What are the successes and failures of the New Deal.     

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The avowed purposes of the New Deal were Relief, Recovery and Reform. Among its successes were the institution of Social Security, the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority, and restoration of confidence in the banking system. It gave people hope at a time when there was little, and gave people work at a time when it was most needed. Minimum standards for labor and public welfare were established; and middle class families were helped to keep their homes, savings and farms. Additionally, the government assumed responsibility for insuring the nations economic and social stability.

The New Deal did not end the Great Depression; it only provided relief during the worst days of that dark time. Several of its programs, including the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the National Recovery Act were declared unconstitutional by a very unfriendly Supreme Court.  Additionally, the institution of Keynesian economic policies upset the federal budget and greatly increased the federal debt. Finally, the New Deal did little for minorities. Fearful of offending Southern Democrats, Franklin Roosevelt segregated most New Deal Programs and exempted domestic help from the Social Security program.