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Was the New Deal a Success?

Source A is taken from a speech of Roosevelt’s during his election campaign in 1932. It begins with an almost religious pledge for a New Deal. Roosevelt says that his campaign, ‘is more than a political campaign: it is a call to arms. ‘ Roosevelt is trying to say that his campaign is not just political, but that he is trying to gather everyone up so that he can have their help, ‘not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America.

‘ Again the word ‘crusade’ is a religious reference. In this speech there are two religious references.

These are ‘pledge’ and ‘crusade. To win an election in 1932 it was an advantage if you were bound to politics with a Christian faith that drove you as most of the American population were Christian, and would vote for a Christian president. Hoover is also Christian, but if FDR weren’t Christian he would have had less support from the American population.

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So a major reason why FDR was supported by the American population was because he was Christian. However apart from the Christian view, one of the main reasons why people supported FDR in the 1932 election is because his competitor was so disliked by the majority of the American population.

Hoover said in his election campaign that if he were re-elected he would carry on with his ‘rugged individualism’ in the hope that America would turn itself around. People had hated receiving no support from the government and having to carry out this rugged individualism which is the act of fending and working for yourself, for your own success.

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FDR said he would do the opposite if elected. He said that he would bring in the New Deal and give the American population lots of support. He said he would get rid of ‘rugged individualism’ that a lot of the American population hated.

Being a Democrat he promised a lot of support for the poor, which was a vast majority in America at the time due to the depression. He also promised to help the unemployed, which again, was a vast majority in America. As I said before, the poor and unemployed made up a large number of the population of America at the time and FDR gained a lot of support by promising to provide these people with support. Hoover however offered no support, but only hope that the country would turn itself around. FDR looked much better in the eyes of the American population compared to Hoover because of their election campaigns.

The depression had allowed FDR to use his promise of support as an advantage over Hoover in the election. The source does not stray from this view. Roosevelt pledges to help the American population using the New Deal. He tells them that this for him ‘is more than just a political campaign’ because it is also a call to arms of the American people to help him ‘not to win votes alone’ but also to win in the crusade he has to restore America. He promises to wage war and get rid of the ‘destruction, delay, deceit and despair’ that the depression had caused.

He also tells the American population, ‘with confidence we accept the promise of a new deal. ‘ As a less significant point FDR also had support due to the fact that he was in a wheelchair and a lot of the American population could relate to him. They thought he had been through a lot in his life and that he knows about hardship, that he can lead them out of the depression. He however posed in pictures without his wheelchair to show that he was also a strong leader. The American population admired FDR as he had been through hardship but still was a proud man and a strong leader, and this is a reason why people supported him.

In conclusion the reason why people supported FDR in the 1932 election is because he was a Christian, he was an admirable figure, and because he offered support instead of none like Hoover which a lot of the American population desperately needed to have. Question 2 – Study Sources B and C. How do these judgements on the New Deal Differ? (7) To begin with, I can see that both of these sources, B and C, were written by American Historians in 1945. However after reading them I found they both had very different judgments of the New Deal. Source B has 3 paragraphs.

Paragraph 1 starts with a rhetorical question, ‘What, then, are the major achievements of the New Deal? ‘ The historian then answers this question by talking about how the New Deal brought about the, ‘restoration of self-confidence,’ and restored America with ‘excitement and hope’ compared to the ‘depression and discouragement’ that the depression had caused. This paragraph shows that this historian has a very positive judgment on the New Deal. He believes that it really restored the lost self-confidence in America and that it gave American excitement and hope for the future.

Paragraph 2 goes into more detail. It tells us one of the New Deal’s more measurable achievements was the, ‘rebuilding of the country. ‘ It also tells us that Roosevelt talked this problem with ‘energy. ‘ It finishes by telling us an example that ‘three million young men in the civilian conservation corps planted 17 million acres of new forests and built over 6 million dams to stop erosion,’ which is an amazing achievement. It concludes in the third paragraph by summing up Roosevelt’s actions as president. The American historian tells us before Roosevelt ‘unemployment had reached 14 million.

