The Great Depression showed many political and economic issues that the Roosevelt administration had to deal with. Roosevelt’s responses to the Depression were focused in the right direction toward economic stability and were achievable by improving the previously problematic matter of the role of government in society. The ideas, programs, and other relief efforts of the New Deal were good but didn’t help the American people as much as the administration hoped for. In fact, they only benefitted a small portion of people instead of the whole population. The administration helped set a basis for other relief efforts and expanded the size of the government by developing different organizations. FDR’s administration was able to achieve moderate success in resolving problems with the Great Depression by establishing relief efforts and his New Deal.
As soon as FDR was inaugurated, he immediately ordered Congress to start implementing his programs and passing regulations. At this time Congress had passed more major legislation than any other Congress. Document C illustrates how many pieces of legislation Congress had passed and how this new legislation was moving the country forward. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was beginning to give federal money to states that operated soup kitchens and other help for the homeless and unemployed. These policies provided people throughout the nation with an affordable source of electricity by removing privately owned utilities and replacing them with other sources such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. Social Security was made available to many who needed it and helped bring them out of the terrible Depression, but at the same time was denied to certain workers such as domestic and agricultural laborers (Document E).
The New Deal was a major point in FDR’s relief efforts. This is because the was also founded so that the government could tell individual farmers how much they should produce and pay them subsidies for leaving some of their lands free. They helped double the income of farmers and the industry was able to stay stable and successful for a few years, but they most favored large farms and not so much smaller farmers. The Public Works Administration was another big reform. As Document D says, a large amount of federal money was put into this. These programs helped create new government jobs and helped give money to some people who needed it. The Federal Emergency offered outright grants of federal money to states that operated soup kitchens and helped the jobless. As in Document B, ‘…cause of creating more jobs and better wages for labor’. Roosevelt created projects that would offer more jobs. It also allowed young men to work on federal lands that then paid their families small monthly sums.
In an attempt to boost the welfare of the common people, Roosevelt also implemented a ‘blanket code’ for workers’ rights. These ‘blanket codes’ backed by the National Recovery Association set the first American Minimum Wage and set limits on the number of hours companies could require their employees to work (document F). These standardized ‘blanket codes’ set limitations on the companies so that no company would lower prices or wages to seek competitive advantage and successfully established provisions for maintaining employment and production and giving the suffering common people a more fair deal (document G.) The implementation of these codes was the most revolutionary of Roosevelt’s actions.
Although Roosevelt’s New Deal did not reconstruct the broken American economy, it did create a more powerful labor movement and vastly expanded the role of the federal government. It also helped give aid to people that needed it, but it didn’t help everyone. The new administrations didn’t help as much as the government initially had hoped, but the reforms made then are still used today. Even today the government is highly involved in other affairs besides politics which creates stability in all areas of society.