Roosevelt and the New Deal.

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History Coursework – Roosevelt and the New Deal.

A. In 1932, Roosevelt was elected as new president of USA. His idea of the ‘new deal’ was set up to get the American people out of depression and to get the economy back and running, using Relief, recovery and reform. To do this, Roosevelt felt it was up to the government to help.

The immediate thing Roosevelt did was to set up a 4 day bank holiday. This therefore stopped people taking money out of the banks, which would have forced them into bankruptcy. A temporary banking act was set up by the government which lent money to keep banks open. Unreliable banks that were unlikely to stay open closed to gain public trust. Roosevelt placed emergency action, and by doing this wanted to show the public that he was trying to help. Roosevelt convinced the public to put their money back and have confidence in the banks.  Roosevelt used the radio to tell the Americans what he was doing. He called these broadcasts ‘fireside chats’. By using this term he hoped that Americans would think he was talking to them directly, addressing their individual problems. Roosevelt wanted to be seen as one of the people, understanding their needs. In this way he hoped to reassure people and thus increase confidence. This changed the traditional ‘laissez-faire’ view on life of doing nothing and letting the economy sort its self out, which Hoover took up.

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Short-term acts were set up to provide relief. This included such things as soup kitchens for the homeless that couldn’t afford basic foods. Emergency relief prevented people from starving, and jobs were provided for as many people as possible.

Another feature was the Agriculture Adjustment Act that aimed to stop farmers overproducing food. Farmers were given money to stop making food because they were producing too much (therefore driving the prices down) and nobody bought it and so all went to waste. This raised the prices and meant farmers earned more money.

Government intervention was another big ...

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