Governments Presence Between 1900-1945 Free Writing Sample

The United States of America’s government system is a truly complex and intricate work. Beginning so long ago, the American government system that is implicated today took years and years to advance and become stronger, becoming one of the powerhouses of the world as we know it today. Then again it wasn’t always like this. In American history, a key element to the foundation of America is government and the changes the system has gone through the years. This essay will discuss some of the changes that occurred from 1900 to 1945 in the country. With important topics such as progressivism, The Square Deal, The New Deal, Suffrage movement, WWI and WWII, and also the New Era this essay will specifically address the actions taken by the government or not taken by the government and their effects on the American people. With the country constantly going through difficult times and attempting to control its citizens from 1900-1945, certain actions the government took were, the assistance of the Courts to make decisions, the ability to pass laws with Congress, and the implications of orders and deals by the President.

With rapid industrialization hitting America and times beginning to change and advance the government looked for federal and state level courts to assist in the creation of new order and a better way of life. This occurred during the Progressive Era when the industrialization of America was accelerating. The decisions that surrounded this political movement were founded to improve the quality of life, change the before corrupt and inefficient government and allow more government voice and involvement in businesses. The impacts during the time of the Progressive Era were seen as both positive and negative by different sides of the American community. In the progressive community many believed that the rich should be superior. However, not just any rich people, white wealthy men should remain wealthy and superior. This meant that whites would dominate business and main outlets in industry. In the black community this was seen and taken negatively. One of the era’s most celebrated black leaders, Booker T. Washington, proposed another idea for racial accommodation to what he thought was a path towards progress.

Washington was an educated black man, that was born into slavery but found his way out and became loved by many including whites. He proposed that in the time of the Progressive Era people need to stay segregated and support their communities but push for each and everyone’s individual rights and equality. Blacks should also start and create businesses for themselves and their community’s well being and prosperity. After the Progressive Era came the War but after that came the New Era. The New Ear, similar to the Progressive Era, was America’s continued economic growth but this time with a boom in consumer culture. After the first World Wars’ end in 1918, the American government started to encourage business but with less involvement physically in businesses. At this time there were a large number of positive outcomes and reactions from citizens. There became a higher importance for consumer goods, with people spending to feel good and to increase social status, as well as the introduction to credit spending. African Americans during this time also decided to make their mark on society. Commonly referred to as the “New Negro” blacks, attempted to change their position in society with the introduction of businesses and more societal contribution.

As the American society advanced and people gained more power and economic security within themselves the government needed to establish better laws, and regulations through Congress. During the New Era, the 1920s with cities and businesses booming alcohol became an issue to the government. To battle alcoholism, reduce violence and crime rates, and lessen the tax burden created by the prison system, Congress put forth the 18th Amendment. The 18th Amendment called for the prohibition of alcohol. This rule put forth by the government had a very opposite result and impact on the society, instead more people pushed against the amendment and fought for alcohol to be easily consumed and available. At the end of this Era there became a huge gap in wealth with distribution at one percent, as well as decline in wages also leading to an increase in personal debt. Another decision the government made in the past was the establishment of the 19th Amendment. At the time suffrage for women was not a universally accepted dilemma. It wasn’t until the National Women Party in 1913, that women’s voices were heard about the issue.

Women became more public to push for change participating in picketing and then hunger strikes in jail. With all the attention the issue brought the 19th Amendment was finally passed. While the government continued establish better laws, they also had a responsibility to take care of their states in times of need. One of these actions taken was the creation of the New Deal. With the Great Depression tearing apart American citizens creating unemployment at 23.6% and a 40% bank failure, the New Deal projects and programs, by Franklin D. Roosevelt, were to stabilize society and aid those who were suffering. The New Deal didn’t necessarily help all races however. For African Americans it offered some certain programs but segregation still existed alongside racism and blacks were still excluded from social security. As for the Mexican community, they were asked to come and leave based on the availability of work active, and even if you were a child born in America with Mexican parents you had to leave as well. Asian Americans were also payed to leave the country so that they didn’t have to take care of other races. An important time where the New Deal was successful in helping a community was the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was a time in which it had stopped raining from 1932-1939. With mostly all their crops destroyed and hard to find food the government had stepped in to provide aid.

