The Art of Propaganda and Reawakening Public Confidence During the New Deal

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The Art of Propaganda and Reawakening Public Confidence During the New Deal
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: “always the heart and soul of our country will be the heart and soul of the common man”(Franklin Roosevelt, campaign address, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2, 1940).
The stock market crash of 1929 helped spiral the United States economy into what came to be known as The Great Depression (~1929-1939). During this time the American government was overwhelmed with problems ranging from extremely high national unemployment to natural resource depletion; the United States was in shambles. Franklin D. Roosevelt was faced with many of these issues during his presidency and started a government program to help kick start America’s economy and public optimism; this program was called The New Deal. The New Deal included the creation many smaller government departments and programs. The program focused on in this essay is the Works Project Administration (WPA), but more specifically the Federal Project Number One, which aimed to assist people of the arts out of depression and simultaneously getting into the minds of Americans and regaining their confidence. The Great Depression came at a time when America was at the forefront against the push of communism and even fascism. Americans were loosing confidence in the government as well as having feelings of anger towards the seemingly over-abuse of power. Americans were feeling like their government was tightening in on their freedom. There was also much concern with the “profound changes in the role of the Federal government wrought by the New Deal (The Great Depression and the Arts)”. The House of Representatives established an Un-American Activities Committee to investigate the possibility of procommunist and pro-fascist groups. This made it especially difficult for the FAP because Americans were not only afraid of its affiliations, but also with the unnecessary expenditures of crucial governmental funds. In hopes



Cited: Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Records of the Works Projects Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. 1995. Web. 27 September 2010. Library of Congress. Posters from the WPA. Prints and Photographs Division. 2000. Web. 28 September 2010. University of California Organization of American Historians and The Regents. The Great Depression and the Art. NCHS. 1998. Web. 27 September 2010.

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