The New Deal Coursework
The New Deal was set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he became president of the United States of America in March 1933. Roosevelt introduced the New Deal to stabilise the USA, focusing on his aims that he put forward in his inaugural speech.
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Roosevelt made his inaugural speech in March 1933, declaring his main aims that he planned to achieve during his time as President.
During his speech Roosevelt said:
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
He said this because he wanted to assure the American citizens that he could reform the current depression in the USA and make sure no such crisis could happen again in the future. He wanted to regain the American people’s confidence in that the problems caused by the Great Depression should no longer be feared because he had a plan to resolve the bad effect of the depression on his country. Roosevelt said that he aimed to make better use of natural resources, and to lower unemployment figures by providing jobs for thousands of people. He also said that he was aiming for the protection of people’s savings and property, a redistribution of the land for those less privileged and to provide aid to the ill, elderly and unemployed.
Roosevelt was granted one hundred days of broad executive power so that he could achieve his aims by passing laws quickly without having to put them through the government. With this power Roosevelt set up the “Alphabet Laws” that were combined to form the New Deal. The different laws he passed allowed him to achieve the aims that he had proposed in his inaugural speech.
To accomplish his first aim of restoring confidence in the American citizens, Roosevelt came up with the idea of the “fire side chat”. The fire side chat was a radio show that Roosevelt would speak on every night, in a bid to convince Americans that he would make sure that America recovered fully from the Great Depression. Because the fire side chat was a daily occurrence, it could been seen as a form of propaganda but the radio shows did in fact give confidence to Americans in the way that they he made people believe that he would keep the promises he made to help America recover.
One of the first of the Alphabet Laws that Roosevelt set up was The Emergency Banking Act. The Emergency Banking act was, to all intents and purposes, a four-day bank holiday; when all the banks were declared financially secure they were allowed to be reopened but those which were not were closed. Roosevelt set this act up to restore the Americans’ faith in the dollar and to systematize America’s economic situation. The Emergency Banking Act abolished Americans fears that their savings were not secure and let them put their trust back into the banks where they kept their money.
Another program that Roosevelt set up was the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which was established to provide benefits for the unemployed. The basis of the program was that the government would give a dollar for every three dollars that the state spent; this was supposed to give people confidence that the unemployed would be given enough money to live on until a job opportunity came about. The fact that the Government was showing interest in the well-being of American people, made people believe even further that it was a strong, caring government system that took into account minorities and those in need. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was later changed to the Civil Works Administration which was a project set up with five hundred million dollars backing from the Government, which was spent on public work schemes. It gave hundreds of people jobs all across America on developments such as road works and building important public buildings such as airports and schools.
The Labour Relations act was brought about to give employees and workers across America the reassurance that they had worker’s rights and the freedom to back themselves against unfair dismissal by their employer.
The Home Owners Loan Cooperation was set up to give Americans back the confidence that they were safe from being evicted from their own homes. It allowed people to take out loans so that they could pay rent until they came up with a better source of income.
As well as the Civil Works Administration as a factor in achieving his aims of lowering unemployment figures, Roosevelt also set up the National Recovery Administration, the Works Progress Administration, and the Public Works Administration; all of which were work schemes that provided jobs for many people in all aspects of society from arts to agriculture.
Other aims of Roosevelt were the redistribution of land and better uses of natural resources. Roosevelt set up The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Agricultural Adjustments Act and The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
The Civilian Conservation Corps was set up to protect the environment in many areas of the USA. As well as observations on plants and wildlife such as tree-planting and beekeeping, the CCC also built many trails and buildings in state and national parks and installed fences, and power and telephone lines.
The Agricultural Adjustments Act aimed to prevent farmers from being evicted from their homes by introducing new crops to farming areas. The government would also buy a cow from a family farm and then have the meat sent back to family tinned, ready to eat.
The TVA was set up in order to provide economic development in the Tennessee Valley, where many people were affected greatly by the Great Depression. It concentrated on building dams to prevent flooding and to regain land around the Tennessee River and also on electricity generation and the manufacturing of fertilizer as a source of income.
Roosevelt also set up other organisations to tackle other problems such as The Social Security Act that gave aid to the ill, elderly and unemployed; and the National recovery Administration that ensured working conditions were acceptable for everyone and to abolish over working and child labour.
In conclusion, Roosevelt covered all of his aims mentioned in his inaugural speech using his power to pass the Alphabet Laws in order to keep his promises that he made to the people of America. The features of the New Deal came together to successfully meet Roosevelt’s initial aims as President, as he made a benefit of the environmental state of the USA by using natural resources to boost the economy and provide employment for many people, effectively killing two birds with one stone.