Red Cross services provided face masks to prevent people from inhaling dust while the government provided canned food, relief checks and even money for cattle to be slaughtered. With benefits to the New Deal and some drawback it overall didn’t create too much economic movement. It didn’t end depression or unemployment, it didn’t redistribute the wealth, and it didn’t solve governmental issues or economical issues but it prevented the country from becoming worse. Although decisions and actions like the New Deal might have not solved issues like the Great Depression, Presidents’ decisions definitely impacted America both positively and negatively. America engaged in war with Germany, Japan, Vietnam each ending with America, or the Allies’, victory. In World War 1 the United States fought with the Allied forces, England, France, Italy and more, against the Central Powers, Germany, the Ottoman Empire and more. After the first war they had planned for peace and Woodrow Wilson created the 14 points plan, fourteen points of peace after the war. Soon after Wilson proposed the League of Nations for the resolution of international conflict but the United States never joined. It was at the League of Nations that Treaty of Versailles was made in 1918, blaming Germans for sole responsibility of the war.

In America after WWI the economy started booming but an interesting reaction was noticed in the African American community. In the war blacks who had answered the call to service ended up being segregated into jobs of less worth, when initially they had gone to prove their worth and make claims for equality in America. They came back with everything looking the same. This led to the Great Migration where many African Americans moved through the country, some to Africa to start new communities. This rapid migration led to the development of many black communities in popular cities like New York, Los Angeles and more. Later WWII had a similar global impact, but in the United States specifically it drastically boosted the economy. At the end of WWII wartime production was so high that it ended the Great Depression. A lot of the help that was provided to boost production came from people who stayed at home during WWII, because it was the largest armed conflict in history people wanted to help wherever they were. In many situations women would help in the war efforts, to make and supply troops with different gear or other needs like transportation, food, clothing etc.

These women would often be family members of troops who are fighting in hopes to see their loved ones faster or to feel a sense of contribution even for the smallest of tasks. Jobs provided during the war time also made more more money and a better salary than others. Women were able to find a meaning to life and a sense of purpose during the war. Even with the country constantly going through difficult times and attempting to control its citizens, certain actions the government took were, the assistance of the Courts to make decisions, the ability to pass laws with Congress, and the implications of orders and deals by the President. It is interesting to learn about the government’s actions and their impacts on the society because a lot of times you may not be aware of the direct effect on your life. In today’s society the United States government arguably makes a lot of irrational decisions and takes actions many would avoid completely. As the government progresses and advances in the modern day it is important to look at the impacts the government’s decisions have on your life.

The Nature’s New Deal

In the writer for the most part addresses how the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) played the major role in President Roosevelt’s New Deal Era. What Neil Mayer attempts to argue is the connection between U.S politics and the subject of conservation is the United States. There was a successful attempt to argue that the CCC was not just a small group of men attempting to conserve most of America by conserving soil and keeping trees safe. The author presented different outlooks such at using natural resources wisely to but also demonstrated how the Corps employed millions of people during its existence from 1933 – 1942. The author makes it a point to indicate how the part of the new era grew in size and implemented itself into politics through the Republican Party. The book implies that the CCC was the major influence in the reshaping of American environmentalism. Through programs there was education such as Temporary Employment Relief Administration, which hired youth to do tree and plant work.

The end game was to have America’s natural forestry protected by making parks for families that was heavily supported by the American Public. The book shows how President (Former Governor) Roosevelt developed a passion for conservation. How he noticed the abandonment of rural and farm land in America. He lobbied with network of appointees such as Henry Morgenthau to oversee New York state conservation department as commissioner. The author shows how the President put his political neck on the line by supporting the new idea. It shows that it was not only Roosevelt that favored support of Rural area. There were groups such as Nashville Agrarians that supported the same concepts. With the attempt to commercialize the nation’s public lands, the development of the CCC proved to be beneficial in many areas along with the Great Depression by providing much needed employment.

