The Great Depression really affected how things were going in America. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president who had to address this issue. It was something that the president was optimistic on, stating that he “Promised a new deal and situation for the people of America” (Brinkley, 2014). This showed America that Franklin D. Roosevelt was not scared to take big steps in order to repair this country. It was not easy to execute, but it gave America slight progression into the right direction.
In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office, he developed & implemented The New Deal in 1933. This was the main agenda for Roosevelt, and he felt that was the most important thing to be done. The job market was in a bad state, and the poverty rate was at a all time high. So, implementing a plan like was the best thing at this point for America. This was something that FDR felt would give the America a sense of assurance.
This deal was so significant because more economic responsibility was put on federal government than ever before (Kirkland, 2013). Areas of uncontrolled commerce that wasn’t controlled by them previously, was controlled by them now. This led to a resurrection of new jobs for Americans that were lost in the Great Depression. The New Deal was also important because it started to tend to the essential needs of everyday American people. This alone helped the credibility of the New Deal, because Americans were confident in it.
Roosevelt needed an organized plan to help with The New Deal.
This is where the 3 R’s were introduced, Recovery, Relief, and Reform. Recovery was design to help the economy get back on their feet after the Great Depression. Relief was to give temporary assistance to the Americans out of jobs. Reform tried to find the root issues of the depression and see how they could avoid them. These three R’s were also important because this led to more focus on regulating banks and stock markets, helping farms, and decreasing debt. This leads to our next topic, Alphabet Agencies.
The 3 R’s ideology had an immediate impact, because they lead to the Alphabet Agency Initiatives. One agency that is very prominent and related to relief is the Social Security Act. Over 40 percent of senior citizens lived in poverty. It keeps senior citizens from being poor during retirement. FDR stood firmly against seeing Americans poor after retirement. Another thing that needed to be worked on was the banks. The citizens weren’t confident in the banks, so FDR and the Congress solved this issue. They created the FDIC & Bank Reform, which meant that the government could guarantee that their deposits would be safe. If something was to happen the banks, the citizens funds would be okay. The recovery side consisted of the National Industrial Recovery Act, this was one of the first trials at trying to help the economy. It was an act that help maintain industry for decent wages in order to help the economy recovery process. The Tennessee Valley Authority was very important. According to the Tennessee Valley Authority (2017), the act was to provide the controllability of flooding and better navigability. As a result, this act led to a huge agricultural and industrial development rate. The Federal Housing Administration Act was to help facilitate standard of living. This was vital because due to more houses needing to be built, there needed to be more construction workers, which lead to more construction jobs.
Although the New Deal was helpful, it didn’t benefit everyone the same. African Americans suffered greatly during this time. African Americans dealt with an unemployment rate of 50 percent during the Great Depression. Even if an African American had a job, they would be paid a lower amount than a white worker, due to the segregation in this time period. It didn’t get any better for the African Americans, because FDR didn’t put his foot down on civil rights. He fully felt if he supported civil rights, then he wouldn’t get support from the southern Democrats, leading to no New Deal legislation being passed. This resulted in African Americans getting no benefits from the New Deal. For example, the NRA offered many whites with the best jobs possible, and they also condoned separate and low wages for African Americans. Also, the FHA didn’t give mortgages to African Americans that tried to make an attempt at buying land in a white neighborhood. Furthermore, jobs that African Americans usually did weren’t supported by the Social Security Act. Lastly, the president didn’t support the anti-lynching bill, which is something that could’ve decreased hate crimes drastically.
Another group of people had their own problems as well, the Mexican Americans. When the stock market crashed, the Federation of Labor had pressure on them to get rid of Mexican immigrants. The reason the government felt they needed to do this was because they felt that that would speed up economic growth. This led to our police forces detaining Mexican immigrants. Eventually, Mexican immigrants started leaving America voluntarily because of unemployment, and deportation threats. FDR tried to resolve this issue with CCC and the WPA by hiring unemployed Mexican Americans. Also, the Farm Security Administration tried to set up camps for the migrant workers. This was deemed unsuccessful because the Mexicans immigrants didn’t qualify for relief assistance, because they didn’t meet the requirements to be a resident in the US. Also, workers that worked in farming did not get benefits under worker’s compensation, or the Social Security Act.
The New Deal was very complex, and effective and ineffective in some people’s eyes. It was something that attempted safety, and stability into America. It also stuck our nation somewhere that it had never been before. It set our government to a new standard and motivated our country to take risk in order to see some type of resolve. The New Deal redefined America in the biggest way possible.