How did the Political environment change 1933-45


New Deal thinking and presidency changing

  • Roosevelt came into power promising a 'New Deal' for American people 
  • He asked Congress for special powers to deal with the economic situation 
  • Roosevelt promised to balance the budget and saw providing government help as important
  • New Deal insisted that the government was responsible for the welfare of the people 
  • New Deal thinking stressed the importance of rapid, national action. This meant federal government had to take over some policy making that was, under the constitution, the role of the individual states 
  • A series of agencies called  alphabe agencies were set up 
  • The NRA set up and enforced codes of practice for businesses including setting working hours and a minimum wage. Busness could choose not to join the NRA 
  • The AA regulated major crops and bought up surplus crops and subsidised farmers to grow less of the crops that were being overproduced
  • There were a series of agencies to provide work and help different sections of society

How did Presidency change? 

Roosevelt was confident and persuasive. He was pragmatic and a great communicator and was determined to restore confidence to the American people. He assured people that ' the only thing we have to fear is fear itself' Roosevelt understood how to manipulate congress 

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Increasing the importance of the presidency and Ro

  • He set up a separate Executive Office of the president which had several departments to deal with administration. He used executive orders to push laws through 
  • Roosevelt was more concerned with general policy & didn't understand economic theory well
  • He understood how to manage people and instituted a series of radio broadcasts (Fireside chat) in which he explained policies to people and was the first president to be sent letters
  • He also held press meetings twice a week with selected reporters at the White house 
  • Wealthy business people disliked his policies and Republicans disliked his enlarging of the powers of the presidency and was compared to Stalin and Hitler in the 1940 campaign 
  • Both the NRA and AAA were ruled as unconstitutional by the supreme court in 1937

Roosevelt's legacy 

  • Roosevelt died in 1945 and his successor Truman inherited a different presidency that was very different from the one that Roosevelt inherited Hoover 
  • The president was expected to be involved in the forming of policy and legislation & the white house had many more federal boards & was expected to tell the media about policy
  •  The government were now seen as responsible for welfare throughout the country. Presidents after Roosevelt also presented welfare reform e.g Truman Fair Deal 
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What impact did the Second world war have

  • Roosevelt was a supporter of the allies but he knew that reaction to the first world war meant that there were many people who did not want to go to war in Europe. 
  • In a fireside chat, he assured people that the USA would remain neutral 
  • However, he added that he could not ask every American to remain neutral  he implied young American men that if they went to fight in Europe they wouldn't be punished
  • Roosevelt geared the USA up for war production to supply the allies. War production industry and farming and led to a significant rise in employment which grew as the war went on 
  • In 1940 Churchill told Roosevelt that Britain could no longer pay for its war good. Roosevelt proposed a 'lend-lease' scheme lending Britain the supplies to be returned after the war
  • By the end of the war, the value of lend-lease supplies was $51 billion 
  • Another scheme of Roosevelts was the destroyers-for-bases deal which allowed Roosevelt to give Britain 50 naval destroyers in return for the use of bases in British held countries 
  • The USA entered the war in 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Men joined the arms services and women stepped in to take their pace in farming and industry
  • Industry profits rose from 17 million in 1940 to 28 million 1943
  • Of over 6 million who went to fight, just over 400,000 died and nearly 600,000 were wounded
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