EMERGENCY BANKING ACT: 1933 Roosevelt's first act as President was to close the nation 's banks by declaring a bank holiday in order to stop the collapse of the national banking system. The time was used to assure the public that it could have confidence in the banks once they reopened. The law required the examination of banks to ensure that only financially sound banks were operating.
FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF ACT (FERA), 1933 Between 1933 and 1935, some $500,000 was provided for distribution by states and cities for direct relief and work projects for hungry, homeless, and unemployed people.
PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION (PWA), 1933 Operating .j from 1933 unti11939, the PWA provided jobs through construction projects, such as bridges, housing, hospitals, schools, and aircraft carriers. The PWA also moved government money into the economy. It was hoped that this "pump priming" would create jobs, revive production, and lead to more consumer spending-
: CIVIL/AN CONSERVATION CORPS (CCC), 1933 Between 1933 and 1941, the CCC provided work for 2.5 million young men ages 18 to 25 conserving natural resources. Only 8,000 young women joined the CCC.
WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (WPA), 1935 From 1935 unti11943, the WPA provided temporary jobs for 25 percent of adult Americans. The agency was created to replace direct relief with public works projects. The WPA spent more government money than any other program. While WPA workers built roads, bridges, airports, public buildings, playgrounds, and golf courses, the program also offered work to writers, artists, musicians, scholars, and actors. Critics attacked the cultural work projects in particular. Others criticized the WPA for being inequitable. With WPA employment limited to one member of a family, only women who were heads of households were eligible for WPA jobs.
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY (TVA), 1933 The federally funded TVA provided jobs, cheap electricity, and flood control to poor rural areas of seven states through dam construction on the Tennessee River and its tributaries. The TV A was made possible through the efforts of Republican Senator George Norris of Nebraska. The TVA was praised as a bold experiment in government intervention to meet regional needs. It was attacked as "creeping socialism."
Congress also passed a wide range of recovery legislation as part of the New Deal.
NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL RECOVERY AC7;- 1933 The National Recovery Administration (NRA) had the authority to work with businesses to help them recover. The NRA set "codes of fair competition" within industries to maintain prices, minimum wages, and maximum hours. The public was encouraged to buy from companies that followed the NRA codes. The NRA was not popular, however. Some consumers complained that the NRA plan raised prices. Companies opposed the provisions giving unions the right to organize. Small companies felt at a disadvantage compared to larger companies. The NRA was declared unconstitutional in 1935.
HOME OWNERS LOAN CORPORATION (HOLC), 1933 This agency was created to help homeowners save .their houses from foreclosure. It provided funds to payoff mortgages and provided new long-term mortgages at lower, fixed-interest rates.
FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA), 1934 The FHA was created by the National Housing Act to insure bank mortgages. These mortgages were often for 20 to 30 years and at down payments of only 10 percent.
FIRST AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT(AAA), 1933 The aim of the AAA was to raise farmers' income by cutting the amount of surplus crops and livestock. In that way, farmers would be able to sell their crops at the same prices of the years 1909-1914, a time when farm prices were high. The government paid farmers for reducing the number of acres they planted. The plan was financed through a processing tax on companies that made the wheat, corn, cotton, hogs, milk, and tobacco into consumer products. Large farmers, rather than small farmers and tenant farmers, benefited from the AAA. The public was outraged at the destruction of crops and animals in order to keep production down. However, farm prices did increase. Although the AAA was declared unconstitutional in 1936, the principle of farm price supports had been established. The AAA was replaced with a law that encouraged using soil conservation methods.
SECOND AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT (AAA), 1937 The second AAA was passed in response to a drop in farm prices in 1937. The government paid farmers to store portions of overproduced crops until the price reached the level of 1909-1914 prices. In spite of New Deal efforts, America's farmers did not regain prosperity until the 1940s, when World War II brought increased demand for food.
Congress also passed a wide range of reform legislation as part of the New Deal.
GLASS-STEAGALL BANKING AC7; 1933 This law created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which guaranteed individual bank deposits up to $5,000. The law also increased the powers of the Federal Reserve Board so that it had more control over speculation on credit.
SECURITIES EXCHANGE AC7; 1934 This act created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which had the authority to regulate stock exchanges and investment advisers. SEC powers included the right to bring action against those found practicing fraud. The SEC could require financial information about stocks and bonds before they were sold.
SOCIAL SECURITY AC7; 1935 The 1935 Social Security Act was a combination of public assistance and insurance. The law had three main parts: (1) It provided old-age insurance, paid by a tax on both the employer and employee while the employee was working. The worker and employer, not the government funded this part of social security. (2) It provided unemployment insurance for workers, paid by employers. (3) It gave assistance to dependent children and to the elderly, ill, and handicapped.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT (WAGNER ACT), 1935 The Wagner Act, named for its author, New York Senator Robert Wagner, guaranteed labor the right to form unions and to practice collective bargaining. It created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to ensure that elections to select unions were conducted fairly.
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS AC7; 1938 This law set a minimum wage (originally 25 cents per hour) and a maximum work week (originally 44 hours) for workers in industries involved in interstate commerce. The law also banned child labor in interstate commerce. It is one of many examples of New Deal legislation passed using the power given to Congress to regulate interstate commerce.