• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Great Depression

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Amit Mehta Final Essay Question # 1 The global crisis of the 1930's world depression elicited a multitude of economic and political responses. In their attempts to confront the situation, both the Unites States and Germany utilized generally varying policies. As two different political systems with contrasting historical backgrounds, the economic and social values both countries attested to varied greatly. As a democracy, the United States approached the Depression with great caution and unwillingness to sacrifice the constitutional foundations in search of a solution. However, the German's, who had only recently suffered under the leadership of the newly formed Weimar Republic, chose a far more totalitarian approach to the crisis. Nevertheless, both nations also demonstrated a great many similarities in their approach to the crisis, particularly in their initial support of monopolies and their strikingly similar agricultural plan. Under the National Socialist Party, a new economic order referred to as the "third way," was introduced to the German nation. Declaring it to be distinct from both socialism and capitalism, the institutional structure was to be based upon the goals of ending unemployment, stopping the hyper-inflationary trend, and rearming Germany. There was also a denunciation of liberal capitalism, favoring instead a system of state controlled capitalism. Hitler utilized a series of four-year plans aimed initially at combating unemployment and eventually at the preparation for war (Kindleberger, 238). Additionally, The Nazi's believed that the interests of the whole must be safeguarded from those of the individual. Though they did not go as far as to dissolve the right to private property, they most certainly circumvented it. When compared to the New Deal policies of the US, the Nazi response to the Depression contrasts sharply in its goals and actions. The Nazi's strove to implement a fascist government and thereby effectively destroy democracy. Furthermore, their policies incorporated the exploitation and eventual annihilation of certain ethnic groups, particularly the Jews. Finally, the overall goal of the Nazi economic system was the preparation and mobilization for of war. ...read more.

Middle

Similar examples of direct action were implemented by the New Deal throughout American cities such as Flint, Michigan. The Depression had uncovered the local and regional government's inability to cope with an economic crisis on such a grand scale. Thus, it was the New Deal which effectively forged a new structural system to deal with the Depression and in the process cultivated the development of substantial changes in both the local administration and the public's outlook concerning relief (Sternsher, 77). Instead of catering to the elites and politicians, the federal government required that each local committee be directed by a trained social worker. Such policies alienated many local officials, as in the case of Flint, whose welfare administrator, Louis J. Ludington, after regaining power in 1938 attempted to undue all that was accomplished under the New Deal. Nevertheless, Ludington's reaction did not represent a community-wide rejection of relief and instead was more of a political response (Sternsher, 81). In truth, the New Deal greatly benefited Flint and similar communities throughout the country. Furthermore, its policies helped change the popular view concerning welfare. As more residents received public assistance, relief no longer was associated with only the pariahs of the community (Sternsher, 80). Instead, people throughout the country increasingly came to view relief as "a right of citizenship, not a symbol of shame" (Sternsher, 81). While the period before 1937 was more concerned with the direct confrontation of social problems resulting from the Depression, the post- 1937 era saw a change in the New Deal and general liberal focus. Furthermore, there was shift from the early New Deal's "social-response." Policy issues were now discussed and modeled by a smaller, more exclusive political sphere. Though issues were confined to the state, they were also not confronted by those outside the smaller group of elites; predominantly liberal policymakers, journalists, and intellectuals. This network of elites was by no means confined to a "cultural or social vacuum." ...read more.

Conclusion

The fallout from the economic crisis proved severe. The general public, who had been left out of the political process found themselves suffering the most from the rampant inflation. Subsequently, they increasingly held little trust in the government and began drifting more towards the political right. In addition, the financial crisis contributed to a general belief in fiscal conservatism. Unfortunately, such an economic standpoint only served to hinder dealing future dealings with the Depression. The 1929 Wall Street crash landed the final blow on the German economic system, taking away the "life preserver of US currency." Due to Germany's reliance upon exports and its low domestic consumer spending, the Depression proved exceptionally debilitating to the German economic system. By 1932, the unemployment rate had reached a high of 33%, already surpassing the US 1933 unemployment rate of 25%. Furthermore, the ad hoc emergency response by the presidential regime proved ineffective. The result of such unproductive leadership was a rising lack of support for the Weimar republic and the rise of Adolph Hitler to the position of Chancellor in 1933. Mnay of the policies, such as the NRA, were perceived to be socialist actions which were undrming the foundation of Amereican capitalism. Thugh these actions may have been criticzed for their socilast inclination, they were evtually handeled by the Suprme e curt andd eclarede uncontituional. This is what made the New Deal a truly democratic response. The country need a leader willing to take risks and stretch govenremnt power, yet the American politcl system's checks and balances kept FDR within certain limits. Through the legislative bodies and Supreme Cout, FDR was kept in line. Furthermore, unlike Germnay which brutally repressed dissent, the New Deal never trely rpressed any patucvlar group or ethiicty. The media and public were allowed to voice their concerns and diaagremements. It was this steght of the public which further chcarterizes the New Deal as truly democratic response. The President and Cngress were publciky elected officlas, thus the descions they made together were the will of the majority and thus in essence democratic. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    In Lasswell's (1936) brutally unvarnished observation, politics is about 'Who Gets What, When, How'. Where organizations are constrained or hemmed in by normative considerations, appeals to logic and rationality do not travel far or reach many receptive ears. Even when political issues appear to be settled and consensus is reached,

  2. The development of fascist doctrine.

    Coupled with these political events was yet another circumstance which conduced to the rapid maturation of Fascist doctrine. Once ensconced in power, Fascism attracted to itself the allegiance of a company of men of substantial intellectual caliber. Immediately upon its advent, Fascism drew upon the services of men of international reputation such as Giovanni Gentile, Corrado Gini, and Roberto Michels.

  1. How and why does Locke explain the creation, value and protection of property?

    that he moulded his political doctrine simply to give individuals private property rights that protect it from royal appropriation and to allow the individual to withdraw his/her consent to be subject under a government at anytime. So, while the concept of men uniting into Commonwealths and putting themselves under Government

  2. "Responsible for remarkable and radical reforms." How justified is this verdict on the Liberal ...

    the business of the State, and though Lloyd George and other "New Liberals" gave the impression of being on a moral crusade, traditional liberal values still dominated the Cabinet and the back benches, and the Government's social legislation was much more a response to pressure than a concerted programme based on a new ideology.

  1. Iran Country Study

    * Faqih - jurist, an expert in Islamic jurisprudence * Fatva - binding religious edict issued by a qualified mojtahed * Hojjatoleslam - "Proof of Islam," clerical rank immediately below ayatollah * Imam - spiritual leader; for Ja'fari Shi'ites one of the 12 infallible heirs to the Prophet descended from

  2. Nigeria Country Study

    But judged another way, the test is only beginning: will Nigeria navigate the legal and political challenges to the election peacefully, in a way that cements rather than undermines its young democracy? Nigeria is relatively far along the road to democracy.

  1. Is the Liberal perspective on world politics too idealistic?

    Liberals believe that human nature is not the cause of war but rather the unorganized international system and the absence of effective IGO's. They argue that international political problems can be dealt by the international community and the sovereignty of a nation does not have to be compromised.

  2. Europe post WW1

    The Treaty of St.Germain and Trianon dealt with Austria-Hungary, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany, which promised Russia back the land lost during the war. This treaty was cancelled though, and no other effort was put into making up for that treaty somehow.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work