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Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal - Why did the American people support Roosevelt in the 1932 election?

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Introduction

Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal Question one, Why did the American people support Roosevelt in the 1932 election? There were three main reasons why people supported Roosevelt; the failures of his opponent and predecessor, Herbert Hoover, his policies and his election campaign. The major failing of Herbert Hoover, which gave Roosevelt an advantage in the election, was that he didn't appear to offer any help to the country in it's state of economic crisis. Being a Republican he believed the government should stay out of people's lives and that handouts would make Americans lazy and only dependant on more handouts. Roosevelt draws on this in his speeches, when in source A it states "Delay, deceit" it is referring to the delay of any action on Hoover's part. Roosevelt also says that Hoover was deceitful and lied to the people of America when he told them that prosperity is just around the corner. This led Hoover to be seen in public opinion as a do-nothing president, many Americans wanted action. The fact that Franklin D Roosevelt was offering what was seen as radical action made hi policies very appealing. He promised a "New Deal", intervening in people's lives, increasing taxes to provide benefits. "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." He called it a "crusade to restore America." Roosevelt was a good public speaker and prior to the election he toured the USA giving speeches. ...read more.

Middle

By depicting Roosevelt throwing out these ideas it shows that the cartoonist is in favour of Roosevelt and his new deal. The figure walking away, who is supposedly Herbert Hoover shows how Hoover was finished and walking away into obscurity. The last source similar to the first one is against Roosevelt but is giving a different message. The cartoonist in source G is criticising Roosevelt by saying he doesn't know what he's doing. The doctor in the cartoon is Roosevelt and the patient is " Uncle Sam" who is representing America. All the different medication bottles represent all the agencies Roosevelt set up but he's unsure which, if any will work. The doctor is shown saying to his nurse, representing congress "of course we may have to change remedies if we don't get results." Question five, Study sources H and I. Which source is more useful as evidence about public opinion towards the new deal? Both sources have their advantage's and disadvantages, however I would say source I is more useful of the two. This is because although source H tells us some of the things Roosevelt did "The bank agreed to let our loan go for a while longer...Your man got it back for us" it doesn't give all that much insight into public opinion as it only proof of one opinion. It may tell us that one man agreed with and supported Roosevelt but there's no solid evidence that he represents the general public. ...read more.

Conclusion

Interpretation 2 also argues that the new deal did not solve America's economic problems and that the second world war did that. This interpretation is supported by facts and figures from my own knowledge because before America entered the war production levels were dropping once more and unemployment was rising only with the America's entrance into the war did an end to unemployment appear. As source C says " The war rescued him (Roosevelt) and he seized upon it...By leading his country into war he was able to put every man and woman into work." In conclusion I think this interpretation, interpretation 2, is better supported by the evidence presented in the sources and my own knowledge. It is a better interpretation than the first because it is more precise whereas interpretation 1 is too vague to be supported solidly by the evidence. Few of the sources say the new deal gave people confidence and self-respect and no source can prove that it did. In fact several contradict it directly for example source J says "The new deal hurt us" However the points made in interpretation 2 can be proven and there is solid evidence to do so. Also it says that the new deal helped to lift America from its state of depression, but as I explained above the new deal couldn't solve the economic crisis in America. It was only with the U.S. A's entrance into the second world war that truly put America back on track as is said by interpretation 2. Jennie Agg History Coursework ...read more.

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