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How successful was the New Deal? A very brief set of notes…

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1 How successful was the New Deal? A very brief set of notes…

2 How successful was the New Deal? This presentation will look at 3 main areas: What was the New Deal? Why was there opposition? How successful was the New Deal? To return to the start click the logo. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

3 Roosevelt’s Hundred Days At his inauguration Roosevelt told Americans: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” He deliberately tried to build confidence by acting quickly and decisively. He put forward 15 proposals to Congress in his first 100 days, and all were accepted Aimed for 3 R’s Relief – help the sick, poor, unemployed Recovery – rebuild the economy Reform – make America a fairer, better place He also spoke of “Priming the pump” – spending government money to give people jobs, which would in turn lead to more spending and more jobs. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

4 Emergency Banking Act and Securities Exchange Commission Roosevelt closed all the banks, checked their savings and only allowed 5000 to re-open. They were then supported by government money if needed. New Laws also tightened rules about speculation on shares ‘Fireside Chats’ Roosevelt tried to build confidence by starting weekly radio broadcasts where he explained his ideas to 60 million Americans. Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Was set up to spend $0.5bn on soup kitchens, blankets, nursery schools. Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) Gave advice to modernise, set quotas to reduce production, could make payments in extreme cases CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in Days: The First New Deal

5 The Alphabet Agencies The Alphabet Agencies were the many organisations set up as part of the New Deal. You need to know one in detail, and examples of others. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Aimed mainly at young unemployed men. They signed on for 6 months. They could continue if they still couldn’t find work. Mostly environmental projects in national parks. The men were paid by the government and 2.5 million men took part in this scheme. National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) set up Public Works Administration (PWA) gave people work building schools, roads, dams, bridges National Recovery Administration (NRA) was a voluntary scheme where employers agreed to pay people fairly, and not overproduce Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) tried to improve a huge and very poor area spread across 7 states. It built dams to stop flooding, create jobs and electricity and allow farms to have water. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

6 1935: Second New Deal This was introduced because Roosevelt was being criticised for not doing enough. The USA was recovering more slowly than Europe. Support for the NRA was falling - Ford was even cutting wages Wagner Act: Allowed all workers to be in a union Social Security Act: Introduced pensions for elderly, and an unemployment insurance scheme Works Progress Administration: Brought together all the job creating organisations, and expanded them to cover new groups including artists and actors. Resettlement Administration: Helped small farmers to move to better land and housing and gave loans. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

7 1935 Supreme Court In 1935 a Chicken company challenged Roosevelt and the NRA in the Supreme Court. The old Republican judges ruled that the NRA went against the constitution. Roosevelt tried to change the law to get new judges, but many people felt he had gone too far. It was very unpopular and he backed down. However, it did scare the court enough that they allowed most of the New Deal laws. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932 Despite the opposition, Roosevelt won the 1936 Presidential election with the biggest margin ever. He joked: “everyone is against the New Deal, except the voters” 1936 Presidential Election

8 Opposition: too much Some people thought it did too much. Republicans believed that it damaged Americans by making them dependent on the state, they worried about the coast, and they thought that the money was being wasted. States rights campaigners argued that it gave the President too much power. They believed each state should have its own laws about the economy and saw schemes like the TVA as undermining them. Some, especially the rich, argued that it was the first steps towards communism. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

9 Opposition: too little Huey Long, was a radical Democrat who wanted the New Deal to do more. As the governor of Louisana he taxed big business, built schools and hospitals, and fought racism. He gained support for a ‘share our wealth’ campaign to confiscate large fortunes, and limit people to earning $1million a year. He even promised free washing machines and radios. He was a possible rival for the president but was assassinated in Father Coughlin was a radio presenting priest who also wanted more action. Although popular at first, he started to fade in importance by the end of the 30s. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

10 Did all benefit? African Americans? Many benefited from New Deal projects e.g. CCC. However some paid African American less or refused them work. Roosevelt did not tackle lynching. Women Some women became important leaders in the New Deal, e.g. Frances Perkins became the secretary of Labour. However many organisations mainly aimed at men e.g. only 8000 women in the CCC. Industrial Workers NRA and Wagner act gave workers more rights. Unions were Gradually accepted even by hostile companies like Ford. However, big business was still powerful and many strikes were violently broken up in the 1930s. CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

11 Successes Infrastructure [roads, schools, hospitals] were improved Billions of dollars were spent with very little corruption Gave work to millions of unemployed Provided relief for the elderly and unemployed Roosevelt was still popular, and won a 3 rd election in 1940 with a big majority. Recovery was only one aim. He did achieve reform and relief. Moreover, his style of active government became the norm for US governments after the war. Gave America hope and confidence. It prevented the rise of extremist politicians e.g. Hitler in Germany CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932

12 Failures When spending was cut back in 1937, unemployment rose. The New Deal hadn’t solved the problems just hidden them. The US took longer to recover than Europe Confidence was still low. Spending remained below 1929 levels through the 1930s. Big business remained very powerful, and could ignore his policies. Although Roosevelt was popular in 1940, the New Deal wasn’t as popular. Unemployment remained high, and only reached the figure for 1929 with the start of the Second World War CausesConsequencesRoosevelt in 1932


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