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Roosevelt’s First New Deal and the Second New Deal Coursework

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The Difference between FDR’s First New Deal and the Second New Deal

Following the escalation of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), promised to act promptly to confront the ‘dark realities’. FDR vowed to crack war against the disturbing state of affairs. Firstly, he declared a four-day bank holiday, which stopped people from withdrawing their savings from unsteady banks. Insolvent banks were closed, while others were reorganized following the enactment of Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Act on 9 March 1933. In the first hundred days in office, FDR aimed at ending the Great Depression. He urged Congress to take bold measures towards ending prohibition. This situation gave the Americans another chance to purchase beer. Congress ended prohibition completely during the ratification of the 21st Amendment.

In May, FDR signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act into law. This decision enabled the federal government to construct dams along the Tennessee River to stop flooding and initiate the generation of affordable hydroelectric power for the resident communities. Congress passed a bill that compensated farmers to abandon their uncultivated fields in a bid to end agricultural surplus. Workers were allowed to form unions to push to gain access to good pay and improved working conditions following the enactment of the Industrial Recovery Act. This Act suspended antitrust laws and established the Public Works Administration that was funded by the federal government. Roosevelt also passed other major laws in his first one-hundred days in office. Most of the American people were convinced that FDR was implementing the ’vigorous action’ that he had promised during his inauguration.

Despite FDR’s vigorous action, the Great depression continued and the nation’s economy worsened. Unemployment was still stubborn and the American people become enraged. This situation prompted Roosevelt to launch the second New Deal in 1935. This comprised a series of vibrant programs. In April, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was formed to create projects for the unemployed. The main jobs that were carried out by these projects focused on building post offices, bridges, schools, highways, and parks among others. Writers, artists, musicians, and theater directors had projects under the WPA. The National Labor Relations Board Act, commonly referred to as the Wagner Act, was created by the National Labor Relations Board to supervise union elections and prevent unfair treatment of workers. In August, FDR signed the Social Security Act of 1935 assured pensions to millions of Americans. Eventually, it launched a system of unemployment insurance and the federal government was charged with the responsibility of taking care of dependent children and people with disabilities.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Roosevelt’s First New Deal and the Second New Deal'. 6 September.

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