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Franklin Roosevelt was first elected President in 1933. He immediately introduced the New Deal to try to overcome the problems facing the USA. Had the New Deal been successful by 1941?

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Introduction

HISTORY GCSE PAPER 1 : COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT. Coursework assignment question: Franklin Roosevelt was first elected President in 1933. He immediately introduced the New Deal to try to overcome the problems facing the USA. Had the New Deal been successful by 1941? Explain your answer. In 1933, America was facing a Depression. Those who were not unemployed were being paid sixty per cent lower wages then before the Great Depression, during the 'boom years' of the early twenties. The fourteen million who were unemployed were forced to live in Hoovervilles after being evicted from their farms or homes, as they could no longer afford the mortgage or loan repayments. Industrial production was down by forty per cent, as there was little investment in industry following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. There were several reasons for the Wall Street Crash. (Wall Street was the New York Stock Exchange) In the early 1920's, the boom years, many people borrowed money to buy shares, making share prices rise. This meant more people bought shares as they thought the company was successful. In 1929, shareholders lost confidence and rushed to sell their shares as they realised companies were doing badly. Share prices dropped, businesses collapsed, and thousands of people were ruined. ...read more.

Middle

However, the 'Trading With The Enemy Act' had not been used by any President since 1918. Roosevelt felt America was now facing emergency circumstances, and it was necessary to again use this Act in order to help him control the situation. On the sixth of March 1933, he ordered all banks to remain closed, while a strategy was formulated in order to help them stay in business. Roosevelt also forbade all Americans to take gold, silver or coins out of America. Many democratic Americans, who had voted for Roosevelt and the New Deal, were pleased that he was taking firm and decisive action. However, those who still had faith in Hoover's idea of 'rugged individualism' were shocked, saying he was behaving like a dictator and was ignoring Congress. On the ninth of March 1933, Congress unanimously passed the Emergency Banking Act, which said only banks that had accurately administered accounts, and enough money would be allowed to reopen. Badly managed, unstable banks must remain closed. This helped to restore public confidence in banks, and people no longer rushed to withdraw their savings, which meant the banking crisis was ended. Roosevelt also felt it was necessary to cut government spending, by reducing the pay of all government employees and armed forces workers by fifteen per cent. ...read more.

Conclusion

These people were then able to buy more goods, such as food and clothing. However, from 1933-41, unemployment never dropped below five million, compared to less than two million in 1929, during the 'boom years' in America. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) was set up on the twelfth of May 1933. This aimed to adjust the amount of food produced by farmers, in order to increase their incomes. Henry Wallace, the Secretary of Agriculture felt if less food were produced, the demand would increase, pushing prices up. The AAA paid farmers to produce less food, by cultivating less land or by reducing the amount of livestock they owned. Quotas were set for most products, and the cotton crop was ploughed into the ground. The AAA also butchered 6 million baby pigs, canning the meat and giving it away free to the unemployed. Americans were horrified at what appeared to be a crazy and wasteful policy. They could not understand why farmers were being paid to produce less food. However, the policy worked as prices rose, increasing profits and incomes for farmers. The only problem was the sharecroppers, who did not own their own land and found there was no more work for them to do after destroying the crops. Many had to look for work elsewhere. - 1 - ...read more.

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