When Roosevelt became the 32nd president of the United Stated of America he faced many problems as the US just fell into the economic depression. Also, previous ‘do nothing’ president Herbert Hoover did not solve any problems and watched the economy fall as well as the greater majority of Americans become hungry and homeless. Roosevelt faced the huge problem of the rocketing unemployment; about 14. 0 million citizens found themselves out of work, those who did have jobs had extremely low wages, barely scraping a living.
Another problem was the economy and the many businesses that were declining that struggled to recover as banks could not lend them any money. The USA could not make any money out of its manufactured goods as no one had any money to buy them; they also failed to sell internationally due to the tariffs. The USA suffered greatly from the depression and there were numerous problems but Roosevelt has a plan which would hopefully help America emerge from the depression.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt created the New Deal to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery for the economy, and reform for economic and banking systems, through various agencies known as the alphabet agencies. To come up with these series of laws and policies, Roosevelt worked with a band of experts known as the ‘Brain Trust. ‘ In the first hundred days of his presidency Roosevelt sent 15 proposals to congress and all 15 were adopted, he did just about everything in his power to get the USA out of the depression.
A good example is the closing down of all the banks and having allowing only 5000 trustworthy by to reopen which were supported by government money, trying to bring back confidence back in America. Despite the great efforts that Roosevelt put in to help the USA emerge from the depression, there was still opposition to the New Deal suggesting that it was doing too much or too little. People like Huey Long and Francis Townsend believed that the New Deal was not doing enough as many people still remained to be desperately poor.
On the other hand business leaders and employers, republicans and the rich complained the Roosevelt’s New Deal was interfering and doing too much. Many schemes like the Tennessee Valley Authority created unfair competition; also employers had to allow trade unions. The rich believed that money was given to people for doing nothing or unnecessary jobs, with high taxes they were losing a lot more money. However, most Americans appreciated Roosevelt’s hard work and determination to help the people and recover the economy, this was definitely proven by the fact that he elected as president several times.
The New Deal certainly improved the living conditions of many Americans and the stimulated the economy as well but the never fully recovered until the war which solved financial problems America faced. Overall, attitudes in America were much more positive as confidence and faith was restored in the government. This was very important as the economy in the USA was based on confidence and with this they could slowly have the economy recovered. Moreover, an extremely successful aspect of the New Deal was there was never any corruption.
People like Harold Hopkins distributed over $10 million in schemes and project but never earned more than his salary of $15,000. Some even tapped into their employees’ phones to ensure that nothing suspicious was going on, making sure that all the money was going to regenerate America’s economy. This proved to the American public that the New Deal’s only aim was to improve the quality of life and the economy. However, the New Deal underestimated local governments and their capabilities as the central government took over to bring relief, recovery and reform.
In general, attitude for the New Deal was successful as it achieved something important which was bringing back the faith of the American people. A great success of the New Deal was allowing trade and labour unions to operate within companies which helped many workers; they got to negotiate wages and many working conditions. Something that was not so popular in the USA before Roosevelt was elected. Having the central government support trade unions helped as well. With the trade unions becoming something a lot more recognised and appreciated, many anti-union corporations began to include labour unions too.
This was a great advantage for the industrial worker as they got many chance to benefit their situations if they wanted to. Although unions were not a complete success either as they were always treated by suspicion by the employers and they were always picture perfect, there were many problems. Many strikes and disagreement within unions were broken up with brutal violence. Furthermore, there were companies such as Ford and Chrysler which hired their own thugs to deal and control the local police force.
There was much opposition from business leader and Republicans as they still believed that the best way for businesses to improve and make more money was for the government to leave them alone and not get interfered. They hated the thought of labour unions as they had to spend profits on making the workers happier, something that was taken into a much smaller account before the Great Depression. Despite the opposition from business leaders as well as the violence caused by trade unions and companies, the New Deal improved the live of many industrial workers and also big business remained immensely powerful.
Roosevelt’s New Deal made many accomplishments throughout the 1930s when unemployment and the economy was involved but it was not enough, they had to improve and try to develop it even further. The New Deal solved problems like the increasing unemployment which was reduced by an approximate of 8 million but there was still a remaining 6 million unemployed, a huge number. In addition, the New Deal managed to stabilise the American banking system with many rules and regulations which avoided the reckless speculation that created the Wall Street Crash, this also prevented the number of business failures.
This achievement gave confidence back to the public but not much as Americans only invested and spent 75% of what they had in 1929. The New Deal did not solve much as the USA seemed to recover at a slower rate than most European countries which could suggest that the schemes and plan of the American government were not as effective as other European countries. Also, it was obvious that the American economy was dependant on government funding and the many schemes provided as the country went back into recession when Roosevelt cut the budget in 1937.
It was not until the war that America got back on its feet and ended unemployment with out the help of the government and the New Deal’s. On the whole, the New Deal made changes to the economy which made improvements but there was a lot more to be done as the unemployment by 1941 was still high, if America did not join the war then these economic problems might have not been solved. Discrimination was still a great issue for Black Americans as they did not benefit in the great amount as others.
Black Americans took on the hardest hit of the depression as they were either going to get no work, bad treatment or very poor wages. Roosevelt failed to make things better for Black Americans as he failed to pass laws against lynching. He feared Democrat senators in the south would not support him in the future as there still was a great deal of racism present. This act could indicate that there was more that Roosevelt could have done to make America a better place considering social and financial matters but failed to do so.
However, Black Americans benefited from the New Deal slum clearance and housing projects. Moreover, 200,000 black Americans gained benefits from the Civilian Conservation Corps and other agencies. The New Deal enabled some women to achieve significant positions like Eleanor Roosevelt as she became a campaigner on many social issues affecting the world. Mary Macleod Bethune, a black woman, headed the National Youth Administration which was another important role for a woman. Also, Francis Perkins was Secretary of labour and was a key figure in making the Second New Deal work.
However, things were not that simple, for example Francis Perkins was regularly ignored by her colleagues and attacked by the press. Another disadvantage for women was that they did not receive work in the great amount as men as most programmes involved manual work for men. They also faced problems when they were supposed to receive payments from the social security There were several acts gave rights to Native Americans in preserving and practicing their religion, laws and culture.
They also were helped in buying and improving their land which would benefit them in the long run which was a great advantage. However, they still remained to be an excluded part of society, which was not such a great problem as they were a very small number in comparison to the rest of the population. This implies that the New Deal attempted to try to improve the living and working conditions of just about everyone it could. This clearly proves that Roosevelt was extremely determined to makes America a better place to live.
To conclude, the New Deal was a success in numerous ways as it provided jobs as over 8 million people were given jobs. Also, many US citizens gained confidence and had faith in the government which was very important for the recovery of the USA. The New Deal tackled many problems and came out with many good solutions, however, the recovery and reform of the USA was taken on a lager scale making more improvements, it is more likely that America would have emerged from the Great Depression at a faster rate.
The USA might not have been so dependant on government funding. Roosevelt needed to develop the New Deal and improve the state of the USA at the time even further; this way there would not have been so many letdowns for the New Deal. The war might not have been the USA’s only ticket out of the depression. It is certain that Americans appreciated Roosevelt and saw that he was doing a great job as he voted president several times.