Evaluate the impact of the labor movement and radicalism on the 1930s.How did they influence American political and cultural life?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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A long believed facet of American life was in some ways under seige as the huge numbers of poor and unemployed in the 1930s rebelled against the groups they felt responsible, and in part to combat those groups formed labor groups that were sometimes political and sometimes more mob-ish.  These groups rioted in many cities and eventually gained such political power that they were in some ways co-opted by the democratic party and served to bring a very large democrat majority to Congress and eventually into the White House in 1933.

One of the short term effects of this upheaval was the passage of the New Deal legislation which basically meant more money for relief of poverty and efforts to create jobs.  The real turnaround economically did not come until the build up to WWII and the huge increase in production during and after the war, but the impetus began in the early 30's with these labor movements.

One of the long term social effects was the idea that the government was willing to help those who couldn't find jobs, etc., but it created an idea that has been bandied about politically since then which is the redistribution of wealth, taxing the rich to help the poor.  Even today this is a hot topic and is almost always held up in that fashion but rarely is it discussed in the way it was in the 30's which was that the government had in so many ways helped to prop up the great industries and their rulers that they now owed some of that money back to the little people upon whose backs the industry was built.

This was such a radical idea at the time, and one that was even radical to some of those it benefited who for years prior to the early 30's had been completely willing to accept their fate as the American ideal was strong in them which suggested that if you couldn't find work or a way to get by it was your own fault.

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