We are also told that Roosevelt had introduced ‘unemployment assistance and old age pensions, and he banned child labour. ‘ This is in most peoples view a great step forward for America. We know that these issues are used in our government today, over 70 years on, which shows us these issues were obviously liked and continued to be liked up until this very day. It also explains how during Roosevelt’s presidency the government had strengthened and expanded with its ‘activities to help people. ‘ One of the main oppositions to Roosevelt was on the grounds that the government had too much power.

This source tells us that ‘although the government has greater responsibilities, it has no greater power,’ counteracting the view of Roosevelt’s opposition and turning it round to say that the government just had to work a lot harder for the population. The source tells us that the power was, ‘still in the hands of the people,’ as they had the power to give the government the power. It concludes with the statement, ‘the charge that Roosevelt has been a dictator is not true. ‘ This source in my view has a very positive judgement of Roosevelt and his New Deal.

It compliments the actions Roosevelt took as president and counter argued the opposition’s view of Roosevelt and his New Deal. Source C provides this opposite view of Roosevelt and his New Deal and is also written by an American historian in 1945. Source C has two paragraphs. Paragraph 1 begins by highlighting that a quarter of people depend on ’employment by the government. ‘ It also states the fact that there was a ‘national debt of $250 billion, compared to a pre-Roosevelt debt of $19 billion’ and that ‘inflation has doubled prices and reduced the lower paid to poverty. Compared to the previous source which highlighted none of these points it seems to be a very negative source towards Roosevelt. It is as if the list is never ending when the source carries on talking of how ‘more people are on government relief’ and how ‘Roosevelt is still calling for more power. ‘ This paragraph is harshly criticising Roosevelt and his New Deal.

The 2nd Paragraph criticises Roosevelt for having used the power he had and the billions of dollars at his disposal ruthlessly. It leads on to say that, ‘the only result of this will be a dictatorial government. This source then tells us that, ‘Roosevelt’s reputation was sinking sadly in 1938. ‘ The historian explains that this was because there were, ‘eleven million unemployed,’ because, ‘the cities were filling with jobless workers. Taxes were rising,’ and ‘the debt was soaring. ‘ We are then told one of Roosevelt’s major criticisms which was that, ‘the war rescued him and he seized it like a drowning man. ‘ The source then comes out with the only positive remark it has of Roosevelt, but it is said as if it was the war that saved America, not Roosevelt.

Both of these sources, even though they were both written by American historians in 1945, are very opposite in their views of Roosevelt and his actions during presidency. Source B talks only positively of Roosevelt highlighting the points that he ‘restored self confidence, rebuilt the country, introduced unemployment assistance, old-age pensions and banned child labour whilst strengthening the government, keeping the power in the hands of the population and leading the country in a democratic manner. Source C on the other hand presents us with a very different view of Roosevelt.

It is very negative of Roosevelt and his New Deal. The highlighted points in the source are that Roosevelt has used the power and the billions of dollars he had been given ruthlessly to make a debt of 250 billion dollars, compared to the 19 billion it has been before his presidency. The point that Roosevelt had made a quarter of all the population dependent on government employment and caused prices to double was also highlighted as well as taxes rising, debts soaring and having more people on government relief.

The source also states that without the war that rescued America Roosevelt would not have got every man and woman into employment. In conclusion I believe that source B’s judgment of the New Deal is a very positive one as it highlights all the positive actions and outcomes of Roosevelt and his New Deal whereas source C provides the opposite view. It argues a very negative judgement of the New Deal, highlighting its flaws and criticising its outcomes and makes the point that without the war, Roosevelt and his New Deal would have failed, and America would be left devastated.

Question 3 – Study Source D. What message do you think the photographer is trying to convey? Refer to the photograph and your own knowledge of the period to help you explain your answer. (8) Source D shows a line of black Americans queuing up in front of a poster. This poster is titled, ‘World’s highest standard of living,’ and has the American stars below it. The poster shows us a typical average white family driving their car with the slogan ‘There’s no way like the American way’ next to it.

