FDR's New Deal
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was relatively unknown to politics until his campaign for presidency in 1932. He won the landslide election not because the public was sure he was capable of pulling the country out of the depression, but more because they wanted change from Hoover who seemed to have no set plan for dealing with the depression. The nation was hoping for a miracle. Their wish was granted when the enthusiastic and charismatic president Roosevelt proposed a record of 15 bills to congress within the first 100 days of office. Thus was the start of the new deal and for the first time the government took an active role in the organizing of private businesses and farms, as well as in individual people's lives. In Roosevelt's inaugural speech he states, "I pledge to you, I pledge to myself, to a new deal for the American people. Give me your help, not to win votes alone but to win this crusade to restore America to its own people. The most important effect of the first 100 days is that it rekindled hope in the American people and gave the feeling of progress. FDR's New Deal created many new roles for the government, such as directly helping the needy in society, managing industry as well as reforming the economy to prevent a depression of that scale from happening again.
The New Deal was a series of acts designed to pull the country out of economic strife. FDR started his presidency off with a bang when he passed the Emergency Banking Act. Under this act the federal government ordered an official bank holiday in which all banks across the nation shut down for a period of time and were permitted to reopen with the government's approval. After the trust in the banking system was restored, Roosevelt turned his head toward the needy in society, the lower class. Congress passed the Civilian Conservation Corps or the CCC to provide jobs and training to 10000 unemployed men and restored many of the country's resources by planting trees, fighting fires, and building roads. Though the number of citizens directly affected by this was small it instilled hope in the nation that the federal government was taking initiative towards helping the poor and unemployed. This was only the start of acts passed to directly relieve the poor; others were: the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which benefited those ineligible for the CCC, the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act was designed for the relief of farmers, and the Home Owners' Loan Corporation which helped homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes.
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New Deal Banking System President Roosevelt Conservation Corps . Bang Inaugural Speech American People Lower Class Franklin Delano Roosevelt Federal Government
Although it tried, the federal government could not help every citizen individually, the Roosevelt administration turned towards the recovery of the nation and its economy as a whole. Roosevelt believed he could end the depression with one act when it came to recovering the economy; he introduced to congress what was known as the National Industrial Recovery Act which in turn established the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The NRA acted primarily against the big businesses and for the employees, it acted as a third party arbitration between employers and the unions on issues such as negotiating salary and working conditions (hours, breaks, etc.). The NRA also fixed prices on goods along with standards on the quantity of certain products made by a single company. Stephanie Fitzgerald talks of this in her book The New Deal "The government had never been more deeply involved in the practices of individual businesses before." (Fitzgerald 59). Evidentially the NRA failed to bring the country out of the depression and was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court during Roosevelt's second term.
The first New Deal focused on the individuals of the country, during Roosevelt's second term he initiated the second New Deal to reform the system altogether and make it so the country would be safe from ever experiencing a economic depression of the same scale again. This gave way to the Roosevelt administration's crowning achievement of the Social Security Act or the SSA. The SSA was first created as an aide to widows and orphans but escalated to the elderly who could no longer work and the people who were between jobs. The government started an old age insurance fund in which people would get part of their pay taken out of their paycheck and is returned to them when they reach a certain age. The SSA worked as a safety net for those who had no insurance of their own to be able to keep their homes and support their families when they cannot work or are temporarily out of a job. This is made clear in FDR's speech on the Social Security Act, "I summarized the main objectives of our American program. Among these was, and is, the security of the men, women, and children of the nation against certain hazards and vicissitudes of life. This purpose is an essential part of our task," other acts passed to reform the economy and the nations were: the Works Progress Administration, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Glass Steagall Act (A program for Social Security, pg 1).
Although the New Deal ended as a failure in its intended purpose, it eased the suffering brought upon the nation in the great depression. People were employed, getting direct relief from the government and almost guaranteed that another depression of that scale would never hit the United States at such a massive scale. The government also assumed new roles under the New Deal such as having direct connection with citizens, more ties to the economy such as regulations and insurance, and the government gained more power change laws and set conditions for the citizens and businesses.
Franklin D. Roosevelt "A Program for Social Security," Annals of American History.
Show MoreWhen Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the Democratic nomination for presidency in 1932, he promised the American people a “New Deal.” The New Deal was President Roosevelt’s program to deal with the deepening Great Depression. On March 9, 1933, exactly five days after his inauguration, FDR kept his promise he made to the people and began implementing his New Deal. The purpose of the New Deal was to relieve the economic hardship, to help millions of Americans, and to solve the unemployment problem. However, after the New Deal was implemented, the economic system worsened through increased inflation and heavy deficit. Millions of farmers were left destitute, businesses failed, and the unemployment rate rose drastically. As a result, FDR’s…show more content…
Approximately six million pigs were killed in 1933. When farmers took their land out of production according to government regulation, thousands of black sharecroppers and tenant farmers were thrown off their land. As a result of AAA, farm production declined and many more people were hungry, jobless, and homeless. Another New Deal program was the National Recovery Act (NRA). Its stated purpose was to regulate business, develop price codes, set wages and manage working condition and schedules. The result was that the shorter hours and higher wages increased business costs and forced businesses to reduce staff. After the NRA was implemented, unemployment rose to thirteen million. In order to finance all of Roosevelt’s government projects, the federal government resorted to heavy deficit financing. In 1934, Roosevelt’s budget projected an income of three billion and an expense of ten billion. The national debt grew from $22 ½ billion in 1933 to $40 ½ billion in 1939. To deal with the growing government need of money, taxes were raised in 1933, 1934, and again in 1935. The restricted economic growth lengthened the depression. All FDR’s plans failed, and there were more American people unemployed in 1940 than in 1932. During FDR’s twelve year term, he implemented numerous government policies and programs, the purpose of which was to benefit and aid the American people and the economy. The Emergency Banking Relief Act was