Was Roosevelt’s Approach to the Great Depression Successful?
Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Hoover in the 1932 election for president at a time when the nation was amid economic turmoil. He promulgated massive amounts of legislation in order to remedy this problem and bring the country back to economic stability. He instituted such programs as the Civilian Conservations Corps, the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act. Furthermore, he created the National Recover Administration and the Public Works Administration. Another things that Roosevelt did to try to lessen the effect of the Great Depression is to put money in the hands of the needy and try to create as many jobs as possible.
Roosevelt’s policies seemed to work for many Americans; however, some complained that his policies were geared toward socialism. One of the main opponents to his policies was the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court often disagreed with Roosevelt’s policies because they were poorly written or possessed a philosophical view that they did not agree with. To remedy this Roosevelt, proposed appointing an associate justice for every justice over the age of 70 on the court; six of the nine justices on the Supreme Court were over the age of seventy. Roosevelt hoped this move would allow him to make the majority republican appointed Supreme Court friendlier to him and his policies. Not only was he not successful, but he also met with more opposition when trying to propose other laws and policies from both republicans and conservative democrats.
Whether or not Roosevelt’s approach to the Great Depression was successful is open to debate. His New Deal policies never actually pulled America out of the Great Depression. However, the New Deal policies did provide a great deal of relief for the victims of the Great Depression. He also help to redefine the responsibility of government to the American people.