The photograph was taken in 1937 and there are black Americans queuing up for government relief in front of the poster. The white family look middle class and fairly wealthy. They can afford to care for a dog as well as their two children and they are rich enough to afford a car. The car in America is symbolic. The car in this poster it represents what America stands for; freedom, affluence, recovery and overall a higher standard of living. This poster shows a very happy, well clothed, white family, confident in themselves and in America in general.

The poster is trying to show Americans that they should be like the people in the poster as America is getting back on track. However the photograph shows a large contrast to the happy, cheerful, wealthy and confident white family with the line of black Americans queuing for government relief. Compared to the white family who look as if they have no worries we see a line of purely black Americans which definitely do have worries. These black Americans have a much different expression their faces. They look miserable, worried, scared, poor and not very confident in themselves at all.

Pretty much the exact opposite of how America is trying to portray itself and its population with the white family in the poster. The poster says that America has the ‘world’s highest standard of living. ‘ The black Americans do not look as if they are experiencing this higher standard of living which America is boasting. Most of them are on the brink of poverty and obviously all are in need of government relief. Black Americans had always been the most significant group to suffer prejudice in America.

This is because slavery had caused them to be seen as an inferior race and even when slavery was banned, in a lot of Americans these views remained. Even during the boom of the 1920’s most black Americans were still living in below standard conditions. It was mainly the white men in the cities that gained from the boom. The black Americans mostly worked in the south as sharecroppers or factory workers and those who migrated north found it difficult to get jobs over the white citizens however at least prejudice was less in the north then the south.

Those who moved north usually were not very successful and lived in black ghettos. The black Americans had always been less successful and wealthy than the white people. Black Americans had never really been experiencing this ‘world’s highest standard of living. ‘ Even in 1937 when America had begun to get back on track, this really only applied to the white population of America. The black Americans still needed government relief in most cases just to have something to eat.

The photographer must have understood that the black Americans had always been left trailing behind the success of the white population of America and that they were not experiencing the happiness that is portrayed by the white people in the poster. The photographer must have understood the irony of the photograph that purely black Americans who are queuing up for government relief are pictured with the slogans, ‘there’s no way like the American way’ and ‘world’s highest standard of living’ and a picture of a wealthy, happy, confident white family in their car of freedom, affluence and higher standard of living.

The photographer was trying to show how racist America was at the time as only white Americans are in the photograph conveying a wonderful lifestyle, and the black Americans who had suffered because of America’s prejudice had been reduced to needing government relief. I would find that a suitable title for this photograph could have been ‘life’s not always black and white’ as it would sum up the irony that the photographer had tried to convey in this photograph that the wealth, confidence, happiness and higher standard of living in the poster is not applying to the black population of America.

It would also sum up how the reality of American life is that the white population prosper, whereas the black Americans suffer due to the prejudice and racist views of the time. So in conclusion I would have to say that the message the photographer is trying to convey is that white people had always had it much, much better than the black population of America, because the black Americans were seen as lower class citizens, segregated from the white population, and were not given a fair chance in life because of the racism running throughout America that had remained from the times of black slavery.

Question 4 – Study sources E, F and G. Are these cartoons for or against Roosevelt? Explain your answer with reference to the cartoons. (9) Source E pictures Roosevelt on top of a hill carelessly pouring buckets of money into the ‘New Deal Pump’ representing America to try and make it work again but failing. It also shows the weak ‘taxpayer’ lugging ‘seven thousand millions more’ of these money buckets on his back and on his head up a path with the words, ‘sixteen billions spent’ on it. Also this ‘New Deal Pump’ is not working as it has many leaks in it.

The expression on Roosevelt’s face is one that gives off the impression that he does not know at all what he is doing, and because of this he is continuously and carelessly wasting buckets worth of American money. This money is pictured as being carelessly dumped into the pump with much of it splashing away from the top of the pump and if it did get in to the pump it leaks out. This source says FDR is senselessly wasting the tax payer’s money. The caption of Roosevelt’s is, ‘I hope this will make’er work. ‘ This for one gives off the impression that Roosevelt is uneducated as he is using slang.

