“The economic recovery of the 1930s can be explained entirely by the effects of the New Deal.” How valid is this view? In 1932 Franklin D Roosevelt won the presidential election as a response to the “Great American Depression” which saw the collapse of the USA’s economic life continuing throughout the 1930s as a result in the inadequate action of Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Henry Hoover to alleviate the sheer hardships that came with the depression. Roosevelt and the Democrats took a more interventionist approach to recover the economy, provide relief for the unemployed and enact reform in order to create a fairer society. “The economic recovery of the 1930s can be explained entirely by the effects of the New Deal.” The “New Deal” was the interventionist programme Roosevelt initiated to tackle the issue and is key in explaining the USA’s economic recovery of the 1930s and is split into two factors in order to determine the validity of the previous statement; the first hundred days known as the First New Deal and from1935 to 1937 known as the Second New Deal. However, there were other factors which were important in the recovery of the USA’s economy. The growing power of the Federal Government to defend these reforms. The rearmament in preparation for the Second World War that reduced unemployment and increased industrial production. However, it was Roosevelt himself that revitalised the economy as he went a long way to rebuild confidence with the American public. Therefore the New Deal was undoubtedly a considerable factor in explaining America’s economic recovery but other factors although associated with the New Deal were independently important in the economic recovery.
The economic recovery of the 1930s can be explained by the First New Deal, to an extent. During the first 100 days of Roosevelt’s office a flood of new legislation most becoming laws quickly providing relief and recovery. This meant that “Alphabet Agencies” were established and run by groups of Americans known as “The Brain Trust” in order to carry out work in tackling relief and recovery. The National Industrial Recovery Act passed on the 16th of June 1933 introduced joint economic planning between the Government and industry to stabilise prices, expand purchasing power, relive unemployment and improve working conditions. This was important as it represented greater government intervention in regulating and planning the country meaning that businesses would return to a living rate again by address issues such as banking and lack of intervention which were initial kick-starters of the depression. The Public works Administration created jobs for unemployed industrial workers through large scale work schemes such as building schools, hospitals and parks which were of public benefit. This was effective in providing both relief and recovery as it created jobs for industrial workers as well as assisting the recovery of the economy by building necessary institutes for a functional economic system. Finally the Work Progress Administration (WPA), aimed to offer carefully chosen jobs that would be beneficial to the individuals community and was one of the most effective agencies. The WPA was one of the country’s largest employers between 1935 and 1941 at a staggering 2 million per year particularly employing the unskilled into large building schemes but also artists, actors and photographers into civic duties. Additionally around 11,000 schools and public buildings had been built nationwide along with 43,000 miles of road. This was important as the number of unemployed people significantly decreased which in turn led to an improvement to the economy as the employed raised revenue through taxation and because people would soon be purchasing more goods from important trades as the wages were respectable. However, the WPA only employed people for a year meaning that people would become unemployed again leading to a fall in investment into the economy taking...
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