The New Deal
When the stock market crashed on “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929, the nation began
a rapid decline to a state of universal impoverishment.
Within three years, national industrial
production decreased by fifty percent and nearly 100,000 businesses fell into bankruptcy.
monetary amount of new investments fell from $16 billion to just $1 billion per year, and in
1931, alone, more than two hundred banks nationwide closed for good.
These problems and a
plethora of others faced the nation in the 1930’s and made a quick recovery all but impossible.
However, one man attempted to achieve this impossibility and put America back on its feet.
Through his New Deal, a combination of banking, industrial, agricultural, and economic and
social reforms, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave hope to the American people as he attempted,
perhaps vainly, to help restore the nation to its former grandeur.
In his first hundred days in office, Roosevelt took the bull by the horns and passed fifteen
pieces of legislation aimed at putting the country on a track to recovery and inspiring hope in a
nation of disillusioned Americans.
He first approached the matter with a “brain trust.”
bringing together the country’s best minds and most knowledgeable experts, he stood a better
chance of making the best decisions for the nation.
His next move was to begin speaking
candidly to the American public via radio, inspiring Americans with such phrases as “The only
thing we have to fear is fear, itself.”
In his fireside chats, it is estimated that twenty million
Americans listened in to hear his optimistic and personal conversation with the people.
Moreover, as a result of this personal touch, it is estimated that FDR received some 500,000
letters from listening fans who supported his efforts.
However, the main focus of Roosevelt’s efforts lied in his political activities, primarily
within his series of relief programs which he called the “New Deal.”
This deal was comprised of