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Roosevelt - The Great Depression

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History: Roosevelt - The Great Depression Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, came from a wealthy New York family and was educated at Harvard University. He entered politics in 1910 and elected Governor of New York State in 1928 after surviving a bout of polio. The Democrats choose Roosevelt as their candidate to oppose Hoover in the 1932 Presidential Election. During the campaign he said, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people". He promised to use government money and power to rebuild the economy. Roosevelt won with a landslide victory. One of the main reasons for this was that the previous President, Hoover, had not controlled, or attempts to help the economic downfall of the United States. Hoover thought matters would right themselves and therefore took little action. In 1932 Hoover did eventually find some money to help a number of struggling banks and businesses, but he refused to set up federal relief programmes to aid the unemployed. As the Depression dragged on, a protest movement developed among the hungry and the unemployed. Many Americans had lost confidence in President Hoover and were looking for new leadership that arrived in the form of Roosevelt. ...read more.


After a bank failed, savers with deposits in other banks rushed to take out their savings from other banks, leading to more banks going bankrupt- A total of 1616 banks in 1932. * Many people affected by the depression organised protests in hope to improve conditions. In Iowa, the farmers union organised strikes to stop food reaching markets. This aimed to create food shortage and increase food prices. Roosevelt took a tough stance towards these areas of difficulty, and in his inauguration speech he stated that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". To affect change in America, Roosevelt need more power than he already had. In 1917 congress had allowed President Wilson to change laws without asking and this 'trading with the enemy" act was still effective when Roosevelt came into power. Roosevelt realised he could use this act to speed the healing process for America's economy. Roosevelt proposed, and Congress passed, a series of measures designed to provide relief for the unemployed and promote economic recovery. Roosevelt also hoped that the New Deal would help America's problems by bringing about a number of long-term reforms. Two days after his inauguration on the 6th of March, Roosevelt ordered all banks to close for a long bank holiday while he and a cabinet worked out a way to solve the problem. ...read more.


The other section on the N.I.R.A was the National Recovery Administration (N.R.A.) which recommended an eight-hour day, together with a minimum wage, to help create jobs. Employers who accepted these recommendations were allowed to display a 'Blue Eagle' sign on their goods. Over 2 million people embraced the new standards and benefited because of it; the public was encouraged to buy only from businesses that had joined the scheme. * Roosevelt's many plans were new, and his kinds of tactics for dealing with depression was regarded as blunt by many people. His other plans however were over-shadowed when he decided to set up the Tennessee Valley Authority (T.V.A.) in order to help a poor, badly eroded region which was also prone to flooding. The T.V.A built a network of dams to control the floods and give the area a supply of cheap electricity. This attracted industry and gradually the whole region began to prosper. * Finally, in 1935, the Social Security Act provided pensions for the elderly and benefits for the unemployed, as well as providing help for dependant mothers and children and the handicapped. Roosevelt brought about partial recovery to the United States with the New Deal and 'Pump priming' strategy. It was not until the Second World War and the demand for American goods however, that the American economy returned to its former prosperity. ...read more.

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