Successes and failures of Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs
When President Roosevelt took office in 1933, he feverishly created program after program to give relief, create jobs, and stimulate economic recovery for the U.S. These programs were called "alphabet soup" as well as the "New Deal."
On March 6, 1933 he shut down all of the banks in the nation and forced Congress to pass the Emergency Banking Act which gave the government the opportunity to inspect the health of all banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was formed by Congress to insure deposits up to $5000.
These measures reestablished American faith in banks. Americans were no longer scared that they would lose all of their savings in a bank failure. Government inspectors found that most banks were healthy, and two-thirds were allowed to open soon after. After reopening, deposits had exceeded withdrawals.
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
Led by Harry Hopkins, a former social worker, this agency sent funds to depleting local relief agencies. Within two hours, $5 million were given out. Mr. Hopkins believed that men should be put to work and not be given charity. His program also funded public work programs.
The CWA provided a psychological and physical boost to its 4 million workers.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
This environmental program put 2.5 million unmarried men to work maintaining and restoring forests, beaches, and parks. Workers earned only $1 a day but received free board and job training. From 1934 to 1937, this program funded similar programs for 8,500 women.
The CCC taught the men and women of America how to live independently, thus, increasing their self esteem.
Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
This act ended the sale of tribal lands and restored ownership of unallocated lands to Native American groups.
The outcome was obviously positive for the Native Americans.
National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of June 1933
The decline in the industrial prices in 1930s caused business failures and unemployment. The NIRA was formed in order to boost the declining prices, helping businesses and workers. The NIRA also allowed trade associations in many industries to write codes regulating wages, working conditions, production, and prices. It also set a minimum wage.
The codes stopped the tailspin of prices for a short time, but soon, when higher wages went into effect, prices rose too. Thus, consumers stopped buying. The continuous cycle of overproduction and underconsumption put businesses back into a slump. Some businesses felt that the codes were too complicated and the NRA was too rigid. Declared unconstitutional later on.
Public Works Association (PWA)
The PWA launched projects such as the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.
One of the best parts of the NIRA.
Federal Securities Act of May 1993/ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
This act required full disclosure of information on stocks being sold. The SEC regulated the stock market. Congress also gave the Federal Reserve Board the power to regulate the purchase of stock on margin.
Not pleasing for businesses.
Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) / Agriculture Adjustment Administration (AAA)
In order to help people keep their houses, the HOLC refinanced mortgages of middle-income home owners. The AAA tried to raise farm prices. It used proceeds from a new tax to pay farmers not to raise specific crops and animals. Lower production would, in turn, increase prices.
Farmers killed off certain animals and crops as they were told to by the AAA. Many could not believe that the federal government was condoning such an action when many Americans were starving. Declared unconstitutional later on.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (May 1993)
The TVA helped farmers and created jobs in one of America s least modernized areas.
Reactivating a hydroelectric power plant provided cheap electric power, flood control, and recreational opportunities to the entire Tennessee River valley.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) 1935-1943
This agency provided work for 8 million Americans. The WPA constructed or repaired schools, hospitals, airfields, etc.
Farm Security Administration (FSA)
The FSA loaned more than $1 billion to farmers and set up camps for migrant workers.
National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)
It legalized practices allowed only unevenly in the past, such as closed shops in which only union members can work and collective bargain. The act also set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to enforce its provisions
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
This banned child labor and set a minimum wage.
This law was a long awaited triumph for the progressive-era social reformers.