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Consequences of the Great Depression and Support for the New Deal Essay

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Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States. He served from 1933-1945. Roosevelt helped the American people regain hope during the hardest of times. He brought confidence when he promised motivating, powerful action, and added in his inaugural address, “the only thing we have left to fear is fear itself”(Franklin D. Roosevelt). During the toughest times of the Great Depression, he introduced the New Deal. The New Deal resorted hope and provided programs to help the people during the Great Depression. The Great Depression was an economic slump in North America, Europe, and other industrialized areas of the world that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. ” Even though it is said the U. S. economy had gone into depression six months earlier, the Great Depression may be said to have begun with the collapse of stock market prices in the New York Stock Exchange. Stock prices in the United States continued to fall during the next three years.

Other than ruining many thousands of individual investors, the abrupt decline in the value of assets greatly damaged banks and other financial institutions (About the Great Depression). The Great Depression had important consequences in the political territory. Economic distress led to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt introduced Lerner 2 many major changes in the American economy. He used increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote recovery. In spite of this active intervention, mass unemployment and economic decline continued (About the Great Depression).

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To help, Franklin D. Roosevelt came up with the idea of the New Deal. The term New Deal was coined during Roosevelt’s nomination acceptance speech (The New Deal). When launching the New Deal, Roosevelt’s intent was to address the Country’s needs. “Roosevelt promised relief for the poor and more public works programs to provide jobs. He attacked Hoover and the Republicans for their response to the Great Depression. ” The New Deal offered new roles for women, too. Although some women served as leaders in several New Deal agencies, most still experienced challenges and discrimination.

They experienced lower wages, less opportunities, and hostility in the workplace (Chapter 22). The New Deal also offered new roles for African Americans. A group of African Americans hired to fill government posts were known as the Black Cabinet. They served as unofficial advisers to the president. African Americans still continued to face tremendous hardships during the 1930’s. For example, New Deal programs did not help thousands of African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers (Chapter 22). The New Deal promised the three R’s. They were relief, recovery, and reform.

The first R, relief, helped millions of Americans enjoy some form of help (Chapter 22). Early programs that provided food, shelter, and water helped people tremendously. Lerner 3 executing these programs at a local level was no simple matter. Federal officials encountered customs and laws that led to injustice. These programs included the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Work Progress Administration, the National Youth Administration and many more (Bondi 319). The second R, recovery, wasn’t as successful as it should have been. Unemployment remained high and the idea of recovery did not work as well as what Roosevelt said.

Some critics said that Roosevelt needed the support of big businesses. Others said that the New Deal didn’t spend enough money. The third R, reform, was more successful and long lasting. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation restored people’s confidence in the nation’s banks. The reform part of the New Deal left thousands of roadways, bridges, dams, and public buildings (Chapter 22). “Floods change the course of history. ” The flood that happened in the spring of 1927 is no exception to this statement. When the waters of the Mississippi broke through banks and levees the disaster was tremendous.

A wall of water rushed into an area where nearly one million people lived. The Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover hurried to Memphis to take charge (Shlaes 15). Hoover served on a commission entrusted with finding a fair way to divide the waters of the Colorado River among seven basin states (Hoover Dam History). The building of the Hoover Dam gave thousands of jobs, as it was the largest man-made structures at the time of its construction. It prevents flooding as well as provides much needed irrigation and hydroelectric power to arid regions of states (Hoover Dam).

Weakening support of pro-New Deal senators and the election of 1938 caused the end of the New Deal. “Setbacks such as the court-packing fight and the 1937 economic Lerner 4 downturn gave power to anti-New Deal senators. ” The oppositions in Congress made passing New Deal legislations more difficult. During the 1938 elections, Roosevelt tried to influence voters in the South, however his candidates lost. The republicans benefited in both houses. As a result, Roosevelt lacked the congressional support he needed to pass New Deal laws. At the end of the New Deal in 1938, Americans turned their attention to the start of World War II (Chapter 22).