The Rise and Fall of the National Industrial Recovery Act

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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 relied in great part on government-business co-operation” (Schlesinger, Jr. 271). This behavior in the Roosevelt administration had worked until the President confronted with new business moods in the end of 1934. The main cause was the person in control of the National Recovery Act. Industrialists became to see General Johnson as a dictator, who was trying to keep the businessmen under pressure. Johnson’s personal behavior, drinking problems, and the way he forced industrialists to create certain codes contributed to disaffection with him inside and outside the White House. There were rumors about his affair with former Democratic secretary Frances Robinson, who helped Johnson when his career was at stake. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, estimated that Robinson made about half of the decisions that the General was supposed to have made, because he was intoxicated. Moreover, his forcing attitude against industrialists was not helping either on the NRA’s judgment. The NRA staff was among Washington’s most skilled experts in the emerging ar... ... middle of paper ... ...rtime legislations were far more dangerous than the NRA ever had been. After the press conference the question of his Brain Trust was how they should have kept the NRA’s principles alive. In contrast with the workers, most of the organized business groups found satisfaction on the Supreme Court’s decision. They declared that the NRA was from the beginning an unqualified failure. “It did little to improve economic conditions and may have been retarded recovery” (Finegold and Skocpol 3). NRA codes provoked conflicts between organizations of different regions. Moreover, businessmen and workers were fighting about the interpretation of the NIRA’s Section 7(a), and how it protected the workers in the industries. In conclusion, the NRA programs had not only positive, but negative effects on the American society and the relationship between industrialist and citizens.

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