The "New Deal" refers to a number of U.S. government programs put into law to help the country recover from the Great Depression. The New Deal programs that were passed during the first two years that Franklin D. Roosevelt was president are sometimes called the "First New Deal." You can go here to read about the Second New Deal.
FDR explains the New Deal during Fireside Chat Photo by Unknown
First Hundred Days
When President Roosevelt first came into office, he wanted to get things started quickly. During the first one hundred days that he was president, he issued several executive orders and helped get many laws passed through Congress.
One of the first things that President Roosevelt did was to close the banks in what he called a "bank holiday." Congress then passed a law called the Emergency Banking Act. This law allowed for banks to reopen under the supervision of the Federal Treasury. It helped to stabilize the banks and to bring back confidence in the banking system.
The Securities Act of 1933 was passed to help prevent another stock market crash. It required publicly traded companies to provide accurate information to the public including profits, losses, and corporate officers of the company.
President Roosevelt put in a measure that would repeal prohibition until the 21st Amendment was ratified. This was popular among the people and allowed for new tax revenue due to legal alcohol sales.
Men building a new road Photo by Unknown
The president began a large program for public works and created the Public Works Administration (PWA). This program built things like roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and dams across the country. These programs provided jobs for many. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) also created many jobs for men where they worked on environmental projects like national parks.
To help farmers out, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) was put into place. It helped to improve farming practices, reduced farm production to raise prices, and gave a voice to farmers in the government.
In order to get the housing industry going again, two new agencies were formed: the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The HOLC was formed to help refinance mortgages and to help people keep their homes. The FHA put government standards on the construction of homes to make sure that homes were safe. It also helped to insure mortgages and stabilize the home mortgage market.
The Federal Emergency Relief Administration provided help for the unemployed. It built soup kitchens to feed people, provided blankets to the homeless, lunches for schools, and educated people on how to find a job.
Interesting Facts About the First New Deal
Fifteen major new laws were passed during Roosevelt's first hundred days of office.
The New Deal is sometimes referred to as "Alphabet Soup" because it started many new government agencies that went by letters. Some examples are the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) and the FHA (Federal Housing Administration).
The National Industrial Recovery Act protected the rights of workers to form unions and to strike.
The Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA) built dams along the Tennessee River providing jobs, controlling flooding, and providing cheap power to the people of Tennessee.