I've Finals Week this past week and this is an essay that I wrote for my American Studies class. We had to write about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal Program and whether or not it was effective in helping America and how the role that the federal government played inproved or not. I am quite proud of it. Here it is:
In the year 1929 the stock market in New York City crashed and millions of dollars were lost. After the crash, the people of America were understandably frightened and they were looking to President Hoover for help. He helped as much as he could, but the people kept demanding for more and more resources. American’s were almost at their wits end when a new President was elected. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1933 and soon after he moved into the Whitehouse, he started to implement plans to help America get out of its slump. Not only did these plans become known as The New Deal and they helped America get back on its feet, they also changed the role the federal government played.
Before FDR was elected President, as stated above, the stock market crashed. This shows that the federal government took more of a “hands off” approach in how they dealt with businesses and people’s lives in general. Because the federal government did not oversee those businesses as good as they should have, those businesses in turn helped to fill the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with their money. When the NYSE crashed, all of that money was lost and those businesses were going out of business and were more than likely filing for bankruptcy. Businesses’ filing for bankruptcy does not reflect the federal government in a good way. The federal government should’ve been overseeing those businesses a lot better but they weren’t.
Due to businesses closing down, there were a lot of American’s that couldn’t find work. Before President Roosevelt got elected in 1933, there were approximately twelve million people that weren’t farmers that were unemployed. That is quite a large number. But as soon as he started implementing his New Deal strategies, the unemployment started going down and by 1937 the amount of workers that were unemployed reached approximately seven million. The unemployment rose for a bit for a year before it continued to fall dramatically. Between the years 1943 and 1945, America had seen its lowest unemployment rate ever since the stock market crashed: between six thousand and one point five million people were still unemployed. That is quite a drop from the twelve million people that were unemployed when Roosevelt became president in 1933. The number of people that were still jobless by 1945 proved that the New Deal strategies that Roosevelt had implemented were doing their job in helping America get back on its feet.
Although the President before Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, had the ideas to start the Civilian Conservation Corp, also known as the CCC, it was FDR who came up with the resources to make it actually happen. The CCC provided millions of jobs to young men to make trails in state and national parks and to re-plant trees. The jobs that the CCC provided helped those young men prepare for the future and what was to come.
Another thing that seemed futuristic and some critics called it “militaristic”, was the introduction of Social Security (SS) Numbers. SS numbers were given to each person that applied for a job. With these SS numbers, the federal government kept tabs on the money that got taken out of each workers pay-day. Every year the federal government would look at the workers work history and when it came time to retire, the government would look at all of a persons work history to decide how much money they would get back from the government. It took several years to get the kinks out of this program and it took even more years to give a SS number to a person once they were born instead of when they applied for a job.
Over the span of sixteen years the role that the federal government played improved greatly. Some people appreciated the involvement of the government, some thought the govt. was becoming too involved, and others still wanted more help. The govt. was becoming more and more involved in people’s lives and businesses, both big and small, which is what they should’ve done in the very beginning. The New Deal strategies that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented all those years ago improved America, albeit slowly. So much improvement came to America that some of the New Deal parts still exist today!