Was The New Deal a Succes
1. In 1932 people had started to give up on the economy and the government. The Depression was hurting the country all over. Many people who had wealth became poor overnight and the government was not in a position to help the situation. The people had very little confidence in themselves and the management of the country.
Herbert Hoover, the President at that time, was a Republican who continued with the policy of laissez-faire, meaning that events were left to run themselves without government intervention. He didn’t even try slightly to improve the current situation and therefore earned the scorn of the public and when Roosevelt went up and down the country promising to bring the country out of the Depression, a new life, with a New Deal that would help restore the economy and confidence of America, he gathered a great deal of support.
Roosevelt attacked the Administrations policies as leading to ‘Destruction, Delay, Deceit and Despair’ and inspired the public as he went on his presidential campaign. He asked the nation to join in a ‘crusade’ to restore the country to its former grandeur. People were inspired to not give up hope: Roosevelt inspired the nation and they loved him for it.
Roosevelt promised that he would help the Americans get back jobs and help protect their savings and property. He also promised to provide relief for the sick and to get industry and agriculture back on their feet. They trusted that if he did win the election, he would introduce his New Deal. The people believed in him and were prepared to ditch Hoover who was referred to as the ‘do nothing’ President and it wasn’t very hard for the people to elect him out of office.
2. Source B gives a positive description of the New Deal as it was seen ten years later while Source C gives an overly negative description. For example, while Source B first seeks to ask an objective question; what are the major achievements of the New Deal, and then goes on to answer the question posed; Source C is more partisan and is a direct attack upon the administration. Straight away before reading on we can see that the historian writing the second Source doesn’t like Roosevelt at all.
The second Source attacks Roosevelt’s call for more power. He claims that Roosevelt will bring the government into dictatorship and then if we look back to Source B we can see that this author is praising Roosevelt for all he did to help the country and it shows us that the power was still in the hands of the people as they could vote officials in and out of office. It also tells us that during the crisis in the ‘Dust Bowl’ Roosevelt went into action fast, he put his energy into developing and rebuilding the country; ’17 million acres’ of forests were planted and ‘6 million dams’ built this helped to cultivate the land stop erosion.
While Source B tells us that ’14 Million were unemployed’ and that Roosevelt introduced assistance for the unemployed, while also banning child labour and introducing old age pensions, Source C tells us more straight facts, according to the source there was still ’11 million unemployed’ in 1938. Source B indicates that the people were being helped through difficult times, in contrast to Source C which claims that Roosevelt was desperate and was only able to restore it by leading the country to war.
3. Source D is obviously against Roosevelt. It is depicting Roosevelt as a short fat man who is pumping away at the money pump, which is trying to bring out as much out as possible, but it is only producing a trickle of results meanwhile there is a river gushing down made up of ’16 billion’ dollars wasted through the numerous leaks . The leaks are the many different organisations which Roosevelt set up to ‘aid’ the country.
The taxpayer is depicted with glasses to show that he is an educated man i.e. a doctor, lawyer or a businessman and with boots to show that he is a farmer, the message we get from this man is that both the farmers in the rural areas and the people in the cities were bowing under the heavy burden of the taxes and they can see before their eyes that it’s all getting wasted and that how ever much money they give they will need to give more.
The underground leaks are telling the reader that there are many things that Roosevelt isn’t telling people, that he is doing things ‘under the table’. Many people might think that they know what their money is being wasted on but there is something else going on underneath. The cartoonist obviously thinks that Roosevelt is wasting his time and the nation’s money and doesn’t know what he is doing.
.Source E shows Roosevelt clearing out all of Hoovers rubbish just after Hoover has left. This cartoon is obviously pro-Roosevelt it is praising the fact that as soon as he came into office, he got to action and cleared all of Hoover’s ‘rubbish’. Herbert Hoover is depicted as a man walking away studying a timetable this is mocking him saying that he followed the normal and what was set rather than Roosevelt who initiated laws etc.. Hoover is holding a gladstone bag to signify that the cartoonist thinks that Hoover’s policies were empty and he was a poor salesman. Roosevelt’s rolled up sleeves are drawn to show that he means business and is prepared to take action himself.
