It is often said that desperate times call for desperate measures, and when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected In 1932, Americans were willing to try anything. In 1929 the stock market crashed and sent the country into what Is known as the Great Depression. The effects were devastating In this prolonged economic crisis; people lost their Jobs, many lost homes due to foreclosure, and millions were forced into poverty and starvation. Roosevelt responded to the crisis with the New
Deal legislation and programs with the intention to provide immediate economic relief, leading to recovery and reform. Even though it can be argued that the New Deal was a failure because it did not completely end the Depression, it was still effective in restoring America’s confidence and getting people involved to contribute during hard times. When Roosevelt took office, he demanded government action. Leaving the nation to work out its problems on its own would Just be unacceptable. A key element In Roosevelt New Deal was agencies to create employment by carrying out public arks.
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The largest public works project was the Works Progress Administration (WPAD which employed more than eight million people from 1935-1943. The purpose of the WAP was to provide people with Jobs until the economy recovered from the Great Depression. A huge number of roads, buildings, schools, hospitals, and other public works were built. Roosevelt efforts changed the leadership tone, and inspired those in despair. Millions of people earned a living wage and self-respect, as they were able to contribute during the hard time because of the New Deal. Even though the
New Deal did not solve the problem of unemployment completely, it simply made it not as bad. The New Deal represented leadership that was active and positive. After the Great Depression, people were clueless as to what to do. America had lost its confidence. Therefore when Roosevelt initiated the New Deal, he got people moving again and working to contribute to overcome hard times. Roosevelt showed himself as the leader of the government whose Job was to make sure people had a roof over their heads and food to eat and that he would do his best to get people working and asking money again.
This made people see that the government has a role to play in people’s lives beyond national security, and showed that during time of economic turmoil they can look to the government for guidance (Leonard). After Roosevelt, there has always been controversy over how involved government should be in American’s lives. The New Deal did not in fact end the Great Depression like Roosevelt had hoped it would. This is the main reason why most people argue that the New Deal was a failure. Many say that the New Deal actually prolonged the Depression and made wings worse than they would have been had no effort been made (Cole, Ionian).
Ones who attack the New Deal also claim the polices were short-term polices and that there was no long-term planning for the future (Sales). The New Deal changed the role of government today to be more involved in people’s lives. Roosevelt brought too much government intervention into the economy and people’s lives. Roosevelt New Deal may not have ended the Great Depression completely, but it did solve many problems and it instilled confidence in Americans to do something ether than Just sit there and panic when trouble arises.
It shows us today what bold leadership can actually accomplish in hard economic times (Breeching). Many people argue if the New Deal was effective or not, but it depends on how they define effective. Was the New Deal effective in eliminating unemployment? No. But it was effective in showing Americans what leadership and bravery can do even through today’s unexpected obstacles. This one may argue, is one of the most important long- lasting effects.