By Alan Allport
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Harry Hopkins, fresh from his success with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, suggested a more ambitious job-creation scheme, which was to become the Civil Works Administration, or CWA. At first, the CWA was a runaway success: In two months, Hopkins put 4 million Americans back to work in federal employment programs; however, Roosevelt was worried that the administration would grow so big that it would become a massive drain on the government’s funds, so he closed it down. This was probably one of Roosevelt’s biggest mistakes during his first term in office, because during its brief life the CWA not only created jobs but also gave a vital stimulus to the national economy.
Roosevelt was alarmed by these overseas events and yearned to bring America into the fight against the Nazis and the Japanese militarists. He had no illusions about the danger that Hitler and the other dictators represented. ” do to help other countries —Roosevelt’s explanation for his decision to seek threatened by tyranny. In out German submarines 1940, the American public in the Atlantic Ocean was still strongly opposed to involvement in European or Asian politics. Five years earlier, Congress had passed the Neutrality Act, which made it illegal for Americans to sell or loan armaments to nations at war or lend them money.
The Lend-Lease program, which would “loan” armaments to Britain without the need to pay for them, was not really the act of a neutral nation, but Roosevelt used his great powers of public speaking to convince the American people that Lend-Lease was just a sensible defensive precaution. “There is far less chance of the United States getting into war if we do all we can now to support the nations defending themselves against attack by the Axis than if we acquiesce [accept] in “We have the men — the skill — the wealth—and above all, the will.