In chapter 2, the author makes the attempt to show how the CCC evolved in a powerhouse in America. Also, the book makes the connection to how it was to work its way into politics. The book successfully shows how President Roosevelt strategically embedded the CCC in an effort to build support in different regions to promote his New Deal. One other area he hoped it would help was to get him elected. The author indicates that Roosevelt’s plan was for the CCC to provide support of his welfare state. With Roosevelt’s driving of the CCC and the New Deal, had many programs and conservation ideal that led to the creation of many different areas such as progressive conservation, the Boy Scouts, and while taking in many influences of the like of Gifford Pinchot and Frederick Law Olmsted. The Reader clearly learns how program grew from small projects to large erosion control ideas and managing them.

In addition to the projects, there was also education in classrooms that provided valuable learnings that would allow them to develop careers in the future. The emphasis of the classroom teachings was geared towards conservation and ecology. The book educates the Reader that with the CCC being involved in several popular demonstration projects, allowed the media and other forms of publicity to take place. This increased the support for the CCC as it grew. There were still critics of this movement. Once supporters of the CCC, environmental supporters such as Bob Marshall became critics with the thought that the CCC’s focus was only on a few things that did not provide much help to other areas of need for America. The Nature’s New Deal provides much insight on the rise of the CCC and how it may have pushed the environmental development in America. The author also shows that when the right resources are put together, the political help could be very beneficial to the how a movement is developed and maintained.

The Roosevelt’s Supreme Power

Jeff Shesol, the author of Supreme Power: Roosevelt v. United States, takes a different spin on this event in history, which sets him apart from other writers of historical events. While he was not the first to chronicle the Roosevelt controversy, Shesol does so in the most detailed way. For a topic that is very dense and full of information, he takes a lighter approach and makes it engaging, while still providing historical knowledge. He clearly demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic, of politics, and about the players involved in this case. The book begins with Roosevelt’s first inauguration and reviews important historical context before the narrative begins. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected into office in 1933, just four years into the Great Depression. Almost immediately upon taking office, he implemented the New Deal in order to respond to, and hopefully rebuild, the worst economic time in United States history.  These proposals were met with very wide public support at first, which later would subside.

The New Deal was Roosevelt’s way of getting the country out of the depression by involving the federal government. This included a set of federal programs to achieve economy recovery; bank reforms, work relief programs, public work projects, and many more. The Supreme Court, who at the time was very conservative, opposed the New Deal and its proposals because it gave too much power to the legislative and executive branches. Many of FDR’s proposals were being rejected because of the right-majority of the court and the liberal agendas of the proposals, which greatly frustrated the president. He felt that the court had declared war on him, as all justices were determined to prevent substantial growth of federal power that he was trying to implement. He also felt that the reasoning was because of the justices that had been on the bench for over a decade and were out of touch with the times. He wanted to propose a solution to the majority of the court being out of touch with the times by beginning to plot with his staff and allies to do something about these “Nine Old Men” of Congress and the much skewed conservative judicial power.

Something very useful that Jeff Shesol does throughout his book is put detailed descriptions about the important people that are being discussed, including the “Nine Old Men” of the Supreme Court. This helped me follow along with the story and understand the context of those involved, before continuing with the story. Shesol continues with the most crucial part of the book, Roosevelt’s proposal of a reform that would allow him to add an additional justice to the Supreme Court for every current justice that is above 70 years old, giving him the power to choose six justices who would support his ideas. This quickly became known as the court-packing plan and, even quicker, became the most controversial proposal of his presidency. In the beginning, Roosevelt’s proposal was supported by his administration and some of the Democratic Party. Shortly after the initial proposal, however, it was clear that this was an error.

Roosevelt faced widespread hatred and opposition, even from his own party, because of the excessive presidential power that this proposal would provide. Many people also felt that the courts had become far too conservative.  However, they did not think the answer was to add more presidential power to fix this. Newspapers all universally condemned the idea, Nazi-press in Germany had published their support of the deal, and Roosevelt’s own vice president did not approve of it himself. In my opinion, the book does not include enough details in regard to this period of time and what was happening economically. Shesol could have provided the reader with more details about the Great Depression and the New Deal. Coming from a person who is not fully knowledgeable in American history, and particularly Roosevelt, I still found the book generally easy to follow and interesting. However, Shesol could have built up this era of the complete economic turmoil in order to provide better understanding, for readers who weren’t as familiar, to how dramatic this crisis was. Shesol was successful in writing a historical book that was still full of suspense and interesting to read.

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