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Explain the main features of the New Deal

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Introduction

Vicki Smith 11WAN Coursework Explain the main features of the New Deal In the 1930s America hit its worst slump in history, in attempt to get Americans back to work, protect savings and property, and to provide relief for the sick, old and unemployed Roosevelt created the New Deal. The three main aims were relief, recovery and reform. The first period of Roosevelt's presidency was named 'The First Hundred Days', during this first hundred days Roosevelt worked around the clock to get America back on its feet. The first law to be passed was the 'Emergency Act', it meant that banks with properly managed accounts and with plenty of cash would be allowed to re-open. The 'Economy Act' was the next law to be passed. Nearly a billion dollars were saved when Roosevelt cut the pay of the government and cut budgets of government departments. The 'Beer Act' was later passed to make the manufacturing and selling of beer legal again. Roosevelt gained the trust of the Americans by his 'fire-side chats'; Roosevelt would talk over the radio to people in the country. Roosevelt set up various government agencies designed to help the American people. They were called the 'Alphabet Agencies'. One of the main aims of the alphabet agencies was to cut down unemployment. New public buildings, bridges and schools were many of the things built during the New Deal, it employed thousands of construction workers to build them. ...read more.

Middle

It was aimed at sharing all the wealth from the rich to the poor. He promised every American a home worth $5,000, an annual income of $2,500, a car, a radio and a better education. Huey Long hoped to stand in the 1936 Presidential Elections after gaining 7 million supporters but he was assainated in September 1935. Dr Townsend's aims were focused on the elderly. Many savings were lost when the banks collapsed. Townsend's idea was to provide a pension of $200 per month. Father Coughlin set up his own National League for Social Justice in 1934. He attacked bankers and Jews. He also made personal threats on President Roosevelt. Women hardly benefited from the New Deal, most of the New Deal was aimed at manual and construction labour, in those days only seen as the work of men. During the 1930s the number of women unemployed went down, this was due to them being seen as cheap labour, their wages were half of what the men earned. Local governments avoided the task of paying out social security to women; they delayed it by introducing special qualifications and conditions concerning women. Throughout the New Deal blacks remained second-class citizens. In the New Deal, isolation in education, transport and public places was still continued, racism and discrimination against blacks still remained. Roosevelt's argument against this was that to make the New Deal successful he needed the help of Democratic congressmen in the South, these of which strongly opposed civil rights to blacks. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall I think that the New Deal was a success to a certain extent. America definitely benefited from some of the schemes of the New Deal and Roosevelt still remained very popular with the citizens of America but I think that a lot of Roosevelt's success depended on the failure of Herbert Hoover. Hoover refused to solve the problems of the depression; he insisted 'prosperity is just around the corner'. Hoovers tactics were described as 'too little, too late'. If Hoover hadn't ran away from the problems facing his country would Roosevelt be as popular? I think all Roosevelt did was restore the American Dream back into people's heads. By giving back confidence to the Americans they felt like they were getting out of the depression and back onto the right track. In the beginning Roosevelt was confident of victory against Hoover in the 1932 elections yet he still toured the country giving speeches and promising the nation a New Deal, this seemed as if he really did want the best for America but still his ideas were vague and general. When Roosevelt created the New Deal it seemed as if he was helping them, getting stuck in straight away. I doubt the New Deal was thought through properly, the money they were giving out and the promises Roosevelt was giving were not going to last forever. Many of Roosevelt's laws weren't permanent. By the end of it one third of the nation became the New Deals 'unfinished business'. ...read more.

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