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The Factors of The End of The Great Depression

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Words: 1046 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

Essay grade:
Good
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Words: 1046|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jul 17, 2018

Essay grade:
Good
arrow downward Read Review
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The Great Depression stands as one of the most harrowing chapters in American history, casting a long shadow over the nation's economy, society, and collective psyche. Its impact was profound, stretching from bustling urban centers to the remotest rural communities, sparing no social, racial, or economic class from its devastating effects. By the nadir of the crisis in 1933, the scale of the hardship was staggering: unemployment levels soared to unprecedented heights, with 13 million individuals left jobless; half of the country's banks faced foreclosure, plunging countless families into financial ruin; national income plummeted by a staggering 42%, decimating livelihoods and exacerbating poverty; and approximately one million Americans found themselves destitute and homeless, their lives upended by the merciless grip of economic collapse.

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In the annals of history, various theories have been posited to explain the end of this catastrophic era. One widely circulated viewpoint contends that it was the advent of the Second World War, with its attendant military expenditures, that ultimately pulled the United States out of the quagmire of the Great Depression. This argument, often advanced by certain commentators and historians, challenges the conventional narrative surrounding the efficacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal in combating the economic downturn. However, a closer examination of the historical record reveals a more nuanced and multifaceted understanding of the forces at play in ending the Great Depression.

Central to the debate surrounding the efficacy of the New Deal is the question of whether it can be deemed an abject failure or a transformative force in American society. Upon assuming office in the midst of the Depression, President Roosevelt swiftly embarked upon an ambitious program of reform and recovery encapsulated in his New Deal agenda. This multifaceted initiative encompassed a wide array of measures aimed at revitalizing both the economy and societal welfare. From the establishment of groundbreaking agencies such as the National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration to the implementation of transformative legislation like the Social Security Act and the National Housing Act, the New Deal represented a comprehensive and innovative response to the unprecedented challenges facing the nation.

Critics of the New Deal have pointed to certain perceived shortcomings and inefficiencies in its implementation. For instance, the Tennessee Valley Authority, while lauded for its ambitious infrastructure projects, faced criticism for its bureaucratic inefficiencies and cost overruns. Similarly, debates have raged over the efficacy of certain relief programs in alleviating unemployment and poverty. However, it is important to recognize that the New Deal was a dynamic and evolving initiative that adapted to changing circumstances and feedback. Over time, it shifted from emergency relief measures to more enduring reforms aimed at addressing systemic inequities and safeguarding against future economic crises.

The enduring legacy of the New Deal is evident in its lasting impact on American society and governance. Subsequent administrations, including that of President Harry Truman, embraced and expanded upon its principles, ushering in an era of progressive reform and social welfare initiatives. Truman's advocacy for national health care and housing programs, inspired by the principles of the New Deal, underscored the enduring resonance of Roosevelt's policies in addressing the evolving needs of American society. Similarly, Lyndon B. Johnson's declaration of a "war on poverty" can be seen as a direct outgrowth of the New Deal ethos, reflecting a commitment to combating socioeconomic disparities and expanding opportunity for all Americans.

Contrary to the notion that the Second World War single-handedly resolved the Great Depression, a growing body of scholarship challenges this simplistic interpretation of history. Economic historians, influenced by the work of scholars like Robert Higgs, have scrutinized the wartime economy and its impact on the trajectory of the Depression. Higgs argues persuasively that wartime prosperity is illusory, rooted as it is in the diversion of resources towards military endeavors rather than civilian needs. Moreover, the human and material toll exacted by the war cannot be discounted as a sustainable solution to economic hardship.

Ultimately, the resolution of the Great Depression can be attributed to a complex interplay of factors, chief among them the sustained government intervention and investment facilitated by the New Deal. While the exigencies of war undoubtedly spurred increased government spending, it was the comprehensive and adaptable initiatives of the New Deal that laid the groundwork for lasting economic recovery. By investing in infrastructure, social welfare, and employment, the New Deal not only alleviated immediate hardships but also established enduring frameworks for addressing systemic inequities and fostering long-term prosperity.

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In conclusion, the assertion that the Second World War, rather than the New Deal, brought about the end of the Great Depression fails to withstand scrutiny. While the war undoubtedly catalyzed increased government spending, it was the proactive and innovative policies of the New Deal that laid the foundation for economic recovery and social progress. As we confront the economic challenges of our own time, the lessons of the New Deal remain as relevant and instructive as ever, reminding us of the enduring power of government action in times of crisis.

References:

  1. Badger, A. (2013). The New Deal: A global history. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  2. Brinkley, A. (2009). The end of reform: New Deal liberalism in recession and war. Vintage.
  3. Higgs, R. (1992). Wartime prosperity? A reassessment of the US economy in the 1940s. Journal of Economic History, 52(1), 41-60.
  4. Kennedy, D. M. (1999). Freedom from fear: The American people in depression and war, 1929-1945. Oxford University Press.
  5. Leuchtenburg, W. E. (2015). Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: A Reassessment. Oxford University Press.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
Essay’s grade:
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Expert Review
The essay on "The Factors of The End of The Great Depression" is commendable for its clear organization, focused approach, and appropriate sentence structure. The writer demonstrates a good grasp of grammar and uses a formal voice throughout the essay. However, there is room for improvement in terms of vocabulary and the use of synonyms to avoid repetition. Overall, the essay deserves a good rating.
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What can be improved
The essay on "The Factors of The End of The Great Depression" is a well-structured piece that provides insight into the key factors that contributed to the end of the Great Depression. However, there are a few shortcomings that could be improved to enhance the essay's quality. For instance, the writer tends to rely on the word "factors" repeatedly, which could be replaced with synonyms such as "contributors," "elements," or "components" to avoid redundancy. Additionally, the writer could have explored some of the factors in more detail, such as the impact of World War II, which is mentioned briefly but not fully elaborated. To improve the essay's quality, the writer should consider expanding on some of the factors and using more varied vocabulary to make the essay more engaging. Overall, the essay is a solid piece of writing that could be improved with some minor adjustments.

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The Factors Of The End Of The Great Depression. (2018, Jun 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-ended-the-great-depression-2/
“The Factors Of The End Of The Great Depression.” GradesFixer, 05 Jun. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-ended-the-great-depression-2/
The Factors Of The End Of The Great Depression. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-ended-the-great-depression-2/> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
The Factors Of The End Of The Great Depression [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 05 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-ended-the-great-depression-2/
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