March 24

Blog #32 – Was the New Deal too radical?

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the presidency in 1933, he was under tremendous pressure to do something about the horrific economic conditions that plagued

 the nation.  He and the Brain Trust, his group of young, economic advisers, had planned to tackle the worst depression in American history in a variety of ways.  As our textbook called it, there were the 3 Rs: relief, recovery, and reform.   And with any type of change, one knows that someone will be displeased.   So FDR heard it from all sides on both the left and the right.



One of FDR’s critics, Huey Long, said that the New Deal went too easy on the corporate and banking interests.  Long may have turned against Roosevelt when Long did not win a Cabinet post or other executive branch job even though Long was already a U.S. Senator from Louisiana in 1933.  As you’ve read, Long’s “Share the Wealth” plan was extremely popular with the poor because of its generosity (at the expense of America’s rich).  Louisiana was one of the poorest states in the nation at that time and could benefit greatly from Long’s plan.   The socialist way that Long planned to pay for his plan threatened many wealthy, and a number who were familiar with him openly wished for his assassination.  They got their wish in 1935, but it’s unclear how much popularity he could have gained if Long chose to run for president the next year.


Another critic came from our neck of the woods: Charles Coughlin of the Shrine of the Little Flower Church (@ 12 Mile and Woodward).  Father Coughlin rallied also for the poor and blasted President Hoover for not doing enough.  This criticism initially cost him his radio license in 1931, but with small donations from supporters all around the country, he was able to continue broadcasting.  Initially supportive of FDR’s New Deal because the country went off the gold standard (Coughlin, like Long, also saw corporate and wealthy interests as the cause of the Depression) , the priest also turned on the president for not going fast enough.  Coughlin’s newspaper, Social Justice, called for many radical reforms and criticized the New Deal as not having gone far enough to alleviate suffering.

Here’s Glenn Beck comparing himself to Father Coughlin (in a rather ironic manner) while slamming “social justice,” his own code word for progressive groups who advocate helping the poor.

Coughlin was so angry with FDR that he formed a 3rd party, the Union Party, to run a candidate against the President in 1936, and even promised to go off the air if his candidate did not get at least 9 million votes!  Well, Coughlin’s candidate, William Lemke, got less than a million and Coughlin followed through with his promise, but only for a short time.

“The great betrayer and liar, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised to drive the money changers from the temple, had succeeded [only] in driving the farmers from their homesteads and the citizens from their homes in the cities. . . I ask you to purge the man who claims to be a Democrat, from the Democratic Party, and I mean Franklin Double-Crossing Roosevelt.”   Father Charles Coughlin

After coming back on in the air in 1937, Coughlin spouted even more radical views, calling this time the “darkest days since the assassination of Christ” and added his own anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.  He cast FDR as a dictator and the New Deal was a Communist conspiracy.  Coughlin even expressed sympathy towards the Fascist regimes in Europe (which would eventually get him censored and kicked off the air for good in 1942).   As Coughlin drifted into more radical territory, he lost most of his audience as well and the funds to continue broadcasting dried up.


On the right, criticism came from the Republican Party (as expected from the minority party) and also from a star-studded group of individuals who feared that America was going off the gold standard.   The Liberty League included former presidential candidates Alfred Smith and John W. Davis as well as GM executives Alfred P. Sloan, jr. and Jouett Shouse.  Official LL statements criticized planned, socialist economies (like the NRA and AAA programs were doing), and it spent $1.2 million on politicians running against New Deal Democrats in 1934 and 1936, including Republican governor Alf Landon.   The author of Plots Against the President: FDR, A Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the Radical Right, Sally Denton, even claimed that members of the Liberty League tried to influence a retired general to lead a large group of Bonus Army veterans to overthrow FDR in 1934 (much like Hitler tried to do with the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and exactly how Mussolini took power in 1922).  Luckily for FDR, the retired general refused to be used as a tool of the Liberty League.


So, some ideas for you to consider when answering the blog question:

– even our textbook states that the New Deal didn’t end the Depression, the war did;

– why was there still so much unemployment throughout the ND?;

– the country was going from a laissez-faire style government under the past 12 years of Republican rule to an activist government under FDR, the peoples’ psychological adjustment to this had to be tough;

–  desperate people are willing sometimes to try anything, including demagogues like Coughlin and Long;

– FDR was still dedicated to balancing the budget in 1937, and when he cut back on some of the spending / jobs program, the country slipped into the “Roosevelt Recession” by 1938;

– New Deal programs didn’t benefit everyone, especially black and Latino Americans b/c much of the relief was passed out at the state level where prejudices still ran deep.

Your question: Was the New Deal too radical to solve America’s economic problems?  Or wasn’t it radical enough to fix the broken economy?  Why?  

300 words total, due Tuesday, March 27 by class time.  


Father Coughlin and Huey Long:

Liberty League







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Posted March 24, 2012 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

106 thoughts on “Blog #32 – Was the New Deal too radical?

  1. Stephen Brown

    Stephen “Bottlecaps” Brown
    The new deal was a shot in the dark. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was put in an impossible situation. The country wanted him to do something, anything that might help. He took this advice and acted on it. To paraphrase Mr. Wickersham, He threw cupcakes at a wall until something stuck and would help. But, in his fervor to do anything, it seems almost as though he didn’t read the things he signed into action. He zealously approved programs with conflicting goals. Often times they had ulterior motives even working against themselves. One such example is the fact that people cried out that they had no food, yet the Agricultural Adjustment Act ordered the unjust slaughter of 6,000,000 poor swine that never got to be eaten as bacon. In my novice opinion it’s not that the New Deal was too radical or not radical enough. The trouble came in that by casting such a wide ray of plans he only helped everyone marginally whereas if he might have focused on specific issues then real progress might have been made. Now, the Great Depression is one of the most complex phenomenons in American history. I don’t pretend that if I had been in charge anything would have been different. I just feel that if we could have been more focused in our efforts to repair our great nation, then it’s possible that things may have gone another way. So, I feel that the radicalism doesn’t matter so much as where it was focused. So it’s possible that yes, I feel FDR was too radical in his ideas of helping everyone. Unfortunately by spreading everything so thin, the country was not optimized the way it ought to have been.

  2. Emily Laswell

    The New Deal would seem radical to me if it was applied in this day and age. While I am very aware that what really got us out of the depression was the start of WWII because permanent jobs with a strong demand were created, I cannot condemn the New Deal. I think if one third of the families in America do not have an income then it calls for drastic measures. I know if I had to watch my baby brothers starve around me I would be desperate to grasp at anyone who gives a faint hope of some immediate relief. While I don’t think the New Deal was a cure for the depression in was a help to keep some of the starving populous alive. I do not think it was the New Deal’s fault that the African American and Latino American did not receive as much relief. I think it was more of the states fault that the African and Latino Americans did not receive help. If the central government had passed out the help it would have avoided the state prejudice and possible provided increased employment, but there was a risk that there would be corruption with the individuals hired to dole out the relief. I think for some of the 2/3 that still had an income the New Deal probably would have been a fairly hard pill to swallow. I think that quite a decent percentage of the 2/3rds had family or friends who were unemployed and so I think they would have been grateful for the help. I don’t blame those who opposed it because if my family wasn’t facing financial hardship I would be opposed to the New Deal. I in general think that more of our liberties are taken away with increased government intervention. While government intervention is positive in times of mass need, when there is not a mass need it takes away the ability to be good people and better people. When you have no choice you never grow or develop as a person.

  3. Nick Gruich

    I believe that New Deal was not too radical in fixing America’s economic problems. Many of the common arguments against the New Deal were that it was not radical and aggressive enough in going after the wealthy and rich. These criticisms came from large and popular voices such as Huey Long and Charles Coughlin. Roosevelt set out for Recovery, Relief, and Reform which he tackled at the right angle. He implemented many government run organizations that provided massive relief to the poor and providing jobs to the large masses of unemployed that was plaguing the country throughout the decade. There were not many figures that criticized the New Deal as being too radical because he did not overspend or waste budget funds. He was aggressive in creating unions and caring to all of the middle class. FDR was very ahead of his time and modern with his approach to labor and working because he sought out to nationalize minimum wage and set a standard for the conditions in which people should work in. Some of FDR’s decisions in 1937 show that FDR was not being too radical because he cut spending on his government organizations that provided relief and jobs to many Americans and keeping the country afloat and the country then fell into the “Roosevelt Recession”. Some of the criticisms of his New Deal were that it was dealing too many handouts and not providing motivation to unemployed workers who were struggling, the same argument that is made for welfare today. Other shots at his policies was that it increased the debt in America which could have hurt us pretty bad like it is today but we then had WWII which truly pulled America out of the backlash of the Great Depression and into prosperity and wealth. His organizations that created fair prices and competition, cut down the overproduction of crops, and governmental aid were his key and main points in the New Deal.

