FDR's New Deal

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR.JPGFranklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in the town of Hyde Park, New York. He went to various schools including Groton Boarding School, Harvard, and Colombia University. In 1910 he pursued politics by being elected as a democrat in the New York state senate. Franklin supported Woodrow Wilson in his pursuit for the presidency. As a result, when Wilson was reelected he selected Roosevelt as his new Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He temporarily left political arena in 1920. While on vacation with his family FDR contracted poliomyelitis, also known as polio. Although he survived, the disease left him crippled. He returned to politics when he was elected governor of New York from 1928 to 1932. After his terms as governor, he was nominated by the Democrat party for their presidential candidate. He was elected the new president of the United States of America in November 1932, following the footsteps of his fifth cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt. Among the amazing contributions to America, his greatest achievements were his first and second new deals, which were instrumental in bringing the country out of the Great Depression.

The First Deal

Franklin Delano Roosevelt called a special meeting of Congress on March 9th, 1933. There were nearly 13,000,000 people unemployed at that time, and we wanted to provide some solution to unemployment problems in the country. The first hundred days of his presidency were spent in this meeting, nicknamed The Hundred Days, Roosevelt and Congress managed to accomplish many things in this time, including passing 15 major laws, and many NRA_small.JPGnumerous organizations that include:
  • the National Recovery Administration (NRA)
  • the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)
  • the Civilization Conservation Corps (CCC)
  • the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
  • and many others.
Roosevelt also made many speeches including one outlining the New Deal. Roosevelt’s main purpose was to provide help with recovery and relief through the Great Depression.

This is a cartoon of Franklin Delano Roosevelt surrounded by children dancing in a circle around him with the abbreviations of some names of the organization that he helped make during the Great Depression. The reason the organizations are represented by children was because it shows Franklin in a father role, because he controlled the organizations like a father would in his household. Except maybe not organizations, more on the lines of the rules the house has to abide by.

American Liberty League

Supporting the the take-over of FDR was a certain group called the American Liberty League (as shown above.) Motivated entirely by greed, their main ambition was to gain things for themselves.

The Second New Deal was laid out in January of 1935 State of The Union Address. Roosevelt made it clear that there would be six ways that the administration would renew and intensify the efforts that were under the First Deal:

· an enlarged unemployment relief program
· assistance to the rural poor
· support for organized labor
· social welfare benefits for the elderly and handicapped
· strict regulation of business and finance
· heavier taxes on the wealthy

wall_street.JPGEven though Roosevelt's initial efforts were successful to a point, the great depression was still not over. There were still millions of people without jobs, food was still scarce and the banking industry was still under repair. From the standpoints of the Americans, they felt that the New Deal was stealing their independence of American businesses through government regulation (American Journey 827-28).

Roosevelt was feeling pressured to fix the New Deal. The Second Deal "shifted the relative weights according to the constant objectives, of recovery, relief, and reform (American Journey 829)."

New Deal Critics:

As it was predicted, Roosevelt's New deal was attacked right from the beginning, from Republicans, conservative Democrats, bankers, and Wall Street financiers who claimed that it doled out too many federal handouts. Critics of the plan were scared of the policy and programs that were involved, were dangerous steps leading to to socialism and the destruction of the capitalism. These problems were understandable because during the 1930's the politics were in knots since communism was becoming a bigger threat ( http://www.sparknotes.com).

Who did it harm?

The New Deal may have helped the United States but it also prolonged the marginal workers and unskilled blacks from getting jobs. According to Jim Powell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made it hard for them to find jobs, because to find jobs they needed the economy to grow. Employers did not have the money to hire a lot of employees. Both the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Wagner Act did nothing to help the blacks. The Agricultural Adjustment Act in 1933 helped farmers, but hurt black because thy lowered the cutting farm production. The Wagner Act in 1935 legalized labor union monopolies so the employers were hesitant to hiring new employees.


"American President: An Online Referance Resource." Miller Center of Public Affairs- University of Virginia. 2007. 11 Sep 2007 <http://wwww.millercenter.virginia.edu/academic/americanpresident/fdroosevelt>.
"Franklin D. Roosevelt." Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. 11 Sep 2007 <http://fdrlibrary.marist.edu/fdrbio.html>.
"Great Depression And World War II, 1929-1945." The Library of Congress. 02 Feb 2004. 11 Sep 2007 <http://memory .loc.gov>.
"The New Deal." Arkansas Memory Project. 2000. 11 Sep 2007 <http://asms.k12.ar.us/armem/virtual_tour2002/AnnaMcClard/index_files/new_deal.htm>.
"New Deal." InfoPlease.com. 2007. 11 Sep 2007 <http://www.infoplease.com>.
Pietrusza, David. "New Deal Nemesis." Reason Magazine Jan 1978 18 Sep 2007 <http://www.davidpiestrusza.com/Liberty-League.html>.
"Roosevelt's New Deal." SparkNotes.com. 2007. 11 Sep 2007 <http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/sat2/history>.
Simkin, John. "The New Deal." Spartacus Educational. Sept 2007. 11 Sep 2007 <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/>.
Powell, Jim. "Why Did FDR's New Deal Harm Blacks?." CATO Institute. 03 12 2003. CATO Institute. 19 Sep 2007 <http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3329/>.


of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: http://davidpietrusza.com/FDR-links.html
of the 'alphabet' agencies political cartoon: http://www.newdeal75.org/whatsthelegacy.html
of the American Liberty League logo: http://www.davidpietrusza.com/Liberty-League.html
of the NRA logo: http://www.historicaldocuments.com/NationalIndustrialRecoveryActlg.htm
of Wall Street: http://kharkoma.homelinux.com/blog/?q=comment/reply/275