Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Blog post #4

Chapter 4 “Reflation and Relief” speaks about when President F.D. Roosevelt took office. Ruchway speaks about what came to pass throughout the precedence of F.D Roosevelt. For example, Ruchway spoke about the great depression which was already existent when Roosevelt took office. The great depression, as Ruchways categorizes it, was “every moving part in the machinery of the American economy had evidently broken. Banks, farms, factories, and trade had all failed.” (page 1.) The great depression started in  1929 and ended in 1939. When  Roosevelt took office he offered the “New Deal” which were programs and projects to restore prosperity in America. Richway refers to the “New Deal” as something that people didn’t really know how it functioned but that it was something that worked so it stuck. Ruchways spoke about the way that Roosevelt started to deal with the great depression and the first step was by trying to fix the problems with the bank. The banking act of 1933 was passed which separated commercial banking from investment banking. The Federal Emergency relief act was also passed which gave a grant of $500 instead of it being a loan to the people.

The change over time that Ruchway was describing in the reading was the before and after effect of the F.D. Roosevelt office. Ruchway Is describing how the Roosevelt office was able to end the great depression and the measures taken to end and ensure that there wouldn’t be another great depression. Ruchway explained that the changes took place through the New Deal which included the Banking act and the Relief grants as well as the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) These changes happened gradually. It affected many if not all of the American citizens  during that time, because it  was changing not only the lifestyles of many but also provided Jobs for men between 18-35 years old.

The question that I had as I read this chapter was, why was it that the men who could qualify for CCC had to be single? There were so many other men outside the ages 18-35 who didn’t have jobs, didn’t have a way to provide for their families. Yes I understand that there was a grant offered  to many of $500 but that’s nothing for a large family where both mother and father are unemployed. I would have liked for the author to have also  focused on the family aspect of the great depression, for Ruchway to have spoken with numbers and relief examples of such families who were struggling. Not Just the economic effect of the great depression. 

One thought on “Blog post #4”

  1. Good—I’m glad to see you consider issues of change over time and gender roles as well as a summary of the article. In terms of the former, in addition to the changes Rauchway describes during the course of the New Deal itself, how did the New Deal represent a “rupture” with ideas about the role of government and the economy in the past? As far as the gender/family dynamic, I’m sure you could find a good source that examines the New Deal through that lens if you are interested. 🙂

    Make sure you keep spellings of author’s names (and other names) consistent: you spell Rauchway’s name at least 3 different ways in this post, all of them incorrect.

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