Major New Deal Programs

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The Hundred Days

--104 days, from inauguration, Mar. 4, to recess, June 15, 1933

  • A national bank holiday:  The day after his inauguration, in the midst of widespread bank runs and failures, FDR declared all banks closed.  Following an audit to assess their finanicial health, solvent banks -- which was most of them -- reopened a week later, ending the panic.

  • Suspension of gold standard:  Executive order outlawed private possession of large amounts of gold.  Ratified by statute in 1934 (Gold Reserve Act).  Although the dollar continued to be “backed” by gold, the govt no longer exchanged gold for dollars on demand  Indeed, the order required holders of gold to sell it to the Fed for dollars, enabling an increase in the money supply.

  • U.S. Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall Act) regulating the banking industry by forbidding the use of deposit funds for speculation.  Repealed 1999.  Also created FDIC (below).

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) backing all consumer bank deposits up to $2500.

  • Federal Securities Act created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate U.S. stock markets and investment processes.

  • Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) provided relief to farmers by paying them to reduce production, increasing prices.

  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) employed 250,000 young men in national parks and forests.

  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built hydroelectric dams and other power plants, and provided other basic improvements in the Tennessee Valley region.

  • National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) created a system of federal regulation of wages, prices, and working conditions, according to terms agreed upon by firms and labor in a given industry and region.  To administer its programs, the Act created the NRA (National Recovery Administration) and PWA (below).

  • Public Works Administration: Funded the construction of public works projects across the country, including schools, hospitals, airports, dams, and ports, as well as Navy ships and military airports.

  • Federal Emergency Relief Act provided direct welfare relief, training and work for unemployed Americans.


The Second Hundred Days (June-Aug., 1935)

  • Social Security Act

  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA, or Wagner Act) created system of rights to collective bargaining, regulated and monitored by the NLRB

  • Revenue Act of 1935: raised highest marginal income tax rate to 79% on income above $5 million

  • Banking Act of 1935, amending that of 1933; made FDIC permanent

  • Works Progress Administration (WPA):  public constructions projects such as libraries, lodges, parks, schools