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How successful was the New Deal and why has it been the subject of so much controversy?

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According to C. Vann Woodard, "Franklin D. Roosevelt and his new deal have been both credited with recovery from the depression and blamed for the failure of recovery'. How successful was the New Deal and why has it been the subject of so much controversy? Franklin D Roosevelt introduced the New Deal with the aim to help improve the conditions within America and to bring the country out of the great depression. To do this Roosevelt needed to consider what would not only stop the depression but also to prevent a re-occurrence. After the event of the Wall Street Crash people were left living in unsuitable conditions and most were unemployed, to overcome this Roosevelt had to introduce acts, which would help the condition of the population and regain trust. Within the first one hundred days of the New Deal Roosevelt had closed the banks for four days and passed the Federal Emergency Relief Act, this gave the treasury power to investigate all banks threatened with collapse, although this did not help any of those already affected by the wall street crash, it prevented any more banks from suffering and helped gain trust back into the banking system. ...read more.


The TVA was used to build 20 dams to control floods to encourage schemes such as tree building to stop soil erosion, to encourage farmers to use more efficient means of cultivation and to produce hydroelectric power to nearby areas. On the surface it seems that the New Deal contributed a lot to the recovery of the Great depression however the was areas where's Roosevelt's decisions were criticised by not providing enough action when it was needed. This has led to much controversy; supporters of the New Deal believe the government should have intervened and argue that FD Roosevelt took the most effective action he could have done whilst sticking by his own belief, however critics of the New Deal have argued Roosevelt took too much action and should have remained to a Liase- Faire society. This was not the opposition Roosevelt received. Even the United States Supreme Court found that several of FDR's agencies created during the hundred days were unconstitutional. This action turned the Supreme Court into an immense obstacle that Roosevelt would have to cope with during his presidency. ...read more.


In 1934, he voiced the opinion that FDR was not going far enough. Coughlin was specific in calling for silver inflation, but was vague on other issues, offering no real solutions. His broadcasts attacked international bankers, Communists, labour unions, and Roosevelt's administration, as unemployment remained high. And, thirdly, Huey Long took part in the Share Our Wealth Movement by demanding that the government allow every family to get an annual income of $2,000 and a homestead or $6000 to build a home. To pay for this, the government would have to nationalise all banks. While the New Deal did much to lessen the worst affects of the Great Depression, its measures were not enough to restore the nation to full employment. Conservatives argue, for example, that it went too far, and brought too much government intervention in the economy, while those on the left argue that it did not go far enough, and that in order to be truly effective, the Roosevelt Administration should have engaged in a far more comprehensive program of direct federal aid to the poor and unemployed. But the New Deal's greatest achievements transcend sheer economic statistics, the New Deal offered hope and restored the faith of the American people. ...read more.

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