Sunday, May 22, 2011

Essay on FDR

Short Essay on FDR

During this time of economic crisis, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president who started programs through the New Deal in which was meant for an economic recovery in the United States. FDR's New Deal was a great idea except for the Supreme Court cases that arose due to problems in certain programs started.

The New Deal all started with Franklin D. Roosevelt when he attempted to re-boost the economic crisis in America during The Great Depression. He was born in born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882 at his family's country estate in the midst of the rolling hills and rural majesty of the Hudson Valley. Franklin was the son of James Roosevelt and his second wife, Sara Delano. He also had a half-brother twenty-six years his senior. Other than that, he had no other siblings. He goes by the nickname of "FDR" which is short for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is known throughout time as the president for life.


According to "The American President," FDR graduated from Harvard College in 1903 and headed to Columbia Law School from 1904-1907. He has had an abundance of different careers in his life such as a lawyer, an author, a member of the New York State Legislature from 1911-1913, an Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913-1920, Vice President of the Fidelity and Deposit Company from 1921-1928, Governor of New York from 1929-1933, and finally President of the United States from 1933-1945. He was a part of the democratic political party throughout his whole life. (Online American President)

While in his serving in his presidency, came the horrifying time known as the Great Depression. According to Jonathon Lee, "Speculation arose in the 1920s and caused many people to by stocks with borrowed money and they used these stocks as security for buying more stocks. This didn't work because the Broker's loans went from under $5 million during the middle of 1928 to $850 million in September of 1929. The stock Market was very unsteady after this happened because it was based on borrowed money and lying people. Then the investors lost their confidence in the market, and created the stock market crash of 1929 taking the investors with it." (Lee)

The Great Depression caused many problems with the economy. As Elizabeth Chisholm from "Microsoft Encarta" states, "It became both quite a physical and psychological impact on the entire nation. Thousands went hungry and Children suffered long term effects from a lack of eating and insufficient medical care." People had to grow food and eat berries and other wild plants in the countryside while selling apples and pencils in the urban areas. Land owners planted "relief gardens" for food and to barter to the poor families. In the meantime, living conditions changed when multiple families were forced to crowd into small housing facilities and apartments. (Chisholm)

The divorce rate which would be likely to increase actually went down because couples could not afford to abode in separate households. Also, others who were planning on getting married postponed their wedding plans due to a lack of economic funding. (Online Lee)

Unemployed men felt like failures when they could not support their families and lost their class when they saw their wives and children working. These wives and kids were working to the point where they were too ashamed to get help from friends or family. Women were blamed for taking the jobs of men and in 1931 when the Federation of Labor endorsed it.

As Jonathan Lee explains, "Women continued to work jobs known as "women's work" such as nursing the children, or housework." Even if the women were able to get an industrial job known as a "man's work," they were usually discriminated against and paid less than men. This seldom ever happened though because of discriminating employers didn't think that women were qualified for the job. (Lee)

President Hoover's philosophy on the depression was that he believed that it was caused by problems with the United States economy and that the problems were beyond any control of the U.S. He thought that the key to economic recovery was confidence in the economy. Factories and businesses tried to maintain confidence, and even as they shut down, Hoover continued to insist that recovery was on its way. He called for a steady payment of higher wages or workers to keep the economy stable and it worked for a while until these industries had to start making pay cuts on the workers salaries.

He had many business leaders promise to keep the worker's wages reasonable and steady and when this didn't work, they all blamed his attitude for the depression. (Gupta)

Feeling the pressure, he finally began to act. The government then created more jobs, built new public buildings, roads, parks, and dams. A Presidents Emergency Committee on Employment had recommended local relief programs. The Hawley-Smoot tariff was passed by Congress in 1930 to protect domestic industries from foreign competitors. The tariffs backfired against America when European nations countered them by raising their tariffs on American goods from Europe. Hoover set up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932, which gave the banks government credit so that they could extend the loans to the people. Although the people disagreed with this idea with the thoughts that it gave more wealth to the bankers and not the people themselves.

Hoovers efforts were not effective enough. He wanted the state and local governments to handle the recovery but they did not have enough money in their programs. As Jonathon Lee states, "During this time of crisis, President Roosevelt thought of an idea or a program to give relief, create jobs, and stimulate economic recovery for the U.S. as fast as possible. This program was known as The New Deal." The New Deal was the main name for the idea and it also had many other programs built inside to help certain aspects of the depression. (Lee)

The first program created was the Emergency Banking Act which On March 6, 1993 he shut down all of the banks in the nation which gave the government the opportunity to inspect the health of all banks. This program worked as it reestablished American faith in banks. Americans weren't afraid that they would lose all of their savings due to a bank failure. (Lee)

One of the other programs he made was the Home Owners Loan Corporation and the Agriculture Adjustment Administration. This was to help people keep their houses. The outcome of this was farmers killed off certain animals and crops as they told to by the AAA. Many could not believe that the federal government was condoning such as action when many Americans were starving.

Then he set up the National Labor Relations Act as Robert S. McElvaine states which legalized practices allowed only irregularly in the past, such as closed shops in which only union members can work and collective bargain. Roosevelt then created the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of June 1933. The NIRA was formed in order to boost the declining prices and help the businesses and workers at the time. The NIRA also allowed trade associations in many industries to write codes controlling wages, working conditions, production, and prices. It also set a minimum wage. (McElvaine)

One of the best parts of the NIRA is the Public Works Association (PWA). The PWA launched projects such as the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River. This was very successful.

"My parents said that they would be back for me. They said they were going to look for work and they would be back soon. I was six weeks old when they left. They never came back. This was due to the Depression." This just goes to show that the economy could fall at any time and there are programs out there that do work to help boost the economic catastrophes back to the ordinary. The New Deal was created to help the depression out and get back to full economic recovery through programs listed above. There are many more programs in the deal but these are the main objectives and the most successful.

Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on the FDR topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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