Rev asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

How far did the character of the new deal change after 1933?

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  • 8 years ago
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    By the winter of 1932-1933, the country seemed to have reached rock bottom. Roosevelt's personal solution, the New Deal was the largest, most expensive government programme in the history of the American presidency. However, historians do not necessarily agree as to whether the New Deal was a success or a failure.

    Although Roosevelt restored hope and staved off the collapse of the banking system, the problem of unemployment was more difficult and at the start of 1934 there was still 11.3 million people out of work. Some historians have said that failing to deal with unemployment was the biggest weakness of the New Deal. Criticism of Roosevelt emerged from several directions.

    With the 1936 presidential election on the horizon, the New Deal began to change direction. Some historians have interpreted the change by saying there were two New Deals - the first dealing with the immediate emergency of 1933-34 and the second, which emerged in 1935-1936, offering more radical, reforming policies:

    If Roosevelt's First New Deal (1933-1935) concentrated on relief, dealing with the immediate issue of getting unemployed Americans back to work, then the Second New Deal (1935-1937) focused on social reform issues. This Second New Deal came about, in part, because of the social concerns of the President and his First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, but also because of mounting criticism--from the political left and the political right--of the policies of the First New Deal.

    That "something" turned out to be the Second New Deal. Beginning in 1935, Roosevelt began sending to Congress a host of new legislative initiatives. Some historians characterize the Second New Deal as FDR's radical shift to the left. In reality, however, this second stage of the New Deal was more of a tentative step towards the left. The laws that came out of the Second New Deal included:

    •WPA

    •Wagner Act

    •Social Security Act

    •Wealth Tax Act

    WPA stood for Works Progress (later "Projects") Administration, which promoted both economic relief and reform. Required to choose projects that would not compete with private business, the WPA paved streets and highways; built bridges, airfields, and post offices; restored forests, and extended electrical power to rural areas. Over its seven-year history, the WPA employed about 8.5 million Americans. In addition to building the nation's infrastructure, the WPA funded unemployed artists and authors to promote American culture. The Federal Theater, Arts, Music, Dance, and Writers' Projects brought music and drama to even the smallest communities, sponsored public sculptures and murals, and commissioned noted American writers, such as John Steinbeck, Richard Wright, John Cheever, and Claude McKay, to write regional guidebooks and histories of the American people. The efforts of the WPA marked the first time that the federal government tried to support and promote actively American art and culture.

    The Wagner Act, known officially as the National Labor Relations Act, preserved and strengthened Section 7A of the NIRA. It guaranteed workers the right to unionize and the right to bargain collectively with management. For the first time, the federal government recognized and protected labor unions.

    The Social Security Act was initially drafted at the University of Wisconsin. This act created a cooperative federal-state system to provide unemployment compensation and old-age insurance. Workers who paid Social Security taxes out of their wages would receive benefits upon retirement at age 65. Employee and employer contributions would cover the costs of these benefits. On the one hand, Social Security seemed a fairly radical piece of reform legislation, since the government committed itself to provide help for the elderly. In reality, however, it was a fairly conservative program, since workers and their employers, and not the government, were footing the bill. In addition, the initial Social Security Act did not include provisions for farm workers, domestic workers, employees of the restaurant and service industries, or health-care providers. Still, the act was a milestone in American history because it acknowledged the responsibility of society at large to take care of the less fortunate.

    The Wealth Tax Act increased taxes on the wealthy and created new and larger taxes on excess business profits, inheritances, large gifts, and profits from the sale of property. The act also put new restrictions on trusts and holding companies.

  • 3 years ago

    Would be interested in finding out more on this too

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Well, it depends..

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