The New Deal And World War II

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The New Deal and World War II both had an effect on race relations in the American West. President Roosevelt’s New Deal was an attempt to fix the hardships of the Great Depression. The Great Depression brought about a change in ideology and opinion that made the New Deal possible because of public support to fix the burdens felt by many Americans, not just whites. World War II brought fear, intolerance and increased racism toward minority groups in the West, specifically Japanese and Hispanic. Class and ethnic differences, as well as wartime tension led to growing hostility between whites and immigrants. However, the New Deal and World War II also improved on previous race relations resulting in shifts in Native American communities, ideology and their place in society. Both the New Deal and World War II were large scale, impactful events that shaped race relations negatively and positively during the first half of the twentieth century.

The Great Depression challenged all Americans, regardless of ethnicity. The Indian New Deal was spearheaded by John Collier, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Collier was an advocate for Indian communities and supported the repeal of the Dawes Act and policies such as forced assimilation. He believed in autonomy for tribes and advocated cultural pluralism, in which minority groups participate fully in the dominant society, yet maintain their cultural identities. Collier was instrumental in ending the loss of Indian land and
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