The New Deal Book Report

This essay has a total of 1319 words and 5 pages.

The New Deal

During the 1930's, America witnessed a breakdown of the Democratic and free enterprise
system as the United States fell into the worst Depression in history. The effects of the
depression were being felt everywhere in the United States. In 1933, sixteen million
people were unemployed. Americans wanted and needed a change. They proved this by
electing Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. This was the beginning of a new period in time for
Americans, as Roosevelt would introduce his course of action with the New Deal. Would
Roosevelt's New Deal be what Americans needed to counteract the effects of the
depression? In Roosevelt's first inaugural address he declared, "…In the event that
Congress hall fail to take these courses and in the event that the national emergency is still
critical I shall not evade the clear course or duty that will then confront me." Roosevelt's
course of action came to be known as the New Deal. The New Deal describes the
innovative measures that President Roosevelt took to try to restore the American
economy, give Americans pride again, and have faith in the government. The New Deal
started in 1933 and lasted until 1938. The New Deal was based on relief, recovery, and
reform. The New Deal included federal action of unprecedented scope to stimulate
industrial recovery, assist victims of the Depression, guarantee minimum living standards,
and prevent future economic crises. Many economic, political, and social factors lead up
to the implementation of the New Deal. In the first two years, the New Deal was
concerned mainly with relief, setting up shelters and soup kitchens to feed the millions of
unemployed. On March 6, 1933 Roosevelt called a nationwide bank holiday, and on
March 9 Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act, which provided for federal bank
inspections. In the summer of 1933, the Glass-Steagall Act set much more stringent rules
for banks and provided insurance for depositors through the newly formed Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). These acts helped to restore the confidence in the
wake of widespread bank failures. Two acts, one in 1933 and one in 1934, required
detailed regulations for the securities market, enforced by the new Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC). Several bills provided mortgage relief for farmers and
homeowners and offered loan guarantees for home purchasers through the Federal
Housing Administration, or FHA. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration expanded
existing relief grants to the states and resulted in assistance for more than 20 million
people. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided work relief for thousands of
young men under a type of military discipline. The CCC emphasized reforestation, among
other projects. Congress established the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to develop the
Tennessee River in the interest of navigation and flood control and to provide electric
power to a wide area of the southeastern United States. The most important legislation of
1933 involved the major economic sectors. As a climax to a decade of wrangling,
Congress in 1933 enacted a complex new farm bill, the Agricultural Adjustment Act. It
provided several mechanisms to help raise agricultural prices, but the one most extensively
used provided for government payments to farmers who destroyed or did not grow
surplus crops. At a time when economic hardship was leaving people in other areas in
need of food, the act invited criticism. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1936. As time progressed,
the focus shifted towards recovery. In order to accomplish this monumental task, several
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