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'Roosevelt was bold. He told people what he was going to do. And he did it. But he was not bold enough'.

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'Roosevelt was bold. He told people what he was going to do. And he did it. But he was not bold enough' Campaigning for office in 1932 and 33, Roosevelt certainly played to the voters' desire for economic action and recovery. Hoover's policy of staying out of the economy, and this impersonal, possibly reserved approach lost him the election. On the other hand, Roosevelt audaciously launched government projects1 to help stabilise and rebuild the American economy. For instance he backed trusted banks- to make sure these banks wouldn't go bankrupt. In turn, without the hanging sword of bankruptcy, people could spend their money more freely. Source A ties in with this idea of stabilising the economy, as it shows how an American has been helped by Roosevelt's policies; (s)he's got his house back. Roosevelt's policy directly contradicted the idea of normalcy that had gone before him- but was more successful. In terms of reliability, source A is probably a carefully selected letter, from the thousands that Roosevelt received. Not all of them may have been as patronising; but the sheer numbers must be an indicator of how much the nation appreciated Roosevelt's policies. ...read more.


As after 1933, when Roosevelt came to power, unemployment begins to fall. It continues to fall until Roosevelt cuts the New Deal budget in 1938. This budget cut was partly in response to the apparent return of prosperity, but was also a concession to the conservatives. In this way, Roosevelt was giving into other peoples' boldness; he may have thought he had done enough by pouring billions into the economy, but this form of reducing unemployment was more of a quick fix. On the other hand, perhaps Roosevelt saw the imminent war, and so a cheaper way out of the depression may have presented itself. However, on the surface Roosevelt seemed opposed to war: he made many speeches to this effect. Despite this apparent verbal deterrent, economic recovery must have played a part in Roosevelt's decision not to enter the war-, which would have provided a greater deterrent. Source D provides a comedic view on the reforms by Roosevelt to improve working conditions5. Although it is obviously not serious, using doctored figures, but it does show that Roosevelt's policies were controversial: he didn't give into pressure from big companies to allow cheap labour. ...read more.


In this way, to be bold, Roosevelt needed to conform in some areas in order to be bold in others. Besides, extremism was not necessarily a good thing- the same depression brought Hitler into power, with obvious consequences. Roosevelt was bold in that he stayed within the lines of government, and so remained in power for longer; possibly he thought a gradual change would be more accepted than if he passed a radical amendment, and so lost his office. However he allowed his own belief in the American Dream to be suppressed: he failed to outlaw the lynching of black Americans, due to a lack of support from the South. Because of this, I believe that Roosevelt was only just bold enough, as he could have done more with the support he had. He may have thought he could do more over time, but his support could only fall over time: if he was to act on key issues, he should have done it around 1935. 923 words 1 The Emergency Banking Act 2 From Ben Walsh, Modern World History. 3 The Civilian Conservation Corps 4 According to Ben Walsh the spending totalled around $15 billion 5 Through the National Recovery Administration. Mark Ponsford Page 1 5/9/2007 ...read more.

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