  4. Ayah K.

    Between the years of around 1929-1940, America’s economic state had reached its all-time low. There was no sense of progress, whatsoever. When FDR took presidency in 1933, it was a great risk on his part considering the fact that the country was failing economically. Early into his presidency, Roosevelt created what he called the New Deal which was built off of the three R’s; relief, reform, and recovery. I don’t believe that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s was too radical; therefore, I believe that it was not radical enough. I believe this because the majority of the New Deal’s plan actually made sense. Also, because if the New Deal was more radical it might have actually been able to put an end to the depression in the United States, but it didn’t, World War 2 did. One of the promises FDR made in the New Deal was fair competition laws, which included minimum wage and maximum work hours. That is what the country needed, because obviously it wouldn’t be fair to have one person work a ten hour day shift, while others were unemployed and could no longer support their families. New regulations had to be imposed to end this horrible depression. Even though the New Deal did not necessarily end the Great Depression, it certainly did help America’s economy, if only a little.
    Unfortunately, one can never satisfy everyone. Some American’s did not agree with FDR strategy to putting an end to the depression. Two of these people included Huey Long and Charles Coughlin. Long, the senator of Louisiana at the time totally disagreed with Roosevelt’s New Deal; in fact he came up with his own “solution” to the growing economic problem in the United States. He broadcasted his so called solution on the radio, and some American’s actually tuned in. In this speech Long discussed his ideas of how to put an end to the depression, but of course the down side to his most of ideas outweighed the benefits. For example, he had a really good idea of how to boost the economic state in Louisiana; however, it would greatly affect the wealthy. Coughlin on the other hand, was completely crazy. Some if his ideas might have made sense; however, no one wanted to listen to them because he was too radical and had such a bad approach to the problem. He mainly talked about how much he hated FDR instead of coming up with “better ideas”. At least Long had actually come up with somewhat reasonable ideas and solutions, whereas Coughlin was just an angry old man.

  5. Brian Jelinek

    Brian Jelinek
    Blog #32 “Is the New Deal Radical Enough?”
    There is no way in the world that the New Deal was too radical. The New Deal meant well to all Americans and sounded amazing on paper. An example is communism, if you have never heard about it before and you were to read about it the first time you would say to yourself this may actually work because everyone is working and making a steady pay rate. If you were able to see what communism was like in the real world you would see that is awful. The New Deal was that, for the Roosevelt Administration thought that this would work because it is all about people getting jobs, which will help them earn money and then that would help them spend money on things. What the New Deal did was that is improved the role that the Federal Government had in economic affairs, how it made rules throughout the Unites States, and also over individual citizens. On the upside The New Deal did decrease unemployment rates, lots of citizens were able to get jobs or keep jobs that they already had. Lots of the jobs people were getting into because of The New Deal may have been considered “forced Labor” saying you have to work. By no means did The New Deal end the depression, it may have been a guide to the end, saying that if you add onto me we can get there but it did not have enough. What brought America out of the Great Depression was the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, which caused neutral America; declare war on Japan and the Axis Powers. With the United States now involved in World War II the country needed to provide war materials, personal, food and on. This did not kick into 1942 when America had troops moving into the Pacific and moving into Italy in Europe.

  6. Stephanie Timmis

    After a time of great economic recession, or in this case economic depression, there is always some one who must come in and clean up after the mess. In 1933, it was Franklin D. Roosevelt to the rescue, and in 2009, it was Barack Obama. The two have been compared on numerous occasions (at least by myself). This is to be expected since often times we draw on history to learn for the future and the state of the economy was at a similar state in 2009, when Obama took office, as it was in 1933. For both, an increase in spending and in social reforms have been their technique to achieve success, and both have been wildly criticized by both their political party and by opposing parties. In the case of President Obama, he is often criticized for not turning the economy around instantaneously by naive commentators who neglect to realize that fixing a depression takes time and in the case of the Great Depression it took a war. FDR, too, was criticized and ridiculed for not bringing about a perfectly fixed economy in the course of his presidency, especially by Father Coughlin. As previously stated, FDR used the tactic of vast government spending (a tactic ill-admired by republicans) and job providing programs. These strategies began to make progress and the stopping of these, by FDR, are what cause America to slip into the “Roosevelt recession”. Had FDR not backed down and continued on this path, there might have been less unemployment under the new deal, and subsequently a shorter depression. The problem was that this type of relief, was deemed “anti-big business”, “anti-capitalist”, and “socialist” (sound familiar?) and was stopped by the people it affected least positively: the people with the most power and money to stop it. Had President FDR been more radical and not listened to the nay sayers, The New Deal might have fixed the economy.

  7. nate gaenssle

    I personally think that the new deal was radical, in a good way, but not focused enough. FDR just came out with a bunch of new and radical plans, and never focused on the ones that worked the best, and never really fixed the depression. He was more focused on doing something than what he was doing. Yes, he had Relief, Recovery, Reform points, but that is where it ends, after that he created many different policies to try to fulfill these points hoping one would hit the target, and some did. I do think that FDR’s solutions were better than his critic’s, Father Coughlin and Huey P. Long, whom held radical, in a bad way, unconstitutional, fascist and communistic ideas that would not have helped our country but move it backwards and the Liberty league, which was just a bunch of fat cats protecting their wallets from everyone else. To change something completely, like the deep dark abyss of a depression we had, you need something completely new, and that is what radical ideas are, something brand spanking new, and it is up to the people of America and the Supreme Court to decide if it is the right thing to do. So the question shouldn’t be if it was too radical, radical is just a word to say something is extremely new, but if it is right or wrong. Were FDR’s ideas the right thing to do, well some of them were, and were his critics ideas the right thing to do, no. So in the end, radical or not, I would rather be stuck with FDR’s New Deal than his critic’s ideals because FDR came out with policies that are still helpful and in use today, like minimum wage and maximum work hours.

  8. Maddi Gonte

    America had just about hit rock bottom in the 1930’s. With the unemployment rate at 11%, the banking system failing, the stock market crash, and the plight of farmers and workers, you could say that America was in a state of a real crisis. Although I acknowledge that it must have been a huge ajustment for Americans when FDR stepped up to the plate with his super progressive and radical ideas, i still remain convinced that America was in a state of turmoil – something had to be done. What America needed was some serious change. Therefore, FDR was perfect for the job with his New Deal and the three r’s. However, I do agree that the people needed more immediate action that they were getting. A majority of FDR’s plans revolved around long-term problems rather than immediate relief for those who were suffering. Regarding the economic depression, FDR’s AAA and EBRA acts were, although very original ideas, very successful. Closing the banks helped stop people from withdrawing all of their money while FDR inspected the banks, and therefore saved the banking system in America. And it turned out that 75% of banks were eligible to re-open, so that means that 75% of customers would have been withdrawing their money from trustworthy banks. The AAA helped regulate production while keeping the farmers out of poverty. Within the second set of 100 days of FDR’s presidency, he started to address the short term problems within the nation. I fully support his FERA, PWA, and HDLC acts for providing direct relief and jobs. In conclusion, although FDR’s various acts and committees were definately overwhelming, they were necessary.

  9. Emily Bice

    In my opinion, the New Deal wasn’t radical enough to solve the nation’s economic problems. Before stating my reasons, I would like to say that I think FDR did a good job given the circumstances. Obviously there are things he could have done better, but he had so many critics because it’s hard to help an entire nation. Why? Because there is a wide demographic of people, from rich to poor, lazy to hard-working, radical to non radical. No matter what FDR did, it’s impossible to appease an entire nation. However, I do agree that it seems like FDR favored the wealthy and many of his changes in the deal benefited the wealthy more than the poor. I think that FDR should have created even more work projects, and implemented laws about working. I think he should have created enough projects to get everyone a job and the big businesses couldn’t control them; everyone would be paid an equal wage. However, if the worker wasn’t being productive, or showing up drunk or something along those lines, they could lose their job.
    While I don’t condone or really agree with much of what Charles Coughlin and Huey Long said, I understand where they were coming from. To people living in poverty, starving and waiting for help, the new deal must not have seemed that effective. Like many things in government, it took much time to start to work, and while it took time to work, the country grew restless and angry. When they voted for FDR they expected him to turn everything around quickly and easily. It seems like people like Coughlin assumed that since Hoover wasn’t doing anything, a president willing to do something would fix the problem in no time. Fixing the depression wasn’t just the president’s job: it was the country’s job as well, and it seems like some spent more time complaining about how FDR wasn’t doing anything than trying to do their part.

  10. Justin Brink

    I dont think that the New Deal was too radical, especially when you compare it to the ideas of Huey Long-which werent that bad- but also Father Coughlin. Coughlins ideas were way to radical for the people to keep up with and to agree with, so because of that he ended up loosing supporters, and it went down hill from there. Huey Long had a lot of great ideas but he also had ideas that negatively affected the rich, big corporations and businesses. Compared to them, the New Deal was a big plus because it had the three R’s, relief, recovery, and reform which helped fix the hurt and dying nation. The New Deal was very helpful but it wasnt helpful enough and couldnt completely pull us out of the depression. Not every person in the U.S could be helped by one deal made, even though it did help employ a lot of people. FDR had the right mind set creating the New Deal and they were the first steps in getting out of the depression. If Huey Long would of stepped in and followed through with his plans, things would have been a lot worse because his ideas mainly focused around the poor. And when you have that much power you can’t just focus on one group of class, you have to take in concideration the rest of nation, which i think FDR tried doing and did a decent job. Father Coughlin was to extreme and would have been even worse than Huey Long. The New Deal was not radical and in the end did what it needed to do which was have a government influence on the economy and supply jobs to the unemployed. FDR expected much greater results from the New Deal that he never got, but it was a good idea.

