Was the New Deal a Success?

Topics: New Deal, Supreme Court of the United States, Great Depression Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Whether the New Deal was a success or not, depends on the definition of success. Did the New Deal eliminate unemployment and turn America around? No. Did the New Deal eliminate poverty? No. It would be easy to run off questions such as these with an economic bent and come up with the answer no.

1.  Relief
Millions of people received relief, help with their mortgage, jobs etc. from the alphabet agencies.    
2.  Roads and buildings
The PWA and the TVA provided valuable economic and social infrastructures, such as roads, airports, schools, theatres, dams etc  
3.  Reform
Roosevelt's new laws about social security/ minimum wage/ labour relations and trade unions survived and protected ordinary people’s rights and conditions.  Democracy survived in America (unlike Italy and Germany)  

4.  Roosevelt
became the people's hero - he was elected four times.
5.  Repercussions
Democracy survived in America (unlike Italy and Germany).   The New Deal became a model of how a democratic government ought to behave - arguably influenced the British Welfare State of 1948.   And in 1998, when the Labour Government of Britain was trying to introduce new laws to help poor people, it called it: aNew Deal.   

Weaknesses and Failings
1.  Did not end the Depression
- indeed, Roosevelt's insistence on a balanced budget, healthy interest rates and ‘sound money’ may have helped to continue it.   Roosevelt had no new ideas how to end the depression – just Hoover’s schemes only bigger.   By 1935 he had failed to end unemployment (which was only down to 10.6 million), and – although unemployment fell to 7.7 million in 1937 – when Roosevelt tried to cut back government expenditure in 1938, it rose again to 10.4 million.   It is not really fair to criticise Roosevelt for this - no one at that time knew how to end the Depression - but the Depression did not end until the Second World War got production going again.   

2.  Damaged Blacks and immigrants
– in fact,...
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