By Olivia M.

The United State Government is controlling us, but is it for the better? It was the 1930s when the United States was struck with a devastating economic downturn known as the Great Depression. It all started when the stock market crashed in 1929 and lasted throughout the 30s.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office in 1933, he introduced the Relief, Recovery and Reform programs during the Great Depression to address the problems of unemployment and the economic crisis. FDR’s Relief, Recovery and Reform required either immediate, temporary or permanent actions and reforms and were collectively known as the New Deal.

The government had too much control and ended up losing us more than we gained, but somehow, we bounced back from such a huge economic downturn.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a very difficult time for America.  In 1930 4 million Americans looking for work could not find it and by 1931 it had risen to 6 million. By 1932 some 13-15 million people were unemployed. Despite the shrinking income, the government still had to make interest payments on a sizeable national debt and provide essential services to the public.

The government contributed to the crises by losing us money, putting us in debt, and, according to the Government Response to the Great Depression, “The government laid off one-third of its civil servants and reduced wages for the rest. At the same time, it introduced new taxes that increased the cost of living by approximately 30 per cent. The government also slashed spending on health and education, but doubled its police force in 1932 to better maintain law and order amid a growing atmosphere of public unrest.” The government was just causing more problems than actually fixing them.

The New Deal

Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933 and tried to stabilize the economy and provide jobs and relief to those who were suffering from the Great Depression.Over the course of an eight year time period, the government set in motion a series of experimental projects and programs, known as the New Deal, that aimed to restore prosperity to many Americans. Despite the efforts of President Roosevelt and his cabinet, however, the Great Depression continued, the nation’s economy continued to suffer, unemployment persisted, and people grew angrier and more desperate.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

The Tennessee Authority was a government created agency designed to provide jobs, prevent floods, and provide cheap electricity. Although it was created by the government to help, and it did help with poverty, problems did arise. “A huge amount of coal ash flowed out of the plant and devastated the surrounding area. Last year, the Sierra Club called people together to demand solutions to possible environmental hazards.” Was what the government created to help with the financial crises, really worth the environmental distress it caused?

After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years. A sharp recession hit in 1937, caused in part by the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase its requirements for money in reserve. Though the economy began improving again in 1938, this second severe contraction reversed many of the gains in production and employment and prolonged the effects of the Great Depression through the end of the decade.

Now the for the question “How much control should the government have?” Government control only helped so much and people would argue that the US was fine with the amount of control the government had because of how much it helped during this time period, which isn’t completely wrong but evidence would make this author believe that the government should have control of certain things, just not as much control as they had.


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