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The New Deal was a US economic program by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1939. The program aimed to bring economic relief to the country, specifically with reforms to the agriculture, industry, and service sectors. The program was the answer to the Great Depression in the United States and aimed to improve finance, housing, and labor.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
- On October 29, 1929, the Great Depression began in the United States with ‘Black Tuesday’.
- This economic period is remembered for the stock market crash, the failure of banks, the devaluation of the currency, bankruptcy of businesses, and the high unemployment rate.
- The administration of President Herbert Hoover encouraged people to remain calm and to let the crisis pass by.
FIRST NEW DEAL (1933 – 1934)
- On July 2, 1932, Franklin Roosevelt accepted the presidential nomination from the Democratic Party. Part of his speech was about the ineffectiveness of President Hoover’s administration towards the Great Depression. Roosevelt promised a ‘new deal’ that would be an effective solution to the crisis being faced by the country. By November, he had won the presidential election.
- President Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933. His administration immediately acted for the stabilization of the economy.
- Roosevelt declared a bank holiday for four days. Its purpose was to stop people withdrawing their money from the banks.
- Subsequently, Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Act was passed by the Congress. Its main purpose was the reorganization of banks. The act yielded positive results for several banks that were reopened.
- The government also released the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which provided $500 million dollars (around $9.25 billion today) for relief operations.
- The short-lived Civil Works Administration (CWA) was established to provide temporary jobs, such as employment on the construction of local government projects.
- The Prohibition Act also ended, making the consumption of beer legal once again.
- The Tennessee Valley Authority Act was also signed. It enabled the government to build dams along the Tennessee River. This controlled flooding and provided hydroelectric power for the people.
- Another program by the government was the establishment of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). Its purpose was to raise prices of staple crops by controlling them and paying the farmers through subsidies.
- Several laws were also passed, including the Home Owners’ Loan Act.
SECOND NEW DEAL (1935 – 1938)
- The ‘First New Deal’ was not enough for the slow progress of the country’s economy. In 1935, President Roosevelt launched the ‘Second new Deal’. The government launched programs that were more aggressive compared with the ‘First New Deal’.
- One of the programs established by the government was the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
- WPA projects were centered on the construction of government infrastructures, such as schools, bridges, roads, parks, post offices, and public offices. Employment for writers, artists, musicians, and other theatrical works was also provided.
- The Wagner Act of 1935 was established to protect workers from abusive companies. The act mainly created the National Labor Relations Board.
- The Social Security Act of 1935 was further signed which provided programs for workers, including pensions for Americans. Insurance for the unemployed as well as the disabled and dependent children were also provided.
- In 1937, the Housing Authority and Farm Security Administration (FSA) were legislated. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed to set proper hours and minimum wages for different categories of workers.
END OF NEW DEAL
- The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Furthermore, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was rewritten. These provisions were based on the grounds that federal governments did not have the rights to regulate economic reforms.
- President Harry S. Truman (1945 – 1953) followed the New Deal with his administration’s Fair Deal. President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 – 1961) left the New Deal programs intact, while Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 – 1969) used the program for his administration’s Great Society.
- Several programs remain active today, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Social Security System, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
3 Rs (Relief, Recovery, and Reform)
- In John Maynard Keynes’ book, ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money’ published in 1936, he mentions that while capitalism is good, it also has several problems. In times of crises, the government should step in. President Roosevelt’s philosophy of Keynesian economics presented itself in the New Deal’s 3 Rs: relief, recovery, and reform.
- Relief was aimed at the people who were unemployed by providing temporary jobs for them; Recovery was the programs that would restore the economy to its stabilized state; and Reform was aimed at programs that targeted the factors resulting from Great Depression, preventing it from happening again.
The New Deal Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use The New Deal Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about The New Deal which was a US economic program by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1939. The program aimed to bring economic relief to the country, specifically with reforms to the agriculture, industry, and service sectors.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- The New Deal Facts
- The New Deal Word Search
- Fact or Bluff
- Historical Ladder
- Picture Analysis
- 3 Rs
- Boon or Bane
- The New Deal Acrostic
- Map of Ideas
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