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How successful was the New Deal?

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Introduction

How successful was the New Deal? The New Deal was a group of laws that Roosevelt passed from 1933 to help the American economy recover from the Depression. They were designed to stimulate the US industry and get more people working. During the first one hundred days, President Roosevelt passed more laws than President Hoover did during all of his time as President did. Roosevelt tried to restore public confidence in the Government. At his inaugural speech to the USA, President Roosevelt claimed "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". One of the laws Roosevelt passed in the first 100 days was the Banking Relief Act that closed banks for three days. This restored people's faith in the banks and the banking crisis was over. He used frequent 'fire side chats', radio broadcasts, informing people of legislation of the New Deal in simple explanations. The people believed they had a president who understood their problems. During this period a number of 'Alphabet Agencies' were set up. These included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), Tennessee Valley Authority (TWA) and the Public Works Administration (PWA). These provided work for unemployed young people, helped the environment, stimulated the economy and helped the factories recover. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was a controversial one. ...read more.

Middle

Roosevelt won a landslide but people like Senator Alfred Landon claimed the New Deal was undermining traditional US initiative and self-reliance. He was a Republican candidate. There were many people who supported Landon and saw the recent legislation as limiting their powers. During 1933 and 1938, many government agencies were created and the number of civil servants rose from 500,000 to more than 850,000 and new federal buildings appeared in Washington DC. This extension of federal government activity shocked Republicans, big businesses and the Supreme Court. It was to believed to undermine individualism. It was also thought to be Socialism - political philosophy that aims to create a more equal society by redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor, though this is known as 'robbing the rich to pay the poor'. One major result of the New Deal was the strikes of 1934. Unionisation tended to increase strikes and factory leaders tried to stop their workers from joining unions. This was illegal, but many sacked workers tried to start unions. The most popular person to oppose the New Deal was Senator Huey Long of Louisiana. He claimed the USA should have a redistribution of wealth. He had a 'Share Our Wealth' scheme which called for the federal government to guarantee every family at least $5000 in annual income. ...read more.

Conclusion

Roosevelt asked Congress for $3.8 billion to help financial recovery. The New Deal helped restore the USA's economy and the TVA was successful. The New Deal brought relief, employment, and helped the USA believe in the government again. It's proven that American's were better off in 1938 than 1932. The New Deal helped democracy in the USA but the New Deal wasn't that successful. Roosevelt concentrated more on tension in Asia and Europe and the New Deal started to grow to a halt. Only when World War 2 begun did America grow out of the recession. There were still 6 million unemployed. However, as you would expect, the New Deal could only work for a certain time, and by the end of 1940, the New Deal was having very little effect. Some believe the actions of the Government were revolutionary, contrary to US ideas. The idea that the government was responsible for the new economic and social welfare had been accepted, creating a view that it was a turning point in US history. Some people argue the Second World War restored the US economy - and not Roosevelt. The jobs were permanent and the expansion of armed forces meant people could return to work. Another view is the New Deal was relatively successful in creating jobs and it gave a spirit of optimism. It is believed the US went down a 'road of Fascism' ...read more.

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