Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal Essay Example
Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal Essay Example

Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal Essay Example

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  • Pages: 10 (2566 words)
  • Published: November 3, 2017
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Question one, Why did the American people support Roosevelt in the 1932 election?There were three main reasons why people supported Roosevelt; the failures of his opponent and predecessor, Herbert Hoover, his policies and his election campaign. The major failing of Herbert Hoover, which gave Roosevelt an advantage in the election, was that he didn't appear to offer any help to the country in it's state of economic crisis. Being a Republican he believed the government should stay out of people's lives and that handouts would make Americans lazy and only dependant on more handouts. Roosevelt draws on this in his speeches, when in source A it states "Delay, deceit" it is referring to the delay of any action on Hoover's part. Roosevelt also says that Hoover was deceitful and lied to the people of America when he to


ld them that prosperity is just around the corner.This led Hoover to be seen in public opinion as a do-nothing president, many Americans wanted action.

The fact that Franklin D Roosevelt was offering what was seen as radical action made hi policies very appealing. He promised a "New Deal", intervening in people's lives, increasing taxes to provide benefits. "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." He called it a "crusade to restore America."Roosevelt was a good public speaker and prior to the election he toured the USA giving speeches.

It was these speeches such as source A that helped gain the people's support. He involved himself in his speeches "I pledge myself" he gives the impression he is going to get involved unlike Hoover. He uses emotive language that appeals t

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the people " to win this crusade to restore America." In his speeches Roosevelt plays on the comparison between himself and Herbert Hoover's do-nothing image. By incorporating this kind of thing into his speeches Roosevelt was sure to gain the people's support.Question two, How are the judgements made by source B and C on the new deal differ?Fundamentally the two sources differ as source B looks at the new deal and Franklin D Roosevelt's government in a positive light whereas source C is very negative about it.

More specifically they differ over several points. Firstly was Roosevelt's government a dictatorship or not? Source B says it wasn't; "The charge that Roosevelt has been a dictator is not true." Source C contradicts this when it states that "The only result of this will be dictatorial government." Similarly their opinions differ on the amount of power held by Roosevelt, source C says, "this gave him a power which he used ruthlessly" implying Roosevelt had too much power and abused it as well. However source B reflects that "Although the government has far greater responsibilities, it has no great power.

All power is still in the hands of the people."Another difference in opinion was whether or not Roosevelt's policy of government intervention actually helped people in America. Source C suggests that it didn't do any good arguing that " inflation has doubled prices and reduced the lower paid to poverty. More people are on government relief.

" Source B reckons that " the strengthening of the government and the expansion of it's activities to help people" So source B clearly thinks that Roosevelt intervention methods did work whereas source

C gives the impression that Roosevelt made things worse. The two sources also oppose each other over unemployment figures. Source B makes out that Roosevelt did something to lower unemployment numbers; "When Roosevelt became president unemployment had reached 14 million. Roosevelt introduced unemployment assistance." Source C's historian on the other hand focuses on the fact that unemployment numbers remained high even after Roosevelt's assistance reforms.

" Roosevelt's reputation was sinking badly in 1938 when he had 11 million unemployed."Question 3, What message do you think this photographer was trying to give?The message the photographer is trying to give is about the general situation in 1937 and more specifically the situation for black Americans. He is trying to convey the idea that life wasn't great and in reality was a stark contrast to the poster slogan declaring " The worlds highest standard of living." By showing an all black queue of citizens waiting for government relief against a bill board with a happy smiling white family the photographer is saying that the new deal might be great for a lot of white people but many black people were in fact discriminated against by employment agencies.They didn't get work, or if they did it was very low paid. Also the slogan " There's no way like the American way" is an ironic comparison because while the billboard promotes success and happiness the real people in the photograph are queuing for government relief such as food or shelter maybe benefit money.

This is a reflection of the fact that in 1937, while improved, the situation wasn't great for some people, white or black. 14.3 million Americans were still

unemployed and there had been another down turn in production. In conclusion the photographer is trying to say that a miracle hadn't happened, the standard of living was still poor for a lot of people. The "American way" splashed across the poster wasn't all that great in reality and wasn't working for a lot of people.

Many Americans were still suffering at the hands of poverty and depression.Question 4, Study sources E, F and G are they for or against Roosevelt and his new deal?Different people held different opinions about the success of Roosevelt's presidency, these three sources embody this as they all have very varied ideas on the matter. Source E is a criticism of Roosevelt's new deal; it gives the message that it would never work. The cartoonist does this by drawing Roosevelt trying to get a pump, labelled "new deal pump", to work. A figure labelled " the tax payer" is heaving buckets of water up the hill to Roosevelt who is pouring these buckets into the pump but the water keeps leaking away. The water represents taxpayers dollars.

The cartoonist is saying that the new deal isn't working and will never work no matter how much money is poured into it. The other message is that the people who are suffering are the taxpayers whose money is being wasted. It says on the drawing "16 billion spent."Source F however is supportive of Roosevelt through the detriment of Herbert Hoover. By showing Roosevelt throwing out the rubbish which is shown as a bin full of items labelled with Hoover's sayings for example "prosperity is just around the corner" n "rugged individualism" The

cartoonist gives the message that Hoover's ideas were no good. By depicting Roosevelt throwing out these ideas it shows that the cartoonist is in favour of Roosevelt and his new deal.

The figure walking away, who is supposedly Herbert Hoover shows how Hoover was finished and walking away into obscurity.The last source similar to the first one is against Roosevelt but is giving a different message. The cartoonist in source G is criticising Roosevelt by saying he doesn't know what he's doing. The doctor in the cartoon is Roosevelt and the patient is " Uncle Sam" who is representing America.

