Sonia Nabi 10O
The USA, 1919 – 1941
Was the New Deal a Success?
1. Use Source A and your own knowledge of the period to explain why people supported Roosevelt in the 1932 election.
Source A is from a speech by Roosevelt during his election campaign in 1932.
In the 1932 election people voted for FDR because they thought that FDR would be better president than Herbert Hoover was. Herbert Hoover easily won the election in 1928; at that time America was the richest country in the world. Most Americans had jobs and many were rich enough to buy luxuries such as radios, cars and refrigerators. Herbert Hoover said the time would soon come when there will be ‘two cars in each garage and a chicken in every pot’. However this did not happen and this was one of the reasons why FDR was elected for president.
When the Depression hit America in 1929, Hoover thought that it would last for a few months and then life would return to normal. ‘Prosperity is just around the corner’ this is what he said to a group of businessman. For this reason he did not take any action to end the Depression until 1932, when it was obvious that prosperity would not return it self.
The quote ‘In Hoover we trusted now we are busted’ this means that the people who had voted for Hoover in the 1928 election, were now blaming him for the Depression because they believed that Hoover did not do anything to make it end.
However Hoover’s policies for dealing with the Depression came too late.
So for this reason when the American people went to the polls in November 1932, a huge majority decided that they did not want to vote for Hoover to be President for a second term. They decided to vote for Roosevelt instead, however they were not sure that Roosevelt could do better, they voted for him in order to defeat Hoover. This made Roosevelt win the election by the biggest majority for over ninety years.
The source supports FDR in the election; this is because the source shows that Roosevelt wanted the New Deal to work for the American people.
In the source it says that ‘Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America’. This quote suggests that FDR wanted people to help him help America and make it a better place.
The source shows that FDR told the American people about what he was planning on to do and that he would also be creating a new scheme called the New Deal which would mainly help the unemployment to get jobs and decrease the unemployment figure.
2. In what way would this graph be useful to an historian studying the New Deal?
Source B is a reliable fact showing a graph which shows the numbers of unemployed people (in millions) in American, 1929 -1942.
This source is a graph that shows the number of unemployment and how it was affected by the New Deal. Therefore this source is a reliable fact because it shows the number of unemployed in each year from 1929 to 1942.
The source helps to confirm a commonly help view about the New Deal. This is because the source shows that before FDR was elected, as President the unemployment figure was 12 million. However this figure increased when Roosevelt became President in 1933. The unemployment figure increased to 15 million.
To deal with this Roosevelt created jobs for the unemployed. Roosevelt created jobs such as ‘walking in local parks with balloons in order to scare birds’ and sweeping leaves off pavements’, although jobs like these did get rid of the unemployed army the jobs were known as ‘boondoggles’ this was because some people thought that these jobs were not important and some people thought that the jobs that FDR had created were wasting money. Although Roosevelt did try to decrease the unemployed figure, it is shown on the graph that the number of unemployed finally disappeared when the war began in 1941 leaving less than 4 million people unemployed, then a year later in 1942 the unemployment figure was 1 million.
There were jobs for both men and women. Women were able to work in factories and men were able to build equipment that would be needed for the armies and also men were needed to fight in the war.
3. Study Sources C and D. How do these two judgements on the New deal differ?
Some historians like William Leuchtenburg thought that the New Deal was not a success and others like Arthur Schlesinger thought that the New Deal did make changes that helped the American community.
Source C the judgement of Arthur Schlesinger writing in ‘The Coming of The New Deal’ in 1959. This source tells us that the New Deal programme was good and did make changes to the Americans and helped them. I know that the source is for Roosevelt because it says ‘It started the wheel of industry turning again…it raised agricultural prices. The business situation achieved a measure of stability, and the basic social rights won a measure of government guarantee’. In the source it clearly shows that Arthur Schlesinger thought that the effects of the New Deal were that in 1933 there was no change in America’s economy which was rising again. The source tells us that the only progress that the New Deal made for the USA was that ‘it started the wheel of industry turning again’, it raised agricultural prices’ the source also shows that the New Deal did make a difference to the business situation where it achieved a measure of stability.
