There are two arguments regarding Roosevelt’s boldness.
One is that Roosevelt did not help everybody, and that he was not bold enough. He mainly helped a specific group of people, which he called the “Ordinary people”. These were the people who were poor and desperate for help because of their way of living. Roosevelt spent a lot of money on helping out the ordinary people. He made it clear at the start of the campaign that he would do this. So already from the start he wasn’t helping everybody in America. The New Deal did not help the black people and poor white farmers who were affected by the “dustbowl”.
It then looked like the rich and wealthy who were not being looked after as well as the “ordinary people” were the forgotten people, the people who were just as desperate and in need of help. But they did not receive the attention they deserved. Roosevelt made clear his aim to eliminate unemployment, but he could not keep his promise because the unemployment figures still remained high. What Roosevelt tried to do to solve the unemployment crisis was to set up work schemes to rebuild the country.
These were later named “Alphabet Agencies”. The agencies were not full time work.When you had finished a project, you would not know when you would work again or even if you would. So it was an unreliable job and many Americans were confused because they thought it would be full-time work.
Roosevelt was trying to be as bold as possible to the American people by making whistle stop tours all over America and was trying to spread his message out to the people. Roosevelt did this very well to a certain extent. He won the vote of 42 states out of a total 48. But those six states still count as negative because it showed that not everyone wanted what he wanted.
Also, many people were not such big fans of the New Deal. He had ever increasing competition and rivalry from the Republican Party and major businessmen. Roosevelt said that he would be fair and make sure everyone was treated equally. He did not fulfil this.
Many people were disappointed at his actions and with the New Deal. Some sources agree that Roosevelt did a lot for the American people. Some sources disagree and criticise Roosevelt for doing too much.
Oppositions such as Huey Long claimed that Roosevelt was not bold enough. Huey Long’s view made him a serious political rival to Roosevelt until he was assassinated.Source A agrees that Roosevelt was bold and says that he really cared about the people of America. It tells us that Roosevelt really wanted to help and be involved people’s lives. We know that this source is not pro-Roosevelt propaganda, and so is trustworthier as it was written after his time. It also mentions his “fireside chats” and we know this is true. It is from a secondary textbook and this is also useful, but only as an American perspective. Patterson claims Roosevelt gave people hope and the evidence for this is that Roosevelt was elected four times.
However, the source is limited because of the audience it is aimed at. Also because it was written almost sixty years after the events took place. Source B also suggests that Roosevelt was bold. The man who wrote the letter To Roosevelt extremely supports Roosevelt as he had a personal experience with Roosevelt.
The man had a good experience because Roosevelt helped him. However this is only one interpretation. This does not apply for everyone. It is only one letter out of the 5000-8000 letters that he received each day.
Not every letter could have been thanking Roosevelt for his help or this supportive.You can’t use this source as an indicator of what most people felt at the time; other letters must be looked at. Source C is an opinion of Roosevelt’s motives for the New Deal written by Francis Perkins who was the secretary of Labour in Roosevelt’s New Deal government of the 1930’s. she claims and believes that Roosevelt did something for the forgotten man. “As Roosevelt described it, the ‘New Deal’ meant that the forgotten man, the little man, the man nobody knew much about, was going to be dealt better cards to play with”.However she may have included unintentional bias because she had worked for Roosevelt and he gave her a top position within his cabinet and she owes him gratitude.
She also mentions helping farmers in the source. But we know that Roosevelt actually did not help many farmers as the New Deal excluded most. Source D agrees with the interpretation of Roosevelt being bold because it shows what Roosevelt said he was going to do.
It is a typical propaganda photo and it shows that agencies worked and that the employee’s were happy. However, the source does not show what everyone thinks.It is a staged photo, everyone looks prepared and ready. It was designed for a certain look and feel about the new deal. Roosevelt received criticism for this picture and for his ABC agencies, as he was likened to Hitler.
At the very beginning, he said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ” This was his first address to the nation on March 4th, 1933. It was a bold statement, that’s why people voted for him. Roosevelt pumped more money into the federal government than any other president had ever done before.
Source E shows the New Deal had worked.It indicates that Roosevelt had done something good in order for the unemployment to have been reduced. The New Deal had to have worked because the figures show a decrease, although the figures could be biased. However, in 1937, Roosevelt cut down the amount of money being spent on unemployment. This was followed by the figures rising once again. Roosevelt then realised that he had to keep spending. This source also does not show other aspects of the New Deal.
Both sources H and I agree that Roosevelt was bold enough and that he had improved America. Source H is a happy poster showing the prosperity of America.It also agrees that Roosevelt improved the standard of living. However, it is propaganda and was released near the elections. Also, it is only a poster.
It does not show real people enjoying a better way of life. It is not very good evidence to show us how American families benefited from the New Deal. Source I is justifying Roosevelt’s actions, he believed that in times of war, the people should be strong. It is an opinion of Roosevelt’s about what would make a healthy democracy. However, I disagree with the statement because Roosevelt did follow through most of his promises.
He told people that he and the government would get more involved in people’s lives and they did. By getting more involved they stopped millions of Americans from losing their homes and properties and employed millions, who otherwise would be out of work. He said that he would eliminate unemployment. Roosevelt did not exactly do this, but he did the next best thing by reducing the unemployment figures, in the best way he could. He set up “alphabetical agencies”, which would help to rebuild America and get Americans employed; both at the same time.Roosevelt also helped to restore the economy again.
Through employment he got people to start spending again. Because Americans started to spend again, the economy started to recover. This improved confidence and they started to trust the banks once again. America’s confidence with their money had slowly been growing once more.
The majority of Americans were better off in 1938 than in 1932. Americans enjoyed a much better lifestyle during Roosevelt’s presidency up to 1938 until the country fell back into depression.At around 1936, the American style of living was the highest in the world. Source F criticises Roosevelt for interfering too much, for creating a work-shy nation and making people reliant on benefits. This company was most likely to be Republican. Entrepreneurs believed that Roosevelt was doing too much and believed he was restricting their freedom.
This is not everyone’s opinion. Only one particular American company that had a negative experience. In 1936, Roosevelt won 27 million votes in the elections. It was the biggest landslide victory an American president had ever received.Source G attacks Roosevelt for “destroying” America and moving away from “rugged individualism”.
The source is saying that Roosevelt was not bold enough, it is more than likely to be a Republican perspective of the New Deal. Roosevelt did not do anything to harm the American way of life. If anything, he made it better. He was known as the President who cared.
After America had fallen into depression for the second time in 1938, the American people knew once again the feeling of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and felt the effects that people had felt then.