another complaint was that there were no provisions in the bill for the resolution of Indian claims against the government and that it did not guarantee current treaty rights. Further, highly acculturated Indians resented the imputation that their Indian heritage made them incapable of handling their own affairs. These individuals had no use for tribal affiliation—they considered themselves simply to be American citizens. They viewed the bill as a blanket attempt to turn them back into “blanket Indians.”

When Collier attempted to amend the bill to answer many of these criticisms, the bill was unable to make it out of either the House or Senate Indian Affairs Committees. The bill was drastically revised and cut down to conform to Indian criticisms and congressional criticisms. Many of the most groundbreaking ideas were eliminated on the premise that they promoted segregation. A stalemate existed until pressure from President Roosevelt resulted in compromise legislation which could pass Congress. This legislation, called the Indian Reorganization Act, became law in the spring of 1934.
The Indian Reorganization Act was much shorter than Collier’s original bill. Gone was title IV reorganizing Indian courts. Some groundbreaking concepts still survived, however. The Dawes Act was repealed, future allotment was forbidden, and two million dollars was provided for the secretary of the interior to purchase new land for some reservations. Mandatory return of heirship lands to tribal control was also eliminated, and the inheritance practices that exacerbated fractionation were not reformed or addressed. To help address the problems of economic development, a $10 million revolving credit fund was implemented so that businesses could be developed on Indian lands. Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thompson attached an amendment that excluded Indians in his state from most of the Act’s provisions on the argument that Oklahoma Indians, especially the Five Civilized Tribes in the eastern half of the state, were already being assimilated, and revival of tribal institutions would simply delay that adaptation. Alaska natives were also not included. The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of June 1936 reversed this exclusion for all Indians in Oklahoma except those on the Osage reservation. This Act also included a provision which had been deleted from the IRA which allowed groups of 10 or more Indians to form economic cooperatives in recognition of the difficulty in reviving tribal institutions after a nearly 30 year absence.

According to a mandate within the IRA, each tribe was required to hold a referendum by June 1935 to determine whether or not to organize under the Act. Collier had initially opposed the deadline, but the worsening economic conditions on reservations after the passage of the Act caused Collier to reverse his opinion, since many reservations urgently needed the economic assistance promised by the IRA. Many factors impeded the smooth operation of elections. First, the Bureau had never organized elections on the reservations before, and therefore lacked the experience and procedures for such a massive undertaking. The challenges were especially daunting on reservations with small populations, which often also lacked membership rolls from which to draw a list of eligible voters. In some places Indians held allotments on a reservation but did not live there. The Bureau decided that all should vote, and in some cases this led to disagreement over tribal government to this day.

Thus the IRA provided Indians with the choice to avail themselves of its provisions– or not. Between 1936 and 1945, 65 tribes had established constitutions under the Act. In total, 181 tribes voted to accept the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act, while 77 tribes rejected it. In terms of population, 130,000 Indians were in tribes which approved the IRA while 87,000 Indians were in tribes which rejected the Act. Many of the largest tribes, including the nearly 40,000 Navajos, had rejected organization under the Act.

Collier created a small army of Bureau personnel to aid the Indians in preparing for elections and constitutions. This army included lawyers, sociologists, and field agents who went to the Indians to help explain the specific next steps to take full advantage of the Act’s provisions. Since many tribes had no experience with constitutions or other abstract political ideas, attorneys for the Bureau often used boilerplate constitutions and modified them slightly to suit each group’s special circumstances. However, these IRA constitutions were often criticized by Indian traditionalists for imposing foreign concepts like democratic rule over the traditional use of consensus and the leadership of tribal headmen. Collier’s ideas still sought to change the Indians and their traditions, and once again these changes were in the name of the Indians’ best interest.

As early as the mid-1930s, those in Congress who were interested in Indian policy for good or ill had become aware of the sweeping changes that even the diluted IRA had set into motion. Some of Collier’s policy changes were in such sharp relief from the previous Federal policies that they antagonized even those interested in Indian reform. Those who had supported assimilation from the beginning also were unwilling to quietly suffer this policy revolution for long, and they compiled evidence against Collier on the charge of trying to strip Indians of what little “progress” they had made. Even Senator Burton Wheeler, who had co-sponsored the bill, became opposed to the reality unleashed by the IRA, and proposed another bill in 1937 to repeal the Indian Reorganization Act. Only pressure from groups such as the Indian Rights Association stayed the hand of Congress. However, Commissioner Collier spent countless hours before congressional committees arguing against deep reductions in the appropriations promised in the IRA. Appropriations to fulfill various requirements of the Act were often cut as a circuitous way to frustrate the intent of the law. Collier spent the last half of his time in office trying to protect what gains he had made from congressional and Christian reformist pressure.