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Source D is a source which is the judgment of William Leuchtenburg writing in ‘Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal’ in 1963. Leuchtenburg thought that the New Deal did not go well and was not that good. This was because he thought that the New Deal did not get the country out of the great Depression ‘the New Deal certainly did not get the country out of depression’ this is because there were still around six million people who were unemployed. ‘It was really not until the war that the army of the jobless finally disappeared’, this quote supports the fact that the New Deal did not do much to give jobs to the unemployment and decrease the number of unemployment.
Both these sources differ and they disagree with each other on how effective it was. This is because Source C is for the New Deal and Source D is against the New Deal. They are both reliable sources which is shown in both of the sources C and D. Source C has a positive and negative view on the New Deal because it says that although the New Deal was not good and did not make any basic changes it did start the wheel of industry turning again and raised agricultural prices. It also says that the business situation achieved a measure of stability and also basic social rights won.
However Source D has a negative view on the New Deal. This is because it says that the New Deal did not solve the unemployment matter and that the unemployment finally had decreased when the war had begun. It basically tells you that the New Deal programme was not a success and did not go make any basic changes and was not a great success. William Leuchtenburg thought that the New Deal did not go well; this was because Roosevelt’s scheme to decrease the number of unemployment did not go quite to plan as Roosevelt thought it would.
4. Study Source E. Which of the Sources C and D do you think Source E is in most agreement with?
Source E is by Dr. Lewis Andreas in Chicago (interview). This source says that the American economy was saved by Hitler who started the war, ‘I’d say that our society was saved again. By Hitler.’ This refers to the Depression because it was the war that ended the Depression. This quote also shows that the neither HH nor FDR helped to get the USA out of the Depression.
The source also says that the war ended the Depression and stopped things from ‘sliding back’ any further ‘Because the stopgap wasn’t working, and things were sliding back’.
The source also says that although FDR did not have many ideas in order to decrease the unemployment figure or to end the Depression, the ideas that he did have and did complete were enough in the late thirties ‘ he didn’t have much to offer, but it was enough’.
I think source E agrees with source C. This is because both sources C and E suggest that FDR did not do much to help end the Depression in the USA.
However Source E is most similar to Source D. This is because both of the sources main ideas are about the Depression and how the USA got out of the Depression which is shown in both sources that the Depression was helped to disappear by the war which had been Hitler had started and also decreased the number of unemployment.
Overall I think that Source E is most similar to Source D because both sources have a strong point in common which is mainly about the depression and how it was ended. I think that source E is most similar to source D also because source C and E do not have many points that are used in both sources. The point that is in common between the sources is about how FDR did not do much to make the depression disappear.
5. Study Source F. What message do you think the photographer was trying to give? Refer to the photograph and your own knowledge of the period to explain your answer.
Source F is a photograph taken in 1937 of black people queuing for government relief in front of a large poser.
The poster is called ‘Worlds highest standard of living’. In the poster it shows a white American family driving with a dog in a posh and expensive car all dressed in smart and elegant clothes. On the poster it says ‘There’s no way like the American way’ this shows that the American life is the best way of living a life and there is not a better life than the American life.
However underneath the poster are black Americans who totally disagree with the poster. This is because they have to queue for government relief, which are benefits that the government is giving to them. The black Americans also do not agree with the poster because the only reason that they are queuing up for government relief is because they have not got jobs and are unemployed because there are no jobs created for them, which shows that Roosevelt was not doing such a good job with the New Deal.
This shows that the American life is not as great as the poster makes it out to be. The American life is the complete opposite to what showed in the poster.
Also the fact that there are white Americans in the poster and black Americans queuing for benefits shows that it would be very hard for black Americans to be getting a job where as for white Americans it would not be as hard as for the black Americans. This is because life was bad for black Americans because of their race.