It also emphasises the point that Roosevelt does not know what he is doing and that he is careless in his actions as he says ‘I hope. ‘ The caption tells us he does not know if it will work or not but he is relying on the hope that it will work. In this source FDR is summed up as being a poorly educated, careless, idiotic and slave driving man, and as the president he must be none of these. The ‘taxpayer’ is represented as a very weak, old, frail man following Roosevelt and forcibly supporting him with trying to make the ‘New Deal Pump’ work.

He is tired and looks as if he is scared. My view is that he is scared that Roosevelt is being careless with their money and because the ‘taxpayer’ doesn’t know if America will recover and doesn’t want to rely on the senseless hope of Roosevelt. The ‘taxpayer’ represents the whole of America’s population and as the ‘taxpayer’ looks tired out, weak, frail, anxious, scared and worried, the source is trying to show that America’s population is feeling these ways because of FDR. This is a very negative source and it attacks the New Deal and it’s creator, Roosevelt.

It criticises him as being a stupid man that is careless and does not know what he is doing, and he still continues to do so because of a faint hope that it will reform America. Source F pictures Roosevelt with a large bin full of lots of items representing ex-president Herbert Hoover’s ideals, policies and other items which he is throwing away. Hoover is also pictured walking away with his bag packed and a time table in his hand. The title of this American 1933 cartoon is ‘getting rid of the rubbish. The title of the cartoon tells us that Hoover’s ideals and policies were ‘Rubbish. ‘ The items in the bin are Hoover’s most famous ideals, policies and other items. His motto was always, ‘two cars in every garage and a chicken in the pot. ‘ A dead chicken in a pot and very old tyre which has been broken and fixed many times are the items in this rubbish bin that represent Hoover’s slogan. The fact that the chicken is lying on its back unprepared and dead paired with the broken tire which has been attempted to be fix many times shows what this source thinks of this motto.

It thinks it is an old, dead and extinct slogan, just as FDR is extinct as president, which cannot be restored again. The reason why Americans did not receive much support after the depression from Hoover was because of his view that America should exercise ‘rugged individualism. ‘ This is looking after ones own without having any support from the government and putting forward their own effort and hard work to achieve success. Hoover believed that if he left the country to restore itself it would without having to have any support given to them.

This is represented by a wooden scarecrow wearing ragged clothing and is inside the bin for getting rid off, just like all of Hoover’s over policies and ideals. The fact that it is a scarecrow wearing ragged and torn clothes shows us, I believe, that Hoover’s ‘rugged individualism’ had worked the American population too hard and starved them of support and reducing them to poor, weak men who wear torn clothes and cannot support themselves anymore. Also in the bin is a rolled up blanket. I believe this refers to the ‘Hoover blanket.

This is what they called the newspapers that some of the population used to cover themselves and keep themselves warm. It is something that the population used to attack Hoover’s ideal of ‘rugged individualism’ as newspapers were the only type of support they had for themselves. It is ironic as they called the newspapers they used for support after president Hoover, as if they were to say this is how much support you give me. The Bin also contains an umbrella. This I believe is included as something that represents a similar point as a Hoover blanket. An umbrella is used to protect you from rain.

In this cartoon the umbrella symbolises the population trying to shield and protect themselves, and the rain represents the depression. In summary the umbrella represents America’s attempt to protect themselves from the depression. FDR is throwing this away as if to say you don’t need to protect yourselves anymore, I will protect you until the depression is over. In this cartoon FDR is a tall, strong, youthful, exuberant, happy, idealistic and confident man. He lifts the bin with ease and looks very confident and happy showing he knows what he is doing and he is going to clean up and restore the country.

His head is up showing that he knows what to do, he is confident about it and he going to do it to make America happy again just like he is pictured. His jacket is off and his sleeves are rolled up showing he is ready for work to restore America again. Hoover however has his head down. He looks small, weak, old, worn out and unhappy. He has his bags packed and his jacket and hat are on. He is leaving and as the title, ‘getting rid of the rubbish’ suggests, not only is the rubbish ideals and policies being gotten rid off but Hoover himself is also being gotten rid off. He has a time table in his hand which could represent two things.

