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This paper analyses three documents namely 24- 1, 24-3 and 24- 5. The first (24-1) document dates back to the time of massive depression as Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed an activist government. The second document (24- 3) refers to a speech given to by Huey Long that proposed redistribution of wealth as a way of curbing the issues of poverty and suffering that had affected the American people. Huey made this proposal to offer other measures that he felt would help in meeting those needs that could not be met by the New Deal reforms.
The third document namely 24- 5 refers to issues, expressed by the former president, Hoover, who backed up the conservatives in criticizing the New Deal. In the same topic, there is a letter written by one taxpayer, Minnie A. Hardin, who sent the letter to Eleanor Roosevelt. After a critical reading and analysis of the document, the following points have been portrayed in the three documents.
Analysis of the three Documents
The first document shows how the industrial age affected the issue of Equal Opportunity for all. Before the industrialization started, most people dwelt on their lands and farms since urbanization had not come up yet. The American people concentrated on farming and getting their daily bread. Industrialization caused so many developments of industries in various areas of America.
During the industrialization era, people got jobs to work in the industries, and there was an equal opportunity for all. However, some years after industrialization, the need ceased from building more industries to getting an enlightened administration to support even the small business people.
In addition, the document explains a role of the government in the issue of equal opportunity for all. During the industrialization age, the government assisted the development of industries since everybody knew the importance of industrialization. The government did not interfere with the activities going on in the developments of those industries.
This shows the role of government during that ensured equal opportunity for all during industrialization. However, things changed after years of industrialization when the government seemed to be in competition with the private sector. This can be termed as being a problem that moved America backwards in terms of offering equal opportunity for all.
The second document shows the failure of the New Deal and the measures undertaken to mitigate the consequences. The stated New deal did not prove to be adequate in solving the issues of poverty affecting the American people. The New Deal was developed to assist the American people and Huey Long’s proposal of redistribution of wealth came at the right time.
An impressive point to note about Huey’s move is the fact that he decided to come up with the movement to give a measure of security and well-being. The advantage of setting up this movement is that Huey was a charismatic leader and chances were high that he would move the movement to a national level.
He used the movement to assist Roosevelt in the nominations since as a presidential candidate he had decided to support Huey’s efforts. However, the issue of leaders making false promises just before elections comes up since Roosevelt did not keep his promises after winning the election. The movement made proposals in sharing the wealth such that they knew they would get considerable support since it favored the poor.
The third document takes the issue of leaders making false promises a notch higher. This is an intriguing point considering that he had also been in government at one point. He understood the tricks that the government played upon its citizens only with an aim of getting their votes. Earlier on during the campaigns (in the first document), one can see that both Roosevelt and Hoover had made the same promise about redistribution of wealth.
However, Roosevelt did not keep his promise. Hoover, in his speech, explained that the selfish leaders base their philosophy on coercion of men. Hoover had done his part in rejecting some issues that he felt would only worsen the situation in America. Thus, he noted that people never noticed the things he did for them in order to ensure they enjoyed freedom and liberation (Johnson 60).
Minnie’s letter shows how the government may sometimes turn its focus from those who are needy to those who just take advantage of the attention. The letter came from a taxpayer, and this portrays what was going on in minds of many citizens at that time. She expresses her disappointment in the government in its failure to provide equality for all.
It was not fair for the government to offer so much to people who were not ready to work yet those who worked hard lived in more poverty than the beneficiaries. For example, the idle boys mentioned in the document seemed to destroy trees for fuel, yet, they were benefitting from the government. Some families continued to get more children since they knew that the government would take care of their problems. It would have been better encouraging them to work rather than be dependent on others.
The three documents seem to be significant in the ways explained above, and they all fit into the societal context since either leaders or citizens write them. They deeply express how New Deal shackled free men and only worsened the poverty situation.
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Johnson, Michael P. Reading the American Past, Volume II: From 1865: Selected Historical Document (4th Ed.). New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. Print.