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Evaluate the Extent to Which the New Deal Was Successful in Accomplishing Its Objectives

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New Deal, domestic program of the administration of U.S. Pres. Franklin D

Roosevelt between 1933 and 1939, which took action to bring about immediate economic relief as well as reforms in industry, agriculture, finance, waterpower, labour, and housing, vastly increasing the scope of the federal government’s activities. The term was taken from Roosevelt’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination for the presidency on July 2, 1932. Reacting to the ineffectiveness of the administration of Pres. Herbert Hoover in meeting the ravages of the Great Depression, American voters the following November overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Democratic promise of a “new deal” for the “forgotten man.”

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The New Deal itself created millions of jobs and sponsored public works projects that reached most every county in the nation. Federal protection of bank deposits ended the dangerous trend of bank runs. Abuse of the stock market was more clearly defined and monitored to prevent collapses in the future. The Social Security system was modified and expanded to remain one of the most popular government programs for the remainder of the century. For the first time in peacetime history the federal government assumed responsibility for managing the economy. The legacy of social welfare programs for the destitute and underprivileged would ring through the remainder of the 1900s. Laborers benefited from protections as witnessed by the emergence of a new powerful union, the CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS

African Americans and women received limited advances by the legislative programs, but FDR was not fully committed to either civil or women's rights. All over Europe, fascist governments were on the rise, but Roosevelt steered America along a safe path when economic spirits were at an all-time low. However comprehensive the New Deal seemed, it failed to achieve its main goal: ending the Depression. In 1939, the unemployment rate was still 19 percent, and not until 1943 did it reach its pre-Depression levels. The massive spending brought by the American entry to the Second World War ultimately cured the nation's economic woes.Conservatives bemoaned a bloated bureaucracy that was nearly a million workers strong, up from just over 600,000 in 1932. They complained that Roosevelt more than doubled the national debt in two short terms, a good deal of which had been lost through waste. Liberals pointed out that the gap between rich and poor was barely dented by the end of the decade. Regardless of its shortcomings, Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal helped America muddle through the dark times strong enough to tackle the even greater task that lay ahead.

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Prior to the Great Depression, our country had what some considered the “golden age”. In the 1920s, also known as the roaring twenties, our country’s economy and our stock market were at its highest ever. The Roaring Twenties was a period of peace and prosperity in America and the United States was also wealthier than it had ever been before. “In this decade, America became the richest nation on Earth and a culture of consumerism was born.” (www.u-s-history.com) For the first time in history, more people were living in urban areas rather than rural areas and there were more factory jobs than farming jobs. The 1920’s and 1930’s became known as the “Jazz Age” when musicians like Louis Armstrong and Joseph “King Oliver” Oliver introduced Jazz music to the world. People often spent their free time singing and dancing to jazz music

As you can imagine, this is a time that all of the citizens of America loved and never wanted to let go of. During this time period many new inventions were made and there were a lot of technological advances. “Electricity brought enormous changes to daily life. “In 1920, about 35% of U.S. homes had electric lights. By 1930, 68% of homes had electricity.” (www.americanhistory.abc) People also had shorter hours and increased wages. “The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent but unfamiliar “consumer society”. People from coast to coast bought the same goods, listened to the same music, did the same dances and even used the same slang.” (www.history.com) People spent their money on radios, electricity, theater tickets, and other leisurely items. After all of this good that happened to America it always has to lead to bad because everyone knows nothing good ever lasts. When people were spending all of their money on luxurious and unnecessary things and investing on companies just for the fun of it, the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929.

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On balance, Roosevelt was a revolutionary for his time. He challenged the accepted role of government in society by intervening to improve the quality of life for countless Americans

Though his actions were controversial, it is clear that they had a positive effect on American society. Ultimately, though, it would take World War II to lift the American economy out of the Great Depression; Roosevelt’s New Deal served to satisfy the American people’s demands for action until America joined the war in 1941.

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“The Roaring Twenties.” 2013. The History Channel website. Jan 4 2013, 12:12 http://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties.

“Great Depression.” WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. 2003-2008. Princeton University, Clipart.com, Farlex Inc. 4 Jan. 2013 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Great+Depression

“Roaring Twenties (Overview).” American History. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.

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