New Deal DBQ

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During World War I and the 1920s, the American economy was flourishing due to the increase in jobs and production which supported the war effort. However, underlying problems brought about by the end of the war: over speculation, inflation, and unemployment were growing increasingly detrimental. Eventually, after the stock market crash of 1929, the American economy fell into a depression. Faced with severe unemployment and food shortages, President Hoover struggled to restore the economy. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president and he began to implement his New Deal programs. Within his first 100 days and throughout his presidency, FDR and his administration made great strides in improving the economy by executing policies serving …show more content…

High rates of unemployment and poverty were a major concern during this time. In order to help resolve these issues, programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and the Works Progress Administration were implemented. Prior to the New Deal programs, poor women received little help from the government as seen through Meridel Lesueur’s observations in New Masses. (Doc A) Meridel Lesueur was an American writer and feminist who wrote New Masses to draw attention to the hardships of women during this time. In order to combat this, FDR created the Civil Works Administration which provided public works jobs which not only helped with the problem of unemployment, but also restored declining areas in communities. Moreover, The First New Deal dropped unemployment from 12,830,000 to 7,700,000 people. (Doc J) This graph does not include farm workers, however, the drop in unemployment in nonfarm workers is significant in displaying the success of New Deal programs. These programs helped to uplift the American spirit and demonstrate the direct role of the federal government in civilian …show more content…

In this area, however, the New Deal fell short. The National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA), which created new agencies and regulations that tightened the relationship between government and business, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), which provided relief to farmers by paying them to reduce production in order to minimize surplus, were designed to “prime the pump” and stimulate the economy. This idea of “priming the pump” was criticized in “The Hand of Improvidence” by William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. (Doc D) He viewed deficit spending as impractical and wrote “The Hand of Improvidence” to highlight some of the problems with New Deal Programs. In Schechter v. United States, the codes of hours and wages for workers were examined. (Doc F) The justices on the Supreme Court thus declared the NIRA unconstitutional because they viewed that the power given to the federal government by the act exceeded its boundaries. For this same reason, the AAA was also declared unconstitutional. Both the NIRA and AAA, although declared unconstitutional, showed the wide extent to which government power had expanded. In fact, people began to fear that the government was leaning towards socialism and communism. A letter to Senator Robert Wagner reflects these sentiments, explaining that the growing government power would have disastrous results. (Doc B) The letter is written from the perspective of someone who favors less government

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