The New Deal

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and The New Deal

After the stock market’s crash in 1929, millions of people did not have jobs or money. In 1932, America elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the creator of The New Deal, which made a difference by helping millions of Americans
because they wanted change and a new leader, and Roosevelt started to make changes for the people right away. Millions of Americans would listen to their radios to listen to their new leader, these talks that Roosevelt had were called fireside chats. Franklin Delano Roosevelt talked to the people in a casual way, which comforted the people and made them feel a little bit of hope since the beginning of the Great Depression. When Roosevelt became president, he did not know what he was going to do about the economic crisis, all he new was that the idea of the New Deal was to try something new. The president did not agree with all of the laws that were passed, but he signed them so that another law that he liked less would not get passed. Roosevelt’s idea about the New Deal was just to try something new, and if it did not work, they should try something else (Bryant).

What Was The New Deal?

The New Deal was created because of the severe economic crisis that was happening. During the first New Deal, which took place during 1933 to 1935, the main purpose of the New Deal was for recovery and relief. On March 5, there was a “bank holiday”, which was when the president closed all the banks that had not yet failed. On March 9, there was a new law made that helped the banks. After the law for the banks was made, Roosevelt gave his first fireside chat, and he told the people that it was safe to keep their money in the banks, so when the banks opened again on March 13, more Americans put more money in the banks, and the banking crisis ended. The first one hundred days started on March 5, and during those first one hundred days in office, there were fifteen new laws passed. People believed that Roosevelt was better than Hoover because of what he did during the first one hundred days in office, and they were waiting for the New Deal that Roosevelt had talked about. There were three purposes of the New Deal, they were recovery from the depression, relief for the victims of the depression, and reform of the economic crisis. The New Deal had three main focuses, the first one was to help the millions of Americans who were suffering from the Great Depression, the second one was to improve the economy, and the third was to create to laws to help the poor and not have as much poor people. These three goals of the New Deal were called “the three R’s of relief, recovery, and reform".
The three goals of The New Deal were relief, reform, and recovery, which were also known as the three R's

The second New Deal occurred from 1935-1937, and this was when the members of Congress and others called for fundamental reform of society, not just relief for the social and economic problems the country was dealing with. After 1933, conditions improved for many Americans, but still many were unemployed. The federal government gained power and increased in size because of the New Deal, it created a new relationship between Washington and the average citizen. In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected as president, and many of the New Deal programs were still used, but they did not end the Great Depression, and at a certain time, it actually got worse. The New Deal did not succeed in bringing the economy back to full strength, but the Great Depression ended because of all the federal spending that occurred when the nation got involved in World War II. Many of the New Deal programs were not used after the economic crisis had passed and people’s situations were better, but many of the programs were still used after it although they were modified, and some are still used today (Bryant).

With the way our economy is today, many have compared it to the economy during The Great Depression, but it has not gotten that bad. Many wonder what the solution is, and how we can fix our economy today, so they look back at The New Deal and its effects during The Great Depression. The biggest cause of The Great Depression, was deflation. Deflation occurred when the Federal Reserve let the money supply fall by one-third. The way that Roosevelt tried to fix this was to increase money supply, get the banking system up and running again, and restoring the trust in financial institutions. Expansionary monetary was a key solution to this problem, but it is not easy to put into effect today, so the government still needs to be prepared to prevent a downward spiral, and try to stimulate the economy as soon as possible. Roosevelt strengthened unions and kept real wages high, and this certainly helped those who were employed, but as a result, there were many people unemployed during the New Deal period. Today, Barack Obama has to face the pressure of whether to make unionization easier, but it is said that if he does this, it will not help and only make the recession worse. During the Great Depression, the government increased income taxes, excise taxes, inheritance taxes, and corporate income taxes, but this did not do much for the recovery, and a tax cut for the middle class is a good idea today. It seems that the solution for the Great Depression was the involvement of the U.S. in World War II, but it was just when they were selling war-related goods to Europe and not when they actually joined. Even though the war helped the Great Depression, it does not mean that we should fight a war today to help our economy (Cowen).

Opposition and Opinions on the New Deal

In 1934, there was opposition towards The New Deal. Brazen unions sparked job actions all over the country, there was even a city-wide strike in San Francisco. Some said that the New Deal did not help enough while others argued that Roosevelt had done too much. There was more progress in 1935, but businessmen, bankers, conservatives, and the rich still opposed the New Deal, and they were disgusted by the legislation favorable to labor. Some Americans believed that the New Deal was not the best idea because people would become too dependent on the government. Other Americans believed that the New Deal would make the government too powerful. Most Americans thought that the New Deal was successful because it provided a lot of help to millions of people ("United States American History"; Bryant).

The New Deal Programs

The New Deal benefited many, with some of the programmes of the New Deal, many writers and artists were able to work again. Under some of the New Deal programs, many immigrants were given new opportunities. The New Deal helped African Americans, Latinos, women, and Native Americans. There were many programs that were part of the New Deal, and these programs were also known as alphabet soup. The most successful of the New Deal programs was the CCC because it sent 3 million single men to work in the nations’ forests, and it provided many jobs for many Americans during the Great Depression. The CWA was created to to create jobs for the unemployed, but it ended in 1934 because there was opposition on its cost. The FHA was a government agency that was created to fix the housing crisis and regulate mortgages and housing conditions. The FSA set up camps for migrant workers and loaned money to farmers. The HOLC refined mortgages of middle-income home owners to help them keep their homes. The NRA allowed trade associations to write codes regulating wages, working conditions, production, prices, and set a minimum wages, but it was not successful though because it favored large businesses over the smaller ones. The PWA was made to create public works, like the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, but it ended in 1941. The SSA was also an important program of the New Deal, it was made so that retired Americans would get a regular payment from an investment fund to which they have contributed during the time that they worked. Survivors benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, and aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind and physically disabled were all a part of the SSA as well. The TVA helped farmers and created many jobs in a place that was not very modernized, this program built dams on the Tennessee river and on smaller rivers that went into it, the dams controlled the flooding and provided cheap electricity. The WPA was important for unemployment because it employed more than 8.5 million people to build bridges, roads, public buildings, parks and airports ("Franklin D. Roosevelt-American Heritage Center Museum, Inc" and "PBS: Public Broadcasting Service").

Most of the New Deal programs were successful, and the ones that were not did not last very long and were put to an end. Since many of the New Deal programs were helpful, some of them that were really successful are still used today. Some programs that were made as a part of the New Deal that are still used today like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Social Security System. These programs are important for the U.S. people today, but without the Great Depression and the New Deal programs we would not have any of these programs today. So although the depression was bad, some good things came out of it.

Workers building a new farm-to-market road because of the Works Progress Administration

What it stands for
Agricultural Adjustment Administration
Civilian Conservation Corps
Civil Works Administration
Federal Emergency Relief Administration
Federal Housing Administration
Farm Security Administration
Home Owners Loan Corporation
National Recovery Administration
National Youth Administration
Public Works Administration
Rural Electrification Administration
Social Security Administration
Tennessee Valley Authority
Work Progress Administration
("American History from About")