The New Deal

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What were the main goals of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal?

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The three primary goals of the New Deal were relief, recovery, reform. Overall, FDR's New Deal aimed to alleviate the economic consequences of the Great Depression by addressing key issues such as deflation, unemployment, and poverty. New Deal policies and programs included the Social Security Act, unemployment benefits, and increased government regulation of big business and banking. At this time, FDR's administration also sought to increase the public's confidence in the government.

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The New Deal was first and foremost about resolving the economic crisis of the Great Depression. This had many components, however, including deflation (the increasing value of currency), unemployment, poverty, and confidence in the United States. Of course, the administration had the additional aim of preventing future disasters.

The New Deal aimed to increase employment through public works projects. This is what economists call fiscal policy--when the government attempts to stimulate the economy by spending money. According to many experts, such fiscal policies provide a very powerful benefit to the economy, especially in the short term. Hoover had perhaps been too risk averse to attempt employing so many Americans through government spending. 

In order to address the issue of poverty, FDR introduced policies such as social security and unemployment benefits, which created a social safety net for people affected by the crisis. This was partly to help Americans, but it was also to alleviate the widespread sense of panic consuming the nation. Low confidence in government can cause issues with bonds, stocks, and other finical markets. A nation with such unrest cannot function economically. Perception is important in an economy, and it's difficult to feel like things are improving if poverty is so common. In this way, the goals of these programs were both to help Americans and to improve their confidence in government.

Perhaps what is less often discussed regarding the New Deal is the monetary policies that FDR's administration also took to help alleviate the crisis. There is a debate as to how important monetary policy might have been in the New Deal. One reason many historians focus on fiscal policy is because after the failures of the Hoover administration it was clear that monetary policy alone would not solve the issue; both were important. The New Deal had to make capital (fancy word for money) available for people looking to take loans or start businesses. With deflation so high, one way to solve this problem was to take the United States off of the gold standard, so that the cost of money could go down more easily. This also allowed the government to lower interest rates.

Changes such as Glass-Steagel and tighter government regulation were intended to prevent another economic disaster. This was another goal of the New Deal, but I won't go into too much detail here, since others have already done it so well.


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The New Deal had several goals. The main goals were to provide relief to our people and to get our economy going again. When the Great Depression began, many Americans lost their jobs and their life savings. When Roosevelt was elected President, unemployment was at 25%. Thus, Roosevelt immediately went to work to begin his New Deal program. Roosevelt provided various programs to create jobs and provide relief to the American people.

The Civilian Conservation Corps provided jobs to young, unemployed men. They went to the west to work on conservation projects. The Works Progress Administration and the Civil Works Administration provide construction jobs to people. The Public Works Administration provided construction jobs to unemployed workers. It also provided work for unemployed artists, musicians, and writers. These programs were designed to get people working again. President Roosevelt believed that if people were working again, it would help the economy begin to develop and grow.

Other programs provided relief to people. The Glass-Steagall Act insured savings accounts. Bank accounts would now be insured going forward. Farmers were paid not to produce crops with the passage of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Homeowners received relief also. The Home Owners Loan Corporation refinanced loans of people with jobs. The Farmer Credit Administration refinanced the loans of farmers. The Social Security program was developed to help people upon reaching retirement age.

President Roosevelt realized the government needed to take a very active role in ending the Great Depression. He worked very hard to provide employment and relief to the American people with the many programs that were a part of the New Deal.

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There were three main goals of the New Deal. One goal was to provide relief to the American people. This was accomplished by creating many job programs so Americans could be put back to work. The Civilian Conservation Corps helped young men get jobs. The CWA and PWA provided jobs to other unemployed Americans. The Wagner Act gave unions the right to exist. Farmers were paid not to grow crops with the AAA. The Home Owners Loan Corporation helped people pay their mortgages.

Another goal was to provide recovery to the economy. The government pumped billions into various public works programs. These programs created jobs that allowed Americans to begin to buy items. The TVA helped bring electricity to the South. This would help with the industrialization of the region. Getting the economy going was very important.

The New Deal also provided various reforms. The Security and Exchange Commission regulated the stock market. The Glass-Steagall Act reformed the banking industry and protected consumers. The National Industrial Recovery Act encouraged business and labor to work together with the government to ease the effects of the Great Depression.

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The main goals of the New Deal can be expressed in three words: Relief, Recovery, and Reform. The New Deal hoped to provide Relief from the suffering caused by the Great Depression. This was accomplished by the Bank Holiday and removing America from the Gold Standard. Recovery was to put the country back to work and restore the confidence of the American people. Programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, which put young men to work, and the Works Progress Administration were for this purpose. Also important here was the Tennessee Valley Authority which built dams for the production of electricity in poverty stricken areas of Appalachia. The final goal, reform, was to prevent this from happening again. Among the efforts towards recovery were the Glass-Stegall Act which created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Social Security Act which provided income for elderly and disabled Americans, and the Federal Securities Act which required disclosure of important information regarding stocks and bonds before they were offered for sale.

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