All the different medication bottles represent all the agencies Roosevelt set up but he's unsure which, if any will work. The doctor is shown saying to his nurse, representing congress "of course we may have to change remedies if we don't get results."Question five, Study sources H and I. Which source is more useful as evidence about public opinion towards the new deal?Both sources have their advantage's and disadvantages, however I would say source I is more useful of the two.

This is because although source H tells us some of the things Roosevelt did "The bank agreed to let our loan go for a while longer...Your man got it back for us" it doesn't give all that much insight into public opinion as it only proof of one opinion. It may tell us that one man agreed with and supported Roosevelt but there's no solid evidence that he represents the general public.

Also with source H there is a strong possibility that it is biased as it was used in Roosevelt's election campaign. Source

I on the other hand isn't as likely to be biased as it is an excerpt from a popular song and as far as we know is completely independent from Roosevelt or his campaign.It is useful for telling us about public opinion because it was a popular song at the time and a song with a political nature such as this one would not of been popular if a lot of the public liked and agreed with it. As far as evidence from within the source goes the excerpt tells us a lot. It tells us that people felt secure with Roosevelt as president and that he knew what was best for them. " Since Roosevelt's been elected we'll not be neglected, We've got Franklin D.

Roosevelt back again." It suggests that the public think that Roosevelt was going to make their living standards better; " No more bread lines... No more standing in the blowing, snowing rain.

" And "We're all working and getting our pay" could suggest that they believed Roosevelt was helping things on the unemployment front.Question six, Study sources J and K. Why do you think these two people disagree about the new deal?Source J and source K have different opinions about Roosevelt's new deal. Source J is very much opposed to Roosevelt whereas Source K is very supportive.

They differ because source J thinks the new deal was actually damaging to the American people as the rich had to pay higher taxes and the poor were encouraged to be lazy due to unemployment benefit. "Welfare kills a mans initiative." Source K however, believes that Roosevelt's new deal reached out and helped

people. "The idea was that all the forces of the community should be directed to making life better for ordinary people.

" The basis for their disagreement could be several different reasons. Firstly the author's backgrounds are an integral part of it; source K was written by the labour secretary of Roosevelt's new deal government so is hardly going to criticise something that they are so involved with.Similarly source J is a self-made businessman and clearly believes that people should have to work for what they have as he did, this is why he disapproves of Roosevelt's hand out policies and of Roosevelt himself, " Roosevelt was a rich man's son. Everything he had was given to him. So he thinks it's right to give." Also it seems that the authors would support opposing political parties; the businessman in source J appears to be quite Republican in his beliefs, it is quite likely he would have been a supporter of Hoover's "rugged individualism".

Source J states " If you want a dog who hunts youhave to let him get hungry." The writer of source K would have been a democrat as she worked for Roosevelt who was leader of the Democrat party. Furthermore S. B Fuller as a businessman would have been against Roosevelt's policies on big business. He wouldn't have liked how Roosevelt tried to curb corporate power.

Question 7,does the evidence in the sources and your own knowledge support interpretation 1 or 2 best?"The new deal wasted a lot of money. It made people dependent on the government and led to the government being too powerful. It did not solve America's economic problems- the Second

World War did that." In order to explain my opinion I will look at interpretation 2 in more detail.

The first point made is that the new deal wasted a lot of money, certainly the new deal spent a lot of money and it did go do some good uses. However the problem with the new deal was that it only helped America's situation when billions of dollars were put into it but when the budget was cut the situation worsened again.Production levels dropped and unemployment numbers went up. As it states in source C "there is a national debt of $250 billion dollars, compared to a pre-Roosevelt $19 billion". Source E backs up my point that although the new deal did do something it took a lot of money to achieve relatively little.

Source E shows Roosevelt trying to work a leaky pump which is just letting the buckets of water which he keeps putting in leak away. It says that 16billion has been spent. From this I would say that interpretation 2 is accurate as it is backed up by the sources. Also I would say that although the new deal did achieve something, it wasn't really worth the money put into it, therefore it wasted money.The second point made in the interpretation is that it led to the government to become too powerful. Source C says "Congress gave up much of it's power to Roosevelt.

..a power which he used ruthlessly. The only result of this will be dictatorial government." From my own knowledge I know that Roosevelt was allowed control over many aspects of people's lives, for example he put forward a

scheme called "Share our wealth" which meant that rich people would have their fortunes limited to $3million and no individual could earn over $1million per year.

This along with the many "alphabet" agencies he created and his desire to curb the power wielded by big business could suggest he had too much power and still wanted more.Interpretation 2 also argues that the new deal did not solve America's economic problems and that the second world war did that. This interpretation is supported by facts and figures from my own knowledge because before America entered the war production levels were dropping once more and unemployment was rising only with the America's entrance into the war did an end to unemployment appear. As source C says " The war rescued him (Roosevelt) and he seized upon it..

.By leading his country into war he was able to put every man and woman into work."In conclusion I think this interpretation, interpretation 2, is better supported by the evidence presented in the sources and my own knowledge. It is a better interpretation than the first because it is more precise whereas interpretation 1 is too vague to be supported solidly by the evidence.

Few of the sources say the new deal gave people confidence and self-respect and no source can prove that it did. In fact several contradict it directly for example source J says "The new deal hurt us" However the points made in interpretation 2 can be proven and there is solid evidence to do so. Also it says that the new deal helped to lift America from its state of depression, but as I explained above the

new deal couldn't solve the economic crisis in America. It was only with the U.S. A's entrance into the second world war that truly put America back on track as is said by interpretation 2.

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