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Did Life Improve for Most Americans under Roosevelt?

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Introduction

Did Life Improve for Most Americans under Roosevelt? I will first see if life did get better for most Americans. If life did get better for most Americans I will see if this was mostly Roosevelt's doing or if it was due to other factors out of his control or completely unassociated with him. For some people such as farmers who lived in very remote places the Wall Street Crash and the depression did not affect them. They just grew crops to support them selves or maybe a small community. This people had no reason to have contact with the outside world so they did not know or care that prices had fallen to almost nothing. They could carry on living just by swapping items with each other in their community with out the need for money. This people would have been unaffected by Roosevelt's New Deal or second New Deal. These peoples lives did not get any better in the 1930's because it had not got any worse I the 1920's. Some people who lived in cities did not have an improvement in their lives in the 1930's at all. They lost every thing in the depression and could not get on work schemes or were to ill to be employed. These people had no improvements in their lives and for them the depression carried on into the 1940's. ...read more.

Middle

In 1933 Roosevelt set up the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), its objectives were to increase the proportion on the nations income going to farmers. Farmers were given subsidies in return for their willingness to reduce production. These subsidies were paid from a processing tax on commodities. Congress enacted this legislation because the majority of farm organization leaders favored it. In 1936 the Supreme Court invalidated the Processing tax so the AAA had to be switched to a program of soil conservation. Though the AAA helped it was not until 1941 that farm income reached what it had been in 1929. In 1933 Roosevelt recommended to congress the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), this was a two pronged program. The first was the Public Works Administration (PWA). This had $3,300,000,000 to spend on public works. If this money had just ben poured into the economy then it would have brought about recovery faster, but Roosevelt wanted to make sure it was spent soundly on self-liquidating public works. Because the careful planning of the PWA took time it was not until late in the New Deal that it took affect. The other part of the NIRA was the National Recovery Administration (NRA). This agency was set up to administer codes of fair practice within certain industries. With representatives of each industry it negotiated minimum wages, maximum hours and fair trade practices were established. ...read more.

Conclusion

Booms are when the prices of thing are low and wages are high. This means people spend more. When a bust happens, which was what the Wall Street Crash was prices are high and wages are low, so people don't spend. Normally the Booms and Busts don't reach the extremes of the Wall Street Crash because the government controls them. This is what Roosevelt did once he was in power. As fig. 2 shows the busts always naturally recover and this is what would have happened even if Roosevelt hadn't instigated his policies and Acts. Though Roosevelt did help as fig. 2 shows when a Boom happens the government raises taxes to create a surplus, but when a bust happens the government should spend this money. This is what Roosevelt did though as I have already said it was the Agency directors that actuality distributed and spent the money. From looking at the factors that were out of Roosevelt's control it seems that the depression would have solved it's self anyway and circumstances would have helped any president not only Roosevelt. After looking at both views of whether or not Roosevelt helped or not I have decided that Roosevelt probably did contribute greatly to the end of the depression. Even though the depression was cyclic he still speeded up the process and so brought about the end of the depression. Life did get better for most Americans though not all, but Roosevelt did try to help all Americans and was quite successful. ...read more.

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