  11. Kurt Melendy - 2nd Hour

    In my opinion, I think that the New Deal was radical enough to the point that it could help get America back on track and headed in the right direction to leave the Great Depression and enter into the future. During FDR’s term as president, he tried to make many organizations and programs that could put public trust back into the banks. The program that had been the most useful and helped Americans with banking reforms was the FDIC. Although the FDIC program proved to be one of the most useful, there were other programs that where following it in its footsteps which helped the Americans boost their self-esteem and integrity. Some examples of these programs are the WPA and the CCC. Most of the programs that FDR made where great but the ones that where disapproved over the most in people’s opinions’ would have to be the AAA, NIRA, and the FSA. Personally I think that all except for one or two programs that the public did not like where fairly useful for them. The NIRA had a fairly good impact because; it set a limit for the minimum wage. However, inflation had increased rapidly which made the consumption of goods increase making a lot of business’ got back down. The AAA was a fairly bad program because it made the government get very involved with citizens’ lives and made them choose decisions’ that they wouldn’t in the first place. One of the things the AAA that made it bad was that, farmers slaughtered their livestock to make some money even though there where people starving all around. The FSA was pretty bad when it had handed out one million dollars to farmers and to the farmers they thought that this was there extra cash to do what they pleased with. Most farmers had ended up wasting their money on items that they did not actually need. Through the AAA, NIRA, and the FSA; I believe that these programs where the reason to why we had gotten into FDR’s recession of 1937.

  12. Alex Lurz

    I don’t believe that the New Deal was too radical in any way. America was in shambles when Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office, and as president the responsibility of bringing America back to its once prosperous self fell upon him. With the economy in such a disastrous state it would take more than just “waiting it out” to fix the country in the early 1930’s. In lieu of these detrimental times, Roosevelt was forced to take somewhat extreme action, but it was his duty as president to take charge, and had he not done what he did with his New Deal changes, then the economy could have plummeted even lower than it already was when he was sworn into office. Some programs created by Roosevelt such as the National Recovery Administration, which was created in 1933 in order to create more fair competition codes and to set minimum wage levels and maximum work hours, may have been shunned in other presidential eras, but were deemed acceptable during the country’s “dark days”. While I won’t say that FDR’s actions weren’t at all radical, I am just stressing that they weren’t too radical given the circumstances. In Roosevelt’s Civil and Public Works Program’s lies a clear look at a way that Roosevelt was able to use government funds to suppress unemployment. With these set ups it was evident that the government would take some blows, but the idea was that by employing millions, there would be more of a cash flow throughout the economy and this would help stimulate other areas of work related issues, and therefore put money back into the government’s hands. Another great example of FDR’s seeming radical activity that when looked back upon seems to be completely sane and logical, was his decision to give banks an eight day holiday directly after his inauguration. Anybody living in this time period may have been appalled by this decision because of his or her “reliance” on the banking system. However, this ruling by Roosevelt and his staff members actually helped bail out the banks by giving them a sufficient period of time to restructure and refinance. The question of whether or not the New Deal was too radical is based solely on opinion, and I strongly believe that Roosevelt was under intense heat to take a stand against the pressing issues, and instead of withering down he stood his ground and made decisions that he deemed necessary to pull the country out of its slump.

  13. Jeffrey Couger

    The New Deal was too radical because it would have benefitted the common good of Our Country to develop a more moderate political assessment and resolution of the situation. To understand why this is so, it is important to analyze the use of different radical political policies, the downsides of the New Deal, and why other options would have benefitted our nation on a larger scale.
    To some, the most radical economic viewpoints are categorized into two groups, Laissez Faire Economics, and New Deal Policies. The bottom line is; if complete Laissez Faire economics worked, there may not have been a depression to debate about in the first place. If the New Deal worked, I, and thousands of other kids in history classes across America, would not have to answer the very question I am answering right now. During this time we experimented with both, before the depression with Laissez Faire, and within the depression with the New Deal Policies. It is argued that the Laissez Faire economy eventually led us into the depression while the New Deal kept us in the depression.
    The system we used; the New Deal pitted us farther to the left on the political spectrum. It’s policies passed with urgency, it’s methods highly debated, and it’s goals- not accomplished. The New Deal which focused on the three “r’s” truly focused on bringing us out of the economy. It’s goal, was eventually achieved through war, not through its policies. It did however supply some relief, but for the cost it was created, it doesn’t make sense for our country to rely on it.
    Lastly, it would have bettered our country to take a more moderate decision regarding our economy. It was obvious that relief and reform were needed, but in a less drastic way. If we did this, we would lower costs on our already wounded Government budget, and we would reduce the issues that occur when the policies are removed.(1937)

  14. Mack Klinkman

    I do not believe the New Deal was too radical to pull America out of its long term depression. However, out textbook states that the New Deal did not end it, the war did. We must consider that maybe the New Deal wasn’t radical enough. Many parts of the New Deal had immediate impacts on America. With the stock market crashing the SEC took over in 1934 to help regulate it and look for insider trading. The FLSA of 1938 set the bar for minimum wage as well as abolished child labor, along with replacing the NRA which was found unconstitutional in 1935. There were many acts set into place over that short tim period to help bring America out of the Great Depression, though unsuccessful I will say that the New Deal had its good qualities, as well as its bad ones. Some of the acts that were set into place made a huge contribution to helping fellow Americans. But some were very unhelpful.

  15. Becca B.

    I do not believe that the New Deal was too radical to solve American’s problems with the economy after the market crash during the Great Depression. When FDR became the President of the United States in 1933, he had a whole country under a lot of stress, worry and anger and he needed to fix it. He was under a lot of pressure to get this country back on top and get life to go as usual. President Roosevelt went for three major ideas to fix this problem; Relief, Recovery and Reform. He wanted to give the American people the relief they needed, they questions answered, and the food and money they needed provided. He wanted to recover the economy by creating jobs for Americans so that that money could be flowing through the states. Other parts of the New Deal that were necessary for proper recovery included The Public Works Administration and the Civil Works Administration which employed millions of people and put the to work on many public works projects. Works of the PWA included large-scale things like hospitals and tunnels while the CWA focused on smaller projects. Both of these supplied so many disillusioned Americans with bread back on their tables and should not be considered radical because it is the government’s job to look after its people. If that means declaring an eight-day banking holiday for a few days to reorganize and reopen the nation to stable bank, so be it. Although many people were for Franklin Roosevelt’s idea, but there were also many Americans who were completely against it. They also thought that the idea was not radical at all for how the country has been running and been in such a horrible place in the past years. A man named Huey Long, who was the Governor of Louisiana, was one of the many American citizens who were against FDR’s plan. Long wrote a speech about ‘Every Man’s A King”, meaning that every American citizen should have the same amount of money, so the extremely wealthy in the country would have to give $5,000 ( about $83,000 in today’s money) to the poor and middle class to make it easier to live.

  16. Sara Pawloski

    The New Deal can be viewed in a lot of different ways. Since the New Deal was such a change from the laissez-faire style of government prior to FDR, people were bound to see it as radical. However, given the situation, I think that FDR did the best he could do and accomplished a lot in a way that was not too radical, but just radical enough. Again, like you stated in the blog, with change comes disapproval. It’s impossible to make everybody happy. FDR supported causes for all classes, helping them all to prosper, unlike Coughlin and Long who only supported causes for the lower class. Although, he didn’t always succeed in spreading the relief equally throughout the country, he still made a difference. There was still a lot of unemployment in the country throughout the New Deal, but there was a lot less than before. Also, there was a lot of improvement in bank failures. With FDR’s hands on style of government, he passed a lot of acts and laws that would help the unemployment rates decrease. Since the U.S. was in the middle of a depression, the hands on system was very effective because the country needed the governments help to relieve them. Long’s ideas may have been better received by the poor, but if Long had gotten further and made it to presidency, then his ideas would have caused more unwelcome problems such as inflation. FDR took a more reasonable approach for the situation at hand and tried to get America back on it’s feet the best he could. I find it hard to believe that Long could have done any better or gotten a better outcome through his efforts than FDR did. I also think that FDR took a better approach than Hoover did in prior years with the laissez-faire system. Hoover’s approach wasn’t at all radical enough and didn’t improve the economy because he provided very little relief. FDR’s efforts were more radical than Hoover’s and less radical than Long’s, but they were at comfortable medium that proved to be effective.

