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Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is one of the most celebrated presidents of the United States of America. He came to power in 1933 when the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression, and left in 1945 when the world, including the USA, was grappling with the effects of the World War II.
This means he led the USA through the great depression and World War II, and remains the only US president to have stayed in the office more than two terms. During his first term in office, the Americans were grappling with economic depressions, and consequently they looked upon FDR as their savior. This paper will argue that FDR had a definite plan to fight economic depression during his first term in office.
Proofs FDR Had a Definite Plan to Fight the Great Depression
The great depression was a thorny issue by the time FDR was ascending to the presidency. As a consequence, he was fully aware of the issue, meaning he had a proper plan for fighting the depression. During his inaugural address on 4th March 1933, FRD outlined that the great depression was in his mind as he was a true American (Polenberg 39).
He admitted in his speech that Americans were experiencing solvable economic problems. He told the Americans to dread fear. This means there was nothing impossible if they were bold enough to face economic depression.
FDR promised he would put those plans before the Congress for deliberations. FDR termed the great depression as a national disaster that required emergency response. He said he has an emergency plan in place to combat the situation (Polenberg 40).
On 8th March 1933, FDR held his first press forum. In his speech, FDR outlined monetary reformations they were undertaking to combat the great depression. This means FDR had definite plans to combat the great depression, and he had already put them in place. FDR claimed that his primary task was to engage people to task; implying that job creation was his agenda.
He claimed that the major step toward a meaningful solution to the great depression was willingness from the Americans (Polenberg 45). This means he had definite plans to fight the great depression and wanted cooperation from the Americans. His address indicated plans he had toward ending the economic depression. He claimed he had a mental picture, which was more than a mere pledge.
It was a vision with an objective to address poor working conditions, to fight capitalism, to reduce inflation, and to find markets for agricultural produce from farmers in the rural community. FDR further outlined his plan to fight joblessness, promote education, and ensure there is peace, and stability in the country (Polenberg 46).
A First Set of Economic Recovery Plans by FDR
On 4th January 1935, during his annual message to the Congress, FDR outlined what the government had done to combat the great depression, and the plans he had to further deal with the issue (Polenberg 47). During his two years in office, he had tabled to the Congress economic recovery plans called the New Deal.
The New Deal focused on providing emergency relief to the Americans in dire need, recovery of the economy, and reformation of monetary programs, and agriculture. The program was put in place within the first 100 days FDR was in office. In his 4th January 1935 annual message, FDR clearly outlined terms of the New Deal.
He said the new deal will deliver relief to the thousands unemployed, and those faced with the risk of losing their homes as a result of lack of means for paying the mortgage.
The new deal would further recover dwindling agricultural sector, and reform the business in general. FDR reiterated his plans to oust unemployment following the Civilian conservation Act that paved way for establishment of civil jobs for about three million youths (Polenberg 48).
A Second Set of Economic Recovery Plans by FDR
FDR further gave additional programs of the New Deal in his 4th January 1935 annual message. He tabled plans to abolish gold standards, and introduced banks reforms act called ‘Glass Steagall Banking Act’ to introduce insurance in the federal bank. He also introduced the National Industrial Recovery Act to recover failing industries.
FDR also introduced the Farm Credit Act to finance farm mortgages. He also introduced the Home Owners Refinancing Act to pave way for the establishment of institutions to finance non-farm mortgages. Also, FDR introduced the National Employment System Act that led to the establishment of employment service in the US.
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Conclusion: Environmental Conservation and Future Plans
Among the New Deal agendas was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). During his address on 28th September 1937 at Bonneville Dam in Oregon, FDR outlined that the government had plans to reform the environment thereby boosting agriculture (Polenberg 66). Through TVA, the Federal government had constructed dams, hydroelectric power plants, and various industries in the Tennessee valley.
During his 31st October 1936 campaign at Madison square, FDR recounted the achievement he had through in recovery programs. At the same time, he pledged to implement further programs if re-elected. Based on his new deal programs, it is evident that he had definite plans during his first term in office.
Polenberg, Richard. The Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1945: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Print.