During the 1930s the United States went into the Great Depression. The Great Depression started when World War I ended. The Great Depression was a severe world-wide economic disintegration symbolized in the United States by the stock market crash on "Black Thursday," October 24, 1929. The causes of the Great Depression were many and varied, but the impact was visible across the country. By the time that Franklin D Roosevelt was inaugurated president on March 4, 1933 the banking system had collapsed, nearly twenty-five percent of the labor force was unemployed, and prices and productivity had fallen to one-third below their 1929 levels. Reduced prices and reduced output resulted in lower incomes in wages, rents, dividends, and profits throughout the economy. Factories were shut down, farms and homes were lost to foreclosure, mills and mines were abandoned, and people went hungry. The resulting lower incomes meant the further inability of the people to spend or to save their way out of the crisis, therefore continuing the economic slowdown in a seemingly never-ending cycle.
All aspects of American society suffered during the Great Depression. By 1932, there were thirteen million people unemployed. There was no security for the millions who lost all of their savings in the bank failure or stock market crash. Volunteer organizations attempted to help the needy, but their resources were simply not adequate (Madaras and SoRelle 218). Hope seemed non-existent. Americans had never seen such a severe depression. They could not look to history for guidance. The New Deal was Roosevelt's attempt to restore the economy. His willingness to act decisively and experiment with new policies set him apart from previous presidents. He often said, "I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average"(Tindall and Shi 1238).
In thefirst years of Roosevelt's …