FDR A President To Remember·32,1930
FDR: A President To Remember
Out of a Great War, into a Great Depression, and onto a great recovery. Our country was at its worst times then ever. What measures were needed to bring our nation back to economic success that was it was burgeoning into In the book ?The FDR Years? by William E. Leuchtenburg, Roosevelt as portrayed as a man of great inspiration and ambition, but his social dreams that helped the mental state of the nation didn?t bring that much success to reformation programs. Was FDR a good president, or did a coming war, or both save him FDR views and beliefs reflected his time spent as a president. Without the presidency of FDR, the country would have never been able to reach its turning point to make it what it is today. The issues of the Depression were dealt with a change in attitude, an overhaul in the economy, the New Deal, WWII, and a combination of good and bad ideas.
When Franklin Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933, the nation was in the depths of the worst depression it had ever experienced. President Roosevelt, a very energetic and enthusiastic person, inspired the people with his own confidence and faith in the future. ?Again and again, observers resorted to the imaginary of darkness and light to characterize the transformation from the Stygian gloom of Hoover?s final winter to the bright springtime of the First Hundred Days.?-(Leuchtenburg 6).
He gathered a group of people sharing his views to help him, and provided food, clothing, and shelter for millions of unemployed and poverty-stricken Americans. This was part of what he called the New Deal, of which his three objectives were relief, recovery, and reform for American citizens. In another attempt at recovery, Congress attempted to revive the nations agriculture and industry and place the economy on a solid foundation. They printed extra money to loan to industries that quickly paid it back.
What programs were created to help the nation for the beginning of recovery By 1933 nearly 14 million Americans were jobless. In response, the Roosevelt administration immediately launched what seemed at the time to be a wonderful program of direct relief. In the first two years, the New Deal was concerned mainly with relief. The government helped the poor and jobless by setting up shelters and soup kitchens to feed the millions of unemployed. After those first two years the focus shifted towards recovery. Several agencies were created to take on the task of recovery. With such programs as the CCC (employing single males from the ages of 17-28 to do community labor like road building), the FERA (used $250 million to aid the unemployed, elderly, and sick), the AAA (paid farmers to grow less), the NIRA (set up price controls), the WPA (creating as many job as possible), and others, Franklin Roosevelt became one of the most successful leader this country has ever had. Programs like welfare and social security, which still exist today, come from the New Deal. ?
The Social Security Act of 1935 created America?s first national system of old-age pensions, though one that was based on regressive taxation and left out too many at the bottom of the economic pyramid, and it initiated a federal-state program of unemployment insurance.?-(Leuchtenburg 253).
Economy was changing, but also was the government in many different ways. Businesses that complied with the codes were exempted from antitrust laws, and workers were given the right to organize unions and bargain collectively. After that victory, the government set up long-range goals. These goals aimed for permanent recovery, and reform of current abuses. In order to boost the economy, power was readily and radically centralized, and the government introduced the policies of cost plus, resource allocation, wage & price controls, and prohibition of strikes. Cost plus and resource allocation gave the government much power to control industries. Wage and price controls were another method of the government to boost industry.
The government would increase the price for which a manufacturer must sell his goods and the minimum wages allowable for different types of workers. This made everyone happy because the only person suffering this way was the consumer – or in this case, the government. The abuses receiving the most attention were those that produced the boom-or-bust catastrophe. Even though the NRA was effective, it was bringing America closer to socialism (or even the dreaded communism) by giving the President unconstitutional powers. Many critics felt that the government was interfering too much with the free enterprise system, and in doing so, was threatening individualism and democracy. This absorption of power by the president is what is known as the Imperial Presidency. This was contributed at that time by the ?Red Scare?, which caused people to believe that this country was going to become communist. But Socialism was at its highest ever in the US from past to present.
The government now had the power to help people in need, and in return people had more trust in the government because they knew it would support them. The position of minorities improved somewhat because the New Deal relief measures were essentially color blind, and gave non-whites a small but significant chance. ?Blacks moved into federal housing projects; government funds went to schools and hospitals in black neighborhoods; and New Deal agencies such as the Farm Security Administration enabled some 50,000 black tenant farmers and sharecroppers to become proprietors.?-(Leuchtenburg 273).
Women also made their way into the workforce during and after the Depression. America, as I see it, is a country of greatness. ?Though women never got their fair proportions of places, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) at one point had more than four hundred thousand women on its rolls, and programs such as to mothers with dependent children under the Social Security Act targeted women as beneficiaries.?-(Leuchtenburg 272).
War brings a new light of sunshine to the US?s economy. FDR was considered to be one of our best presidents with reform programs that didn?t even work. The only reason the United States got out of the depression was because of WWII. It is a shame that war is so dominant. War causes a nation to suddenly unite and produce so much. The U.S. was immediately out of the depression when the war started. As soon as the war started, restrictions were set in and production was demanded. ?
The war agencies had established the basic principles of the New Deal labor program: that workers had the right to unionize, that they must not be discharged for union activity, and that national boards could restrain employers from denying such rights.?-(Leuchtenburg 57).
Throughout Roosevelt?s presidency, what causes the New Deal to fail and prosper at the same time Even tough many of the programs gave jobs to the poor and needy, many of these programs failed to work, ?the New Deal left many problems unsolved and even created some perplexing new ones?-(Leuchtenburg 279). He believe that he was a good president, but many of the programs of the great this ?New Deal? didn?t help and were all just fantasies that just didn?t work (that is why most of them were cancelled, because no productivity was seen). Leuchtenburg purpose was to explain what went on during ?The FDR Years? in two viewpoints. Was FDR a good or bad president, and was the New Deal a successful program His point is clear that FDR was a great president, but he was maybe just lucky by the chance that war broke out to save America?s economy. Since FDR?s office, he has changed the US?s views and operations in way everything is ran.
The program had many mistakes, but also had many successes. ?I am not persuaded, though, that the New Deal experience was negligible. It lasted hardly more than six years, and it is difficult to think of another six-year period in the history of the republic that was so fruitful or of a crisis met with more imagination.?-(Leuchtenburg 279). Leuchtenburg?s book explains many different views of the Depression era. It gives you a good understanding of the conditions and hardships of the US at that time. ?The FDR Years? had to much information on all the other people and politicians involved, and to much description on FDR?s personal life then the author?s thesis of explaining FDR?s presidency and the New Deal. Beside those inquiries, the book showed to be very informative with great aspects and angles of renovation of the economy and FDR?s strong philosophy toward success.
Capitalism is effective only if consumers and investors have confidence. The depression destroyed the confidence of both the investors and the consumers.
The consumers lost trust in the banks due to the dramatic bank failure rate; the investors did not have the confidence to maintain and keep their businesses productive. Today the government has many problems with social security and welfare but in spite that this program is over 60 years old, so it must have been successful to still be in action. The New Deal did not restore the economy to the levels of 1929, but it was an extreme political and psychological accomplishment. Roosevelt played a huge role in helping to restore the economy during the Great Depression, but was mainly backed up by WWII. In the time span of ten years from 1929, the country experienced an era of hardship that saw the world through a new window. Black Tuesday will forever mark the turning point for not just the worst period, but also the greatest period that has ever affected the United States in so many ways for both the good and the bad of our history. -C