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Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. This Land, This Nation. United Kingdom. Country Of Origin. Number of Pages. See details. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Phillips Hardback, Be the first to write a review About this product. While the act was vague about the exact mechanism the government should use to achieve this end, it established a new agency and sanctioned a variety of remedies that farm advocates had been battling over for years. To prevent farmers from planting surplus crops, the AAA levied a tax on flour millers and other crop processors and used the proceeds to pay farmers for taking land out of production.
At the same time, the agency tried to maintain a floor under prices by keeping harvested crops off the market when prices were low. It did this by offering farmers loans secured by their crops at above-market rates, then storing the surplus. If crop prices rose, farmers could repay the loans, redeem their crops, and sell at the higher prices.
Cotton and wheat farmers had already planted their crops by the time the farm bill passed.
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A severe drought on the plains constrained the wheat supply naturally, but AAA officials paid farmers to plow up 10 million acres of cotton. The agency also bought and slaughtered some 6 million piglets and , sows to prevent a future glut of hogs.
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Considered in the aggregate, rural America benefited from New Deal farm policies. Within 18 months of its establishment, the FCA had refinanced one-fifth of all farm mortgages. New Deal officials relied heavily on county-level committees to set production quotas, monitor acreage-reduction contracts, and dispense federal payments. In the South, many of these sharecroppers were African Americans, and so they bore the brunt of such policies.
Tenants, sharecroppers, and farmworkers sometimes fought back—joining groups like the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and the Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union—but such efforts often provoked violent reprisals. Liberals within the Department of Agriculture who pleaded the case of the disempowered were purged. Although the Roosevelt administration did little to keep tenants and sharecroppers on their land, it did establish two agencies ostensibly designed to give impoverished farmers a fresh start.
In , it was absorbed into a new agency, the Farm Security Administration FSA , which established a chain of migrant labor camps and granted low-interest loans to enable some tenants to buy farms. Both agencies, however, faced opposition from farm corporations and southern landlords who wanted to keep their cheap labor. The RA had hoped to move half a million farm families, but ultimately resettled fewer than 5, As FSA photographs and books like The Grapes of Wrath attested, the problems plaguing rural America were not limited to low commodity prices.
Across the nation, uncontrolled lumbering had scarred and depleted forests, while intensive farming had ravaged the land.
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Meanwhile, droughts, wind, and floods depleted the soil. A massive flood on the Mississippi River in inundated thousands of square miles and displaced some , people. To achieve this, New Dealers undertook a variety of initiatives. They retired land, sought to restore forests and soil, engaged in flood control and irrigation projects, and produced cheap hydropower to fuel farms and new industries.
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Cutting across seven states in one of the most impoverished parts of the nation, the TVA brought economic progress and hope to a region that had seen little of either since the end of the Civil War. TVA dams prevented spring floods from displacing residents and washing away topsoil. They also provided ample cheap electricity, which the agency sold to rural co-ops and municipal power systems. TVA experts developed fertilizer, built model towns, upgraded schools and health facilities, planted trees, and restored fish and wildlife habitats.
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In , 2 percent of farms in this region had electricity; by , 75 percent were electrified. Private power companies had long argued that they could not afford to provide electricity to isolated farms and small, rural communities. As a result, many Americans were still living without the benefits of running water, indoor toilets, lights, refrigeration, or labor-saving devices.
In , over the protests of private utilities, New Dealers convinced Congress to establish the Rural Electrification Administration REA , a move that profoundly changed rural lives. The REA sponsored the creation of hundreds of nonprofit electric cooperatives and offered them low-cost loans for generating plants and power lines. In the early s, fewer than one in ten American farms had electricity. By , the number had risen to four in ten.
By , 90 percent of U. When FDR took office, both he and his advisors were convinced that the economy needed a major stimulus, but few agreed on what form that should take. Some businessmen and New Dealers considered the Depression the result of destructive competition.
see They argued for suspending antitrust laws and forging industry-wide agreements that would allow businesses to stabilize prices, end overproduction, and ultimately raise wages. Others, more distrustful of the business community, argued either for stimulating competition or for engaging in national economic planning. This policy discord prevented FDR from taking any action until near the end of his first Hundred Days. When the Senate passed a work-sharing bill that the president opposed, he ordered staffers who favored differing plans to shut themselves in a room and develop a compromise.
New Dealers hoped that the public works spending would jump-start the economy, buying time for the industrial codes to take effect. This unwieldy industrial policy foundered from the start. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, who had been charged with overseeing the PWA, moved with great caution in order to avoid accusations of misusing funds. The cotton textile millers quickly drafted an industrial code, but other industries were slow to follow.
Hugh Johnson, the colorful former general appointed to head the NRA, tried to compensate for this sluggish pace by resorting to the tactics of propaganda and community pressure that had been used successfully by the United States during World War I. This campaign made the NRA one of the most recognized aspects of the New Deal, but it did little to boost employment or improve incomes.
The code-writing process slowly moved forward. Although Johnson and the NRA had been given formal authority over the enterprise, they had no means to enforce compliance. Thus, the largest producers in each industry tended to dominate the proceedings. Mechanisms to fix prices and control production often hurt smaller operators. Code-making panels were supposed to include labor and consumer representatives, but they rarely did. As a result, price rises tended to outpace wage increases. The law eventually produced so many overlapping industrial codes—more than five hundred—that even businessmen complained about NRA bureaucracy.
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Although slow to get started, the PWA ultimately proved more successful. The agency paid higher wages than did other work-relief projects, hired more skilled workers, and drew fewer employees from relief rolls. By focusing on large-scale construction projects, Ickes hoped to stimulate industries that provided materials and components, thus creating jobs indirectly.
Between and , PWA workers built schools, courthouses, city halls, hospitals, and sewage plants. They built the port of Brownsville, Texas; the LaGuardia and Los Angeles Airports; two aircraft carriers; and numerous cruisers, destroyers, gunboats, and planes. Surveying this legacy, one scholar compared Ickes to the Egyptian pharaoh who oversaw construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Those considered unemployable because of age or health were forced to rely on their families or on local welfare agencies.
Historians have argued that the Social Security Act in some ways marked a historic reversal of American political values. By contrast, the Social Security Act created a national system of old-age insurance, while using federal tax incentives to encourage states to set up their own unemployment insurance plans. The act also provided federal matching funds to states for aid to dependent mothers and children, the blind and the physically disabled. Schlesinger Jr. If the Social Security Act was revolutionary in some respects, however, it was deeply conservative in others.
New Dealers had hoped to include national health insurance in the bill, but dropped these plans in the face of intense opposition from doctors. They also exempted both groups, plus employees of small firms, from unemployment compensation. The cost of these exclusions fell disproportionately on women and racial minorities.