Was the New Deal a success

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Sonia Nabi 10O

History Coursework

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 ...

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