6. Study Sources G, H and I. Are these cartoons for or against Roosevelt? Explain your answer.
Source G is an American cartoon published in he 1930s commenting on Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. Roosevelt is the figure working the pump to get the economy going.
I think Source G is against Roosevelt because it is shows that a carton which was published by Roosevelt’s opponents during the New Deal. It shows FDR using more and more money which to prime the New Deal pump. It also shows that the money that Roosevelt is pouring into the pump is leaking away. This means that the money Roosevelt was spending way too much money and all of it was being wasted. For example Roosevelt had set up the CWA program. Although the CWA did find jobs for millions of people within two months, not all of the jobs had an obvious public value. The CWA hired people to sweep up leaves in their local parks and hired hundreds of people in Washington to walk the streets with balloons to frighten pigeons away from public buildings. This was wasting money because the some of the jobs that were given to people were known as boondoggle, which meant passing time. People were given jobs to pass time. The government had to pay wages to these people and the jobs that they did were useless. This wasted a lot of money. In this cartoon it shows that a taxpayer is bringing more money to FDR. FDR used to collect more taxes from the rich because they had more money than the poor.
This source suggest that the money that people paid as taxes was wasted by Roosevelt who spent them on unimportant things such as hiring people to walk around in the streets with balloons to scare the birds away.
Source H is a source that is for Roosevelt. The source is an American cartoon, which was published in 1933 called ‘Yes, you remembered me’.
In the source it shows that Roosevelt is shaking hands with ‘the forgotten man’ who is a worker with a working tool in his hand. This shows that the source is for Roosevelt because Roosevelt was helping the poor by creating jobs for them as well with dealing with the depression and the huge figure of the unemployment.
In the 1932 election it was the poor Americans ‘forgotten’ people who voted for Roosevelt into office in the election.
Source I is an American cartoon published in 1933 called the ‘New Leadership’. In the source it shows Roosevelt dragging a donkey who is attached to a carriage and Roosevelt is running towards emergency legislation with a huge amount of people who are following him. The people sat in the carriage look happy and the crowd have got signs. One of the signs that are held by the crowd is ‘congress’ meaning the government.
7. Study Sources J and K. Why do you think these people disagree about the New Deal. Explain your answer.
Source J is by S.B. Fuller, a self-made businessman speaking in 1980 and remembering the time of the New Deal.
The source is against the New Deal because it says ‘the New Deal hurt us’. The source explains that Roosevelt was a rich mans son who was given everything he had. The source suggests that people had ‘soup lines and the Depression because men lost confidence in themselves. This suggests that it was mainly because things were taken from people or were given to them in a bad manner which hurt them and made them lose their confidence in themselves. The source also says ‘Welfare kills a mans initiative’. I think this is being referred to Roosevelt. S.B Fuller may think that since Roosevelt was given all that he had he did not have any initiative to do anything.
Source K is totally different to Source J and is by Frances Perkins who wrote this source in 1947 in her book, ‘The Roosevelt I knew’. She was Secretary of Labour in Roosevelt New Deal government in the 1930s. Source K is for Roosevelt, which is because it says ‘the New Deal meant that ordinary people would have a better chance in life’. This shows that people thought that Roosevelt had done a good thing by creating the New Deal scheme because it was set up in order to help ordinary people. In the source it says ‘he knew the rich had been hard hit too, but at least they had something left. But the ordinary shopkeeper, the ordinary householder, the farmer who worked the soil for himself, the man who worked for wages – these people were desperate’. This quote shows that Roosevelt knew that everyone was hit by the Depression but the people who were suffering the most from the Depression were the ‘ordinary’ people because they did not have any money to help them survive and they were desperate for help so the New Deal was built in order to help these ordinary people and to end the Depression, so therefore this source is for the New Deal and Roosevelt. However, this source is not bias because Frances Perkins was working for Roosevelt so she would obviously give a good attitude towards him and the New Deal programme and pick all the advantages of the New Deal.
8. Study Sources L and M. Which of these sources gives the most reliable view of how the New Deal affected Americans? Explain your answer by referring to both sources.
