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The New Deal: Why Franklin Roosevelt is amazing

Updated on September 15, 2011

WPA Road Project

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Franklin D. Roosevelt is yet another figure in history I admire, thanks to the learning I have achieved with motivation by my upcoming CSET exam.

The New Deal was a remarkable set of programs started by Roosevelt. Most of the programs were implemented in the first 100 days of his 12-year presidency, in 1932. Many of the programs were aimed at improving the state of the economy and assisting the poor, as the Great Depression was affecting the United States and morale was dropping with the stock market crash and job losses.

The First New Deal created short-term solutions like relief programs for the nation's problems, while the Second New Deal worked on more comprehensive distribution of resources.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped create jobs for more than two million people, including photographers and musicians. The United States Bank Holiday closed banks until they could be certified (if applicable) by federal reviewers. The Indian Reorganization Act tried to prevent assimilation. I was amazed at the range of actions taken by the various programs of the New Deal; it was almost as if the Roosevelt administration felt that if changes were to be made, they might as well work improve any possible issue that might hold the United States back from making progress.

Many of the programs still remain today, such as the Social Security Act; the Fair Labor Standards Act, which set the workweek at 40 hours and outlawed forms of child labor; the Tennessee Valley Authority, which helped modernize the poor area; and the National Labor Relations Act.

I think that initiating these programs took a lot of thought, responsibility, understanding, and conviction. Actions were taken after looking at the problems, where they started, and how they were perpetuated.

People did criticize the New Deal for increasing federal power, for slowing long-term growth, and for weakening business, calling him a capitalist. Many reforms were made after Roosevelt's terms in office. However, I think the federal government needed to step in to slow the effects of the Great Depression effectively. Drastic measures needed to be taken, and though it didn't end the Great Depression, I think the New Deal did a fine job at working with it. While it didn't solve every problem sufficiently and not every program succeeded, Roosevelt's ambition gave enough people hope to overcome the nation's financial woes of the time, especially compared to other nations.

The New Deal

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    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 9 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      I hope your next president has the same vision and courage as Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      me too, it's getting scarey out there.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      It IS scary how closely the current economic situation mirrors what it was when FDR was elected in 1932. And for the same reasons: a tiny, greedy portion of the population controlling most of the wealth and jobs (or lack thereof), and very little regulation of corporations and financial institutions. No regard whatsoever for the plight of Average Citizens...without whom those corporations and financial institutions would not exist. Economics 101: those who have no job, and therefore no money, buy n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

      Certainly most of the jobs created by the original New Deal was "busy work" paid for with essentially imaginary money. But Roosevelt brilliantly recognized that every paycheck issued to a WPA worker became REAL money wherever that worker spent it.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      Nice comparison with current times. Like I said, what FDR accomplished wasn't perfect, but I think it set things in the right direction. We (including administrators) definitely need to take a better look at history and learn from it, in the future for sure.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      You sound like an Obama girl! :-)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      One doesn't have to be an Obama supporter to recognize that a healthy economy depends on the majority of Americans being gainfully employed IN America. "Gainfully" meaning being paid enough that after the monthly bills are taken care of, there's money left to purchase non-necessities. Goods and services that make life enjoyable, as well as keep the economy moving.

      FDR wasn't the only president to grasp this simple concept. Bill Clinton did too, and at the end of his two terms, left office with a surplus in the Treasury. (Note that neither was a Republican.)

      American jobs are disappearing at the rate of tens of thousands a month. It's time to stop wasting billions on a war that can't be won, and use it to rebuild OUR country instead.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      You're great, JamaGenee!

      ...And I am a proud Clinton supporter (both Bill and Hillary!). :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      So am I. Obama forgets that he isn't the **official** Democratic nominee yet, and if he keeps switching positions like he has in the last couple weeks, those Super Delegates he's so proud of *could* throw the nomination to Hillary. A lot can happen between now and the convention in August!

    • spseufert profile image

      spseufert 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      like and share this page if you think FDR and the New Deal is amazing! https://www.facebook.com/21stCenturyWPA

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