Either that the time table is a train or bus time table, showing that he is going away, or it is FDR’s timetable of what he is going to do to reform America and he is looking at it with an expression you can imagine that he is saying to himself, ‘if only I would have done that. ‘ This source is not negative like source E but very positive and tells us Roosevelt is going to restore America to greatness now that he has got rid of Hoover and his ideals and policies. It tells the American population not to fear as FDR is here and he is going to support and lead us out of the depression.

Source G pictures FDR looking like a conman with a hat in one hand and a bag labelled ‘New Deal Remedies. ‘ He has come to try and remedy the poorly Uncle Sam representing America. The table next to Uncle Sam Is full of loads of remedies, each with an alphabet agency labelled on it, the NRA being the most noticeable. Even though this table is full of remedies already he has come with even more New Deal remedies and is looking back at the nurse representing congress. FDR’s caption is ‘of course we may have to change remedies if we don’t get results. The source reminds me a lot of source E.

Both have captions which give the impression of FDR being unsure of what he is doing. In source E he is careless, but in this source he is simply looking like a conman who does not even know if the many remedies he has tried will work. He says, ‘we may have to change remedies if we don’t get results’ which shows us that he is a conman as he does not know what he is doing and he is just trying anything he can in the faint hope that it may work. Also similar to source E, just as the ‘taxpayer’ is scared and weak, the nurse representing congress and Uncle Sam are both looking rather worried and unsure.

They both have their hands locked which gives of the impression that they may be praying for America to be healed, to come out of the depression, as they do not rely on FDR to do these things. They have resulted to praying and hoping for America’s reform as FDR has not come up with the goods, he has not restored Americas greatness. The nurse representing congress has an expression which implies that she is trusting in FDR but still is unsure and worried and can only pray and hope that Uncle Sam representing America will be healed.

Uncle Sam looks weak and frail, but also very unsure and scared that FDR does not know what he is doing and cannot heal him. His hands are locked with his thumbs up which can mean that he is also hoping and praying that he will be healed but also that he is waiting. He is waiting for FDR to come up with something that once and for all will heal him, but FDR cannot come up with this as he is in endless confusion. FDR with his endless confusion has just kept spending money on getting these remedies for America but none are working and the question is asked, when will the table be full?

When will the money run out and when will America be restored? Just like source E this source shows a negative view of FDR. It tells us that FDR is a conman, in endless confusion with what he should be doing, and that America is still not healed, no matter how many New Deal remedies FDR comes up with. In conclusion each of these three American cartoons published in early to mid 1930’s provide a very definite view of FDR. They are either positive towards FDR or negative towards FDR. They are definitely not neutral.

Source E tells us that FDR is a careless, uneducated, idiotic, slave driving man who does not know what he is doing but still, he continuously ploughs money into America using the taxpayer’s money. This source obviously is presenting a negative view of FDR. Source F tells us that FDR is a strong, exuberant, confident and committed man who will support the population and restore America to greatness. This source is definitely showing a positive view of FDR. Finally source G tells us that FDR is a conman, who because of his endless confusion cannot heal America but still ploughs money into his remedies in the slight hope they might work.

Question 5 – Study sources H and I. Which source is the more useful as evidence about public opinion towards the New Deal? Explain your answer. (6) Sources H and I are both representations of what the democrat supporting public’s views at the time were. Source H is a letter that had been sent to the president and published by Roosevelt’s supporters as part of his election campaign in 1936. Source I is an excerpt from a popular song from 1936. Source H is a letter, and as a letter is a primary source.

It begins by saying, ‘this is just to let you know everything is alright now,’ which tells us the author of this letter has resolved their problem. It then says that, ‘the man you sent found our house and we went down to the bank with him. The bank agreed to let our loan go on for a while longer. ‘ Here the author is saying that one of the New Deal’s alphabet agency’s employees helped the author keep their house by extending the loan of one of the banks that had been one of the few kept by Roosevelt as it was supposedly a good bank. The author writes, ‘you remember I wrote to you about losing the furniture.

Well, you’re man got it back for us. I have never heard of a president like you. ‘ The author has written to the president before and this letter has a very personal feel to it and is thankful to the president. It gives of the impression that the author really likes the president and that the president cares about the author. It finishes with, ‘my wife and I are old folks and don’t amount to much but we join those millions of others praying for you every night. God Bless you. ‘ The old man that writes this tells this president that the president has lots of support as he has millions of people praying for him.

