After President Roosevelt was elected into office, he was determined to make an impact and help America get back and running again. His "New Deal" consisted of fifteen major bills, and plenty of others that he would try and get passed. In the first 3 months, known as the "Hundred Days", he took action to battle unemployment, help farmers survive, give social security, and much more. Some may argue that the New Deal was useless, but in reality FDR helped repair the country and make it what it is today.
This political cartoon is showing the rapid speed at which FDR proposed bills towards Congress.  Roosevelt knew America was suffering and he had to change things quickly.
This political cartoon is showing the rapid speed at which FDR proposed bills towards Congress. Roosevelt knew America was suffering and he had to change things quickly.


The day after President Roosevelt took office he ordered that all th e banks close. His first request towards congress was to pass a legislation guaranteeing that people would not lose their money in case of another financial crisis. Next, Roosevelt promised relief to the unemployed, recovery to agriculture and business, and reform. President Roosevelt made sure to cover everything for everyone.

For the farmers, Roosevelt passed a bill creating the Tennessee Valley Authority which then built 231 dams to generate electricity for farm families. The Rural Electrification Administration brought electricity generated by government dams to the countryside in 1935. By 1942, 35% more American's had received light. Roosevelt's Soil Conservation Service helped farmers battle erosion, his Farm Credit Administration provided relief from foreclosures, and his Commodity Credit Corporation allowed farmers to use products as collateral for loans. One of Roosevelt's most important bills that would impact the farmers was the Agriculture Adjustment Act. The AAA was a partnership between government and major producers. The government would reduce the supply of farm goods and therefore would be able to raise prices which in turn heightened the profit that the farmer would make. The government allowed each producer an assigned acreage quota and would pay the farmers money for land not being used. The AAA raised farm income, but did waste many crops and animal products. Many Americans were unhappy with the fact that people were starving and these products were just being wasted and thrown away.

To tackle the unemployment rates, Roosevelt created a number of jobs programs. These programs included the Public Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Civil Works Administration, and the Works Progress Administration. All of these programs provided work for many unemployed, while helping reshape and rebuild the country by helping the environment and building important projects such as schools, roads, and sewer systems. To read more about Roosevelt's jobs programs, click here.

Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration was aimed at reviving industry and labor through rational planning. Led by General Hugh Johnson in 1933, the idea of the NRA was that representatives of business, labor, and the government would establish codes that would set fair prices, appropriate production levels, minimum wage, and maximum hours in each industry. The NRA supported worker's rights to join labor unions. It tried to end competition, overproduction, labor conflicts, and deflating prices. Although the success of it was short, many industries had codes that covered millions of workers. The codes abolished child labor, regulated minimum wage and maximum hours, and brought large numbers of unskilled workers into unions.

What many people would argue to be the centerpiece of the New Deal is the 1935 Social Security Act. The Social Security Act offered the elderly monthly wages based on what they had previously earned. It also provided assistance to the blind, handicapped, and children who didn't have a parent with a job. Although it established the nation's first federally-sponsored system of unemployment insurance, it did have its faults. Its retirement system left migrant workers, domestic servants, and day laborers uncovered and it failed to provide health insurance.

The "Hundred Days" and the New Deal became the stepping stones to repairing America. FDR worked his hardest to help rebuild the country. In some areas, the New Deal did nothing, and in others it did everything. The New Deal brought many things that had never existed before, such as minimum wage and maximum hours. Because of the New Deal, an 8 hour work day now existed and workers would receive overtime. Although the New Deal did not end the Depression, it gave Americans programs to help them cope and survive.