The free food handouts they got were nick-named “Hoover Stew”.
Those at the bottom end of society had no faith in Hoover and the new president gave them exactly this – faith and hope. If the 1928 figure is used as a baseline figure for a study as to whether the New Deal was a success or not, then in all three important areas, Roosevelt did not get back to the 1928 figure.
In all three areas, there were significant improvements.
Economic strength and development thrives on confidence and these figures give the clear impression that America now had greater confidence in her economic ability after the Wall Street Crash.
Firstly, Roosevelt set up the National Recovery Administration, or NRA, to assist labor unions in their struggle against greedy corporations.
The NRA, for the first time in American history, guaranteed the right for labor union members to choose their own representatives in bargaining.
However, America was at itseconomic peak then and after such an economic catastrophe as the Wall Street Crash, it would have bordered on the impossibility for Roosevelt to have got back to the 1928 figure.
If the 1933 figure is taken as a baseline figure – the year Roosevelt took office as president – then a different pattern emerges.
The historian William Leuchtenburg believed that only World War Two got America out of the Depression.
Arthur Schlesinger claims that the New Deal only got the wheels of industry turning but no more.