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What Was the New Deal?

What Was the New Deal?

The “New Deal” got its name from Franklin D. Roosevelt's statement in 1930 from his election campaign during the Great Depression: “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the America people.” He held true to his promise, and the new domestic programs that were enacted in the U.S. between 1933 and 1938 formed part of what people started to refer to as the “New Deal.” These programs included executive decisions made by President Roosevelt and the laws that Congress passed in the time. The ultimate goal was what sholars call the three “Rs”: Relief for the suffering, Recovery from a bad economy and a Reform that will prevent a crash like this to happen ever again.

Achievements of the New Deal

  • Job Creation - By 1933, one in four Americans were jobless. Through the New Deal, a couple of government agencies were created that gave work to thousands of people and made the government the largest employer in the U.S. Work meant regular income, which was very important for struggling families.
  • Public Works - Another form of job creation was the establishment of better public works, such as city halls, theaters, homes, airports, parks, highways and bridges.
  • Upliftment - The New Deal brought a sense of belonging and hope and inspired people to help reshape the public sphere. People working for New Deal felt they were investing in society by serving their communities.
  • Economic recovery - After the Stock market crash the country was in dire straits financially. The New Deal brought balance when it came to prices for agriculture and industry, aiding bankrupt local governments of various states.

Two New Deals

According to historians, the “New Deal” can be divided into two periods. The “First New Deal” took place between 1933 and 34, during which there was a great focus on helping a variety of groups and institutions, from industry, railroads and banking to farming to survive financially in order to boost the economy. The “Second New Deal,” which took place between 1935 and 1938 focussed more on helping the average American through the Wagner Act, the WPA relief program, the Social Security act, Fair Labor Standards Act and many more.