The New Deal to the Rescue!

Library of Congress (1934)

In this political cartoon, there are three important figures: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Congress, and Uncle Sam. Each of them assumes a role in the cartoon, with FDR as the doctor, Congress as the caretaker, and Uncle Sam as the patient. Uncle Sam represents a sickly America. FDR is the doctor, who has the responsibility to cure or relieve the symptoms of the depression that struck America and its people.  FDR gives Uncle Sam many different kinds of “medicine,” including programs like the National Industry Recovery Act, the Civil Works Administration, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act. In addition, FDR is carrying a bag of New Deal “remedies,” which can provide even more relief for America. FDR reassures Congress that the “remedies” do not necessarily guarantee success and changes can be made.

At the time, FDR approved and passed many legislations, in hopes to fix America. Many people were doubting whether these programs would actually help or even make things worst. This political cartoon supports FDR and his policies and puts the New Deal in a positive light. This is because Uncle Sam is shown to be in good spirits, after trying the New Deal medicines. Additionally, the cartoon depicts FDR as a man, who is understanding because he knows that the programs might not work and has a bag of solutions prepared.


New Deal:Reviving the Economy

Cartoon by C.K. Berryman on 1933

During the election of 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able to easily win the presidency because the incumbent, Herbert hoover was heavily disliked mainly for the occurrence of the Great Depression during his term as president. Once elected into office, FDR carried out a sequence of economic reforms and programs in order to resolve the issues that were caused by the depression. These chains of reforms were known as the “New Deal”

            During the first hundred days of Roosevelt’s administration, he launched numerous reforms in an effort to fix the economy such as creating new jobs for unemployed civilians and to improve the nation’s banking system by assuring the people that their saving’s will not be lost if the banks were to fail again. Those programs are what are being represented by the stockings hanging on the fire place in the political cartoon and the message being conveyed through this cartoon is that FDR is expecting these programs to turn the economy around even though the programs is having little effect on curing the depression.


Poverty on Top of Depression


A photograph of one of the many shacks built by and for the victims of the failed economy. These shacks were built in parks nationwide during the depression and were called “Homerville’s”


These two photographs illustrate the struggles that the average American people had to endure during the great depression. After the economic bubble burst, many Americans had lost their jobs as well as their savings that were kept in the bank. When the smoke cleared, about 25% of American’s were left unemployed and impoverished. Some unlucky Americans even lost their houses and were left homeless. The homeless went to parks and built shacks out of scrap metal and any other materials that they could find. These shantytowns were called Hooverville’s, named after president Hoover because many Americans blamed Hoover for the occurrence of the depression. In order to aid many of the poverty stricken people who could not afford food, soup kitchens opened up nationwide to supply the poor with food. People would wait on line all day in order to get a piece of bread and a bowl of soup.



Hooverwille a place filled with poor people who are forced to live in shacks because of the great depression.


During the great depression things got really difficult for people. Million of people started to lose their jobs and everyone who suffered. Since many became jobless soup kitchens popped up everywhere in order to feed the people as much as they can. The people started to also build their own houses out of cardboard and wood called shacks, and later on became known as Hooverville. Everyone was affected by the Great Depression especially the children. The children had to stop going to school to help provide for their family.