Jorge Lagunas History 100 May 12, 2012 The New Deal One of the

Jorge Lagunas
History 100
May 12, 2012
The New Deal
One of the worst periods of American history was in the 1930s. It was in this time when
the unemployment rate had increased significantly and poverty increased as well. The entire
country was in poverty and the economy was spiraling down. This time is now known as the
Great Depression. It seemed the situation will not end and there was no plan to stop it. When
Franklin Roosevelt was elected he purpose for a change. He purposed the New Deal.
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States. The
programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on three main points:
relief, recovery, and reform. That is, relief for the unemployed and poor, recovery of the
economy and reform of the financial system to prevent a depression from occurring again. The
origin of the term “new deal” comes from FDR using it in his campaign. The term was
popularized and people expected Roosevelt to change or improve the economy. Sadly, Roosevelt
had no sure or rational plan on what to do yet. He had only the idea that a change must occur. In
his first hundred days in office Roosevelt was willing to try anything to get the nation of the
Roosevelt introduced many programs to improve the economy and help the unemployed
some programs were effective and some did not work. One of Roosevelt’s program was The
Agricultural Adjustment Act or AAA. The AAA purposed that farmers will decrease their supply
of crops so the price will increase. In return the government will pay the farmers for not farming
on all their land thus keeping their amount of crops low. This benefitted the farmers and since the
depression effected them the worst. However, the AAA was declared unconstitutional because it
gave the executive branch too much power. Another of Roosevelt’s programs that was a failure
was the National Recovery Administration or NRA. The NRA’s goal was to create "codes of fair
competition" among American industries in an attempt to reduce destructive and set prices. Also
to help workers by setting minimum wages and maximum weekly hours, as well as minimum
prices at which products could be sold. The concept was that the Great Depression was caused
by market instability and that government needed to get involved to balance the interests of
farmers, business and labor. However, like the AAA it was unpopular by the American people
and in 1935 the U.S. Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional.
The programs that Roosevelt introduced were political failures but thanks for his political
successes he was re-elected in 1936. Critics hated Roosevelt for his New Deal and everyone
turned on his’ New Deal; they thought for sure he will lose the election. However, Roosevelt
maintained his popularity to the American people. FDR’s “fireside chats” on radio made many
Americans feel personally connected to him, which maintained his popularity. Also his attempt
to help certain groups like farmers, immigrant groups, African Americans, labors and
corporations drew support which helped him the election of 1936. In the end the New Deal and
Roosevelt had successes and failures but the New Deal worked politically by providing relief and
entitlements to groups. Also Roosevelt was successful by taking initiatives to end the depression.
Jorge Lagunas
History 100
May 14, 2012
World War II
When Germany started invading other countries it led to a second war starting in Europe.
Although, the United States was worried about the events overseas it did not want to get involve
after the First World War. Thus, non-interventionism was a common feeling among the United
States. As for President Roosevelt he was more concern about domestic affairs rather than
international. He supported the Munich appeasement to stay out of war. He also seemed to
follow what the public opinion was about war, which was to be neutral. As a result, U.S.
Congress passed the Neutrality Acts in 1935, which meant the prohibition against the sale of
weapons to belligerents, whether aggressor or victim.
As the war went on and Germans were oppressing the Jews FDR’s view of was changing
and so was people’s. When the public started worrying about the expansion of Germany, FDR
called for a military buildup and strategy planning with Britain. Soon FDR and the public
seemed to change their minds. FDR planned a budget for defense and than in 1939 Congress
lifted the Neutrality Acts and permitted “cash-and-carry.”As time passed the view of fighting
was changing in America. Later cash-and-carry was replaced with lend-lease to provide Britain
with weapons. This caused German U-boats to sink U.S merchant ships and resulted in
undeclared sea war between German and United States.
The final event which caused the United States to enter the war was in 1941 when Japan
attacked Pearl Harbor. This led the hatred towards the Japanese and supported war against them.
However, Americans still did not want to fight Germany, but Hitler made the mistake of
declaring on the U.S, which angered Americans and caused U.S to declare war on Germany. The
reason why Germany declared war on the United States was because since Japan attacked U.S
and Germany both had a common enemy then maybe Japan will declare war and attack
Germany’s enemy, the Soviet Union. However, Japan did not do so.
The reason why Japan attacked the United States on December 7 was because Japan tried
to expand and acquire more resources by conquering other countries. American then embargoed
trade with Japan. Japan feared it would be economically strangled by the U.S. embargo so the
Japanese military strategists decided the best way to guarantee access to resources was by
destroying the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
The motivation of the Axis Powers differed from Germany and Japan. Germany main
goal was sum up to two words: race and space. Hitler and Germany attempted to exterminate the
Jews in Germany and to conquer Europe. He thought other races were inferior and should be
wipe out. Also, since they are inferior their land should be taken and also to get back the land
that was taken from Germany during the First World War. Japan’s goal was sum up to one word:
economics. Japan expanded because it had little resources and wanted access other countries
natural resources. Although, the Japanese thought other races were inferior as well they were not
exterminationists like the Germans, they were ethnocentric.