Indian involvement in World War II led many to believe that Indians could succeed off the reservation, and that only by taking their place in American society as average Americans could economic independence come to the Indians. House Resolution 1113 was introduced to emancipate Indian veterans from all trust restrictions. Despite all of Collier’s New Deal programs, reservations remained sinkholes of poverty, with little or no access to education, healthcare, modern amenities, or jobs. Thousands of Indians had worked in war industries or served in the military. The exposure to war industries had brought some Indians the training and experience to begin to participate in manufacturing and technical trades.

World War II also had another effect on Indian affairs. The headquarters for the Bureau of Indian Affairs was moved from Washington to Chicago in 1941 to provide office space for wartime programs in the capital. This action made it difficult for personnel in the bureau to work or consult with other departments in the federal bureaucracy. Experienced bureau personnel were either transferred to war agencies or went into the service. The national attention was focused on the war effort, and concern for Indians was understandably shunted aside. There were 100 vacancies for doctors and nearly 200 for nurses by 1944, and Collier complained that the Bureau could not “provide Indians even the most essential medical care.” By Collier’s resignation in January 1945, the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget was smaller than in 1932.

Ultimately, Indian reaction to Collier’s policies was also mixed. Yet, during Collier’s tenure, Indians learned at least one lesson: Collier was right in urging Indians to unite in order to make their voices heard. Indians responded to the conflicts during this time by forming their own advocacy groups to promote their divergent views. The American Indian Federation was founded by Joseph Bruner to advocate policies that would lead to the acculturation of Indians and the dismantlement of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This group was particularly strong among predominantly assimilated Indians in eastern Oklahoma. The AIF was controversial because its leader associated with the pro-Nazi German-American Bund. Nonetheless, its vociferous demands to liberate Indians from wardship and abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs received much sympathy from assimilationist members of congress. Indians in California were also critical of the IRA and Collier’s inability to adjust his proposals to Indian realities when they clashed with his idealized vision of Indian culture. Other Indians, however, used the opportunities presented by the IRA to organize themselves at a level higher than the traditional band or village and wrest at least some power from the federal bureaucrats and reservation superintendents who had manipulated them for so long. The National Congress of American Indians was established in 1944 to fight for Indian rights and self-determination. This group was made up of tribal leaders who had gained experience in the political structures christened by the IRA. Historian Francis Prucha credits the Indian congresses Collier organized while promoting the Wheeler-Howard bill with providing the impetus for pan-Indian groups such as the NCAI and even the AIF.

Collier himself ultimately became an issue congressmen used to threaten funding for Indian programs. Collier resigned as commissioner of Indian Affairs in January 1945 when the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior Department Appropriations hinted that Bureau funding would be drastically reduced in 1946 if a new commissioner were not in place. Despite his high ideals, Collier had been only partially successful during the nearly twelve years he held his post. Chief among his successes was the reversal of the Dawes Act. His encouragement of Indian attempts to organize themselves was fortuitous in preparing Indians for the challenges that would nearly destroy many tribes in the twenty years after World War II. It was organization that allowed a minority numbering just over 345,000 to gain the attention that Indians did. However, the problems that dominated reservation life could certainly not be addressed during the depths of the Great Depression. The advent of the Second World War provided Indians with an opportunity to leave the reservations, which ironically weakened Collier’s case that Indians could only succeed through strengthening their communities.

