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The Rise And Fall Of The National Industrial Recovery Act

1803 words - 8 pages

From the very beginning in his career Franklin D. Roosevelt was critical of businessmen even if he himself was trying to get higher in business before his political career started. He said in 1911 that “business must get out of politics”. The twenties confirmed the belief in him that the government should have taken over the control over the American economy from the businessmen. By the year of 1933 when the NIRA became law, it was a firm belief in the United States that Roosevelt was a traitor to his class. However, he never went straight against the leader of the bigger industries in his campaigns. His aim was as his Brain Trust advised him to be a collaborator: “The New Deal of 1933 had ...view middle of the document...

Criticism about Johnson’s work was frequent.
The most resonant criticism was delivered by Cornelia Pinchot, the wife of Pennsylvania’s progressive Republican governor, Gifford Pinchot… She related how local officeholders beholden to steel and coal companies in her state had physically ejected her from public venues when she attempted to educate workers about their rights under Section 7(a). (Hiltzik 261)
Mrs. Pinchot criticized Johnson for failing to punish two industrialists, Ernest T. Weir, who allowed elections on his plants only for company unions, and Edward G. Budd, who disregarded an NRA order to settle a strike by allowing a union election. Neither of them lost their Blue Eagle, which meant the NRA’s support, which was usually the punishment for smaller manufacturers who did also not keep the codes. Because these confrontations and Johnson’s conflicts with Robert Wagner, Roosevelt tried to save the NRA’s reputation by influencing Johnson to resign. From then on, the NRA was to be placed in the hands of Richberg and his deputies. In A Fireside Chat a few days after Johnson’s resignation Roosevelt made it clear that he intended to continue the NRA programs in a new form, on the base of the past fifteen months’ experience. Hugh Johnson’s program would remain long after his resignation, leaving a negative influence on the New Deal industrial policy.
At a meeting in January, 1935 the country’s leading industrialists and economists gathered together to discuss the current economical situation. Among others there was Wendell L. Willkie of Commonwealth, Bruce Barton, and Colby Chester: all of them main figures of the politics in the 1930’s. Raymond Moley and Rexford Tugwell, who was Roosevelt’s right hand, noticed during the meeting that the businessmen’s reactions were not constructive; furthermore, they accused the administration of leading the country into fascism. They believed that with the NRA, the government, especially General Johnson, received the broad executive power that Roosevelt was asking for in his inaugural speech, which endangered the free American economy and democracy. So, those businessmen, who were silent in 1933 and even in 1934 when they were not satisfied with the NRA started to regain full power of speech.
When in April, 1935 the United States Chamber of Commerce held its meeting, the behavior of businessmen changed: they were capable of expressing their anger toward the government. At this meeting it was clear for the Roosevelt administration that the idea of co-operation between the government and the businessmen was no longer working. The gap between the bigger businessmen from the cities and the smaller ones from the towns sharpened in this year. The former group intended to fight against Roosevelt and fascism. The other group was filled up with less-educated businessmen, who did not fully understand the government’s steps, and they felt hurt by the administration. However, they were fighting for the United...

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