The Great Depression
The impact of the Great Depression on people around the world and what was President Roosevelt trying to achieve through his New Deal.
The Great Depression that originated in America and eventually affected many countries has been remembered as one of the darkest periods of the twentieth century.
This severe worldwide economic depression which mainly started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. The urban workforce was hardest hit by the Great Depression. As David E. Kyvig identified ‘The 1930s depression should be remembered as being most severe in America’s great cities.’ This statement brings into light the horrible impact this depression had and also highlights the fact that from this depression there was no place to hide. No shelter in a big city from the depression. Not even the great cities of America were immune. This 1930s hardship the world experienced was equally affected across the rural parts of America and other rural parts of the world. The coincidental bad timing of severe drought conditions in rural America. The combination of extreme heat and lack of rain according to Kyvig that was called ‘The Dust Bowl.’
These ramifications of the Great Depression along with the overwhelmed community help orginizations, cities and states going bankrupt, a decline in birth rates and the severe strain all of the Great Depression had on family life.
The New Deal which was pushed by President Roosevelt as an effort to take America out of this turmoil was Roosevelt’s attempt to put an end to the Great Depression. Roosevelt took the Great Depression as a political opportunity or / and leave a lasting legacy of his policies and leadership.
David M. Kennedy wrote of the ‘Social Security Act of 1935’ the new deal’s ‘Gift to millions of Americans, farmers and workers, immigrants and blue-bloods, children and the elderly’ this was an Industrial Recovery Act set into place to stimulate recovery. This New Deal included ‘financial assurance to bank depositors’ this taking the risk / gamble out of the equation to ultimately bring with it more confidence in the everyday person depositing their hard earned money with a banking institution. ‘More reliable information to investers’ these changes spanning across wall street – stocks and shares. One of the most vital elements of America’s wealth – Investment. ‘More safety to lenders’ this government assurance to lenders to protect (to a degree) their lender investments more safely. ‘More predictable wages to the most vulnerable workers’ to insure or try to insure that no one is working in poverty. A fair wage for a fair amount of work. Without this measure put into place a serious downward spiral of poverty is always looming just around the corner for any worker. ‘A safety net for both the unemployed and the elderly’. This safety net in the form of social welfare payments to the unemployed and the elderly, to protect the vulnerable American Citizen fairly.
All these systems and new policies put into place while Roosevelt was in power were his strenuous attempts of changing the American financial landscape and bring with it a stronger America and rise out of the woes of The Great Depression. Oddly enough it wasn’t until America joined the Second World War in 1941 that full employment was reached in America. Factories recruiting workers for the war effort and also the incredibly wide recruitment of men serving in the military.
All to once again enter into a world conflict and prevent world domination of foreign radical beliefs that don’t run in line with our Capitalism. A vicious circle: threat of foreign radical beliefs to welcome in a War. Capitalism to enrich the people financially and spiritually. A financial burst bringing with it a massive financial downturn negatively affecting millions and once again back to a new War to bring the country out of financial decline. Thus completing the cycle of the free world.