  17. Makenzie S

    I believe that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was right in between being too radical and not being radical enough to help the American economy of the time. When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, he was coming into the job at a rough time. The country was under a grave depression and was in dire need of help. As soon as being inaugurated into office, FDR set out to help the country in the best way he thought possible. He had a plan that presented the goals of the 3-R’s, relief, recovery, and reform. Within the first one hundred days of FDR’s presidency, he started creating plans and programs to help the country get out of this economic funk that they were stuck in. For example he created the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) which was supposed to help regulate farm prices, production, and alleviate suffering. He also took the U.S off of the gold standard.
    But of course all of FDR’s programs and plans could not get the support of everyone, because the thing is, you can never please 100% of the people 100% of the time. For 12 years the country had been under a republican rule that believed in the more laissez-faire government and they were now making a transition into a more activist government role under FDR, which was a huge change for them. People such as Huey Long and Charles Coughlin were for FDR to begin with, but as time went on they began to grow less and less supportive of FDR’s ideas. Long believed that the New Deal went too easy on the corporate and banking interests, and Coughlin criticized the New Deal as not having gone far enough to alleviate suffering. Although FDR’s New Deal didn’t end the depression, it definitely went in the right direction to end it. If FDR had tried to be too much more radical then I think that it would have affected the economy but not in a positive way, and as shown in 1937 if he wasn’t radical enough then the economy would suffer, just like it did when he cut back on some of the spending / jobs program, and the country slipped into the “Roosevelt Recession” by 1938.

  18. Danielle Borovsky

    As a wicked depression swept over America our government turned to plan that involved simple words such as relief, recovery and reform. The new deal was not radical enough for the extremes of the situation that our country was under. The New Deal did not help end the depression and as it worsened it should have been made more radical as they went into the Roosevelt Recession. They didn’t take enough drastic measures to solve the problem at hand. They need a creative plan that was laissez faire but involved the right amount of government help. The new deal was like settling with the radicals and conservatives and was really a plan just to restore morals and trust with the government. Lots of the smaller programs that Roosevelt created failed. For example the CWA, instead of lending out money for small public workings the government could have helped fund a large scale project that helped but many to work. The AAA also put many farmers out of work instead of helping them and eventually was declared un constitutional. The only problem with making a plan that was too radical is the fact that it could become un American and un constitutional. The NRA was a short-lived program because it was charged as un constitutional in 1935. It was supposed to stop prices from rising but make pay go up and many businesses didn’t enjoy this plan. I think that people like Huey Long, ideas were too radical for the US though. His plan to eliminate the economic extremes in order for everyone to live a simple life was just not realistic for the situation we were in. Though it was a push in the right direction, the New Deal just didn’t do enough to help get us out of the depression. The plans just weren’t creative and radical for the extreme situation that the nation was under.

  19. Kevin Chien

    In my opinion, FDR’s New Deal was not quite radical enough to pull the nation out of the terrible depression, WW2 would be the one to do that. When FDR came into office, he focused on the three R’s: Relief, Recovery, and Reform. In the first hundred days of office, him and the Hundred Days Congress, countless bills and organizations were created to help relieve the people (especially the ones stricken with poverty), reduce the amount of unemployed, and help for a speedy recovery of the nation. Although, many of the “Alphabet” organizations that he created were unhelpful and some even deemed unconstitutional (like the NRA), many of them genuinely helped the American people. For example, The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) put 3 million men back into work in public works projects such as firefighting and reforestation, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped build numerous roads and infrastructure and many other projects to benefit the community and put people back into work. FDR’s organizations helped put millions back into work and helped relieve many problems caused by the depression. While many say that FDR’s New Deal was to radical, I don’t think that is quite the case. I think that the New Deal was not radical enough since its goal of fixing the economy was actually fulfilled by World War 2, so FDR’s organizations and programs were not radical enough to pull the nation out of the Depression. On the other hand, Father Charles Coughlin and Huey Long’s ideas were too radical compared to FDR’s New Deal. They were willing to try anything and many of their ideas were far too radical; the reason Long and Coughlin were assassinated and “shunned” from the radio, respectively. Their ideas had values behind them but the change was far too great for the American people. For example, Huey Long’s idea of taking money from the wealthy to provide the poor with $5,000 each was just far too radical for the people to be able to accept (why would the rich, who were living perfectly comfortable, want to give their hard earned cash to the poor?) FDR was criticized for his New Deal programs because after 12 years of laissez-faire government style Republican rule, the country was transitioning to an activist government under FDR, and the people were bound to have a hard time to adjust to this change and there will always be somebody to criticize your actions no matter what you do. While his New Deal wasn’t the main cause that pulled the nation out of the depression; it was still provided a lot of relief for the suffering people, putting millions back into work, abolished child labor, provided social security, and set a minimum wage and maximum work hours.

  20. Emily Scherrer

    Blog #32
    Emily Scherrer-
    The New Deal was on the borderline of being too radical or not radical enough, however I do think that the New Deal was just radical enough to fix the broken economy. The New Deal was a quick start to fix a large problem that was going to take a lot of time and money to completely fix. There were many things that the New Deal did without being extremely complicated however getting the economy back on its feet. Huey Long was extremely jealous of Roosevelt because he had all of the politician power that Long wanted. Roosevelt was a great president and seemed to always balance how radical his plans were. Roosevelt was under a lot of pressure at the time to fix America’s economy and do it as fast as he possibly could. He had no other option but to use radicalism when dealing with this situation because never before in history had a downfall like this occurred. The New Deal could not have possibly tackled all of the problems America was facing at the time but it seemed to have done a great job with the few problems it focused on. This was also a reason why it wasn’t too radical because it didn’t focus on every single problem. That would have been completely impossible which is why Roosevelt didn’t do it. Also, the New Deal programs didn’t benefit everyone, especially black and Latino Americans therefore they couldn’t have possibly tackled all the issues. The New Deal program couldn’t be applied to these specific people because of the relief that was passed out at the state level where prejudice still ran deep. If the New Deal couldn’t deal with these problems, then it couldn’t have dealt with every single problem that occurred at the time. Therefore, the New Deal program was just radical enough to fix the broken economy.

  21. Erica Gardner

    I’m not entirely sure that I am getting this right, but I think that the New Deal was not too radical to solve America’s economic problems. The Depression affected too many people to simply step back and try to let capitalism fix itself. I think a few socialist ideas had to be integrated with the American government and economy in order to stabilize the economy and prevent suffering. In a socialist economy, the government and the people have more control over the wealth and ideally it is distributed so that everyone prospers. The economy is regulated so that everyone benefits (well, that is how it is supposed to work). In the capitalist economy that America had, there wasn’t much control over the economy by the government by the time the Depression hit, except for trust-busting, tariffs, and some other things. Once the Depression worsened and the capitalist economy was not swiftly repairing itself like Hoover had predicted, FDR saw it was a time to mix things up. I think that the programs the New Deal offered and the government interference helped the economy recover, if not completely. For example, the Works Progress Administration provided paid jobs for millions of people – they built roads, playgrounds, hospitals, schools, and more – and the government sponsored it. Even though the WPA wasn’t as effective as it could have been, it still provided much-needed jobs, and the things it built certainly helped the public.
    While I think that the New Deal was not too radical, I’m not sure if it would have helped if it were any more or less radical. After all, the New Deal did spend a ton of money that could have been used more effectively in other ways. Many of the government-run alphabet agencies were not efficient and the money could have been better off in different uses. For example, the AAA wasted a lot of food and put many tenant farmers out work. But maybe the New Deal wasn’t radical enough. Even though it had decreased, there was still a large unemployment rate. The New Deal definitely did not end the Great Depression; WWII did. But if the New Deal had been any more radical, it could have threatened the capitalist principles of the American economy. I definitely think that Huey Long’s ideas about sharing the wealth went a bit too far and could have jeopardized the economic system that America had always embraced. Any more control of the economy could have done more harm than good, by taking away freedoms and instituting rules that could have gone awry.
    I don’t know much about economics, but my best guess is that the direction that FDR was heading in was pretty safe but not very useful either. He wasn’t straying too far into Socialist territory, but at the same time he wasn’t being as hands-off as Hoover. His programs did not provide the salvation that the American economy needed (that WWII provided) but I don’t think that it made the Great Depression worse, either. He was making very slow progress, and maybe it could have been sped up if he had been more Socialist, or more hands-off, or if he had taken a completely new approach, but maybe not. To sum it up, I think that FDR wasn’t being too radical or not-radical, but the shaky balance between them he had established wasn’t helping a whole lot either.

  22. Sarah Pidgeon

    The New Deal: although it made a huge change in America’s economy, I do not believe it was too radical of a solution to solve the economic problems. Many people argued that the personal lives of Americans became more of an intrusion than involvement, but I believe that in order to have a strong government, which is what America needed during 1933, we needed heavy involvement from the government, it was our duty to know what was going on in the lives of American citizens. The NRA was developed to help out the common man. Higher wages and fair work hours. They were a set of laws and regulations to keep working people at a steady income necessary for them to survive. The use of the CWA and PWA to create public works projects that instituted jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Not only did this give people jobs, but also bettered America. There were huge projects like hospitals, highways, sewer systems, and tunnels that encouraged economic growth. Many people would argue that this was a radical means of approaching America’s economy, but the government has the right to help its citizens and put order back into their life. The government had just the right amount of power. Not too much, not too little. Just enough to keep its people in check, but also bring back profit to the country and become the booming industrial country it was before. I believe that the New Deal had some flaws. I believe it was only made to help the majority of its people, not everyone. Racism became more and more prevalent, and ghettos were enlarging. African Americans were put on the back burner, and we neglected a huge portion of our population by doing so. Relief should have been brought to all races. President Roosevelt changed America dramatically, which is exactly what we needed. If we hadn’t of had a president to take America by the horns and make changes, we would have been sitting in deep **** for a lot longer than we should have. Change is necessary to achieve. And America needed a change.

