This value of this source. Badger has
This investigation will explorethe question: To what extent did the New Deal assist to improve the socialconditions faced during the Great Depression? The years 1929 to 1939 will bethe focus of this investigation, to allow for an analysis of social conditionsduring the Great Depression and how the New Deal improved it. The first source which will be evaluated indepth is Anthony J. Badger’s book, “The New Deal, The Depression Years,1933-1940”, written in 1989. The origin of the source is valuable because AnthonyJ. Badger is a historian and a professor of American history at CambridgeUniversity in England.
He has an extensive amount of knowledge in Americanhistory and especially the New Deal and Great Depression era because of hisworks that he has published throughout the years over these topics.Furthermore, the date of the publication of this source is 1989, this is asignificant strength for the content and value of this source. Badger hasbenefited because of the personal interviews with people form the GreatDepression era, having access to government records and data over the New Deal,and by having a wide variety of sources for precise detailed information.However, there is limitation in which Badger was born after the Great Depression,so we do not his point of view on this situation. The purpose of Badger’s bookis to analyze the different aspects of the New Deal from agriculture, industry,and politics. This is valuable, because it examines all the aspects of Americansociety from the government perspective to the citizen’s perspective. The second source that was evaluated indepth is William E.
Leuchtenburg’s book “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the NewDeal,1932-1940.” This book was written by Leuchtenburg in the year of 1963 and itwas also published in the same year. The origin of this source is valuablebecause it is written by someone who went through the Great Depression and theNew Deal Era. This provides a new perspective and an in depth idea of the Greatdepression. Furthermore, the date of the publication shows us how Leuchtenburghad a variety of sources, government documents, and prime interviews withpeople who went through this time period. However, a limitation is that hiswork is more biased towards Franklin D.
Roosevelt and all his accomplishmentthroughout his presidency. I can understand why he is favoring FDR but theother views are as important as the one Leuchtenburg had for FDR. Anotherlimitation is that he was born in a wealthy family so he personally didn’t gothrough as much as he saw other families going through. This still is valuablebut not as much as when compares to the general poor public. The purpose ofthis book is to gain empathy and knowledge of the hard times during the GreatDepression Era. Also to gain an in depth idea of Franklin D. Rooseveltsactions, policies, and way of thinking for the citizens of the United States ofAmerica.
Section2: Investigation Few historians would disagreethat the New Deal assisted to improve the social conditions faced during theGreat Depression, from the years of 1929 to 1939. As we know from October 29th1929 to 1939 the United States was in an economic downfall, the GreatDepression. However, with this catastrophe came Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32ndpresident of the United States, who was in office from1933 to 1945. With hiscommitment to make America stable and prosperous again, he got sworn in tooffice.
After the crash of the stock market of 1929 the United States hadofficially began the depression years. From unemployment rising from 3.2percent to 24.
9 percent, the work force was getting smaller day by day(Marx).Not only that but the consumer spending went down by 18 percent(Marx), whichlead to less National spending and less National taxes. One after another thedominos of the American economy were falling at a unstoppable pace. With us knowing the basics of the New Dealand the Great Depression, we can move on to the more complex situations. Theresult of the New Deal changed our country like never seen before. Jobs were onthe rise, unemployment was lowering, GDP was increasing, overall consumerspending increased, and the social aspect of the American Society wasimproving.
In this investigation I will be focusing on how the New Dealimproved the social conditions faced by Americans during the Great Depression.In FDR’s first term from 1932 to 1936, he developed his team known as the”Brain Trust”. The brain trust consisted of highly qualified and trusted men insocial and economic policy making. To begin with, one of his social program wasthe Civilian Conservations Corps (CCC).
This was in effect from the years 1933to 1941 and its main goal was to employ young men in conserving the nationsnatural land and resources. This servedas an employment booster and a social reform. The CCC were an important factorto save the nation form the Dust Bowl; they helped plant thousands of treeacross the plains to stop the Dust Bowl.
Furthermore, one of Franklin D.Roosevelt’s most successful social program was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPAwas one of the most well-known programs out forth by the 32ndPresident. The WPA was a mass employment of public works project, this includedconstruction of any public building, roads, and other projects(Leuchtenburg). Thisprogram employed upwards of 8 million people and averaged a salary of $40 permonth per person.