Source F is also pro-Roosevelt. First the cartoon shows Uncle Sam, representing American society, looking haggard and ill, sitting there in his pyjamas listening in to the ‘nurse and the doctor’. The nurse, being Congress, is listening to the ‘doctor’ very carefully. Doctor Roosevelt is prescribing the medicines. This represents Roosevelt ‘prescribing’ all his different ‘organizations’ for the country to ‘get back on its feet’. What the ‘doctor’ is saying that if the New Deal doesn’t work (which there is no reason why it shouldn’t) then something else will have to be prescribed to get America back on its feet.
4. Source H is more informative than Source G because Source G is just informing us about one old couple who were very grateful to Roosevelt for helping them, but popular song is made up to reflects what the public thinks or may be made to think to speak endearingly of the Democratic party, the song uses slang such as ‘Martin’ and ‘donkey’ which also reflects the public mood. The song also compares life under Roosevelt and life during the Depression where they were ‘neglected’.
The writer respects Roosevelt we can see this by the fact that he used Franklin D. Roosevelt, his full name rather than just Roosevelt. Source G shows only one aspect of how Roosevelt helped one member of the public, by getting their furniture back and by prolonging their loans, but meanwhile he has taken an interest in the municipality and made sure that the bread lines were decreased, in addition he made sure that people got jobs, had money etc. Source G is good so as it goes but Source F gives a fuller account of the benefits of the New Deal.
He made sure that people had heating in the winter; we can see this from Source H where the composer of the song mentions that there won’t be any more queues for food in the snow or rain, that could either mean that either there was no need for food queues at all or just that the bitter winter of the Depression is now over and the ‘spring’ of the New Deal has arrived.
Both sources show the people’s fondness for Roosevelt, In the first, the two older people offer to pray for Roosevelt and in the second the song says ‘we’re all glad to say’ when talking about Roosevelt getting rid of the breadlines.
5. The author of Source I worked hard to make his business and was therefore jealous of Roosevelt who was born with a ‘silver spoon’. He felt that because Roosevelt always had what ever he wanted he didn’t feel the needs of the poor. The author felt that because he worked hard to be successful so should everyone else.
Mr Fuller felt that if you spoon feed someone then they won’t have the incentive to work. If the people want to eat they must earn it honestly rather than be given it on a plate by the government
Source J was written by someone who knew Roosevelt personally and who helped him pass his laws and to improve the conditions of labour in the country. She makes the same point as the first source; that Roosevelt was rich, but she used it as praise for Roosevelt while Source I uses it to criticize him. Source J uses it to describe that Roosevelt as being sympathetic to people who had lost their money as well as being sympathetic towards the people who didn’t have anything since those who were rich would still have something left but the other people, the ordinary people were desperate for money and food.
Mr Fuller was bound to have different opinions of Roosevelt than Ms Perkins as they represented different ideals; Mr Fuller believed, each man should honestly earn his keep. He thought that by helping someone, you decrease their self-confidence and increase their reliance on others, but Ms Perkins believed that the poor needed help and anyone who could help should. The people who lost money but still had were better off than the people who were desperate. She believed completely in Roosevelt and in his New Deal and helped him to achieve his aims.
6. While it is true to say that most of the available sources are supportive of the New Deal, some are critical. However on balance, it would seem like there is more positive than negative evidence.
Sources A and B are pro-Roosevelt while C and D are not. A is of course in favour of him because it is he himself giving clear reasons, and B is praising all that the New Deal achieved and it also defends him against a number of accusations. Source C and D shows how people are dependant on the administrations and accuse them of naively giving their money to New Deal even though it wasn’t working and was just sucking them dry. Sources E and F show that the New Deal was working and that Roosevelt was doing something unlike Hoover. Sources G and H praise the New Deal, there isn’t one word which criticizes him in either. Source I is a criticism from a self-made man who believed that if he could pull himself up so should everyone. Source J was written by someone knew him well and admired and his principles and who helped him succeed.
Even though Source I says that the New Deal helped people lose confidence in themselves, Interpretation 1 contradicts it and says that the New Deal actually gave people more confidence in themselves. Interpretation 2 is mostly seen in Source C and D where they show that the economy worsened and that Roosevelt was pumping away at the New Deal.
Interpretation 1 is a stronger statement than Interpretation 2 as Interpretation 1 has more sources to defend its argument. The actual interpretation doesn’t have so many facts but if we look for arguments for the New Deal then we would find more to defend it than we would to criticize it.
On balance, balance it may be seen that where there was more positive reaction to the New Deal than negative. Perhaps Roosevelt’s success was brought about by a combination of New Deal policies and US entry into the Second World War.
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