Obviously his New Deal has pleased a lot of people. There are also religious references there, ‘pray’ and ‘god bless you’ showing us that many religious people of America are supporting Roosevelt. In summary we can see that the author of this letter is very thankful of FDR and is very pleased with the New Deal as it had helped them keep their house and get back their furniture. We can also see that it is not only the author that prays for him every night, but millions of people do. This obviously is a very basic statistic from the author but it still shows that Roosevelt and his New Deal have a lot of support from the American population.

I would say that source H is overall a useful source of public opinion towards the new deal. As a letter, it is a primary source, and as a primary source we know the information has not been changed and is directly taken from the creator of it. Therefore it is a reliable source which is useful as we know what has been written is an American’s opinion at the time. The source says that the author and their partner as well as millions of people pray for FDR every night. This is a very basic statistic with hardly any evidence which makes the source less useful. It is also just one of the millions of Americans opinions.

There would have been people who disagreed with this letter and who did not like FDR, but as it was published by FDR’s followers, it would obviously be in his favour. This causes the source to become less useful. However overall it is a factual opinion written by a normal American who likes FDR and who believes that there is a lot of support for him in America. This causes me to believe that it is a more useful than not useful source which tells us that there was a lot of support for the New deal in America. Source I includes an excerpt featuring 8 short lines from a popular song from the same time as the letter from source H was published.

It was obviously sung by Democrat supporters and we are told that it is popular which shows us many people sang it. As a song it does not really provide any serious factual information and it doesn’t exactly tell us where it was popular. It could have just been popular in Rhode Island, but as the source does say popular I’m guessing it would be on a reasonably large scale as with popular songs nowadays. Line 3, ‘since Roosevelt’s been re-elected, we’ll not be neglected,’ tells us that the people that sing this song believe that Roosevelt will not neglect them like the opposition, Hoover, would have and had done in the past.

It tells us that these people believe now that FDR has been re-elected that he we not neglect, but in fact give them lots of support with the New Deal. Therefore the singers of this song support the New Deal. Lines 5, 6 and 7 go, ‘No more breadlines we’re glad to say, the donkey won the Election Day, No more standing in the blowing, snowing rain; He’s got things in full sway, we’re all working and getting our pay. ‘ Here we can see that the people who sing this song are happy that the ‘donkey’ or the Democratic Party won the election as they will not have to stand still during the depression with no support.

Of course it cannot be denied that this was only a song that was sung at the time and the information it provides was never meant to be exact. However it was a popular song, and those who sung it must have believed that FDR had done good for America. It does not however say where it was popular but assumedly it was reasonably popular. It also does not mention anything directly about the New Deal. As source I is merely a few lines from a song, it does not directly relate to the new deal and it does not say where it was popular, I would say it is not very useful.

However it was still a popular song, and those who sung must have to an extent believed in it. This would make me say it is overall not a very useful source of public opinion towards the new deal. So in conclusion I would say that source H is a more useful source about public opinion on the New Deal. This is because it is a primary source as it is a letter and it provides first hand experience of the New Deal and it tells us that this person is not the only one but millions of people are thankful of Roosevelt for the New Deal.

However source I is a less useful source in my view as it is simply an excerpt from a popular song which doesn’t provide us with any serious factual information but only the simple point that now that Roosevelt has been re-elected they will not be neglected. There isn’t even any information about the New Deal, but makes a slight link that they will be supported now Roosevelt is re-elected. Question 6 -Study sources J and K. Why do you think these two people disagree about the New Deal? Explain your answer. (5) Source J is of a self made businessman speaking in 1980 and remembering the time of the New Deal.

