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T.Roosevelt and the New Deal.

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What was the New Deal? The idea of a New Deal caught on with the American people. It became the label attached to a programme of government action that began as soon as Roosevelt took office in 1933. In his inaugural address Roosevelt said that he would 'wage a war against the emergency'. His main aim was to provide relief for victims of the Depression and to work towards economic recovery. He also believed that, if recovery was to last, then important areas of American life had to be reformed. The speed of government action surprised many people, especially the amount that was done in the first hundred days. Roosevelt believed in 'bold, persistent experimentation'. There was no overall plan and not everything worked. But the New Deal restored hope and reassured people that the government would take responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. Politically, the New Deal was extremely successful. Roosevelt was re-elected three times and the Democratic Party dominated American politics until 1948. Roosevelt used the powers of the presidency to the full, but he kept within the rules of the American constitution. As a result, the USA avoided a dictatorship like that in Germany where Hitler came to power at around the same time as Roosevelt. The main elements of the New Deal were delivered in two phases - the first hundred days of Roosevelt's presidency and in 1935. Legislation passed in these two phases resulted in the growth of the so-called 'alphabet agencies'. The First Hundred Days (March-June 1933) Roosevelt had promised action and in the first hundred days of his administration', he kept up a hectic pace of activity. During the months between his election (in November 1932) and inauguration (in March 1933), the economic crisis deepened. In particular, bank failures rocketed (4,004 banks failed in the first two months of 1933 alone). FDR's first task, therefore, was to restore confidence in the banking system. ...read more.


Problems caused by the Depression The Wall Street Crash brought the Roaring Twenties to an end and led to a Depression in America. What effect did this have on American society? Here are some examples of how times changed after the Wall Street Crash. 1. President Hoover and the belief in prosperity 2. The growth of shanty towns 3. Food shortages 4. Farming 5. Franklin Roosevelt - a new President President Hoover and the belief in prosperity Herbert Hoover became President in 1928. When the Wall Street Crash happened he tried to reassure Americans that it was just temporary and that 'prosperity is just around the corner'. Although things showed no signs of improving, he was reluctant to help those affected by the Depression. Unemployment rose, homelessness increased, and soup kitchens and bread queues became a familiar sight in American cities, but still Hoover did very little to help. He believed in 'rugged individualism' (people should look after themselves and stand on their own two feet). He appealed to businesses and charities to do what they could to help. By the time his government began to take action in 1932 it was too late. Hoover had lost the trust of the people. 'In Hoover we trusted, now we are busted,' became a popular saying. The growth of shanty towns Hoovervilles were the names given to the areas where homeless people lived in shacks that they had built out of wood, boxes and any other materials that they had managed to find on dumps. Due to unemployment or the loss of life savings, these people could no longer afford to pay their mortgages or rent. They had lost their homes and now had nowhere to live. The fact that these areas were called Hoovervilles shows what the people thought of President Hoover. They even called the newspapers that they covered themselves to sleep with 'Hoover blankets'. ...read more.


This act required full disclosure of information on stocks being sold. The SEC regulated the stock market. Congress also gave the Federal Reserve Board the power to regulate the purchase of stock on margin. Not pleasing for businesses. Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) / Agriculture Adjustment Administration (AAA) In order to help people keep their houses, the HOLC refinanced mortgages of middle-income home owners. The AAA tried to raise farm prices. It used proceeds from a new tax to pay farmers not to raise specific crops and animals. Lower production would, in turn, increase prices. Farmers killed off certain animals and crops as they were told to by the AAA. Many could not believe that the federal government was condoning such an action when many Americans were starving. Declared unconstitutional later on. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (May 1993) The TVA helped farmers and created jobs in one of America s least modernized areas. Reactivating a hydroelectric power plant provided cheap electric power, flood control, and recreational opportunities to the entire Tennessee River valley. Works Progress Administration (WPA) 1935-1943 This agency provided work for 8 million Americans. The WPA constructed or repaired schools, hospitals, airfields, etc. Decreased unemployment. Farm Security Administration (FSA) The FSA loaned more than $1 billion to farmers and set up camps for migrant workers. National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) It legalized practices allowed only unevenly in the past, such as closed shops in which only union members can work and collective bargain. The act also set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enforce its provisions Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 This banned child labor and set a minimum wage. This law was a long awaited triumph for the progressive-era social reformers. Social Security Act This act established a system that provided old-age pensions for workers, survivors benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, and aid for defendant mothers and children, the blind and physically disabled. Although the original SSA did not cover farm and domestic workers, it did help millions of Americans feel more secure. ...read more.

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