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First 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency

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Title: First 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency  
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Subject: Commonwealth Club Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cullen–Harrison Act, The More Abundant Life, Executive Order 9102
Collection: 1933 in American Politics, Franklin D. Roosevelt
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First 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency

The first hundred days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency was a time in the history of the United States in which Roosevelt planned to put an end to the Great Depression that was thought to have been caused by former President Herbert Hoover. When Roosevelt came into power in March 1933, he immediately tried to put an end to the depression. His main four priorities were to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and Agriculture back on their feet.

Contents

  • Background 1
  • The New Deal 2
    • Federal Emergency Relief Administration 2.1
    • Civilian Conservation Corps 2.2
    • Agricultural Adjustment Administration 2.3
    • National Industry Recovery Act 2.4
    • Tennessee Valley Authority 2.5
  • Reception of the New Deal 3
    • Criticism 3.1
      • Not doing enough 3.1.1
    • Support 3.2
  • See also 4

Background

Roosevelt's first action as part of the New Deal was to close all banks on the March 5, 1933. In addition, he sent government workers to inspect each bank. Four days later, on the March 9, 500 banks reopened. (Priority #2)

Secondly, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) improved his image by addressing the nation by radio every Sunday (a day when most people were likely to be at home.) About 60 million were estimated to have listened to what FDR had to say every week. During his broadcast to the nation, he discussed his plans. He explained everything he was planning to do. FDR called the people, his friends, to make them feel closer to him, making him familiar with the people and making him more likeable.

Thirdly, FDR set up different organizations with different roles.

The New Deal

Federal Emergency Relief Administration

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration challenged the urgent needs of the poor. It spent $500 million on soup kitchens, blankets, employment schemes and nursery schools.

Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps allowed unemployed men to work for only six months on environmental projects (e.g., national parks) and send the money home to their families. Men would make about $30: $5 would be kept by the men, and the rest sent back to their families. This employed 2.5 million men and their families.

Agricultural Adjustment Administration

The Agricultural Adjustment Administration set quotas to reduce farm production in order to raise crop prices. Farmers helped to modernize and use conservative farming methods. In extreme cases, the agency helped some farmers with their mortgages. While it mostly helped farmers, industrialization forced laborers out of work with technology that was faster than the average man.

National Industry Recovery Act

The National Industry Recovery Act set up the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The PWA used government money to build infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, for the state. This demand for construction created new jobs, which achieved Roosevelt's main priority. The National Recovery Act also improved working conditions and outlawed child labor. Wages increased, so workers were able to earn and spend more.

Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority was established to build dams. These dams were designed to stimulate farming in the area to end poverty while creating hydroelectricity. The hydroelectric power was used to provide electricity for nearby houses.

Reception of the New Deal

Criticism

Many people did not like the idea of the New Deal. They included Republicans and Big Businesses. The primary complaints were that it cost too much and overstepped the government's rights. While it's true that the government had never before attempted a project the scale of the New Deal, Roosevelt's innovations have persisted since the New Deal and are now considered one of the most important functions of the government.

Some detractors of the New Deal criticized the TVA for its competition with private businesses. They compared the TVA to communism on the grounds that government-run enterprise would stifle other companies' ability to compete. In the same vein as those who called the TVA communistic, the TVA was criticized for disadvantaging those who worked their lives to be successful, only to have the government make their success unsustainable. The Republicans then launched a series of attacks on FDR. They said that FDR was in a wheel chair not because of Polio but because of a sexually transmitted disease.

Not doing enough

This was led by Huey Long (Governor of Louisiana). He famously championed the poor and black people of America e.g. introduced huge taxation on big business in Louisiana from 1928 on-wards in order to help build schools, roads etc. He said that big businesses and the rich should do more. e.g. restrict personal wealth to $3 million, provide pensions for people over 60, and free washing machines and radios for all.

Support

Roosevelt implemented the New Deal to try to help bring up the economy after the depression. Many considered these actions to be successful, as they created employment for many people who had lost their jobs and increased the value of the farm and its owners. This made the farmers earn a lot of money for selling their crops.

See also

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