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How Successful Was The New Deal?

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Introduction

How Successful Was The New Deal? The New Deal introduced by FDR was supposed to solve the depression and end unemployment. People had lost confidence in America during Hoovers last few months in office, as he did nothing to help, which meant that the situation quickly worsened. When FDR took up the presidency it was said that if he could solve the depression he would be the greatest American leader in history, he replied to this with "if I can't I shall be the last". The New Deal had many success and failures, some of which I have outlined below in answer to the question. ? Industry-The NRA and second New Deal strengthened the position of labour unions against the large American industrial giants. FDR tried to help them and make large corporations negotiate with them. However employers treated them with suspicion and many strikes were broken up with brutal violence in the 1930's. Many companies such as Ford, Republic Steel and Chrysler employed their own thugs or controlled local police forces. ...read more.

Middle

Many farmers were losing their land until the New Deal stepped in and gave loans to farmers so that they did not lose their farms. This meant that thousands of young men could be taken by the CCC out into the countryside to get fit and healthy and to do useful work and by 1937 the AAA had substantially increased farmers' incomes. ? Improvements in welfare provision-The depression forced the US government to form a welfare state and look after the poor, people no longer wanted to be "Rugged Individualists" they saw it as the governments duty to look after them. Social security and other welfare schemes did help many ordinary people and have had lasting effects. Projects such as the TVA brought work and improved the standard of living in deprived parts of the USA. ? For African-Americans-Around 200,000 African-Americans gained benefits from the Civilian Conservation Corps and other New Deal agencies and many benefited from the slum clearance and housing projects. However many New Deal agencies discriminated against African-Americans. They either got no work or received worse treatment or lower wages. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many more businesses may have fallen if more banks had failed. Millions of poor received relief (food, shelter) from the new welfare state, the safety net that America had finally seen as being necessary. The 'Roosevelt Recession' (1937-38) saw unemployment rise again, this caused FDR's sceptics to raise the question "Was the New Deal really working?" seeing as the second the government stopped supporting the plan the whole thing collapsed. After the recession support fell for the New Deal, Americans were no longer behind it 100% and many of the programmes were hampered by opposition that was influential enough to prevent some of the measures that FRD wished to bring in. The New Deal did a lot to help the average white American male, most of the schemes and programmes where aimed at them, however it did very little to help the Africa-Americans, minority groups and women. They were still segregated and discriminated against, they got the worst jobs and less pay and often their relief was not as high as that which others received. It did nothing to improve the civil rights of ethnic groups or to help with equal opportunities. Lizi Moorcraft History August 2001 ...read more.

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