When caused by the hard economic times, it

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office the Great Depression was in full effect. His predecessor, Herbert Hoover, took a laissez-faire approach to the economic situation which was ineffective. Even after he did start to take action, such as the creation of the RFC, it was too little, too late. Therefore, when FDR took office in 1932 he passed a flurry of legislation called the New Deal, aimed at stimulating an economic recovery. Although FDR’s New Deal legislation attempted to stimulate the economy and ease suffering caused by the hard economic times, it was largely ineffective. However, the New Deal was successful in creating a precedent of government involvement in the economy and providing relief to those in need. In the first one hundred days of his presidency, FDR passed legislation aimed at getting the economy back on track, however, this legislation was ineffective and at times ruled unconstitutional. For instance, the National Recovery Administration was created to create codes for businesses to decrease unemployment and stimulate the economy. In addition, it guaranteed the right of collective bargaining to workers. However, large corporations often controlled the making of the codes and abused them to further their own interests instead of helping the economy. Also, the legislation creating the NRA was ruled unconstitutional in the Supreme Court case Schechter v. United States. In the case, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had no right to regulate business that did not cross state lines. Therefore the codes were unconstitutional because they applied to all industry. This made the NRA largely ineffective at creating any long term recovery in the economy. In addition to the creation of the NRA to aid in economic recovery, FDR created welfare programs such as the CWA and the CCC. Both programs put people to work on temporary project funded by the government. The goal of these projects was to decrease unemployment and stimulate the economy by giving many men a source of income. Although the projects did employ millions of men they did not do enough to have a major effect on the depression. Finally, the most notable of New Deal legislation was the Social Security Act which established “insurance” to supplement those who were too old to work and those who had recently been laid off. Its purpose was to support the needy and to stimulate the economy by giving people money to spend. Similar to the other public works projects it achieved neither of its two objectives on a large enough scale to have an major effect in reviving the economy. Overall, the Great Depression was such a huge economic catastrophe that the government could not respond on a large enough scale to dramatically affect the recovery. Only the production demanded by the start of World War II could create the stimulus needed to revive the economy. These programs created to aid the economy were the first major involvement the government had in the economy. After the government intervened during the Great Depression the people expected a government intervention each time the economy started to suffer. This is the same situation that occurred with the relief programs created during this time. Once the government established its role in Social Security and other relief programs, it became the norm. Overall, the New Deal attempted to stimulate the economy which only recovered with the build up to WWII. From this time on the government led a role in stimulating the economy and providing relief. 


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