The New Deal: Why Franklin Roosevelt Is Amazing
WPA Road Project
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.