Source L is a letter from an elderly couple, which was published by Roosevelt’s supporters as part of the election campaign in 1936.
The source tells us that Roosevelt had helped an elderly couple with their mortgage for their house and got their furniture back for them after it had been taken away because they were unable to pay their mortgage.
This shows that Roosevelt was liked especially by the elderly and the people who he helped and also the poor and unemployed for helping them by making their lives better.
However this source is not bias. This is because the only reason that the elderly couple are giving a good view towards Roosevelt and the New Deal because Roosevelt personally made a change to their lives. This source is not biased because it is just their opinion and view.
Source M is a source by Huey Long, Democratic Senator from Louisiana, speaking in the U.S. Senate in 1935. Huey Long says critical things in this source which is because he did not like Roosevelt.
When people protested that Huey Long was the breaking the state constitution, he replied ‘I’m the constitution around here now’. Some people disliked this while others benefited from it. He supported the New Deal but in 1934 he announced a nationwide Share Our Wealth. Huey Long decided to distribute wealth from the rich to the poor. By doing this Huey Long had many supporters in the next election.
In the source it is quite clear that Huey Long did not like Roosevelt and the decisions that he made. I think that source L is most reliable than Source M because source M is just someone’s opinion on the New Deal and on Roosevelt whereas Source L shows that Roosevelt had helped people to get their furniture back which is an advantage and shows that Roosevelt did useful things by helping people.
9. Study the following interpretations of the effect of the New deal.
i. The New Deal helped many Americans and by doing this it gave them self-respect.
It gave them confidence to lift the United States out of Depression.
ii. The New Deal wasted a lot of money, it made people dependant on the government and led to the government becoming too powerful. It did not solve America’s economic problems- the Second World War did that.
Which interpretation is best supported by the evidence in the sources and your own knowledge of American history? Explain your answer.
The fist interpretation supports Roosevelt because ‘The New Deal helped many Americans and by doing this it gave them self respect’ this quote shows that the New Deal was a good thing for the American people because it gave them self respect and confidence. This is probably because the New Deal created jobs for people.
There are many sources that are for and against Roosevelt and the New Deal.
One of the sources that are for the New Deal is source A. This source is a speech given by Roosevelt during his election campaign in 1932.
The source is for the New Deal because it says that it was FDR who created the New Deal. This is mentioned in the source because the speech that FDR had given in the election campaign the main thing about Roosevelt’s speech was about the New Deal and how it was going to be created to help people by the number of unemployment.
Another source that is for the New Deal is source C. Source C is the judgement of Arthur Schlesinger writing in ‘The Coming of the New Deal’ in 1959. The source is for the New Deal. This is because it tells you that the New Deal programme was good because it made changes for the American people and it did help them. This is because the source says that the New Deal programme started the wheel of industry turning again and it raised agricultural prices. The business situation achieved a measure of stability and the basic social rights won a measure of government guarantee’.
Source H and I are also sources that are for the New Deal. Source H shows FDR shaking hand with the forgotten man who is a worker. The source is for the New Deal because it shows that the New Deal made a difference to someone’s life because it helped to provide a job for the forgotten. This shows that Roosevelt was trying to decrease the number of unemployed and try and end the depression.
Source I shows that Roosevelt is dragging a donkey that is attached to a carriage and Roosevelt is running towards emergency legislation with a huge crowd following him. This source shows that Roosevelt had to take quick action and had to do everything quick because of the depression.
Another source that is for the New Deal is source K. The source is Frances Perkins who wrote the source in 1947 in her book ‘The Roosevelt I knew’.
The source shows that the New Deal was created for the ordinary people and in the end things were good for them. The source quotes that ‘he knew the rich had been hard hit to but at least they had something left’. This shows that the New Deal was created for the poor and ordinary people who did not have anything, so therefore it is for the New Deal however this source is not biased because it is just Frances Perkins opinion although it does show that the New Deal did make a change.
