Great Depression Was One of essay

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Thus, when stricter regulations should have been implemented, they were not, and the avoidable became utterly unavoidable. The president Hoover's initial reaction was to allow the market to fix itself, thus going alongside his lassiez-faire beliefs. Yet, he was forced by Congress to act, but did so minimally (Wilkison 1). Thus, it was not long before the nation was in demand of a more hands on president who was willing to implement new social and economic programs to get the United States back on track to economic prosperity.

When Franklin D, Roosevelt took over the Oval Office, he inherited a multitude of problems still reeling from the onslaught of the Great Depression. In his formulation of a plan, Roosevelt created the New Deal, which "sought to save capitalism and the fundamental institutions of American society from the disaster of the Great Depression," (Wilkison 1). Thus, Roosevelt created a multi-faceted approach to dealing with both the short- and long-term ramifications of the Great Depression and its horrendous affects on the lives of every day Americans. Relief programs were implemented in Roosevelt's New Deal in order to "alleviate immediate suffering," (Wilkison 1). These programs were based on short-term implementations and expectations. May focused on caring for those in dire need at the time, and established funding for providing food and shelter for those who had lost everything. Recovery programs were "long-term programs to strengthen the economy back to its pre-crash level," (Wilkison 1). These programs were meant to stimulate the economy and bring jobs back to those who had seen the horrors of unemployment during the midst of the Great Depression. Various government agencies were created to implement robust programs that would hire Americans for innovative and constructive practices all over the nation. Many of our nation's parks and modern road systems began in the various reform policies as a way to both improve the face of the United States and implement programs aimed at employing the massive numbers of the unemployed in the country at the time. Finally, reform policies were "permanent structures meant to prevent further depressions," (Wilkison 1). These were such progressive policies such as the creation of Social Security and stricter bank and business practice practices to ensure that the massive scale of economic panic that occurred in the Great Depression would never again are in such a serious problem. Roosevelt's policies were split up between two versions of his New Deal, the First New Deal and the Second. Although controversial in its closeness to a government that was much involved in its nation's affairs, the basic fundamental point to such policies were to provide structured support for capitalism to return to a strong position and once again take over American economics.

The first New Deal, lasting from 1933-1935, set up several fundamental policies which brought the nation closer to economic stability. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, passed early in 1933 aimed to stimulate the agricultural industry by helping lower the supply of agricultural products in an over flooded market. Therefore, the government actually began paying farmers to produce fewer crops (Wilkison 1). This helped control the supply and increase demand, eventually hoping to restore agricultural prices so that they could once again control themselves. Yet, this particular plan did not work as effectively as Roosevelt would have wanted it to, and only truly benefited larger operators. Smaller farmers still had to face severe problems. The National Industrial Recovery Act was also passed in 1933 and centralized government strategy to fight the Depression (University of Virginia 1). In this, Roosevelt temporarily allowed monopolies to exist outside of the anti-trust laws in order help stabilize various industries and set fixed prices. Yet, there was little consumer demand and so success of the policy was only moderate. Finally, the Tennessee Valley Authority helped allocate millions of dollars to stimulate several severely affected Southern economies along he Tennessee River (Ezzell 1). This then implemented damn building, trail paving, and other stimulating policies that aimed to provide new job opportunities for Southern regions that saw the highest levels of unemployment. Although many believed this was close to Socialism, it did provide jobs and much needed wages to Southern communities in dire need and so was seen as a success.

The Second New Deal continued to push government into everyday relations, a fact that critic saw as a push towards Socialism. The Works Progress Administration was established in 1935 and "was a huge federal jobs programs hat sought to hire unemployed breadwinners for the purpose of strengthening their family's well-being as well as boosting consumer demand," (Wilkison 1). Here is where Roosevelt finally understood that for any programs to work successfully, he would need to increase consumer demand by providing those consumers with more buying potential and security. Thus, the WPA oversaw countless public works projects such as construction of roads, rail lines, buildings, and parks. To further solidify the protection of the everyday American, the Social Security Act was established to "act as a safety net for older workers," and provide supplemental income for those above a certain age (Wilkison 1). Overall, the policies and practices of the Second New Deal proved successful, and along with the growing need for industry based on the coming war, the United States was pulled out of the Great Depression.


Ezzell, Patricia Bernard. "TVA: From the New Deal to a New Century." TVA Heritage Column. Retrieved 5 Dec 2009 from

Gusmorino, Paul Alexander. "Main Causes of the Great Depression." Gusmorino World. 1996. Retrieved 4 Dec 2009 from

Hall, Thomas Emerson & Ferguson, David J. The Great Depression: An International Disaster of Perverse Economic Policies University of Michigan Press. 2001.

Kelly, Martin. "Top 5 Causes of the Great Depression." American History. Retrieved 4 Dec 2009 from

Kindleberger, Charles Poor. The World in Depression, 1929-1939. University of California Press. 1986.

James, Harold. "The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison." Essays on the Great Depression. Ed. Ben Bernanke. Princeton University Press. 2000.

Rothbard, Mary. America's Great Depression. Mises Institute. 2000.

Wilkison, Kyle. "The Great Depression and the New Deal: 1929-1940s." United States History. 2008. Retrieved 5 Dec 2009 from

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