With the money one man could support his family and also beable to spend for basic necessities. The wages were a security for the worker’sfamily but also they increased consumer spending, which led to the buildup ofthe economy. The WPA built building, roads, bridges, parks, and airports whichwere essential for a prosperous American land. This was a win-win situation forboth the citizens of America and America itself. They employed women and men,however the men employment rates were higher.
This shows the chance given towomen, but still shows the inequality. With that in mind, during the Rooseveltpresidency they came with a new program known as The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA).NIRA, was a recovery act in which it targets the industrial sector of Americaand the Great Depression. In this act they focused on working conditions andalso child labor in hard intensive working conditions. One of the significantchanges put forth by the NRA (later changed the name from NIRA to NRA) was thereduction of working hours on workers.
Also the WagnerAct of 1935 allowed the workers to negotiate their pay for the number of hoursthey work. This social improvement by the government allowed workers to gettheir fair share and fair pay. This lead to familial stability and higher rateof consumer spending. Also in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Actprovided workers with shorter work hours and days off. In detail this made44-hour work weeks and eventually will lead 40 hours work weeks. Furthermore,this act made child labor illegal, so anyone under the age of 16 years couldnot work(Badger).
Also the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was put in place by the Rooseveltadministration to provide jobs for the people in the Smokey mountain region andto create dams for the people in the area(Richards). This was one greatachievement in which a part of the New Deal aided the social welfare ofAmericans. In addition, one of the most famous acts passed by the 32ndpresident for social welfare of Americans was the Social Security Act of 1935(Hardman).This act is still in place in today’s modern 21st centuryAmerica. The act was signed and put intolaw by FDR on August 14, 1935; to provide support for the elderly, unemployed,and children. If this isn’t a social welfare act than what is one? The SocialSecurity Act was one of the major parts of the New Deal and a necessity forsocial improvement during the Great Depression. Some historians might argue that the NewDeal had a negative impact on social improvements during the Great Depression.This may seem highly unlikely but one book talks about all the disadvantages,”New Deal or Raw Deal” by Burton Folsom.
He argues that most to all of thesections of the New Deal have hurt the Unites States of America. He states, “Under consumption theory especially appealed tointellectuals. If the rich were wrecking American industry, exploiting tax cuts,and using their economic power to impoverish farmers and laborers, thencapitalism was failing. Government, by implication, needed to step in andappoint “experts” to planning boards to jump-start the…” This quote shows ushow he thinks that the actions taken by the Roosevelt Administration was allwrong. People have different views on matters and that is totally acceptable inHistory and other subjects. It is clear to see that, the New Dealassisted in the social improvements during the Great Depression Era.
With mostsources showing a positive relation between the New Deal and the GreatDepression, I can conclude that the New Deal brought significant socialimprovements to American society. The New Deal and its polices still have alasting impact on America today and also will for the future of this bright andprosperous nation of the free. Section3: Reflection This investigation has allowedme to gain insight and in-depth knowledge of the New Deal and the GreatDepression Era. With the completion of this historical Investigation, I feelthat I have developed a skill that is fundamental for my academic career. AlsoI have gained knowledge over how to analyze historical works and understand thedifferent point of views by different historians.
For a sophisticated historical investigation,I chose books by famous professors who have a relation with my topic. The authorsshould have a first-hand experience for a well written and detailed orientedbook. After reading and analyzing my sources Iunderstood a new perspective of the hardship that historians have to face. Withall the sources having a different view on the situation it is complex andsurprising to me. For example, “New Deal or Raw Deal” by Mr. Burton talks abouthow the New Deal ruined the U.S.A and the economy while on the other hand,other sources state the benefits from the New Deal to the citizens.
Also I haveunderstood the idea that history can be seen in different views. The same eventcan be seen in many ways, and this is all dependent on the historian and theirknowledge. With that in mind, this historicalinvestigation has provided me abundant knowledge over the New Deal and itseffects during the Great Depression. Also I have gained a new perspective onthe ideas and ways historians think over historical events.
Finally, the mostimportant thing I learned is to write an Investigation paper and this willbeneficial for me in my academic career.