The next part of this will be published on March 11 and can be found here:

Chapter 33 questions

1. What specific factors made Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt so compassionate toward the average man and woman? What specific experiences influenced their actions and roles in the White House?
2. What changes happened to the traditional constituencies supporting Democrats during the 1932 election, and why? What part of the Democratic platform that year was unrealistic?
3.How did FDR make use of the long lame duck period after his election? What political advantages did he have as he came into power? How did he out-maneuver Herbert Hoover (ooh, it rhymes!) during this time?
4. What were the major goals and accomplishments of the Hundred Days? What were the “3 Rs?” What was the first problem he attacked after taking office, and why did he give that priority?
5. What role did inflation play in his plans? Why?
6. What were the historical precedents for FDR’s early New Deal programs? Why was the NRA the most ambitious and controversial of his programs? Why did Harry Hopkins have so much influence? What eventually happened to the NRA?
7. Which program was considered the most radical, and why? What did it attempt to do? What specific criticisms were leveled against this program and by whom?
8. Which program was the most popular, and what short and long-term effects did it have?
9. Summarize the main criticisms of the New Deal from both the left and the right, including specific names and slogans involved.
10. Which specific women were most prominent in working for the New Deal? Explain what each one did (a chart might be a good idea).
11. What was the Agricultural Adjustment Act specifically attempting to do, and how? What eventually happened to the AAA?
12. How was the Constitution changed during the 1930s?
13. Many of FDR’s reforms were aimed at rural populations like those in Oklahoma, my home state. How did Oklahoma and its people become synonymous with suffering during the Great Depression. Consider economic, ecological, and literary factors. Include consideration of the Resettlement Administration, Route 66, and the San Joaquin Valley.
14. How did the New Deal attempt to restore stability to banking and the stock market? Be thorough in your answer.
15. What were the main provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935? How was this system different from the European model?
16. How, specifically, did the New Deal attempt to help workers? Explain the Wagner Act and the NLRB. Were there signs of a class struggle in America by 1936? Explain.
17. In what areas was FDR prevented from having complete control over the government? How did FDR attempt to neutralize the last bastions of resistance in the US government, and why did this plan fail?
18. What was the “Roosevelt recession?” What were the effects? When and why did the New Deal lose much of its momentum?
19. What are the basic beliefs of Keynesian economics? What impact did these theories have upon the US budget?
20. What was different between the First New Deal era of 1933-935 and the Second New Deal? Consider programs and popularity of those programs.
21. Was Roosevelt’s election an endorsement of his plan or a repudiation of Hoover’s Explain.
22. Why did the New Deal end by the late 1930s? What lasting effects did it have both politically and economically?
23. In what ways did FDR mirror the concerns of both Hamilton and Jefferson from the time of the birth of our nation?
24. Was the New Deal revolutionary or reactionary? Some claim that FDR was the savior of American capitalism, while others claim that he was a socialist. Explain.

MC 2-6 practice

MC practice 2-6

1. From 1925 to 1940 the US policy on arms sales to warring nations followed this sequence:

A. embargo to lend-lease to cash-and-carry.

B. cash-and-carry to lend-lease to embargo.

C. lend-lease to cash-and-carry to embargo.

D. embargo to cash-and-carry to lend-lease.

2. In September ,1938, in Munich, Germany,

A. Britain and France consented to Germany taking the Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia.

B. Hitler declared his intention to take Austria.

C. Hitler signed the Axis Alliance treaty with Japan.

D. Britain and France acquiesced to the German reoccupation of the Rhineland.

3. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the US

A. promised aid to the Soviets but didn’t deliver.

B. refused to provide any help either economic or military.

C. gave only nonmilitary aid to Russia.

D. made lend-lease available to the Soviets.

4. One striking feature of the 1932 presidential election was that

A. the South had shifted to the Republican party.

B. African-Americans became a vital element in the Democratic party.

C. urban Americans finally cast more votes than rural Americans.

D. women played a less active role in the campaign than since they had gained suffrage

5. The constitutionality of the internment of Japanese-Americans was upheld in the case of

A. Gong Lum v. California.

B. Korematsu v. US.

C. Wheeler v. Roosevelt.

D. Kurosawa v. White.

6. Match each New Deal critic with the cause he promoted.

A. Father Coughlin___________1. social justice

B. Huey Long______________2. share our wealth

C. Francis Townsend_________ 3. parity

________________________4. old-age pensions

A. A-1, B-2, C-4

B. A-2, B-1, C-3

C. A-3, B-4, C-2

D. A-4, B-3, C-2

7. The first naval battle in history in which all of the fighting was done by carrier-based aircraft was the Battle of

A. Leyte Gulf.                                                C. the Coral Sea.

B. the Java Sea.                                    D. Midway.

8. The Allied demand for unconditional surrender was criticized mainly by opponents who believed that such surrender would

