Question Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were those responses? How did they change the role of the federal government?
Having gone through severe unemployment, food shortages,and many other social issues, the American people were beginning to lose hope. But things began to change as FDR stepped into office and implemented his New Deal programs . FDR and his administration responded to the crisis by executing policies that would successfully address relief, reform, and recovery.
Although the Depression ended during U.S entry into WW2, it was FDR’s response with the
New Deal programs that stopped America’s economic downfall, relieved millions of Americans, reformed many policies, and expanded government and individual power.
FDR’s New Deal tried to provide relief for Americans. Poverty rates was on the rise and unemployment was also drastically high. To solve these problems, FDR created many programs and organizations, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration,
Civil Works Administration, and many more. Another example is the Federal Emergency Relief
Program which revived relief programs by giving them funds. According to
Document J, the
New First Deal dropped unemployment about twentyfive percent from 12,830,000 unemployed to 7,700,000 unemployed. The creation of such programs also expanded the role of government
by demonstrating that the government could have a large bureaucracy. The numerous programs
FDR implemented were all run by the bureaucracy, thus the “bureaucracy in Washington grew by leaps and bounds” according to William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. in
. Also in
Document A it shows how poor women were rarely assisted by the government. Urban unemployment also represented a big problem in the US. To solve the unemployment issue,
FDR implemented the CWA, which gave jobs to many people to build and repair buildings, roads, and many other infrastructures. This not only dealt with the problem of unemployment, but it also drastically improved the damage and ruined parts of the country. The CCC functioned in the same way, providing millions of jobs to unemployed workers for maintaining and restoring the environment. Unfortunately, public works programs like these greatly increased the national debt One of FDR’s first response to the public was the need of reforming the banking system.
FDR created the Emergency Banking Act that shut down all banks across the US and only allowed them to reopen under government inspection. The EBA also demonstrated how governmental power was expanding, as the program allowed the government to ignore states and businesses rights to shut down the banks. In
Document E it shows another instance of reform provided by FDR and his administration which was social security. FDR created the Social
Security Act, which gave pensions to oldage workers, along with many other benefits to the elderly citizens of America. It gave hope into millions of Americans for the benefit of their future . The Social Security Act was also revolutionary in changing the government’s role by showing how the government cares for all citizens. This is also revolutionary because it’s still
around today.This is very similar to the offers given to people during the Great Society by LBJ.
Social Security is very similar to Medicare and Medicaid because it finally secures the elderly and the disabled. In Document G
, John L. Lewis supports the Wagner Act, which was FDR’s response to the labor unrest in the country. The Wagner Act addressed the concerns of workers over their rights as union members and ability to collectively bargain. It was also a landmark legislation for organized labor. The act proved effective as labor unrest began to change. The
Wagner Act changed the role of the government by