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Relief, Recovery and Reform programs in the USA

The new deal of the 1930s was seen as the radical action needed during the depression to help American people and the American economy. However, some people criticized it for not being radical enough as it didn’t help all Americans. In 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president. Roosevelt created the New Deal within the first 100 days of serving his term. The New Deal was created to help American’s recover from the Great Depression. The “New Deal” consisted of the 3 main ideas, which are relief, recovery, and reform.

The “Three R’s” were first introduced by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression to address the apparent problems of mass unemployment and the economic crisis. Roosevelt’s Three R’s required either immediate, temporary or permanent actions and reforms and were collectively known as FDR’s New Deal. The many Relief, Recovery and Reform programs were initiated by a series of laws that were passed between 1933 and 1938. The initiatives were called “Alphabet Soup Agencies” as they were referred to by their acronyms. FDR’s Relief, Recovery and Reform programs focused on emergency relief programs, regulating the banks and the stock market, providing debt relief, managing farms, initiating industrial recovery and introducing public works construction projects.

Roosevelt began his presidency by introducing several acts within the first 100 days of his term including the Alphabet Agencies and The Beer Act. The purpose of these acts were to help out certain groups at the time. This meant that Roosevelt had to create a second new deal which helped Americans in the late 1930s. The first few acts played a very important role. The Emergency Banking Act closed all banks for several days. While the Banks were closed they were being inspected and only those that were financially secure were able to open again. In 1933 Roosevelt then introduced the Economy Act which cut the pay of government and military employee by 15%. Government budgeting was also cut by 25% which ultimately saved $1 billion for America.

Along with the other acts I mentioned Roosevelt also created the Agriculture Adjustment Act. Crop prices doubled in prices and farmers were paid in compensation to reduce product value or to remove land from farming. bought surplus crops and destroyed them or shipped them overseas. But wasted crops and livestock resulted in huge moral outcry because there were millions of people starving and small time farmers did not benefit. System was voluntary and financial compensation was provided on the basis of number of acres not farmed rather than individual needs. The Farm Credit Act (FCA) was also among the many acts passed by Roosevelt. It provided credit at low interest rates for farmers so they could keep their farms. It is an administration that regulates related entities of the farm credit system. This allowed for farmers to keep their farms and they were finally able to afford to work. In addition to this Roosevelt introduced the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The purpose of National Recovery Administration was to address the crisis in industry by suspending the antitrust laws and allowed the government, businesses and labor to work together in setting up new, voluntary business codes and rules of fair competition. The codes addressed many issues including working hours, productivity, minimum wages, union membership and setting prices. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) ran the program but it failed to meet many goals and was declared unconstitutional in 1935 by the Supreme Court.

Overall the new deal was partly successful as there were many Americans that didn’t benefit from the new deal but there are also many Americans that did benefit from the changes and agencies. The new deal is especially successful if you compare it to what Hoover did for the American people. However there were still many people that were unemployed and by 1937 industrial production was down 33%, wages were down 35% and national income was down 13%. This shows that the new deal didn’t help many people although a large part of this is due to cut in public spending.

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