A. encourage the enemy to resist as long as possible.

B. be impossible to attain.

C. be unacceptable to the Soviets, who had already suffered terrible casualties.

D. create conditions which would eventually lead to war, much as the Treaty of Versailles had led to WWI.

9. The Social Security Act of 1935 provided all of the following EXCEPT

A. unemployment insurance.

B. old-age pensions.

C. economic help for the disabled and the blind.

D. health care for the poor.

10. Winston Churchill, when informed of the signing of the Munich Pact,

A. declared that the agreement would bring peace in our time.

B. suggested that other nations in Europe sign the pact.

C. decried the Pact as appeasement.

D. congratulated Hitler on his achievement.

MC practice 2-5

MC practice 2-5

Quiz yourself, then check your answers. Please print and bring to school Monday.

1. Eleanor Roosevelt vigorously championed the causes of all of the following EXCEPT

A. African Americans

B. women.

C. organized labor

D. unemployed Americans.

E. political radicals (socialists and communists).


2. President Roosevelt responded to the public uncertainty and grave concerns about the soundness of the financial system by doing all of the following EXCEPT

A. closing all US banks for a week in order to reorganize them on a sounder financial basis.

B. securing congressional passage of a system of banking reforms separating commercial from investment banking

C. the FDIC insurance of all deposits up to $5000.

D. nationalizing several major banks and placing them directly under the control of the Federal Reserve Board.

E. using his communication skills to assure Americans that banks were now safe.



3. All of the following contributed to the development of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s EXCEPT

A. dry-farming techniques.

B.  drought.

C. farmers’ failure to use modern equipment such as tractors.

D. the cultivation of marginal farmlands in the Southern Plains.

E. soil erosion.


4. Which of the following represents the consensus assessment of the historical legacy of the New Deal by most historians?

A. The New Deal programs ended the Great Depression and spurred American economic recovery in the 1940s.

B. The New Deal provided moderate social and economic reform to millions and probably staved off the rise of socialism or reactionary fascism in the US.

C. The New Deal crippled the American system of free enterprise for many years with its socialist undermining of capitalism.

D. The New Deal would have been more effective if Roosevelt would have demonstrated powerful presidential leadership.

E. The New Deal represented an unsuccessful attempt to create a centrally planned economy by an elitist dictatorship of left-wing do-gooders.


5.  All of the following marked President Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy toward Latin America EXCEPT

A. withdrawal of US troops from Haiti.

B. repeal of most of the US’s interventionist rights in Cuba granted by the Platt Amendment.

C. partial release of the political and military stranglehold of the US over Panama.

D. a formal endorsement of nonintervention in Latin American affairs at the Seventh Pan-American Conference in 1933.

E. using the threat of armed intervention to uphold US oil companies’ interest in Mexico.


6. Which of the following best characterizes the foreign trade policy of President Roosevelt?

A. lowering the US tariffs to increase trade

B. increasing US tariffs to protect American industry and agriculture

C. seeking formal consultation with and approval by the Senate before proceeding with reciprocal trade agreements.

D. continuing the tariff rates and schedules of Hawley-Smoot

E. postponing any adjustments to trade policy until after the onset of WWII.


7. Which of the following was NOT conquered by Hitler’s Germany between September 1939 and June 1940?

A. Norway

B. the Netherlands

C. France

D. Poland

E. Finland


8. What event prompted the US government to take immediate steps to upgrade its military preparedness for war and abandon the pretense of neutrality in Europe?

A. Germany’s invasion and occupation of Denmark and Norway

B. Germany’s invasion and occupation of Poland

C. France’s falling to Germany

D. Italy’s initial participation in the invasion of France by Germany.

E. the overrunning of Belgium and the Netherlands by Nazi Germany


9. The Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936, and 1937 stipulated that when the president proclaimed the existence of a foreign war,

A. American bankers would be allowed to make loans only to one of the warring nations.

B. US diplomats and civilians would be withdrawn from both warring nations.

C. Americans would be prohibited from sailing on the ships of the warring nations.

D. America would sell arms and war materiel only to the victim of aggression.

E. the US intended to uphold the tradition of freedom of the seas.


10. By 1940, American public opinion had come to favor

A. the America First position.

B. active participation in the war.

C. permitting US volunteers to fight for Britain.

D. shipping Britain everything except military weapons.

E. providing Britain with “all aid short of war.”