Event Page

FDR's New Deal for America

(1933—1939)

Soon after he was inaugurated in March 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt began a “New Deal” for America. With the assistance of Congress, he hoped to restore the banking system, help those in need throughout the United States, and reverse the economic downturn. While historians continue to debate the effectiveness of the New Deal, at the very least it preserved the country’s fiscal status until the breakout of World War II made the United States economy boom with war industry.

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1933-Mar-4 The Woodville Republican, Page 1
1933-Mar-4 The Woodville Republican, Page 1
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FDRaddress1.gif
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Library First Carbon Files 1933 - 1945 ARC Identifier: 197333
 C.C.C. A Young Man's Opportunity for Work Play Study & Health
C.C.C. A Young Man's Opportunity for Work Play Study & Health
By Albert Bender, Chicago Federal Art Project, WPA, ca. 1935 Silkscreen Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (B WPA Ill.B46 1)
Unemployed Men Eating in Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen, Washington, D.C.
Unemployed Men Eating in Volunteers of America Soup Kitchen, Washington, D.C.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs 1882-1962 ARC Identifier: 195824
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FDRsocialsecurity.gif
President Roosevelt signing Social Security Act of 1935 in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Library of Congress photo, LC-US262-123278.
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WPA poster 1935 USA, color photo
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Unemployment line
Unemployment line
A line during the Great Depression, between 1929 and 1937.
Crowd Outside the New York Stock Exchange
Crowd Outside the New York Stock Exchange
A crowd gathers outside of the New York Stock Exchange after it crashed in 1929, also known as Black Tuesday.

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Roosevelt Changed the American Welfare System Through the New Deal

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Prior to the New Deal, the welfare system in America largely operated on the local and church level. Herbert Hoover believed government intervention unnecessary and therefore lost the 1932 election because the people wanted government involvement in the economy. Once Roosevelt became president, he redefined the welfare principles of America. Legislation like the Unemployment Relief Act (March 31, 1933), the Federal Emergency Relief Act (March 12, 1933), and the Social Security Act (August 14, 1933) gave government a front seat in the distribution of welfare. Today, welfare, in great amounts, comes from governmental agencies and services. Americans now rely on services like Social Security, and government aid no longer seems extreme or intrusive. Although churches and charities still contribute a great deal to today’s welfare system, Roosevelt’s New Deal changed how Americans viewed government intervention during stages of economic depression or recession. The American people now accept, and at times depend on, government welfare to get through tough financial times.

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Controversy surrounding the New Deal

Roosevelt entered office without a specific set of plans for dealing with the Great Depression.  The "First New Deal" (1933-34) encompassed the proposals offered by a wide spectrum of groups. (Not included was the Socialist Party, whose influence was greatly diminished.) This first phase of the New Deal was also characterized by fiscal conservatism and experimentation with several different, sometimes contradictory, cures for economic ills. The consequences were predictably uneven. Whether the New Deal can be credited with the economy's eventual recovery, or blamed for impeding it––and which of its aspects were most effective––thus remains a complicated, and highly controversial, question.

Event Details

Edit
Date:
From: 1933 1
To: 31 Dec 1969 1
Event:
Category: Social Relief Program 1
Name: The New Deal 1
National Debt:
1932: $19,487,000,000 1
1939: $40,440,000,000 1
End of Prohibition, Twenty-first Amendment passed:
1933 1
FDR closes banks:
March 6, 1933--March 10, 1933 1
Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes President of U.S.:
04 Mar 1933 1
Hundred Days Congress:
March 9, 1933--June 16, 1933 1
Roosevelt’s Recession:
1937 1
Social Security Act:
14 Aug 1935 1
World War II begins:
01 Sep 1939 1
Place:
Location: Washington, D.C. 1

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  1. Contributed by Clio
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