When Roosevelt came to power his main aims where to Relieve, Recover and reform America. To relieve the country he aimed to dramatically decrease unemployment, to recover it he aimed to rebuild to economy and increase production, and to reform America he set out the create a fairer more just society. During Roosevelt’s first hundred days in power he set about creating, many agencies for the citizens of America, these groups became known as the Alphabet Agencies. During these first three months, the American people saw more work being done to help them, then ever had been done in the whole of Hoover presidency.
The first act passed was on March the 9th. This act was the Emergency Banking Act, this meant that all the banks were to close over a weekend, and all of them would be inspected, consequently only banks which had plenty of money and with properly managed accounts would be allowed to re-open. The approved banks were re-opened and Roosevelt encouraged people to save again. This act was passed to help rebuild the economy; it meant people were more willing to save their money in the banks. By doing this, the banks had money to lend out again.
So people were able to take out loans, and trusted the banks wouldn’t re-call them, therefore more money was spent on the economy. Roosevelt set up an another agency called the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), this agency employed young men to work the countryside for a dollar a day, the men lived in camps run by the army, and they planted trees, strengthen river banks and cut firebreaks in forests. All these conservation acts the men performed were useful but were only used as employment, to give a boost the employment, and to give the workers something to do instead of aimlessly walking about.
It also gave the men an income even though small, and a sense of doing something that was worth while. This income would be spent on products and the economy would improve. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was set up to help the hungry and the homeless, it gave $500 million dollars to them in an attempt to improve the conditions of their lives, and then to create a society that had a better way of life. The Public Works Administration was set up to decrease the amount of unemployment in the country, this agency was responsible for the Texas part of Brownsville, great Boulder Dam and the Triborough Dam.
This agency brought about work for many of the unemployed in America. Another agency that was set up by Roosevelt was the NRA the National Recovery Administration this agency was set up to make sure the factories in the country produced a steady flow of food and at steady prices. They were also told to decent wages and hours. This agency would bring about many good jobs, and would also boost the economy by increasing the amount that was in stores and bought by the citizens of America. The Civilian Works Administration (CWA) was yet another agency set up by Roosevelt, this one was made in 1933, and created jobs for the unemployed.
For unskilled workers the wages were 40 cents an hour, and for skilled workers the wages were $1. This agency paid researchers to research, this agency even paid one hundred people to walk round Washington with balloons, scaring pigeons they were called ‘boondoggles’ after American cowboys, therefore people were able to spend more and their quality of life improved. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) gave even more work to the unemployed by building hospitals, schools and roads. 8 million people benefited from this even writers and artists.
Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA) was another agency set up, this one was set up to persuade farmers to grow less, the decrease in produce produced meant that the price of it increased as the more rare the product the more expensive it becomes, and therefore the profits of the farmers increased, and therefore the farm economy picked up. The Tennessee Valley Authority was another agency set up to help the Americans. The TVA built sixteen dams around Tennessee Valley. These dams brought about much employment for thousands of construction workers.
These dams were made to provide cheap hydro-electric power for industry, so the industries could afford to re-open and carry on producing. The dams were also used to control the flood, which often broke the banks and created devastation in the Valley so people in the Valley could have a much better quality of life, without the fear of flood which may destroy crops, kill animals, wreck houses and kill many. An agency was formed to make sure all workers were able to join trade unions, whether they were skilled or unskilled.
It was called the National Labour Relations Board. This agency meant the workers were finally living in a society, which did not discriminate against those with less experience or training. No matter what their skills or training all workers were allowed to join a union. This agency help Roosevelt fulfil one of his aims, to create a fairer, more just society. An additional agency was the Social Security Act. This act provided the retired with pensions, dole for the unemployed and sick pay for the ill.
These payments brought help to the unemployed, and created a fairer society, as those who were unable to work were given money to help tide them by. This new idea was greatly welcomed as people were no longer in such poverty and were able to buy food and clothing for themselves. The last agency I am going to talk about is the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) this agency gave low interest loans to home owners to adjust mortgage repayments in order to cope with the unemployment, as home owners who had managed to keep their houses during the depression would have had large repayments which they could not afford.
This agency made sure the owners were able to pay back their mortgage easier and those who hadn’t owned a house before could afford one. Overall Roosevelt created many agencies in the attempt to bring America out of the depression. His aims to relieve, recover and reform America were backed up by these agencies, whether the New Deal was a success however is not part of this essay!