  23. Allison Kelley

    I do not think that the New Deal was radical enough to solve all of the problems. It wasn’t an overly radical plan because when compared to Long or Coughlin, Roosevelt took a safer and steadier approach to mending the broken economy. While he did help ease the situation a lot during the mid-thirties, it did not completely fix everything. It wasn’t until after World War II that America really got back on its feet. Unemployment decreased, but it was still a big problem late in the decade. The Agricultural Adjustment Act certainly did not make things better when it was first introduced, because it actually increased unemployment. The New Deal mainly only helped certain regions of the nation. Not everyone benefitted from the plan, so it may not have been radical enough.
    However, I do not think that FDR was being a bad president with the New Deal. It did help a lot of people and eased some of the major problems of the depression. At least he acted quickly and did his very best to help the Americans out. The real issue is that not everything turned out as planned, and didn’t have the effect that they were hoping for (like the AAA). Those who were against FDR as president probably didn’t have better ideas than him for the economy; they just assumed that FDR wasn’t doing all that he could, and that there were tons of other options. The people who actually had ideas for a different approach included Long and Coughlin, and those were too radical. I know that the depression was not healed by FDR’s approach, but I still think that it was a great effort and did help out. If it was a small problem with a simple solution, it wouldn’t be called the Great Depression.

  24. Kaitlin Flaherty -- 3rd Hour

    Kaitlin Flaherty–3rd Hour
    I do not think that Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal was too radical to fix America’s economical problems. In 1933, America’s economy was only getting worse and worse. FRD knew that if he didn’t come up with a solution quick, America would soon turn on him as they did on President Hoover before him. The three main points to FDR’s New Deal (aka the 3 R s) were recovery, relief and reform. Relief for the poor, hunger, and unemployed; recovery, to bring back the standard economy; and reform of the financial system to keep this from ever happening again. The New Deal created programs like, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and many more. These acts were aimed at creating more jobs, shortening work days, bringing relief to the poor, and more. But people like Father Charles Coughlin and Huey Long began to critique FDR and his New Deal for not being radical enough. Long thought FDR had been too easy on the banks and big businesses. And Coughlin didn’t think that FDR was doing enough to bring relief to poor. But I’m sure other during that time others would argue that FDR’s New Deal was too radical. I think that FDR did a good job at finding a ‘happy medium’ for his New Deal. The way I see it is, that America had hit rock bottom and was barely scraping by. FDR had to do something to pull America back up into the economical state it was in before the Great Depression had hit. If FDR had done something even more radical he would have been criticized, if he did something less radical he still would have been criticized. With any sort of change like FDR’s New Deal there are bound to be people unhappy with its effects and the measures taken to provide the proper change for the nation’s economy. The textbook says that World War II was what brought America’s economy back. I agree with that but I also agree that FDR’s deal was working. I think if WWII didn’t involve America, FDR’s New Deal would have done the same to the economy. The only difference is that it would take have taken longer.

  25. B Gibbs

    To be honest, the world would have never known whether or not the New Deal would have worked out in the long run. There wasn’t a long enough gap between the New Deal and World War 2 to tell. But although there wasn’t a substantial improvement in those four years, there was still improvement; unemployment was down ten percent in 1937 from the beginning of the Depression. Evidently, the way things were before weren’t working, so a change that radical was an appropriate step in preventing another economical disaster. Plus, these very same programs seem to be what led America to it’s greatness anyways, and they are what set us up to achieve said greatness. Many of these programs are still in place, and America is still one of the worlds largest economies. But, on the other hand, these same programs didn’t exactly provide for the minorities, and there was still a lot of unemployment throughout the New Deal. But there was a trend of lessening unemployment year by year, and when FDR pulled some programs, it backtracked America, thus further proving that most of FDR’s programs were necessary. So, I’d probably have to say that the New Deal wasn’t all that radical.

  26. Gabrielle Clary

    The new deal was radical enough to fix the broken economy because it didn’t totally change the American system; even though it didn’t completely end the depression it sent America on the road to recovery. And it helped inspire people like artists, inventors and engineers to work harder to brighten America’s future. Even though the ND didn’t provide a lot of jobs it did prepare Americans for job opportunities and it gave Americans hope and inspiration for the future. As long as the New Deal didn’t cross the line where it looked like socialism or the government just throwing money to the poor where the government would suffer loss, the New deal wasn’t radical at all. People probably looked at it as radical because of all the public works projects and relief groups like the AAA, HOLC etc. People saw these as a waste of money and time, and they were opposite relief efforts than Hoovers, the new deal went against Hoovers ideas , instead of relying on Americans on helping each other Roosevelt’s new deal put America back on its feet kind of. World War II just pushed America forward and started a new era. The New Deal not only fixed the broken economy t established basic regulations that America still runs on today, these regulations stand as some of the nets that keeps America from falling apart . In my opinion I think the new deal established a trust between the government and the people .People stopped consuming the way they did in the twenties and that backed the government up. FDR going into office understood the lost of trust citizens had with government and banks. When he decided to close down the banks for a holiday he was trying to help give the bank system a new image, so the American people could trust the system again, which was the point of the new deal all together if you think about it.

  27. Brendan Dwyer

    In my opinion, some parts of the New Deal were too radical, while others were fitting in order to solve America’s economic problems. The Great Depression has been known as one of America’s hardest times. Panic was in the air. Action had to be taken. It is argued that the government did too much, but I believe that the government did a satisfactory job. Sure, they probably could’ve done better, but everyone was in a panic. The government definitely didn’t need all of what FDR did, but reform of the banking system and the lowering of the unemployment rate were top priorities. FDR should’ve focused more on those factors, rather than assist certain people. If anything, he should have taken action to assist all races, including black and latino Americans. Even though the textbook says that the war ended the Great Depression, FDR kept the nation from falling into anarchy. FDR’s belief that the government should be active in every citizen’s life probably caused many problems. Had he not been passing so many acts, the problem may have been resolved with less difficulty. Also, the American people agreed with what FDR was doing in comparison to Coughlin and Long, which shows that his actions were favored. Another problem with FDR’s New Deal was that it supported a more activist government, while the American people had been used to Laissez-Faire, which is what had been practiced for the previous 12 years. So, the country was taking time to adjust to this new form of government. Also, it was a bad move when FDR cut back on the spending and jobs programs, which led to the Roosevelt Recession. So, I believe that the New Deal was radical, but not too radical. Some of the things done by FDR were surely helped, but we didn’t need everything.

  28. Oran Lieberman

    The new deal was most certainly too radical. I state the previous statement for multiple reason which will indeed be expressed in the following paragraph. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, the American economy was a wreck. However, instead of making small adjustments to try and repair the economy for the future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt further created stress on the economy with the new deal by changing too many factors way to rapidly. Plans like the NIRA were too radical because they made large quick changes in our economy which could lead to probleems down the road. Even during the War President Franklin Delano Roosevelt new that the jobs that were being created fir all the wonderful and glorious citizens in this revolutionary country were simply just temporary jobs. In fact, President Franklin Delano and his fellow members of the democratic party were genuinely worried that the economy would return to a depression after the war too. To go along with the previous statements that I mentioned above, many people believe that not only did the new deal, proposed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, not help or assist the depression in any way, it may have in fact prolongued and or lengthened the depression. The new deal did in more ways than not have several if not plenty of fascinating and mind boggling ideas that could have truly helped the economy but in my opinion these ideas were applied in the wrong way. Lastly, the new deal made things that were originally created to be temporary permanent. One of these things that i speak of and or about in this previous paragraph is the social security department which wis originally not intended to be perfect. All in all the new deal had many promising points along with many hope destroying and crushing blows but this shipwreck somehow managed to stay on track via president franklin delano roosevelt.

  29. Alex Blitstein

    The new deal was not too radical, but it also could have been more radical than it was. America was facing the hardest time it had ever went through and needed something big to happen. The people where in crisis and needed a good leader. The new deal could have went in to more detail with the 3 r’s and got them to have more specific goals. The people were it so much of a crisis they needed a relief which would hopefully help get them back to where they were. The recovery was suppose to get the economic levels back to normal and get Americans back to work. People had started to get more hope when the new deal came along. The reform was to fix the financial system and help not to have a repeat depression. They really needed to go into depth on what had made this happen and stop it from having any chance of ever happening again. This will ensure that mostly everything would go back to how it was. The new deal probably should not have been anymore radical than it was because then all the people would be relying on the government to help them get money and jobs. This would be giving the government way to much power, even though they already had too much than they should. It was very important that the new deal was to help or America could have got even worse and worse and people would be going crazy. The new deal should have turned out better than it did, but it did not seem to happen that way. We should have not even had this depression; if we would be able to maintain how much everything was going up in America we may have been able to control it. We just needed a solution and this was the only one available.

