The New Deal was a plan designed for three purposes, relief, recovery, and reform.Actions of Roosevelt’s administration set precedents for future presidents and proved that the Constitution could be adapted to solve the problems of a more modern era.Much of the New Deal legislation passed in the 1930s is still in effect today.The efforts made by the Republicans to end the Great Depression before Roosevelt was elected, proved that it was time for a change; the old ways of Social Darwinism and lassiez-faire economics had proved ineffective.
The changes the New Deal made to the U.S. government were indeed for the better. Being a Republican, Hoover was a firm believer of Social Darwinism and lassiez-faire economics.He felt the government should not be directly involved in the lives of the people; it was the responsibility of the people to solve their own problems.Although he attempted to help the country rise out of depression during the second half of his term, he did not do enough.
By refusing to give direct relief, people were starving and children were dying.It would take Roosevelt and his New Deal to lift the people’s spirits and regain their confidence in the government.Unlike Hoover, Roosevelt did not object to direct relief; he was willing to do whatever was necessary to strengthen the American economy.He placed more power in the hands of the federal government to control big business, and realized the need for the government to help those who could not help themselves.
The New Deal focused on three R’s, relief, recovery, and reform.Although reform was not Roosevelt’sfirst priority, it is evident today that his efforts to prevent another disastrous depression have paid off.The country has yet to face another depression of such size.He placed regulations on the stock market to prevent the over-speculation that had led to the Great Crash of 1929.
The New Deal was a double-edged sword, a necessary evil, if you will.It both helped and hurt America and her people. FDR outlined his New Deal in a Fireside chat on Sunday, May 7, 1933.Trade and commerce were in decline.Over production of crops and goods continued, while demand for exports fell.This lethal combination had led to a nose dive in the prices of basic commodities which led inevitably to farms and factories losing money, and a banking crisis earmarked by mortgage foreclosures, banks calling loans and refusing to issue new ones, and a catastrophic loss of spiritual values and human spirit. The newly inaugurated President Roosevelt responded with the three R ‘s of relief, recovery and reform. Debt relief and the sale of beer were intended to relieve the monetary distress of farmers, factory workers and home owners, raise employment and increase stability while spreading a little good cheer. An alphabet soup of programs was intended to create jobs and improve the country in general: CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) to name just two.They did employ hundreds of thousands of men, protect the forests, prevent floods, and electrify the country side.
Reform acts addressed the railroads, the workplace, antitrust laws and the gold standard.While intended to eliminate waste, improve working conditions, control monopolies and prevent the flow of gold out of the country, these laws also left us with red tape and bureaucracy that saddles us to this day. Then there were his four great objectives of friendly relations, reduction in armaments, reduction of trade barriers and the stabilization of currencies.For all their good intentions, one could argue that his efforts to save money through hispolicy of disarmament as well as by droppingtrade barriers, weakened the USA when it should have been preparing to fight WWII.