WaysThat New Deal Programs Were Shaped By These Grassroots Campaigns
TheNew Deal Programs
TheNew Deal refers to a sequence of programs that were passed betweenthe year 1933 and 1938 (Freedman,2012).Theprograms were initiated by Franklin D. Roosevelt soon after hiselection as the new president of the United States of America. TheNew Deal programs were started as an urgent measure to address issuesof economic lapse and great depression that the nation was facing.The period of depression was one of the biggest drawbacks in thesocial and cultural life of the American history. Therefore, theessay will primarily focus on establishing how the New Deal programshelped the campaigns for the farmers, elderly, workers, as well asthe poor people who were affected by the Great Depression (Freedman,2012).
Tobegin with, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s government initiatedvarious measures and programs to salvage the distressed agriculturalsector. His administration relied on the ideas of a group of expertsreferred to as Brain Trust from Columbia to effect the variouschangesFreedman, 2012).The Brain Trust, believed that the economic slowdown in theagricultural sector had a significant contribution to the Depressionthat the country was facing. Therefore, The New Deal introduced anumber of agencies and programs to help the farmers (Benjadonelly,2014).For instance, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, this piece oflegislation was introduced and enacted by the Congress to ensure thatthere was a balance between demand and supply of farm produce. Theprices for various commodities supported a decent bargaining powerfor the farmers hence promoting their welfare(Norton, 2011).Apart from offering subsidies to farmers, the Agricultural AdjustmentAct controlled the supply of milk, tobacco, peanuts, cotton, wheatand corn by paying farmers for not planting such crops. In addition,Farm Security Administration was formed to extend credit facilitiesto farmers at low-interest rates. The loans offered helped thefarmers carry out agricultural activities and also develop otherbusinesses. Further, the agency introduced a program which educatedtheir borrowers on the basics of modern bookkeeping to help them runtheir day to day activities. Equally important, The New Deal played asubstantial role in ensuring farmers in rural areas had access tocheap electricity through Rural Electrification AdministrationProgram (Freedman,2012).
Also,The New Deal helped the elderly by creating the Social Security Actin 1935 (Norton,2011).President Franklin D. Roosevelt legislated the Act during his SecondNew Deal. This made him the first President in the history of theUnited States to encourage federal aid to the elderly people withinthe society. The Social Security Act was formed to provide financialsupport to both the elderly as well as other groups such as theunemployed, disabled, retirees and dependent children (Benjadonelly,2014).
Additionally,The New Deal also introduced various relief and recovery programs tohelp workers. For instance, the Work Projects Administration (WPA),Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) were established to help provide employment opportunities tomillions of people (Norton,2011).American citizens were employed in various work projects ranging frommanual labor, for instance, constructing roads and bridges toartistic projects which included painting public murals. Even thoughthe programs did not fully address the issue of unemployment, theplayed a substantial role in securing a good number of citizens jobopportunities. Notably, the various programs initiated resulted in asteady decrease in the unemployment levels(Norton, 2011).Besides, Roosevelt’s administration enacted The National IndustrialRecovery Act in 1933 which provided a collective bargaining power.The Act required companies to embrace fair competition by effectivelyfixing wages and prices of their commodities as well as establishingproduction quotas. On the same note, employees were also allowed toform unions which they used to articulate their grievances in termsof pay rise and working conditions. Moreover, the Presidentestablished the National Recovery Administration (NRA) to assist instreamlining the industrial codes which controlled trade practices,earnings, and child labor issues. The agency enabled employees tocollectively bargain for better wages (Benjadonelly,2014).
Remarkably,the New Deal had many successes in helping the poor as well as thedestitute. Roosevelt’s administration established Federal EmergencyRelief Administration (FERA) which supported millions of poor peopleby distributing federal funds to the various states so that they canprovide direct relief to the households. The funds given to eachfamily were basically meant to ensure that they attain a minimumstandard of living. Additionally, the government committed itselftowards improving the welfare of the United States citizens byhelping them pay back their mortgage facilities (Freedman,2012).As it has been noted before under the Social Securities Act of 1935,the president issued grants to the states to provide help to theblind, poor, elderly people as well as the dependent children. It isalso important to note that the Act provided funds to the variousstates so that they can effectively administer Unemployment InsurancePrograms. Apart from that, more poor people were offered employmentopportunities under the New Deal through programs such as PublicWorks AdministrationNorton, 2011.More importantly, the Federal Housing Administration were establishedto address the housing crisis experienced during Depression (Norton,2011).
Inconclusion, the New Deal program initiated by President Franklin D.Roosevelt significantly addressed the issues experienced by farmers,workers, elderly as well as the poor people. The various programs andagencies established during Roosevelt’s administration spearheadedreforms to deal with issues that affected citizens of the UnitedStates during Depression (Freedman,2012).
Benjadonelly(2014, March 14). Chapter21: The New Deal, 1932-1940 Part 1 and 2 (video file). Retrievedfrom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVwOah1iUT4
Freedman,R. (2012). Giveme liberty.Findaway World, LLC.
NortonHistory (2011, November). EricFoner on the New Deal, pt 1: embracing economic security (videofile). Retrieved from.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90hA01n9BOM