Federal Emergency Relief Act Essay, Research Paper
Federal Emergency Relief Act
?Give a man a dole[handout],
and you save his body and
distroy his spirit. Give him a
job and pay him an assured
wage and you save both the
body and the spirt?
President Roosevelt wanted to give more to the people when he was in office than Hoover did when he was in office. He chose a man named Harry L. Hopkins to help him in succeeding. The goal and purpose of the FERA was to have all of the unemployed be employed again or for the first time. Hopkins was a forty-three-year-old social worker whose colorful, outgoing personality made him very known to the people and press. When congress created the FERA, to help the people, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation provided five hundred million dollars. When the project was underway Roosevelt asked Hopkins to come to Washington to run it. On Hopkins first day of his job, May 22, 1933, before he had an office, he sat out in the hallway and handed out work relief forms. Also, by the end of Hopkins first day on he had pleased himself and several states with grants adding up to about five million dollars. From then on, Hopkins spent the money blindly. The law required that each state set up a local FERA office and raise money through taxes, bond issues, borrowing or any thing else to raise money. Some states like Ohio, and West Virginia refused to make those allegations. Even thought this all happened Hopkins was very committed to satisfying people, he would get comments like ?I have a suggestion that will benefit the people- in the long run? Hopkins would come back with the comment ?people don?t eat in the long run- the eat everyday.? A lot of people wanted to work, and were willing to anything just for money to call their own. ?It?s very hard for me to ask for help,? said one. ?I don?t want charity. I want work- any kind of work. I?ll do work or anything?? said another: ?I?ll do anything, got to have a job?? and still another: ?Maybe you think I like to come up here beggin?! I don?t want no God-damn relief orders! I want to work, I tell you! Work! Work! I got to have a job!?
The Federal Emergency Relief Act maintained a small program during the first few months, but it got more and more people involved and the program got bigger and bigger. Hopkins had thought about the winter time that was coming up soon and he thought that there was going to be a big turn out and was going to have millions of people needing jobs. And he was right durring the winter of 1933-1934 they employed four million people over the winter months.
In two weeks the Civil Works Administration had 800,000 people working, with a total payroll of almost eight million dollars. And by the middle of January they had four million working, with a payroll of more than sixty-two million dollars. People that were working were doing jobs such as repairing highways and roads, bridges, schools, parks, and playgrounds, hospitals, and other public works. When the original CWA was gone Hopkins went to Roosevelt, and Roosevelt went to congress and congress said that they would provide another nine hundred and fifty million dollars. Four hundred and fifty million dollars of that was to be used to carry out the CWA, and the rest was to be used on FERA.
In November Mrs. Roosevelt wanted to have a lot to do with the FERA and she was dedicated to helping women. So she and a few other women made sure that women were included into the FERA because they said that a lot of women are in emergencies and need help too. So Hopkins made special care that he paid attention to the women and by February 1934, more than three hundred thousand women were at work, that was 53 percent of all of the women that applied. The women did jobs such as: sewing, furniture repair, nursing, and school-lunchroom cooking.
The thing was is the CWA was just temporary ant it did eventually close down after the winter was over like Hopkins promised. It ended on March 31, 1934. So with that closing down, the business for the FERA boomed. They had more people than ever. Both Roosevelt and Hopkins were very happy of there work. The head of the National Emergency Council, Frank Walker said he had seen ?men I had been to school with-digging ditches and laying sewer pipe.? He also said that one of his friends pulled him aside and pulled out a few coins out of his pocket and said ?Do you know, Frank, this is the first money that ive had in my pckets in a year and a half? Up to now, Ive had nothing but tickets that you could exchange for groceries.?
John Collier was quick to have the Indians included into the FERA and CWA. He also included the indians into the CCC?s known as the CCC?s Indian division. Most of the Indians were given jobs on their reservations and there were no age requirements in the Indian division.
It is said that the even though the FERA and the CWA are not around anymore, it changed the way people live, now, but rarely, people always take jobs that are offered to them. But it is also said that the FERA made this ?welfare country?