Life did get better in the 1930s. How far was Roosevelt responsible for this - or was it due to other factors? Explain your answer.

Essay by dr.tsoHigh School, 11th gradeA, September 2006

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Roosevelt's responsibility in making life better for many Americans in the 1930s was considerable, but it took World War II to actually lift America out of the Great Depression.

First of all, Roosevelt gave $500 million for relief to cities and states through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Agencies like the Civil Works Administration (CWA) supplied funds to local authorities such as mayors of cities and governors of states. These funds made possible such public projects as building streets, roads, bridges, and schoolhouses; cleaning up parks; or doing other useful tasks.

Other relief programs were more permanent, such as The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) which gave jobs to 2.5 million young people; or The Works Progress Administration (WPA) which employed 2 million workers annually. With more jobs, confidence returned and helped speed up businesses. Thus, the economy recovered faster. With more money in their pockets, people could thus improve their standard of living.

Secondly, he relieved the suffering of millions of Americans, by organizing the alphabet agencies to give relief to the 14 million unemployed, the farmers who were hit hard by the Depression and faced losing their farms, and even the citizens of the Tennessee Valley region, where the eroded soil was causing floods and poor crops. This created dams and farms, so agriculture recovered and more food was produced to lower starvation.

Thirdly, he rescued the banking system and saved many businesses from collapsing, which stopped the situation in 1933 from becoming worse. This was done by closing all the banks in the United States until the Department of the Treasury could examine every bank's books. Banks in good financial condition were allowed to reopen. Those in doubtful conditions never reopened. The President's action restored confidence and ended the bank crisis; so with more confidence, people reinvested...