Do you know what it’s like to live in a cardboard home, starve, and raise a family in poverty? Unfortunately, most Americans in the 1930s went through this on a day-to-day basis. In 1929 the stock market crashed. Many people lost their life savings; they invested everything they owned in a failing stock market. The country was falling, everyone needed strong leadership and help from the government.
Devastation and desperation started on Thursday, October 24, 1929. There was a strong sense of panic in the air at the Stock Exchange. The stocks were dropping, alarmingly fast; the worried American tried desperately to keep their savings. Markets began to steady again on Friday and Saturday only to sweep back down the following Monday. By Tuesday the twenty-ninth all doubt was erased, many Americans lost everything they had on Black Tuesday (Andrist and Stillman 190). President Herbert Hoover made a decision and refused to provide emergency relief. Hoover believed that it was “strictly a state and local responsibility.” Most local organizations were far too small to handle this big of a situation (Andrist and Stillman 193). America needed a change, a change that would come at the next election time.
Immediately following Herbert Hoover in the presidency line, Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) became America’s 32nd president. This democrat, inaugurated on March 4, 1933, won the 1932 election against Hoover by a landslide. The new president made a promise to his citizens, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, a new deal for the American people.” He reassured Americans that he would change their lives. He promised to get people back to work and back in their homes (“New Deal Timeline 1).
For the hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers, FDR’s promise was helpful and true. For example, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) offered eight million construction jobs. The jobless living in unmodernized areas found work through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (“Franklin D. Roosevelt 3). Another program that focused on helping the environment and the unemployed was The Civilian Conservation Corporation (CCC), which created independence and self-esteem for the two and a half million unemployed and unmarried men by putting them “to work maintaining and restoring forests, beaches, and parks” (“Franklin D. Roosevelt” 2). A public work program, called the Civil Works Administration (CWA), not only created jobs but also provided physical and psychological help to its four million workers.
In addition to these programs the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was created to protect those who were already working or owned businesses. Even though the NIRA was later proven ineffective and even deemed unconstitutional it once helped American business owners and employees. Before its end the NIRA wrote codes that protected prices, supplies, wages, working conditions, and production. However, businesses soon resented the codes that were becoming too...