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The New Deal USA

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TO WHAT EXTENT WAS THE NEW DEAL (1933 - 1937) A SUCCESS? The New Deal was an economic policy issued by F.D Roosevelt in response to the to the crash of the U.S stock market in the early 20th century and subsequent rising number of unemployed American's due. Despite its good intentions, the New Deal received numerous criticisms from writers and politicians after the first 100 days. However, it also gained much praise and was thought to be one of Roosevelt's finest policies by the forgotten man of America. In order to determine whether the New Deal was a success, both contemporary and modern sources need to be analyzed. The New Deal can be considered a success due to Roosevelt's ability to restore confidence in the American people. O'Callaghan states Roosevelt was seen by many as "God in this country"1 which is supported by Zinn who affirms that "Roosevelt [was] a hero to millions" in Source G. Source D shows the forgotten man receiving government attention and help which inevitably presented the everyday man of America with a sense of hope and unity. People trusted Roosevelt and therefore put their faith in the New Deal as it was offering jobs - although generally minor work - which allowed American families to continue with the idea established by their Founding Fathers of rugged individualism. It was this that resulted in Roosevelt's re-election, an election where he received the largest majority vote in American history, in 1936 as he was considered an "unassailable hero"2. ...read more.


Source I confirms this as in 1934 there were roughly 4000 failures in the banks which dropped to almost to no failures in the next six years. Although the graph does show a rapid decrease in banking failures at time of the New Deal's establishment, Traynor states that it was the Roosevelt that brought U.S back into prosperity, but "ironically it was the war"4. The New Deal policies "functioned in a pro-business manner"5 according to Conkin, but New Deal economists claim that Roosevelt's policies hurt many businesses as prices fell by on average by 20%. Furthermore, historians view the Second New Deal as increasingly anti-business than the previous policies and Radosh describes in Source H that still the "generation remembers the animosity with which many in the business community greeted Roosevelt". Although, the New Deal may have been established in favour of businesses, it failed to demonstrate this or help the struggling businessmen. On the other hand, the New Deal has been interpreted by many contemporary and modern historians as an unsuccessful policy as it did not conquer the problem of unemployment and many jobs were temporary. From Source I it is evident that the decrease in unemployment from 1933 was only short-term as unemployment increased to 10.5m after 1937 and only started to reduce at quick rate once World War II began. This is supported by Traynor who states that "by 1938 over ten million were once again without work"6 and Source A which ...read more.


Some historians have estimated unemployment figures to have risen to rough 12 million during the recession although Source I states only 10.5m. Manufacturing was also affected as output fell by 37% so that it fell to the same levels witnessed in 1934. The recession had dramatic effect upon American's as many began to lose trust in Roosevelt's ability to stabilise the economy and promote a healthy economic growth. The New Deal can be seen as unsuccessful due to the government's inability to control the economy and Roosevelt's overspending. However, the recession was caused when Roosevelt stopped spending in 1936, as Coughlin states "it is either Roosevelt or ruin"9, which implies that the New Deal was helping to preventing soaring unemployment figures and an absolute economic crash. In conclusion, it can be seen that the New Deal was a failure as it added extra tension to the recovery of the U.S economy. It did, however, offer hope and unity to many Americans who were suffering after the Wall Street Crash (1929) and many felt as though the government was trying to help them personally. Its main success was due to Roosevelt's charismatic appeal in which he pushed the New Deal forward. Many Americans trusted him and despite problems that occurred, they continued to put their faith in him. However, on a strictly economic stance, the New Deal was primarily a drain on government funds and subsequently resulted in the 'Roosevelt Recession' and can, therefore, be declared unsuccessful. It was not until World War II, that the economy witnessed a healthy and long-term growth. ...read more.

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The student has written an answer that uses lots of very specific evidence and responds very well to sources. The question is general but the answer is detailed, explicit and focused for the whole piece. The section ...

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Response to the question

Response to question
The student has written an answer that uses lots of very specific evidence and responds very well to sources. The question is general but the answer is detailed, explicit and focused for the whole piece. The section that deals with unemployment statistics and begins with a quote from O'Callaghan uses a very precise selection of evidence, which is useful because it displays that the student not only understands what happened but they can prove it to the examiner by using relevant examples.

Level of analysis

The student responds excellently to sources by ranging across them and integrating quotes from them into their sentences. Most students have little trouble with this, but this student is also adept at using their own statistical knowledge and maintaining this standard throughout the essay, which is an area students often struggle with. Students often struggle with this because it is difficult to remember lots of statistics, dates or people for lots of different historical events. A good way to combat this is to remember evidence that can be used in lots of different discussions: this student has used the 8m unemployed figure, which could be used not just in relation to success of the New Deal but also if the question was on the technicalities of FDR's economic policy, the impact of the Second World War etc. The student is excellent at combining awareness of historical debate with use of the sources, which is important as it shows they are able to understand interpretations but back them up with evidence, which is crucial to access higher mark bands. This leads to a balanced conclusion, which shows the student can understand which of the different interpretations is the better one and why. The conclusion just doesn't summarise what has been said but it explains the main advantages and disadvantages of the interpretations, and this provides the sustained judgement (keeping it up through the whole essay) that examiners look for.

Quality of writing

The spelling, grammar and punctuation is relatively good, although the student makes a repeated apostrophe error with the word "American's", such as "...they provided many American's with...". The essay would benefit from the use of more technical vocabulary such as "causal factor", which demonstrates a strong understanding of key historical concepts that would be appropriate for A level standard work. Although this student shows a clear understanding, more specialised technical vocabulary would have shown the examiner that the student is in no doubt about what they know. The presence of marker words such as "although" in the essay allows the student to demonstrate their understanding of alternative interpretations.

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