What did FDR promise to the American people when he took office?  

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Franklin Roosevelt promised to alleviate the pain caused by the Great Depression. During his campaign he claimed to have answers to the financial crisis but wisely did not share these, as he did not want them to become primary debating points with Hoover. Roosevelt's first task was to shore up the banking system through a banking holiday. After he did this, he issued the first of what would be called the Fireside Chats, in which he stated that the only things that Americans had to fear was "fear itself." He also told the public that their money would be safer in banks than it would be in jars or under mattresses at home. Roosevelt then went to Congress and stated that he would treat fighting the Depression like one would fighting an invading enemy. In his first Hundred Days he instituted programs to provide relief, recovery, and reform to various sectors of the United States economy. While unemployment would not drop below ten percent until World War II, he did provide some comfort and inspired the belief that government cared about the people's problems.

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Franklin Roosevelt promised the American people a "new deal," a pledge he made actually before he was elected, at the Democratic National Convention in 1932. What he was promising, in effect, was government action to combat the effects of the Great Depression which gripped the nation in 1932. The phrase, which recalled his distant relative Theodore Roosevelt's promise of a "Square Deal" for working people, stuck, and was used by the media and Roosevelt himself to describe the vast array of government programs implemented after he became President in 1933. He immediately took action upon his inauguration by addressing the bank panic that broke out in the aftermath of the 1932 election. Announcing a bank holiday, he told the nation that banks would remain closed until their capital reserves had been deemed safe for reopening. Later, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured bank deposits to promote investor confidence. His response to the banking crisis was the beginning of what was known as the "Hundred Days," during which a number of programs intended to create work, stabilize agricultural prices, and pump money into the industrial and financial sectors went into effect.

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