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When FDR became president twelve million people were unemployed. Eight years later, eight million people were still unemployed. Does this mean the New Deal failed?

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When FDR became president twelve million people were unemployed. Eight years later, eight million people were still unemployed. Does this mean the New Deal failed? The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's legislative agenda for rescuing the United States from the Great Depression. The Great depression is widely believed to have been caused by the instability of the stock market in the 1920's, due to a rising number of 'speculators'. On October 29, 1929, the crash of the U.S. stock market triggered a worldwide financial crisis. In 1929-1933, unemployment in the U.S. soared from 3 percent of the workforce to 25 percent, while manufacturing output collapsed by one-third. The government at the time, the Republicans, lead by president Herbert Hoover stuck by their policies of laissez-faire and rugged individualism. It was obvious that these policies were not helping the disaster, so in the 1932 elections a democrat president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected. In Roosevelt's inaugral speech, he said 'This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper...Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.' Whether he kept to his word and achieved his goal is what is to be discussed. ...read more.


To some extent, this scheme was a great success as between 1933 and 1935 farmers' income doubled and over-production ceased, but it also failed because the tenants and sharecroppers who lived on the land were evicted and their jobs were taken over by machinery. The Resettlement Administration also helped small holders and tenant farmers who hadn't been helped by the AAA, by moving over 500,000 families to better quiality land and housing. The Farm Security Administration which replaced it in 1937 gave farmers loans and built camps to provide decent living conditions and work for migrant workers. Roosevelt took the opportunity to improve the country's infrastructure whilst impriving it's unemployment rate at the same time.a large part of the natural landscape was conserved as well as many hospitals (35% of the countries), bridges and roads beign built. Also, the Tennessee Valley Authority was a huge success as it completley transforemd the aress, and also cut accorss state power for the first time (although the Supreme Court later ruled it unconsitutional). 35 dams were built, the quality of the soil improved a waterway system and power stations built. Thousands of jobs were created from this scheme as well as the land being conserved and improved health and welfare services provided. ...read more.


In conclusion, whether the New Deal was a success or not, depends on the definition of success. It did not eliminate unemployment completely, it did not eliminate poverty completely and it did not completley recover the economy. So by looking at that, one would say it was a failure. However, it did decreases unemployment by a third, which meant getting 4 million people into jobs who weren't in them before. It also gave people the hope confidence and determination to work and succeed which was so quickly taken away by the Wall Street crash. Although the economy did not completley recover, it was much improved. All these things would have happened eventually, wihtout the New Deal, but they definiteley wouldn't happened as quickly or efficiently. Roosevelt reformed America and its politics in a way that made the country a much better place than it had been in the hands of Hoover. The New Deal was a success, not because it completley eliminated all of America's problems and ended the Depression, because it didn't; but because it changed the way Americans think forever, reformed the system to make it better not just for the generation at the mtime, but for many generations after that and generally improved the country for the better. Success is not all about unemployment figures and the New Deal is a prime example of that. ...read more.

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