  30. Khalil Hall, Esq.

    Fact: The United States was facing the worst economic crisis ever.

    Fact: President Hoover failed at solving the problem with a hands-off policy.

    Fact: A more radical FDR did not pull America out of the depression, the war did.

    My conclusion: Roosevelt’s New Deal was not radical enough to fix the broken economy.

    It did help, but it did not fix it. America was obviously struggling greatly and it needed drastic change in order to return to being economically sound. It is easy to see why a more radical plan would be considered farfetched, especially at that time, because it would have meant a seriously socialist nation. While I do think that that technically would have saved the economy, it would have had a disastrous toll on the morals of this country, seeing that it was built on democratic and capitalistic values. I also must acknowledge that the opposite response to socialism, becoming more laissez faire would have had a different but equally detrimental toll on America. The whole “trickle-down effect” never actually works. I think that this would have left the country in a worse depression until the bittersweet savior of WWII came to save the economy.
    I’m no expert (but with the help of class I will be soon) but I think that the New Deal was the happy medium between not being radical and being too radical. I think an immensely radical plan would have saved the economy, but at an expense that would have made it not worth the trouble. FDR’s plan did a great job at putting the right foot forward and getting America headed in the right direction. Without it, we would not behave so many of the things that affect our lives so positively today. And of course there were some that opposed his plan but that is just not avoidable. Regardless, WWII is what really saved the country in a weird bomb filled kind of way, but FDR definitely got the ball rolling.

  31. Dominic Gutierrez

    Was the New Deal too radical to solve America’s economic problems? Or wasn’t it radical enough to fix the broken economy? Why?
    No, at that time I do not think the New Deal was too radical to solve America’s problems we had to try something because whatever congress and or Hoover were trying wasn’t working. FDR went with the New Deal because he felt the people would actual see that something was begging done in spite of America still being in the depression. He made many radical decisions which were called the 100 days and the first new deal where he passed several acts and created many more corporations like the NRA, AAA, and SSa etc…. These programs could have posed as a stepping stone to socialism even though there were still many problems. FDR couldn’t bring America out of the depression even after the New Deal even though he helped it tremendously. So the New deal was not radical in solving Americas economic problems it increase work, and helped out many things that overall helped America economic problems during the Great depression until WW2 finally took us out of the Great Depression. Some people on the other had though the New Deal was way too radical or FDR was a bad man for running the country during such hard economic times like Father Charles Coughlin or Huey Long. Criticism came from different party’s they tried to select new candidates to run for president and get a new person in to get rid of the New Deal. But overall FDR hardly well as well as the American government to continue the New Deal. Many of the same laws ad acts are still used today do it couldn’t have been that radical if were still using some of the programs today. The economy was bad and it probably wouldn’t have been almost fixed for the New Deal and what it was meant to do. The ideas and stress that under goes FDR he did a really good job and who knows if there was no new deal America as we know it could be different today.

  32. Eric Scott

    I think that President Franklin D Roosevelt’s new deal was not radical enough because it solved many problems of the depression but not enough problems. The new deal programs provided many jobs to the people of America, but the unemployment rate was still high. Also I think the new deal failed because President Roosevelt was trying to make too many changes too quickly. I think President Roosevelt should of tried to make to new deal polices a little better rather than trying to put everybody to works so quickly. Also the new deal was too radical because it did not benefit everybody in America. Blacks and other minorities sometimes didn’t get the help the y needed because the new deal had to go through the state government which was often corrupt and racist in the southern part of the country. The new deal was not radical enough because it didn’t solve some of the biggest problems of the depression, which were debt, and reform. In my opinion the new deal focused too much on recovery, and relief, and less on reform. President Roosevelt still was using deficit spending. President Roosevelt didn’t trying to many things, and should of sat down, and see what idea worked best. The new deal also took money out of the few people who did have jobs payrolls. The new deal also added taxes which many people could not pay at the time. Now the government had a larger role, because it had to put people to work, and feed the starving people of America. Also many people didn’t like the new deal, and were coming up with their own plans to fix the Depression, like Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth plan, which was more socialist then capitalist. In the end it was World War 2 that brought America out of the Depression, not the new deal

  33. Alina Steinberg 3rd hour

    I think FDR’s ideas were radical enough to improve upon some things that desperately needed fixing, he salvaged many problems with his three R’s Relief, Recovery and Reform, and in just the first 100 days of his presidency he passed many new acts and had already starting working on getting the country back to where it was before, but it may not have been radical enough to save certain parts of Americas problems and in certain aspects it may have been too radical to change things, he needed to find that spot in the middle of both sides of the spectrum, but that is a very hard thing to find. FDR was elected president in the middle of the depression so he would have a lot of pressure to get his citizens out of the hole they had all been buried in, the nation was used to a more lasses-faire, hands of policy, the government had been run this way for 12 years and it was what most of the people were accustomed so, starting to make progress would be more difficult for the people to adapt to, and come to accept without questioning every decision that takes place. On the other hand America was in one of the hardest times in American history and the old ways weren’t working so change needed to happen, fast, things needed to start getting better, the people might not have been ready to completely trust in whatever needed to be done, but they were defiantly sick of the way things were going and were ready for things to start getting better. It would have to be up to FDR to make sure he was accommodating to the feelings of the people, but also doing what he knew was best even if the people didn’t realize it at the time As always there will be people who don’t agree and most people will most likely be afraid to drastically change for fear of things getting worse, that is were the happy medium between starting to fix things and making sure people feel comfortable comes in.

  34. Josh Vance

    I believe that the new deal defiantly was not too radical in trying to fix the America’s economic problems. Yes, there were a lot of programs created (especially within the first 100 days) but it was obvious that something needed to be done in order to fix the economic crisis. Compared to the ideas of people that opposed him, his way of fixing the massive economic problem was not too radical. One of his greatest critics, Huey Long, wanted to change the government almost completely, to a Social economy. With all that FDR had done in his first 100 days, Charles Coughlin had criticized Roosevelt for not going fast enough. I think it was radical enough in order to attempt to fix the broken economy. One of the causes of the Depression could be easily pointed at the wealthy and its gap between the poor, but that is just the way our economy works. If we feel so strong about it, then the government shouldn’t be changed into a new system in times of hardship, just as it seemed Huey Long was proposing. Though many programs Roosevelt created didn’t stick, important ones such as the Social Security Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act did and are still here today. The projects that FDR had created were pretty pricey but he tried to cut back on spending. I think he really tried to go for the three R’s the best way possible. Many blasted Roosevelt for getting too involved with citizens, but he was only trying to bring relief to citizens. Obviously there were problems in things like farming, housing, banking, and jobs that needing fixing, hence the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation, the FERA, Glass-Steagall Reform Act, PWA, and many other things that were dealt with directly. I believe FDR got involved, but at the same time he stuck with our government and did not get too radical and change the system. He only stepped in where he was needed.

  35. Tessa Passarelli 4th hour

    When dealing with the greatest economic depression of the time, one can never be too extreme. I believe that President Roosevelt’s ideas and reforms were a bit risky and dangerous, but they were not too extreme in solving The Great Depression. Though he didn’t have every single person employed, he put millions back to work with construction projects and honestly there are only so many jobs he could have created for people. Though the New Deal did not solve the Great Depression entirely, it was able to start the country back on the road to success and sustain millions of people until the war. Roosevelt took on the Senate and the House to get some of his more radical bills passed like the Social Security check, so more people could get money if they couldn’t work. His ideas are still being used today, like the Social Security check, overtime, and minimum wage. FDR helped shape our working world to make it fairer to both the working man and the employer so both can benefit. Roosevelt’s ideas weren’t perfect, biut then again no plans can totally get every single person out of the Depression immediately, and it was enough to tide America over until WWII. Even though some believed he was wasting public funds on stupid projects ,he was able to build the country so many different public service buildings, such as hospitals, schools and airports. When Roosevelt created the National Recovery Administration in 1933 he was able to set the standard for all working people so they would no longer be treated unfairly. Roosevelt was able to create a deal that did exactly as he said-gave the “forgotten man” a way of life. His ideas from his terms as president are still alive today through various policies that protect working man from being abused and taken advantage of. They have helped countless people have a new way of life that’s fair and equal to others. No one was/is taken advantage now as much as they were before these policies came into play. FDR was able to create reforms and ideas that benefited the country then and for years to come. Though it didn’t totally solve the Depression, he was able to get the economy stimulated enough to last until the war. He took some radical steps, but all of them were to help benefit the people of America.

