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History coursework: Was the New Deal successful?

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Introduction

History coursework: Was the New Deal successful? Source A is part of a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his campaign for the Presidency of America in 1932. Back then America, which had previously enjoyed an economic boom of prosperity, was gripped in the devastating Depression, a collapse of the economy. The President at the time, Herbert Hoover, was a Republican, and Republicans believed in a 'laissez-faire' policy. This meant that the Republicans would not interfere in industry or business, as he believed that non-interference brought prosperity. Therefore, he did little for welfare and relief to the poor and unemployed. Roosevelt however, promised action in the shape of 'a New Deal for the American people'. This included jobs and relief to the needy. The speech shows Roosevelt's determination to nullify the effects of the Depression with his New Deal. At such desperate times, the American people would accept anything promised to them, so they backed Roosevelt rather than the 'do-nothing' President Hoover. 2 The two sources B and C offer contrasting judgments on the New Deal. Source B was by an American historian in 1945. It states that 3 million young Americans were involved in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), an organization that gave work to people through building dams and replanting forests, for example. Also, he introduced unemployment assistance and old-age pensions, and banned child labour. ...read more.

Middle

The dog example implies men won't 'hunt' if money is given to them, they must go hungry first. He tries to say pay for your food or starve if you can't pay. Source K is from the Secretary of Labour in Roosevelt's government. She says Roosevelt understood the poor were most at danger; she uses the word 'desperate'. She comments that the idea was to use the people to help the people. Government authorities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (or the TVA, which built dams in the Tennessee Valley to rejuvenate industry) revolutionized relationships between local and central government. As a result, communities prospered and grew confident. The two sources disagree because in source J the businessman made money by himself and others should too. He claims that people should earn their bread or starve for being lazy. But in source K the woman claims the New Deal meant people actually did work for their wages. The man says welfare makes it even less likely for people to seek jobs but the woman states that the Deal gave people work rather than welfare and was constructive and advantageous to the community. 7 I think the explanation that the New Deal wasted money, made people depend on welfare, gave government too much power and didn't solve America's financial problems; is a better interpretation of the effects of the New Deal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source J criticizes welfare by saying if people are given money they feel they don't have to work for it, whereas people who are left hungry will be willing to work hard for money. Source D points out that welfare did not reach black people and they are still queuing for relief. Black people had been severely hit by the Depression, most losing jobs as farm laborers. Blacks weren't the only people unemployed by the fall of the farming industry, but they formed the majority. Even Roosevelt's measures to help the industry made more redundancies, because providing fast, efficient, cost-effective machines meant farmers didn't need as many workers. Source C slates Roosevelt heavily, but puts Congress to blame for giving Roosevelt too much power and money, saying, "The only result will be dictatorial government". The source mentions the increase in taxes, the national debt, inflation and unemployment since the Democrats came to power. It ends by stating that the war saved Roosevelt: "By leading his country into war he was able to put every man and woman into work". Disagreement over the Deal is due to its mixed effects on the USA, some saying it saved America and restored confidence, and some arguing that it was very wasteful and damaging to America. My view is that it's true the New Deal did much for America's people, but the War really rescued the country from depression. ...read more.

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