Source M is also for Roosevelt. The source is by Huey Long speaking in the U.S. Senate in 1935. The source shows that some people disliked the fact that Huey Long had said that ‘I’m the constitution around here now’ when people protested that Huey Long was breaking the stated constitution while others benefited from it. He supported the New Deal but in 1934 he announced a nationwide Share Our Wealth. Huey Long decided to distribute wealth from the rich to the poor. Like source K this source is also not biased because it is just someone’s opinion on the FDR and the things that he had done.
One of the sources that are both for and against the New Deal is Source B. This source shows that facts about the number of unemployment.
The source is a graph showing the numbers of unemployed people (in millions) in America, 1929-1942. This source shows that the number of unemployment in 1929 was less than 2 million, in 1930 the number of unemployment was less that 4 million and it was less than 8 million in 1931 a year later in 1932 which was the last of year of Hoover being the president, the number of unemployed shot up to just about 12 million and a year later in 1933, this was when Roosevelt had become President, it reached the exact sum of 12 million.
A source that is against the New Deal is source D. Source D shows that other historians like William Lautenberg thought that the New Deal was not good. This was because he thought that the New Deal did not get the country out of the great Depression, which was because there were still around six million people who were unemployed. This shows that the source is against the New Deal.
The source explains that the New Deal did not make any changes apart from waste the government’s money. It also tells you that the New Deal did not do a lot about the number of unemployed apart form create ‘boondoggle’ jobs and also it confirms that it was not until the war that the number of unemployed finally disappeared.
Like there are many sources that are for the New Deal there are also many sources that are against the New Deal.
Source E completely agrees with source D. This source is by Dr. Lewis Andreas in Chicago (interview). The source is against the New Deal because like source D is says that it was not the New Deal that helped the American economy but it was Hitler who in a sense got the USA out of the depression because there a lot of jobs available for both men and women.
Both these sources are against the New Deal because they both outline that the New Deal scheme did not help the Depression.
Another source that is against the New Deal is source F. This source is a photograph taken in 1937 of black people queuing for government relief. They are queuing in front of a large poster. This source is against the New Deal because in the picture it shows a whit American family who are happy and have got nice and clean clothes. However below the poster there is a complete different story. There are black Americans who are queuing for government relief which is benefits. The reason why they are queuing is because they have not got any jobs. This shows that the New Deal did not help provide the unemployed with jobs, therefore the source is against the New Deal because the poster is the complete opposite of the poster.
Source G is also against the New Deal. The source shows Roosevelt wasting taxpayer’s money by putting it in to the New Deal pump. The source also shows that Roosevelt had already spent $16 billion on the New Deal pump. The source is showing that Roosevelt is using more and more money to prime the New Deal.
This source means that the huge amount of money that Roosevelt was spending was all being wasted. As I have written above in question 6 the things that Roosevelt was wasting money on were things like the boondoggle jobs which were created for the unemployed. However the jobs that they were given were not good. this was because as I have mentioned before the jobs were like sweeping leaves form pavements and scaring birds, jobs like these were not doing the government any good because leaves could be blown away by the wind and birds will go away or even come back after the person with the balloons in their hands was gone. Jobs like these were making matters worse for the government because the New Deal programme was wasting money on unimportant things.
Two other sources that are against the New Deal are sources J and L. The source is mainly about Roosevelt and how the rich thought that he was given everything because he was born in to a rich family. The source also says that the New Deal hurt them because they things were taken away from them. Therefore this source is against the New Deal because it shows that the New Deal did not do anything to help the rich but instead it took things away from them like more taxes.
Source L is also against New Deal. The source L is a letter from an elderly couple, which was published by Roosevelt’s supporters as part of the election campaign in 1936.
The source tells us that Roosevelt had helped an elderly couple with their mortgage for their house and got their furniture back for them after it had been taken away because they were unable to pay their mortgage.
This shows that Roosevelt liked especially by the elderly and the people who he helped and also the poor and unemployed for helping them by making their lives better.