  36. Anna Lockwood

    1. I believe that the new deal was borderline radical to solving Americans problems, like during the great depression I believe that it did help but it didn’t help enough for the conditions America was under at the time. The Great Depression was one of the hardest problems America has ever faced. A fourth of the work force was out of work and banks were collapsing left and right because people were withdrawing their money and rich not putting anymore in. To help bail out the banks. Also for instance, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was meant to help the economy by regulating prices and production. America went from having 4,004 bank failures in 1933 to zero bank failures in 1945. More than the banks, there was overwhelming unemployment when Roosevelt took office in 1933; one in every four workers was out of work. The AAA eventually caused many tenant farmers to lose their land, homes, and jobs. In the first 100 days alone, FDR and his Brain Trust passed many new acts and created many new programs to help the population receive jobs and economic stability. The New Deal also embraced progressive ideas. Some of the most important effects included bank relief (The Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933 regulated banking transactions and foreign exchange and reopened 75% of banks), creating jobs (The Civilian Conservation Corps put 250,000 men to work), and helping industry and labor (The National Recovery Administration created “fair competition” among industries and set limits to work hours and wages). Other important effects of the New Deal were the Wagner Act of 1935 which established union rights and the Social Security Act, which created an old-age pension, unemployment insurances, and disability payments. FDR created programs that are still being benefited from today. For example, most of our grandparents are benefiting from his installment of the old- age pension.

  37. Clark L

    The New Deal was a well planned, well thought out strategy to push America to the other side of the depression. The deal however was not an instantaneous endeavor in that it didn’t provide the immediate help that many people were looking for. But can immediate help on a nationwide level really be expected? I think that the people’s reactions to the New Deal were based off the sentiment that immediate help was a completely possible and a logical solution to the problem. That is an idea that is understandable in such a trying time for the Nation, but the clear and logical thinkers at a government level realized that the reality of the situation was such that immediate help would have made a short term effect but not a long term, sustainable difference. By adopting the “three R’s” FDR made a plan that would likely have pulled out the economy if he had stuck to it. Instead he cut spending on many of the projects and dropped the mending economy into another sinkhole. This is where the New Deal fell apart, when FDR intervened to “help” a plan that was working well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Mr. President. The New Deal was at a perfect level between not radical and radical and the plan, to the extent that I can see it, was working in the desired effect. When FDR tried to change the plan is where it became not radical enough, and where he wanted to loosen the plan to allow more of a feeling of American freedom and less of a feeling of crutching around on government spending. When the plan was cut back, the economy fell through. I believe that the inverse of this would have saved the economy: if some of the projects were ramped up we would have pulled out of the recession in time for WW II.

  38. Alex Saenz

    Alex Saenz

    Blog #32-The New Deal

    I believe that the New Deal was both radical and not radical because in some ways it did not fix America as soon as Americans wanted it fixed. Also, some parts of it didn’t even work. In other ways, it was radical enough because it did help and fix America. It got rid of prohibition, it led to more government help and action, and it gave more people jobs. Americans slowly started to gain some of their money back. The New Deal was sort of desperate in some ways also. I feel that some of its reforms were just randomly thrown into it without much meaning, because again, those were the ones that were never fixed and did not affect America in any way. Even after the New Deal, some parts of America were still broken and not fixed. Americans also had no trust in their economy, which made things harder to fix. They really did not trust the banks, even though the New Deal made banks take a holiday and tried to put their trust back into Americans. Since people didn’t have any trust in anything or the economy, it made it harder for the New Deal to work. In some cases, Americans were even unwilling to try because of what the Depression did to them. President Roosevelt tried, but I think that some part of him didn’t trust the New Deal either. Even though in the textbooks it said that the war ended the Depression, it couldn’t have ended it without help from the New Deal. The New Deal did help to end the Depression, but the war fully and completely ended it. The New Deal was radical enough while not being radical enough at the same time. The situation in America was a very desperate time, and that called for extreme measures and reforms.

  39. Carly Yashinsky

    Was the New Deal too radical to solve America’s economic problems? Or wasn’t it radical enough to fix the broken economy? Why?
    I do not think that the new deal was too radical to solve America’s economic problems. These were very intense times that the United States was in and I think the phrase “desperate time calls for desperate measures” explains what the government was trying to do to try and help fix the economy. I think there were things that scared people a lot considering there was so much government change during such a harsh and scary time for Americans. I think the NRA (National Recovery Administration) was an extremely radical idea at the time during the Great Depression, because our government began changing from a hands-off type of economy for businesses and banks into a very hands-on type of governing style that brings us back to the Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt type of governing time. Nowadays, we look at the ideas of minimum wage and limited working hours and days as an “duh” type of idea, but at the time I think people could have viewed it as the craziest idea they have ever heard and maybe people starting getting scared thinking why we needed to change so much about their employment during the Great Depression. I think that Longs idea for giving $5,000 to all poor families was way more of a radical idea than anything from the New Deal because that’s borderline changing our government from being a democracy to maybe socialism or maybe even communism. I believe the only way the government could bring about change during these desperate times was to try anything they could even the most radical ideas in the world, hoping that they would bring about a prosperous future (although we all know that our bright future was provided from the economy boost that World War 2 gave us, but the ND did help in my opinion during the early to mid 30’s and even today).

  40. Jesse Yaker

    New Deal, in my opinion, was not radical enough to fix the economy. If it was too radical, we would have had a better outcome then we did! It would have done something if it was too radical but it did not really help as much as expected. I mean, we had to have so much else help us during this like Huey Long’s “Share the Wealth” and the CWA. “Share the Wealth” was written by Huey Long and basically said all the wealthy people in America at the time should, literally, share the wealth and redistribute their money to the less fortunate. The CWA gave jobs to around 3 million people at about $14 per week. I also think the National Recovery Administration was not radical enough to make a difference. The National Recovery Administration (or NRA) created things such as minimum wage to try to help the working class, as you can see it did not do enough. Now thought there were some things that were radical and actually had real potential to pull America out of this depression, I think that, for the most part, it was not effective enough. Other radical ideas made by FDR were the FDIC and SEC. The FDIC insured bank deposits after everyone lost all their trust after the crash in 1929. The SEC was one of the major relief parts of the United States and really helped our economy the most out of anything. It regulated the Stock Market, so no more sudden drops would just appear from thin air and people could put trust into their stocks again, though the trust would take some time to regenerate. It also set limits on how much you could invest. I think that, though the FDIC and SEC and other policies made by FDR really could have helped our economy, the New Deal didn’t really stand a shot of pulling this economy out of depression.

  41. Jabrielle Johnson

    I believe that the New Deal wasn’t radical enough to fix the broken economy. FDR was right for focusing on the banks and money the majority of the time and second should have been the economy. Many people wanted the poor and homeless to have job, but they have to think about where the money would be coming from. (It wouldn’t just fall from the sky). I don’t think a lot of people understood that everyone was affected from the depression, so fixing the banks would help everyone. As far as the poor, there is a lot of different ways to approach them and I agree that he could have tried a number of them. This would be hard, since no one was spending any money because of the economy. FDR should have probably taken the advice of some of his critics and used their plan to help the poor, rather than his alphabet help. Taking Long’s idea probably would have helped the poor immediately and he would have more people on his side. Not a lot of people felt that much was being done and I believe FDR should have given them a little push in the right direction. If he had lessened people’s fears, they would spend more money, thus creating a thriving economy. What FDR didn’t see was that people can’t spend money if they don’t have any. Inflation may have helped more than anything. If there is more money floating around, more can be bought, thus creating a thriving economy. FDR needed to focus a little more on money for the poor and the banks, so everyone would have contributed to helping the economy. Making more jobs and giving money to the poor is probably what FDR’s critics wanted to happen. Although some of what they wanted may have been unrealistic, I think that he should have tried more and worked harder to help them.

  42. Logan M

    FDR’s New Deal was plenty radical to solve America’s problems. It helped point us in the right direction to get out of the Great Depression and rebuild a strong foundation to prevent other problems later. At the time FDR was elected, the country needed to do a complete 360 to get back on our feet. FDR made many new programs including the FDIC, which helped the American public trust the banks again and helped with banking. Other great programs he set up were the WPA and CCC – two great programs that increased employment and helped the Americans’ confidence boost dramatically. Although I do not agree with FDR’s AAA, NIRA, and the FSA these are some of the most radical programs. The NIRA worked because it enforced a minimum wage, but the effect this took on the American public was awful. Inflation went up like crazy because people didn’t buy anything. Also, the continuous cycle of overproduction and under-consumption put businesses behind and in trouble. Later this was considered unconstitutional. The AAA was a bad program too because there was too much government involvement in the citizens’ life, and the government made farmers kill livestock while people were starving. This was also considered unconstitutional. This was very radical and doesn’t make sense to us today, but it was a time of desperation. The FSA gave out $1 million dollars to farmers, which appealed to the farmers, but was unrealistic. The New Deal critics were against it because it didn’t help them fast enough and thought that since FDR was to blame, they should kick him out. Huey Long opposed the New Deal because it wasn’t hard enough on the rich. That makes sense because his plan was to redistribute all the money. Father Coughlin and the social injustice he preached were appealing to other Americans, too, until he became anti-Semitic and lost his radio audience. Neither of these critics directly said that the New Deal wasn’t radical enough. I think it was exactly what America needed.

