How far was President Roosevelt able to solve the Economic problems of the USA by 1941
President Roosevelt developed the New Deal in 1933 and its aims were relief and recovery of the victims of the depression and trying to get the recovery going with reform and regulation. Historians still debate whether for not this was successful and if Roosevelt really did help the economy. There were many business and bank reforms, which consisted of ‘Fireside chats’ and they were there to restore the confidence of the American population.
The ‘Fireside chats’ were over the radio and made him seem friendly and caring towards the public, this would have restored the public’s confidence in him; as well as showing them that he was doing something about the depression. Reform of the banks meant that they were not closed immediately they were are to stay open and start to stabilise themselves. The larger the banks in the big cities would lend money to the small banks in the rural areas so they could stay open, Roosevelt did this to help the Economy because it meant more people were able have loans and keep smaller businesses going.
On August 23rd 1935 President Roosevelt signed a bill which centralised banking system which allowed the banks to lend under collateral which were now considered as able security. A slight drop occurred in the unemployment sector, this was due to Roosevelt introducing the CCC and WPA. The CCC was the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was a public relief program for that employed the unemployed, unmarried men from relief families between the ages of 17 and 28. It provided unskilled manual labour jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands.
The WPA was the Works Progress Administration renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration. This was the largest work program introduced by Roosevelt where in employed unskilled workers to carry out public work projects; this can include construction of public buildings and roads. In the end they built 1000 airport landing strips, 8000 schools and hospitals and 12,000 playgrounds. This was achievement for President Roosevelt because it showed that public that he was trying to reduce the amount of unemployed and put money back into families in poverty.
Agricultural relief was another big situation which helped the USA change and get onto its feet. There we many organisations set up to do so, the AAA, TVA and REA also known as alphabet acts. The AAA or Agricultural Adjustment Act which restricted the production of produce, they paid the farmers subsidies not to plant some parts of their land (leave land fallow) and to kill any excess livestock. The TVA or Tennessee Valley Authority was federally owned corporation in the US it was to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation and economic development in the Tennessee Valley.
This solved some of the economic problems in the agricultural area because it meant that less was being produced and going to waste but those farmers where still earning because the government gave them money to keep fallow land. Nonetheless, there were limitations to each of the acts and bill introduced listed above. Businesses were still controlling the politicians and supply support to them, but it also took and extremely long time for it to come into action. The problem which occurred with the unemployment was that it didn’t reduce it enough to have any real cause of effect.
However it also increased prices of general products and then reduced the real wage which had a massive effect on the poverty stricken because it meant that couldn’t afford general house hold products. In the agricultural acts especially the AAA meant that animals had to be slaughter this led to over 6 million be killed. Also to start with congress ruled it as unconstitutional so it was not a popular act. When the TVA was introduced and began its effect a lot of small family run businesses turned into massive corporate businesses. When the first New Deal was introduced it wasn’t successful, many of its policies failed.
Some of the alphabet agencies were deemed unconstitutional this did help show the public that the New Deal was there to help them; the unemployment also didn’t drop enough so there were still millions of people unemployed. But what didn’t help either was that wages didn’t rise sharply so it meant that even people who did have jobs were not getting enough to support their families. The states of America each had their own powers to conduct the laws in those states, but with the New Deal the powers which these states had reduced leaving them in uncontrollable situations.
These state where able to help men and women who were being persecuted because no extra civil rights legislations were introduced to protect those who needed protecting like African Americans. The second New Deal was basically the improvements and introductions of new policies in the USA. It wasn’t just down to Roosevelt to solve the economic problems there were also other who did work to set it straight. There were men and women like Frances Perkins, Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins and Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt helped the African American children and infants of the US.
She was active in getting justice for black Americans in both New Deal programs. Frances Perkins played a big part in helping the unemployed she was the secretary of Labour and had a particular responsibility for the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLS). In conclusion, it’s shown that it wasn’t just down to Roosevelt who solved the economic problems. There were many other aspects which helped and can be seen as more influential, like the involvement of other bodies like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Perkins. Who helped the unemployed and the people who were being persecuted because of skin colour and their immigration status.