Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Blog Post #4

  In Chapter 4 of “Reflation and Relief,” the author Rauchway explains what President Roosevelt and The United States had to do to prepare for The Great Depression. Roosevelt’s goal was to get the country out of this depression. He began to “repair finance, agriculture, and manufacturing, though he would give less attention to overseas economics affairs.” He created the “New Deal”, which gave the people a ‘fresh start’. The new deal was a success, administration offices got money and credit for the country. Banks were closed because Americans didn’t have money, as they didn’t have jobs. So, They were not spending money or using credit. But eventually, banks began to reopen and the country was improving.  Capitalism was going to be saved because of President Roosevelt. In 1935, the banking act occurred. Federal Reserve Systems appointed governors. But the government was afraid that President Roosevelt’s plan was going to fail, and the country was going to be in-depth again. They didn’t want to owe money to anyone and had to borrow money from other countries. They also didn’t want to raise products. This reading shows how ‘history repeats itself. America has always been a Capitalist country. They need citizens or people to have jobs, to make money, in order to get back money to the country. After the pandemic, products from all businesses were raised after they lost money for over a year and people were getting stimulus checks. The article also states how “… Roosevelt administration did more than its predecessor to revive American banking, and its efforts evidently succeeded. But the New Deal’s financial policies—however plainly Roosevelt explained them over the radio—dealt with matters far removed from ordinary Americans’ experience.” This piece of evidence shows how President Theodore Roosevelt took actions into his own hands during this time and also wanted the people to remain calm. Overall, I think President Roosevelt did a great job saving the country from a financial Depression.

One thought on “Blog Post #4”

  1. You draw some interesting and perhaps apt comparisons to the present economic situation with the pandemic, but organize your post into paragraphs to better frame these different bodies of thought. A couple of minor inaccuracies: “in debt,” not “in depth,” and the Banking Act, passed by the Roosevelt Admin during the First Hundred Days, deliberately closed banks during a “holiday” so as to prevent further withdrawals and give them a chance to shore up their deposits.

    While it may be true that America is a capitalist country, and that “history repeats itself,” it’s also worth thinking about change over time—both how the New Deal represented a real rupture from the past, and also how the present situation and the nature of today’s economy may bear similarities, but also differences

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