  43. Brad D.

    During the Great Depression people were in dire need of help. FDR was criticized that his New Deal was too radical in helping Americans get out of the economic slump that they were presently in. I don’t think the New Deal was too radical because of all the people that were in need of help feeding their families and keeping a roof over their head. FDR was one of the only people to actually take action and people may have said the New Deal was too radical but it did a lot of good for millions of Americans. The New Deal set up many government agencies that provided relief for these people and gave them jobs. He also established things like minimum wage and working hour limits. These things helped the common worker in his efforts to come out of the sad situation he or she may have been in. Also things like minimum wage and working limits are still around today which just goes to show you that if parts of FDR’s New Deal like this were too radical they would have been changed or gotten totally rid of like some of the government agencies that were heavily criticized were. So yes certain things and agencies that were established in the New Deal didn’t work out so well but you certainly can’t say it was too radical. The New Deal did do some things that were probably regrettable but isn’t almost everything like that? It just goes to show you that not everyone will be pleased with decisions you make and actions you take but when those actions do as much good for a country and its people that the New Deal did they can afford to have some downgrades or setbacks because of the main idea that is beneficial.

  44. Sarah H

    I think that the new deal was just that right amount of radical. The new deal was definitely radical. It was certainly radical enough to fix the economy. Some might say that it was too radical but the fact is that it fixed the broken economy. The new deal was much more effective than what Hoover did; nothing. It greatly improved the economy and lots of people became reliant on it for jobs and other things. The Roosevelt Recession was when FDR stopped The New Deal briefly because he was worried about over spending and driving the government into debt. When unemployment rates rose, however, he brought The New Deal back and the economy was on the rise once again. This proves that the new deal was radical enough to improve the economy and did. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president he took on a huge challenge. Unlike Hoover, he knew that something had to be done whether it was right or wrong, and that doing anything was better than doing nothing. So he instated The New Deal which employed people and helped reopen banks and made a huge difference. He started public works projects and offered insurance on money deposited in banks. He helped farmers and home owners with some of his “Alphabet acts”. His New Deal may not have been as radical as Huey Long’s or Coughlin’s but it helped a majority or the American people. Doing that is hard to do because you can never please everybody all of the time. The book says that it was the war that brought America out of the depression. I believe that The New deal greatly contributed to the improved economic conditions, even if the war was the final push to get us back on our feet. I think that The New Deal was radical enough to improve the economy and that it did so in a way that helped almost everyone.

  45. Katie Quasarano

    Roosevelt’s New Deal was definitely not too radical for the time and situation it was created to aid. The Great Depression was a very dark period in American history, and hard times call for drastic change. The unemployment rates, homelessness, and levels of poverty were too serious to be ignored any longer, and therefore government intervention became necessary. While the reforms created in the New Deal were controversial, they were needed desperately by the American people during the 1930s. Roosevelt’s New Deal receives a lot of criticism for either being too much government intervention or not enough. I think that it was not enough, but this was not FDR’s fault. If President Roosevelt had been able to pass reform laws his way, there would have been several more laws dealing with reconstruction of the economy. Congress was the factor that shot down these laws. Programs like the WPA and the CCC were very beneficial, but others like the AAA, the NIRA, and the FSA were not as successful and then give the New Deal a bad reputation. In normal circumstances, I believe our nation should not have a very large amount of government involvement. But in times of war, economic emergency or natural disasters, Americans should be able to depend on the government for assistance in their time of need. Letting the nation “rebuild itself” would not have helped anyone during the Great depression; it would have only left people drowning in debt. FDR is often blamed for making the Depression worse, but it’s important to realize that he deserves no blame for the state of the economy when he entered office. While it was World War II that actually brought America out of the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s reform kept the nation afloat during the 1930s before the war began in 1939.

  46. Hank Wikol

    I think that the New Deal was too radical. This can easily be justified by saying that that it didn’t even get us out of the great depression. We were pulled out of the great depression by World War II, not the New Deal. This New Deal was slowly switching us from a capitalist society to a socialist society that was ruled by FDR. The reason that there was so much unemployment through the New Deal was because it wasn’t working. Granted, the government did need to drift from the laissez faire policy a little, but it didn’t need to take total control of our economy which was based on capitalism. And by definition, capitalism is not controlled by the government. I will say though that it was definitely worth a shot. At the time nothing was working. This switch from capitalism to border line socialism was tough on the American people because they had never lived through this sort of thing. FDR at the time was just throwing around and creating new programs. Instead of looking at which ones worked, he kept blindly creating new ones to a point where it was just too much. He was more worried about showing everybody that he was doing something with all these programs than finding which ones worked, and following up with those. I do believe that FDR honestly wanted to pull America out of the depression, but he just was doing too many radical things. His New Deal did help us a little bit, but not very much as we only improved to the Roosevelt recession in 1938 after the depression. The New Deal had good intentions, but it was just too radical at the time because of FDR was essentially moving America into a socialist like economy because he was putting money wherever he wanted and putting the government in control of the economy.

  47. Alexander Erickson-Suzuki

    The new deal was radical but, not in a good way if you spend money butm dont do anything the money just gets spent. Nothing happens when the tap of money runs out everyone freaks. So in my opinion to fix economys. You must cut taxs and become more of a lassez faire goverment. So you can encourage spending and consumption and buisness. If you cant do this then the economy wont develop. Yet, the reason the depression stopped was cause the War cause lots of spending and buying happend. Then, when your rapidly employing people with somewhat substantial jobs you can repair the economy. So in the end No, it was too radical there was too much spending and nothing coming out of it. So in the end Roosevelt could not have fixed the depression had World War Two not started. Otherwise the goverment would have just been in crazy amounts of debt and the money they spend would have vanished and nothing special happend. .
    So, maybe if you went with Huey Longs approach you would have a less radical but, more socalist approach which if didnt cause turmil may have worked. But, definitly had the World War one not happend then, it would have been over for the United States of America and we would be where Greece is now. Bankrupt and not able to do anything about it. Riots and civil unrest no way to solve the countrys problems cuase there is no money to do anything. Then, attempting to get bailed out by other broke countrys forever enciricling the world in debt. China gaining untold amounts of power. So we should have stuck to ourselves lowerd taxes and encouraged spending and buisness. Or on the otherhand we could have became a crazy socialist/communist country and ran everything via goverment that could have worked too but, would have came with unforetold circumstances.

  48. Audrey K.

    In my opinion, the New Deal was too radical and hardly ended the Great Depression. During the time of the Great Depression, FDR made too many drastic changes in American government and it reaction, startled and upset many Americans. His policies called for a more socialist way of running things, while America has generally been run from a capitalist society. FDR created to many programs and acts in an attempt to end the Great Depression. Although his enthusiasm to bring our country out of economic turmoil was comforting, the affects of his programs were not as beneficial as the country would have hoped. FDR’s New Deal was an attempt to save our country, and although very radical, in order for it to have been affective, he would have had to either stick to the tried-and-true, or go above and beyond the New Deal in terms of it being far-reaching. Another point I would like to make, is that the New Deal may have played a part in ending the Great Depression, but WWII was the overall reason that our country was no longer in a depression. But, FDR had clear precise ideas on how to save our economy. I do not think that he had to start making laws and programs like there was no tomorrow. I think that if he had organized his ideas and stuck with the Acts that worked, the New Deal would have worked.

  49. Tim Dijkstra

    Question: Was the New Deal too radical to solve America’s economic problems? Or wasn’t it radical enough to fix the broken economy? Why?

    Response: In my opinion The New Deal was not too radical. In fact I believe The New Deal was not radical enough to pull America out of the great depression. However, I cannot criticize President Roosevelt for his efforts. It is nearly impossible to help all types of people, especially in America where the demographic is so large. I believe that FDR did the best he could, given the circumstances. Thankfully the war helped boost America’s economy and pulled us out of the depression. The New Deal was lacking in several areas and did not do enough to help the citizens of America. Millions were still unemployed and needed more and better programs to get out of the depression. The New Deal programs didn’t benefit everyone, especially black and Latino Americans. Unfortunately this is one of the downfalls of the New Deal. President Roosevelt needed to enact more radical policies to help America come out of the Depression.

  50. Bethany Rivera

    The New Deal was the perfect mixture of being radical. I think it is too much to say that it was being too radical because it was effective. When FDR became president in 1932 the country have him an unbelievable task of trying to fix the American economy.  Even though it had many socialist views throughout it they worked to help America get back on their feet. The new deals goals were relief, recovery, and reform to the nation’s economy. FDR did well at making these goals and following them. It can be argued that the execution that FDR used was a bit too radical, he went about getting the goals he had set in a way that could be seen as very radical. But when you compare FDR to his opponents such as Huey Long he is much  less radical. Huey’s “Share the Wealth” plan was very radical and it threatened many of the wealthy men that the government was primarily made up of. Huey was radical on all his speeches that he gave, he would say things that made the rich feel uncomfortable but he didn’t care.  The New Deal was not radical enough to solve the problems that America need it to solve. The idea of the New Deal was not the best thought out on in theory it should have worked but in reality it didn’t help some of the major  groups living in America like the Latinos. All in all the New Deal was radical in the way it was brought upon the Americans but not in the idea of the New Deal.

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