How did Roosevelt deal with the Great Depression?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roosevelt's program to deal with the Depression consisted of the three R's: "Relief, Recovery, Reform." His first act upon taking office was to declare a "bank holiday" which closed the banks for four days, and prevented bank runs. Before they re-opened, he addressed the country in the first of his "fireside chats" in an attempt to calm the public's fears. This apparently worked, as when the banks re-opened, there were no major runs. He next surrounded himself with his "brain trust," the leading economic scholars of the day. With a hefty Democratic majority in Congress, he was able to push through multiple legislative acts during the famous "Hundred Days," which included many New Deal Programs. Roosevelt and his advisors were firm believers in Keynesian Economics, which called on massive government spending to stimulate the economy. As a result, such programs as the Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Works Progress Administration as well as the Agricultural Adjustment Act were all funded with public funds. It should be noted, however, that none of these actions ended the Great Depression; they only gave people hope and confidence which they had previously lost. The Depression was ended by massive defense spending resulting from the outbreak of World War II. The link below to my web page will offer more detailed information.