The New Deal

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         The New Deal        

a) Explain the main features of the New Deal

The New Deal had a number of features. The first feature of the New Deal was to restore the confidence in the American people, the banks and to bring about recovery. Roosevelt wanted to end the depression and by restoring people's confidence he hoped that they would spend more money, thus forcing companies to take on more staff and eventually get Americans back to work and get America out of the depression they were in. The first way that Roosevelt wanted to restore the people confidence is by hosting his "fireside chats". The fireside chats encouraged Americans to put their money back into the banks as only the sustainable ones were left open. The fireside chats also helped to stabilize and restore confidence in the banks and its customers. He also stabilized and restored banks with the Emergency Banking Act. On March, 6, 1933 Roosevelt shut down all the banks in the nation and forced congress to pass the Emergency Banking Act, which gave the government the power to inspect the health of all the banks and close down the ones that were not seen as healthy. Only the healthy banks were left open. Also, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was formed by congress to insure deposits of up to $5000.

Another feature of the New Deal was to provide work for the unemployed. Roosevelt formed the Civil Works Administration (CWA). This public work program gave the unemployed jobs building or repairing roads, parks, airports, etc. The CWA provided a psychological and physical boost for 4 million workers. Roosevelt also formed Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This environmental program put 2.5 million unmarried men to work maintaining and restoring forests and parks. Workers earned only $1 a day but received 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. The final agency that Roosevelt introduced to deal with the unemployment was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This agency provided work for 8 million Americans. The WPA constructed or repaired schools, hospitals, airfields, roads, and parks. The agency helped to decrease unemployment.

The New Deal was also there to help those in poverty. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), led by Harry Hopkins, a former social worker, 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. His agency revitalized many deteriorating relief programs. The Social Security Act (SSA) established a system that provided old-age pensions for workers, survivor’s benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployed insurance, and aid for defendant mothers and children, the blind and physically disabled. Although the original SSA did not cover farm and domestic workers, it did help millions of Americans feel more secure. Also the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) helped farmers and those in poverty as it created jobs in one of Americas least modernized areas. It reactivated a hydroelectric power plant which provided cheap electric power, food control and recreational opportunities to the entire Tennessee River Valley.

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Roosevelt also wanted to help the farmers. He did this by creating the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The FSA loaned more than $1 billion to farmers and set up camps for migrant workers. Also the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) and Agriculture Adjustment Administration (AAA) were formed. 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 proceed from a new tax to pay farmers not to raise specific crops and animals. Lower production would, in turn, increase prices. This meant that farmers killed off ...

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