Essay about America in 1934

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America in 1934


In the Midwest, farmers were losing their land to mortgage foreclosures. American tourist deaths were attributed to a terrorist attack. A president known for his effective use of the media governed the United States. The U.S. cooperated in a change of government in the Philippines. Parents and churches criticized motion pictures for eroding American morals. And Appalachian State, after setting a new enrollment record, received favorable publicity in a national magazine. Sound familiar? Think again; you're 55 years off. The year was 1934 in the U.S.A.

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, provided relief funds to just under seventeen million Americans to offset "the
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The air mail mistake "weakened public confidence in [Roosevelt] more than any other event in [his] first New Deal year" (Phillips 194).

An anonymous artist calling himself "Jere Miah II" contributed "Nightmare of 1934," a four-by-eight-foot canvas, to the Westchester (N.Y.) Institute of Fine Arts. The painting featured President Roosevelt with a vulture perched on his shoulder and holding a fishing line with a sucker at its end and a bouquet of microphones in his other hand. His advisors were pictured as "green monsters with swollen heads," and Cabinet and Roosevelt family members were caricatured. When crowds thronged to view the painting, the museum president placed it on a separate wall and charged twenty-five cents admission ("Poor White's Art" 33).

A group of "Northern industrialists and disaffected Democrats" formed the American Liberty League as an anti-New Deal political party. Because the party represented wealthy interests, it never gained labor and farm support. Often voters reacted to Liberty League positions by increasing their support of Roosevelt programs (Leuchtenburg 54). The 73rd Congress passed a bill to provide the Philippines full independence after a ten-year trial period of self-government ("In Extremis" 11). The Supreme Court, deciding an appeal by the Schechter Poultry Company in Brooklyn, declared the National Recovery Administration (the NRA) unconstitutional. The decision…

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