'The New Deal was not a complete Success'. How Far do you Agree with this Statement?

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‘The New Deal was not a complete Success’. How Far do you Agree with this Statement?

        In the subsequent pages I will explain the failures and successes of the New Deal. I will show how statistics do not show the true accomplishment of the New Deal. I will look at the criticisms Roosevelt faced and how he had come to power when America was on her last leg.

        When Franklin D. Roosevelt came to power in March 1933 he had America dazzled by his magnetic personality and captivating charisma. He embraced America and held it closely to his heart. He loved it and could see that Herbert Hoover’s reign over America had destroyed her. His New Deal was a fresh and exciting way of repairing the once great America. His popularity was undeniable and showed the support he was getting for the New Deal among the Americans. He gave assurance and hope to those who lived in ‘Hoovervilles’ to those who queued up for ‘Hoover Stew’. These nicknames were given to the food handouts and shanty towns to demonstrate what Hoover had done to them.        

        Roosevelt’s aims were simple and tackled all that was wrong with America; Get the unemployed back to work, protect their savings and property, provide aid for the sick, old and unemployed, get the industry and agriculture back to it’s norm and finally restore confidence in the banks. He set up many Alphabet Agencies and passed many Acts to try and conquer the evil that was Hoover’s pandemonium.

        First of all I shall explain the successes. Roosevelt stopped the depression getting any worse. When he came to power in 1933 America had a much greater confidence in her economy. His own poise helped development in Wall Street. The GDP increased by sixty percent between 1933 and 1939, in six years private investment in industry increased by five times and consumer products bought increased by forty percent. People queuing up for food a was just another image of the past. Millions of people got relief, food, clothes and shelter, and it was this emergency relief that prevented them from starving. Many ordinary people were helped with government social security and welfare schemes. This wasn’t just for emergency either, it continued in the future. The most affected by the depression were farmers and Roosevelt made sure they were looked after in the New Deal. By the mid 1930s farmer’s incomes were rising, especially those with larger farms. Farmers definitely benefited. The New Deal assisted in letting farmers and home owners to stay in their homes. The HOLC was set up and low interest loans were given to home owners. This helped them to cope with mortgage repayments, that were previously out of control, when out of employment. For farmers they were given help through the Farm Credit Administration.

        For the old, sick and unemployed they had no security, financially or socially. In 1935 the Social Security Act set up a system of national insurance. The elderly were given old age pensions, the unemployed had benefits and the handicapped had financial support. The government, employers and workers paid contributions that funded it. The unemployed were a priority so the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) gave grants to state and local governments to stabilise the jobless.

        The projects the New Deal provided helped to build the foundations for future affluence. The schools, roads, dams and many more buildings rekindled America. The Public Works Administration (PWA) constructed many public buildings of the USA such as hospitals and city halls. The ‘Dustbowl’ regions were seriously affected by the depression and over-farming had led to the ruin of the land and serious lack of interest from business. But the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) restored the valley in seven states. It built several major dams to generate cheap electricity for those ninety eight percent who hadn’t got it. It also offered leisure activities on recently built lakes. The Tennessee river developed into being navigable and brought great business interest to the valley. The land was poor so the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) completed useful schemes like strengthening river banks, fighting forest fires and combating malaria by controlling the mosquitoes. Mainly to help the land though they planted approximately two hundred million trees, which significantly reduced soil erosion and supplied the crops with shelter belts. Not only did it help the environment but the members benefited. For the three million men under twenty five, who were members of the CCC, it gave them a first involvement in work.

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        Hoover’s laissez-faire attitude had made people get used to the fact that federal government had no concern for singular states. But the TVA changed the relationship that was acknowledged by America. State and federal government now were a lot closer and in some cases federal government cut through the powers of state governments. The weaker sections of American society needed central government to get them out of despair. The homeless, old and poor were most desperate and state government couldn’t give all the help that was required. The Tennessee Valley was in such a dire condition that one state could ...

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