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The Effect Of The New Deal On United States' Economy In Crisis

2826 words - 11 pages

The Effect of The New Deal on United States' Economy in Crisis

Ever since the details of the Great Depression began to emerge from
the post-World War I rubble; historians have wondered how such a
horrific catastrophe could have taken place. The following
investigation will examine the role of the New Deal in improving the
U.S. economic crisis from two differing perspectives: the New Deal,
when viewed as a whole, was an economical achievement of epic
proportions, and that none of the successes associated with the
economic crises during the Great Depression era can be attributed to
the New Deal.

The frame of the investigation will seek to explain and evaluate both
view points through Carl N. Degler's The New Deal and Frank Freidel's
The New Deal and the American People. The investigation will
synthesize particular aspects from both books, such as the war upon
unemployment, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the National
Recovery Administration, to reach a conclusion regarding the extent to
which the New Deal improved the economic crisis of America.

B - Summary of Evidence

Unable to find a clear underlying or cohesive philosophy for the New
Deal, historians have fallen back upon calling it pragmatic, eclectic,
or improvising. Concretely what these terms signify is that the New
Deal tried a variety of approaches in trying to meet what it
considered an economic problem.

The National Recovery Administration (N.R.A.) is one such approach. It
encouraged employers to advocate code regulations on various aspects
of their industry, such as hours and wages. M.D. Vincent, a notable
Colorado lawyer, asserts that the code regulation "had a three-fold
purpose: to increase employment by reducing the workday or the
workweek; to protect living standards; [and] to build up domestic
markets for farm products and manufactured goods."[1] The elimination
of child labour is another focus of employers. Vincent states that
"125,000 children under sixteen were taken out of the labo[u]r market,
their jobs in factories, mines, shops, offices made available to
unemployed adults."[2] Both issues ultimately result in the betterment
of a tough economic situation faced by Americans nationwide. Degler,
however, sees the problem differently. According to him, the N.R.A.
was a disappointment as it failed to accomplish what it was intended
to. The codes established by the employers were being ignored and
instead drastic measures to increase production rates were being
implemented. As a result, the N.R.A. could not endure because it
violated the powerful American belief in productions.[3]

Another approach is the reformist organization set up by the Federal
Government to improve the depressed South, the Tennessee Valley
Authority (T.V.A.). Former Senator George Norris evaluates the T.V.A.
to "build...

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