New Deal for Minorities: Women, Blacks, and Indians



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F.D.R.’s New Deal created a new voting coalition for African Americans, women, and Native Americans. This was known as a social investment in the American Society.

The call for a new Indian policy and also of the negative result of the Great Depression on native peoples which led to a sequence of new laws known as the “Indian New Deal”. John Collier, Commissioner of Indian affairs, helped create the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. It restored some land and gave Native Americans the power to control land and allowed them to elect their government.  This was the first time many natives were given the basic rights of American citizenship.

The New Deal employed men and women over age twenty-four in a growing range of projects.  With a $4 billion budget, it represented the largest budget in American history to that point.  Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, submitted a plan to Congress.  The plan passed by Congress in 1935, established a system of unemployment, disability, and old age insurance financed by payroll taxes and a mandatory employee donation. Perkins created Social Security and the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new deals labor programs helped bring workers into the coalition.

African Americans were affected by unemployment; they were always the first to be fired and the last to be hired. Roosevelt began a new deal for the economy to recover. It was a relief on African Americans that were unemployed and defined a minimum wage for black workers. With the relief of the programs, it made Roosevelt popular with the African Americans. The first lady Eleanor Roosevelt was more compassionate with blacks causes. After World War ll, Roosevelt ordered the justice department to not only pass the Anti-Lynching laws but to also begin to enforce the ending of forced labor in the South. This began a legacy of Civil Rights for the Democratic party.