Source K is an extract from Frances Perkins book, ‘the Roosevelt I knew. ‘ She was Secretary of labour in Roosevelt’s New Deal government in the 1930’s. Source J talks of how the ‘New Deal hurt’ the people. It says that as a rich man’s son FDR ‘thinks its right to give. He didn’t understand that when you give to people you hurt them. S B Fuller believes that FDR had been raised to think it right to give, but as he gave, he hurt people. The source then goes on to say, ‘We had soup lines and the Depression because people lost confidence in themselves. S B Fuller says that when support is offered to the American people they lose confidence in themselves and soup lines and the Depression were caused by this. We are told in the second paragraph that, ‘welfare kills a man’s initiative. A dog you feed will not hunt. If you want a dog who hunts, you have to let him get hungry. You’re free to eat it if you can pay for your food, and you’re free to starve if you don’t pay. ‘ From this I gather that this businessman believes that only by hardship can you have the initiative to better your life.

It also says that a man is free to eat if you can pay for your food and you are free to starve if you can’t. This man is most likely a Republican. As a self made businessman he believes that you must have the initiative to work hard and be rich like he must have done. He also believes that if you are rich then you can buy food and if you are not rich you must simply starve. A very selfish view from the businessman in my view. Source K talks of how with the New Deal, ‘ordinary people would have a better chance in life. ‘ From this we learn that the New Deal would provide a better chance in life to the majority of America, the common folk.

We are told that the Depression ‘had fallen heaviest on those people least able to bear it,’ and that ‘the rich had been hit hard too, but at least they had something left. ‘ Here we are told that the rich could bear the depression, but the common man suffered from it. She then says that the idea of the New Deal was that ‘all forces of the community should be directed to making life better for ordinary people. ‘ The New Deal was meant for all Americans to support the ordinary people in making their life better. By reading these sources we can see that these two people obviously disagree.

This is because they come from different backgrounds. S B Fuller seems like a Republican and Frances Perkins seems like a Democrat. S B Fuller was angered that there had been so much investment in the common man after the depression. He felt that the people receiving it had not worked as hard as he had to make their money and that is why he believed that the common folk should not receive help. He believed that it was their own fault for not being rich and they should suffer for it. Source K provides a very different opinion. The author had worked on the New Deal and had very similar views of it as FDR did.

She believed that everyone including the rich should help the common man. This is a much more socialist view than S B Fuller’s who would not give any support to the common man as he believed people were right to be in whatever position they were as it shows how hard they worked. In conclusion I believe the two different people disagree as they are from different political views. Also I believe they disagree as one is a self-made businessman who wants to retain his money and not offer support as he is stubborn and Frances Perkins believes in the New Deal and want to better everyone’s chance in life, not just the common man.

Question 7 – Study the following interpretations of the effects of the New Deal. A) The New Deal helped many Americans and by doing this it gave them self-respect. It gave them confidence to lift the United States out of the depression. B) The New Deal wasted a lot of money; it made people dependent on the government and led to the government becoming too powerful. It did not solve America’s economic problems – the Second World War did that. Which interpretation is best supported by the evidence in the sources and your own knowledge of American history? Explain your answer. (10) Source B is the judgement of an American historian in 1945.

It talks of the achievements of Roosevelt and his New Deal. ‘The rebuilding of the country,’ and ‘the development of the Dust Bowl. ‘ It also talks of the ‘restoration of self-confidence’ in Americans. All in all the first interpretation, ‘The New Deal helped many Americans and by doing this gave them self respect. It gave them confidence to lift the united states out of the depression,’ matches this source very well. Another source that supports this view is source F. Source H is a letter published by Roosevelt’s supporters as part of his election campaign in 1936. It is written by an old man. He says that ‘everything is all right now.

The man you sent found our house and we went down to the bank with him. The bank agreed to let our loan go on for a while longer. ‘ In summary this source shows how things are good now and how the New Deal had helped America. It also gives us the impression that people are much more confident now. Source I is an excerpt from a popular song from 1936. It talks of how Roosevelt being elected leads to them not being neglected. If anything, it would support the first interpretation as it shows a positive view of FDR as he helped them which supports ‘the New Deal helped many Americans’ from the first interpretation.

