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Q9. Did the New Deal work for America? Analyze

The United States recovered from the Depression of the 1930s Roosevelt’s New Deal helped restore confidence to American companies and citizens. The New Deal identified problems, such as banking irregularities, and tried to address them. Roosevelt’s public work schemes also helped to ease the burden of unemployment. As the Depression gathered pace after 1929, Americans had lost confidence in their government’s ability to deliver prosperity. The New Deal helped to restore that confidence. Roosevelt’s public image was one of strength and assurance, of a powerful and reassuring leader.

Through the New Deal measures he gave the impression of a man who was taking charge, who knew what he was doing. At the time this was immensely important.


Unemployment: Initially the unemployment numbers decreased through the work of the “Alphabet” agencies, which helped in alleviating poverty. Unemployment increased again in 1938  after Roosevelt reduced government spending. It only began to fall steeply again in 1939 when the USA began to build up its armaments in case of war. This led to huge increases in jobs in industry.

Relief from poverty: The many relief schemes provided jobs and support for millions of people..

Public works: Under the New Deal, the country gained from public works projects – dams, roads, airfields, schools, bridges, reforestation schemes, and similar projects which brought lasting benefits to local communities.

The banking system: Increased bank regulation helped restore public confidence in them and helped to support steady and sustained economic growth.

Political effects: The New Deal restored the confidence of the American people in their government. They retained their belief in democracy at a time when, in Europe, democracy was facing major challenges from far-right, anti-democratic politics.


Although the actual amount of success of the New Deal can be argued over, Roosevelt’s measures had at least held together the economy of the USA and provided relief to the victims of the Depression. Also, while some European nations turned to extreme totalitarian political systems as a response to the Depression, Roosevelt had preserved the democratic tradition of America.

Realistically, the economy of the USA only fully recovered with the outbreak of World War II. With European industry and agriculture shattered by the conflict, American factories and farmers reaped the benefits. The need to raise a US army also solved the unemployment crisis.

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