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The New Deal – Reforming to Preserve

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The New Deal - Reforming to Preserve "To preserve we have to reform." This sums up the proposal of the new deal. When Roosevelt took the presidential oath, the banking and credit system was in a state of paralysis. Roosevelt, who in 1932 had beaten Hoover in a landslide presidential triumph, launched an agenda of legislation. This presented the government with a central role in coping with the depression effects. Colossal amounts of public money were spent and most Americans supported this. By 1933, millions of Americans were out of work. Bread lines were a common sight in most cities. Hundreds of thousands roamed the country in seek of food, work and shelter. "Brother, can you spare a dime?" Went the catchphrase of a popular song. In 1933, the new president, Franklin Roosevelt, brought an air of confidence and optimism that quickly rallied the people to the banner of his program, known as the New Deal. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," the president declared in his introductory address to the nation. The great depression had a considerable impact on the banking system in America. Within a few years, a fifth of all banks were closed. ...read more.


In 1933 however, industry had almost ground to a halt. Many workers set up trade unions to try to raise wages. As the first one hundred days came to a close, Roosevelt produced two more important reforms. The Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) and the National Industrial Recovery Act. The HOLC helped homeowners to keep up with their mortgage repayments by lending them low interest rate loans. The National Industrial Recovery act had two key parts the Public Work Administration (PWA) and the Nation Recovery Administration. (NRA) General Johnson drew up fair codes of competition. The NRA wore the symbol of the blue eagle. " We do our part." The aims of the NRA were to encourage companies to raise wages and charge fair prices for products. A fair exchange, some profit but not excessive amounts, was the NRA's motto. People refused to buy products without the blue eagle logo; this meant the majority of companies joined the NRA. The NRA also stopped child labour and the lowest wage possible. By September 1933, over 500 industries had signed the NRA codes. They covered 2 million employers and 22 million workers. There was a famous march down Fifth Avenue as people sang," Happy days are hear again" Nevertheless, the problems arose when employers e.g. ...read more.


The New Deal did create temporary jobs between the early and mid 1930's with the WPA, CAA and others. This helped ease the low moral and meant men could feed and clothe their families. The dilemma was, it was complicated to hoist employment with such a devastated economy. Nobody had any conviction in the American economy or stock market, so little to no investments were made. After the AAA intervened, farmer's income increased by 50%. The film industry produced role models and relieved some of the depression. There were changes that are still practised today. In Europe many vast grain mountains are produced as crops are slashed to keep prices high, a stable banking system, insurance, welfare system, pensions and working standards were all produced during the depression. In my eyes the cornerstone was the social security act of 1935, which created general insurance for the aged, unemployed and disabled. The Wagner Act is the foundation of all labour rights. By the trade unions setting rules on staff holidays, working hours, and setting minimum wages, a sense of security was produced. Roosevelt did save America from rugged individualism and reformed the distorted economy, by raising agricultural prices and starting the ball of industry turning. He won four presidential elections and is regarded by many as one of the greatest American presidents. ...read more.

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