The only other source that supports this view is source K. Source K is written in a book by Frances Perkins in 1947. She was secretary of Labour in Roosevelt’s New Deal government in the 1930s. She talks of how the New Deal ‘meant that ordinary people would have a better chance in life. ‘ She also talks of how the rich had suffered, but they still had something left, but the poor were desperate to survive and Roosevelt helped them. She concludes by saying ‘the idea was that all the forces of the community should be directed to making life better for ordinary people. This source best fits the first interpretation as it slightly agrees that ‘the New Deal helped many Americans and by doing this it gave them self-respect. It gave them confidence to lift the United States out of the depression’ Source C is by an American historian writing in 1945.

It talks of how, one in every four people depended on employment by the government, that ‘there was a national debt of 250 billion, compared to a pre-Roosevelt debt of 19 billion’, and that ‘the only result of this will be dictatorial government. These represent this part of the second interpretation, ‘The New Deal wasted a lot of money; it made people dependent on the government and led to the government becoming too powerful. ‘ It then supports the view in the interpretation that ‘it did not solve America’s economic problems – the Second World War did that,’ by saying that inflation had doubled prices, that ‘he had 11 million unemployed,’ that taxes and debts were rising and that ‘the war rescued him and he seized on it like a drowning man.

By leading his country into war he was able to put every man and woman into work. ‘ Source D does not really relate to the interpretations but it does support, ‘it made people dependent on the government,’ and ‘it did not solve America’s economic problems. ‘ It does this by showing that there are poor looking people who are said to be queuing up for government relief. In summary it supports the second interpretation but only a part of it unlike sources B and C which fully supported their sources.

Source E shows us Roosevelt wasting billions of American dollars with the new deal as it shows him pouring buckets worth of money into a ‘New Deal’ pump to make it work but not succeeding as it leaks. It also shows that the government has become too powerful as Roosevelt is pictured on the top of the hill doing whatever he wants with America’s money with the ‘taxpayer’ struggling behind him. In summary this source supports this part of the second interpretation, ‘the New Deal wasted a lot of money; it made people dependent on the government and led to the government becoming too powerful.

It did not solve America’s economic problems. ‘ Source G is a cartoon, and is published in the mid 1930’s. It shows us how Roosevelt had used many remedies to heal Uncle Sam representing America but failing. This supports this part in the second interpretation, ‘the New Deal wasted a lot of money’ and ‘it did not solve America’s economic problems. ‘ The only other source that supports the second interpretation is source J which is written by S B Fuller, a self-made businessman speaking in 1980 and remembering the time of the New Deal.

He talks of how when you support people you end up killing their initiative. ‘A dog you feed will not hunt. If you want a dog who hunts, you have to let him get hungry. ‘ This is a negative view of Roosevelt and does not really apply to our interpretations apart from slightly applying to the second interpretation. It does support the view that it made, ‘people dependent on the government. ‘ We can see from this that four sources agree with interpretation A, five sources agree with interpretation B and the remaining two sources don’t agree with either and this is all to varying extents of course.

Therefore the sources show a majority that agree with interpretation B that, ‘The New Deal wasted a lot of money; it made people dependent on the government and led to the government becoming too powerful. It did not solve America’s economic problems – the Second World War did that. ‘ However my overall view is different. The main aims of the New Deal were the recovery of industry and agriculture, and to get people back to work. To a certain extent is did achieve these. There is no doubt that between 1933 and 1936 there was a degree of recovery as unemployment was reduced and businesses were revived.

However in 1937 when the government began to spend less money on its schemes, production fell again and a second wave of depression hit. It was clear that continual injections of money were needed to prevent the situation getting any worse. Only in 1941 did the USA really become involved in the war and then the demand for American manufactured goods increased dramatically and the economy was lifted out of the depression. In the end Roosevelt had succeeded. He had done all he could to better the situation in America, and pouring money into helping them seemed to work.

Roosevelt in my view had done a great job and we cannot really ask any more of him. He did as best a job he could, using his resources wisely, and in the end did what the majority of the population needed. So in conclusion after reading the sources and considering my own knowledge I have come to the conclusion that the first interpretation is right. Roosevelt did help many Americans and he did regain confidence amongst Americans which helped lift them out of the depression. The war was simply and aid to help America recover quicker.

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Was the New Deal a Success?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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