'The New Deal was not a complete success' - Explain how far you agree with this statement.

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Abbas Tejani

‘The New Deal was not a complete success’. Explain how far you agree with this statement (10)

In 1929, 9.5 million people in the USA were unemployed. This unemployment problem was only improved, exclusively because of the start of the Second World War. The war meant that many people had to be drafted into the US army and that meant that more people got jobs. Roosevelt’s New Deal did not improve the employment structure. Roosevelt did, however, help make sure that the depression didn’t get any worse than it already was when he came into power. Within the first four years of his government (1933-1937), unemployment dropped by an immense 5.1 million. Roosevelt also used the Federal Government to set up something called ‘deficit funding’. He wanted to help rectify the situation in America, even if it meant that he had to spend the money he never had. He used ‘deficit funding’, which were a number of loans, in order to keep pumping money into the economy. Roosevelt’s aim was to bring everybody in the country back into employment, but this never happened.

The Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA) was set up as an emergency measure in order to stop starvation. This worked by giving grants to local governments, who gave money to the most needy, in order to keep them from starving. This was a success to an extent because it provided very much needed help for the poorest people in society and stopped them from starving. However, this was only a short-term measure and did not really help the general economic crisis that America was facing. The PWA (The Public Works Administration) and WPA (The Works Progress Administration) were specially set up for unemployed and unskilled workers. The PWA had good projects such as building roads, schools, and hospitals. The WPA helped find temporary jobs for unskilled workers. These two alphabet agencies were not successful, as many people complained that the government was ‘boondoggling’ - wasting taxpayer’s money. This was because some jobs were very unskilled and did not provide money back to the economy. An example of such a job was where people were employed to burst balloons to scare pigeons away. This did, however, give the unskilled workers doing this job a certain self-esteem, as they thought they were doing something for the community as a whole. The CCC (The Civilian’s Conservation Corps) was set up especially for young males (under 25 years old). It got approximately 3 million people back into work and it incorporated some very good projects. It got many men improving the countryside, such as strengthening riverbanks, fish farming, planting trees and many other things. The problem of this Alphabet Agency was that it was only aimed at young men and the older men weren’t given jobs. The HOLC (The Homeowner’s Loan Corporation) gave loans to homeowners in order for them to allow keeping their homes. This was commendable as it allowed people to have somewhere to live. Nevertheless, this did not help the people who rented properties. However, the WPA, CCC and PWA produced jobs that made men feel socially useful and it did revive the American economy. The HOLC helped people to keep hold of their properties.

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The New Deal aimed to improve industry and to make America’s business sector booming again. There was also an issue of long term unemployment. To halt America’s economic problems, Roosevelt introduced the Emergency Banking Act. This aimed to help banks to be successful. Furthermore, Roosevelt went onto American radio to get people to send their money back into the banks. The aim of this was to restore the confidence of investments into people and to do this they made all the weak banks remain closed for at least four days and that allowed the stronger banks to regroup and ...

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