Origins of the New Deal
At the 1932 speech Democratic Party’s national convention, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.”
The New Deal created a broad range of federal government programs with three goals: offer economic relief to the suffering, regulate private industry, and grow the economy.
The New Deal is often summed up by the “Three Rs”:
The New Deal expanded the size and scope of the federal government, fundamentally reshaping American political culture around the principle that the government is responsible for the welfare of its citizens.
The First New Deal (1933-1934)
In the first hundred days of Roosevelt’s first term, Congress passed legislation addressing the banking crisis, unemployment, and weak industrial performance. The new laws and agencies were nicknamed “alphabet soup.” Some of the more important agencies included:
The Second New Deal (1935-1938)
The second phase of the New Deal focused on increasing worker protections and building long-lasting financial security for Americans. Four of the most important pieces of legislation included:
The legacy of the New Deal
The New Deal accepted federal deficit spending to stimulate economic growth. The theory was that government spending that put money in consumers’ hands would allow them to buy products. As employers sold more, they would have the money to hire additional workers, who could afford to buy more products, and so on.
The United States only fully recovered from the Great Depression due to massive military spending after the outbreak of World War II.
Key elements in the New Deal remain with us today, such as federal regulation of wages, hours, child labor, and collective bargaining rights, and the social security system.
Source: The New Deal
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