During the time of the Great Depression there were many people in dismay. The United States population, as a whole was pessimistic and negatively perceived the situation of the country.
Once elected president, Franklin D. Roosevelt started changing the perspective of the country one piece of legislation at a time. Roosevelt was able to turn the negative believes the people once had into many positive and optimistic believes through the New Deal.Although the New Deal brought along problems such as racial discrimination and sexism, it was an overall success due to the social security act, civilian conservation corps, and the bank holiday; all of which were able to change the American people’s perception of the situation. The social security act, a very important development, was able to change the American people’s perception of the situation by taking care of the aged population’s economic welfare. The social security act was able to change the perception of the American people by taking care of the elderly.The act did this because instead of the aging civilians worrying about retiring with enough money, the government created a system to help give the elderly a steady income.
This system created in 1935 as a part of the Second New Deal saved many older Americans: “over the course of the twentieth century, benefits provided through the social security system would save tens of millions of Americans, especially the elderly, from poverty and despair” (Page 723).The social security act not only saved lives but, created a positive environment for the American people to live in by taking care of the ‘parents’ and ‘grandparents’ of our nation. In addition to the social security act, the Civilian Conservation Corps also suggested a more optimistic approach to living in the United States.
In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (C. C. C. ) was an organization created by the government to give the people in America jobs.
In 1934, the first year after the organization was created, unemployment decreased by 5. million people. The rapid success of the C. C. C. after 1933 was explained by Harry Hopkins, a close supporter of Roosevelt’s during the time: “Give a man a dole and you save his body and destroy his spirit; give him a job and pay him an assured wage and you save both the body and the spirit” (Page 719). There were millions of people who became employed by the government.
The people employed had a job with a steady wage because of the theory Roosevelt and Hopkins shared.While the majority of American’s perceived the situation as a crisis, the bank holiday not only kept the little amount of money the banks had in the banks, but helped increase the total amount of money banks had when they reopened. In 1933, the banks in the United States went from having 4,000 banks failing to less than 100 banks in one year (Page 719). The bank holiday was an intelligent strategy accomplished by Roosevelt when he attempted to put an end to the rapid increase of banking failures.Roosevelt closed the banks and gave a speech, his first “Fireside Chat” to encourage the American people to take their money out from under their mattresses and put it in the bank.
After the American people heard the advice president Roosevelt was giving, they trusted in the banks and deposited their money into accounts. With the help of the “Fireside Chats” from Roosevelt, the New Deal was able to solve the bank crisis during the great depression.Although the New Deal did not solve every problem that occurred during the Great Depression, it most importantly gave the people of the United States a different, more positive perspective of the country. The people, newly encouraged from the different acts of reform, recovery, and relief began improving their country from the inside-out, strengthening the United States. The success of the New Deal gave the people of the United States the strength and hopes to push through the difficult times.