Life Did Get Better For Many Americans

In The 1930s. How Far Was Roosevelt Responsible For This? Essay, Research Paper

Roosevelt and his New Deal pioneered the American recovery programme, however there were a number of other factors which contributed towards improving life for the American people. When Roosevelt came into power he had four main aims, get Americans back to work, protect their savings and property, providing relief for the sick, old and unemployed and get American industry and agriculture back on their feet. In the first hundred days of his presidency, Roosevelt implemented an enormous range of radical measures. He closed all the banks in the country and then reopened the ones that had been approved by the government task force, this would ensure that people’s savings were secure. Roosevelt started radio “fireside chats” he used these throughout his presidency to give advice and inform the American citizens. This built up the confidence of the American people in their government and banking system and helped to instil the “spirit of America”. Roosevelt established a number of schemes to accomplish his aims. The Public Works Administration (PWA) employed millions of people building American infrastructure, this not only made jobs but set a basis for future prosperity. The National Recovery Administration (NIRA) worked on improving working conditions for employees. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) tackled the longer term problems facing farmers and set quotas to reduce over production and drive prices up. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built dams to combat the dust bowl problem in the Tennessee Valley. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) concentrated on employing men on environmental projects in national parks. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) aimed to provide aid for the poor such as blankets and soup kitchens.The consequences of the government schemes were that unemployment declined, therefore people had more money to spend. Immediately everybody had food to eat but as time went on people could begin to afford luxury items. This helped to build industry and bring the country slowly out of the depression. Despite Roosevelt’s New Deal a number of other factors contributed towards improving life for many Americans. The big families were not hit as harshly by the depression and when the prices hit rock bottom they began to reinvest in the stock market. They poured money into American industry which employed more people. America’s vast population provided a huge market for products. This meant that large numbers of products could be sold, speeding up the recovery. The economic cycle of “boom ‘n bust” helped bring America out of the depression which was aided by America’s huge amount of natural resources which could be exported to strengthen the American economy. Finally in 1939 World War Two broke out, this pushed up manufacturing and pushed down unemployment.As the condition of the American economy improved so did life for many Americans. Although the economic recovery was led by Roosevelt and supported by federal government money, it was greatly helped by the natural economic cycle of “boom ‘n bust”, the big families of America re-investing and America’s huge natural resources and market. However it must be noted that the outbreak of World War Two in 1939 employed more people than any of the measures Roosevelt implemented.

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