Life did get better for many Americans in the 1930s

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Last updated: November 10, 2019

In ways Roosevelt was responsible for this but in some ways the other factors were responsible. There are two sides tot his argument as many historians have found out. Life got a great of a deal better for Americans in the 1930s, some say that Roosevelt was responsible as he contributed a great deal of making life better for many Americans during the 1930s in several ways, in the first hundred days of his presidency, Roosevelt worked around the clock with his advisers who were known as the “brains trust” to produce a huge amount of measures.From day one he went straight to action.

One problem affecting the USA was its lack of confidence in banks. Roosevelt immediately tackled this problem. He did this by ordering all of the banks to close and remain closed until they had been checked out by government officials. A few days’ later 5000 banks were reopened. Roosevelt’s advisors had come up with a set of rules which would prevent the reckless speculation that had contributed to the Wall Street crash.There were two measures by this time called the emergency banking act and the securities exchange commission, these gave the American people a first look of what the new deal was going to look like this helped Roosevelt as he could show people his measures and see if they agreed with him.

One of Roosevelt’s advisors said “during the whole hundred day’s congress, people did not know what was going on but that they did no something good was happening to them”. In the hundred days, Roosevelt sent 15 proposals to congress and 15 were accepted.Roosevelt took time to explain to the American people what he was doing and why he was doing it. Each Sunday he would broadcast this on a radio station. An estimated 60 million Americans listened to these “fireside chats”.

Today we are used to politicians doing this but at the time it was a new development. Another one of Roosevelt’s measures was “The Federal Emergency Relief Administration” which provided $500 million to help the poor in certain States of America.This money paid for Nursery Schools, soup kitchens and small-scale employment schemes, this helped Roosevelt because people would think he is caring and by being kind meant helping America and this is possibly why life got better for many Americans in the 1930s. Roosevelt’s personal favorite though, was the “Social Security Act”, which provided pensions for workers over the age of 65 paid for by special taxes. This plan also made sure that people, who could not attend work due to an illness or disability, received sick pay, by this it looked like Roosevelt was did make life better as he was helping old people and people with an illness.

Another one of Roosevelt’s measures was the “civilian conservation corps” which was aimed at unemployed young men in particular. They could sign up for a 6 month period which can be renewed if they still haven’t got a job, this showed that Roosevelt made life a lot better for young men as they could then be earning some money to keep them going because if this measure was not set up then they would be a lot less fortunate. Most of the work done by the CCC was on environmental projects in national parks, e.

g. forestry or cleaning up rivers.All the money earned generally went back to the men’s families. Around 2. 5 million young men were helped out by this scheme. Another act was the AAA (the agricultural adjustment administration) this tried to take a long-term view of the problems farmers were facing. It set quotes to decrease farm production so that it could force prices upwards.

The AAA helped farmers to modernize and to use methods that would protect the soil. Farmers could also receive help with there mortgages if needed. The AAA rely did help farmers.Roosevelt was responsible for this as he had set it up and helped out farmers. The NIRA (the national industrial recovery act) set up two important organizations. The whole point of this was to improve Americans industry.

These were, the public works administration, in simple words, this provided employment. It used government money to build schools, dams, roads, and airports. These would be important when the USA had recovered and also brought about a huge amount of jobs (employment) this made Roosevelt responsible as he was the one who had set it all up.The second organization was the national recovery administration which improved working conditions in industry and outlawed child labor. Also it set out fair wages and sensible levels of production.

The whole idea was to give workers money to spend without producing a slump. Over two million employers had joined the scheme. All of these measures designed in the New Deal by Roosevelt were why he was responsible for life getting better for Americans but there were other factors.Roosevelt’s policies did help to improve America’s condition after the ‘Wall Street Crash’ but by 1937 unemployment began to rise once again.

Therefore the ‘New Deal’ was not a total success. Luckily for Roosevelt this situation didn’t last for too long because the war with Germany was coming closer, this meant that there would be employment needed to make weapons, build ships and more this would mean that unemployment would decrease once again. This shows that there are other factors why America’s life got better and that Roosevelt was not all responsible.On the other hand, the other factors that were responsible were because of the outbreak of World War 2 which was caused by Germany.

Because of the war there soon came a demand for soldiers, and for factory workers to make weapons, ships, fighter planes, tanks and ammunition for the army. Without the war Roosevelt may have found himself spending vast sums of money in an attempt to reduce unemployment again. So In my opinion America joining the war came at a good time for Roosevelt. In 1937 unemployement rose but then the war came and decreased it, this was no longer a problem for Roosevelt.

Another factor was the government, Roosevelt would be nothing without the government; basically he relied on them because if he didn’t have government money then he would not be able to set up the New Deal and this meant that life would not get at all better for American’s. This was his only hope therefore the government was responsible for why life got better for the Americans, to an extent. In 1937 a recession was brought up this meant that the government wanted to cut costs on helping unemployement.

This also meant that when Roosevelt cut these costs unemployment began to rise again this shows once again that he was nothing without the government. All these factors show that Roosevelt was not that far responsible for making life better in America in the 1930s it was due to the other factors as well. Overall to conclude, Roosevelt did make life better for many Americans with the ‘New Deal’. He managed to help unemployment and gain back people’s confidence in the economy and the government during his time as president.But, other factors such as ‘The Second World War’ certainly helped to make this happen. Also, many of the policies that were successful came at a cost. For example, when Government spending increased, raising taxes funded this.

So, the wealthier citizens were expected to pay more tax to enable poorer citizens to get a job. This made Roosevelt unpopular with a lot of rich people because they lost more money in taxes when he was President. Another criticism was the fact that many of the jobs created were not in fact real, permanent jobs and people were being paid for leaf raking and tree felling.

Although farmers had received help from the government, farm incomes remained low and the problems had not been resolved. This shows there are two sides to the argument and that you can’t quite tell who was responsible. In my opinion I would say Roosevelt was, as he done the most out of them all even though he would not be able to do anything without government money he still brought about his own measures and thought of the New Deal. This is only my opinion. Many historians might disagree.

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