Poverty and Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Farm Security Administration

By Sidney Baldwin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
CREATIVE CRISIS: THE RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION

It is precisely the function of the executive to facilitate the synthesis in concrete action of contradictory forces, instincts, conditions, positions, and ideals.

CHESTER I. BARNARD1. The Functions of the Executive

If ever there was a time for the leaders of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to exercise the function of social consolidation, that time was the spring of 1935. Whether Rexford G. Tugwell and other New Dealers realized it at the time or not, they were faced with the fact that the Roosevelt administration reached a watershed in 1935. The rising hurricane being stirred on the flanks by Senator Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, Milo Reno, Dr. Francis Townsend and other demagogues of the right and left made it more difficult for Franklin D. Roosevelt to travel his middle course. Conservative members of Congress were beginning to escape the constraints of the depression's darker days. The congressional election of 1934 had strengthened the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill, giving Congress a more determined leftward cast and height-

____________________
1.
Chester I. Barnard, The Functions of the Executive ( Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1948), p. 21.

-85-

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