When FDR took office in 1933, the nation was obviously ready for some great changes. In the thick of the Great Depression, America needed someone who could join the nation together and get the economy back where it once was. Franklin Roosevelt proved, for the most part, to be the perfect man for the job. From his radiant personality to his famous Hundred Day Legislative Campaign, he gave it all that he had. FDR had arguably the most liked and admired personality of any president. Because he had such a positive and determined attitude, he was able to win the support of most Americans.
His colorful language and heartfelt deliveries all but forced the country to fall in love with the new president. With this brilliant personality and strong hold over the American people, FDR did more in one hundred days than Hoover had done in the previous four years of the Depression to combat it. However, his aides saw a very different side to him than did the public. He was described as “enigmatic” and “inscrutable. ” His enigmatic behaviors sometimes led to confusion and conflict within the White House.
However, as far as the public was concerned, he could practically do no wrong. To help out with the dismal situation that America was in, Roosevelt went on a legislative spree, known as the Hundred Day Legislative Campaign. The banks had closed down in thirty-eight states, so FDR passed several acts to aid banks. To help banks open back up, the Emergency Banking Act was passed. Under this act, banks could reopen with a license and under supervision. To increase the public’s confidence in banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, was formed.
It insured all bank deposits up to five thousand dollars and separated deposit banking from investment banking. The Farm Credit Administration helped those who were in danger of losing their farms refinance them, and the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation helped homeowners refinance their homes. To help protect farmers from dropping prices of crops, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, or AAA, was created. Under this, farmers were paid subsidies to keep production low, therefore keeping prices up.
To help the millions of jobless Americans gain work, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority were formed. While the TVA and the CCC were rather successful, the CWA was terminated after a short time. These organizations provided projects for the unemployed to work on in exchange for a monthly paycheck from the government. Although wages were meager, they were certainly better than nothing at all. The industrial world also benefited from policies of the New Deal.
The National Recovery Administration, or NRA, was intended to promote recovery through such measures as putting an end to pay cuts, plummeting prices, and layoffs. In addition, the NRA was able to have child labor banned in the textile industry. In addition, with great help from Senator Robert Wagner, the NRA was able to get signed into law the prohibition of employer discrimination due to a worker’s affiliation with a union. However, the unity that this administration once conjured eventually faded, and it was ruled unconstitutional in May of 1935.
The Supreme Court stated that it gave the President power that actually belonged only to the Legislative Branch, and that the NRA was regulating trade within states. Although Franklin Roosevelt’s personality was slightly flawed, it was good enough for the public. And although not all of the measures he took during the New Deal to fight the Depression were a success, they were a great start. FDR obviously was not a perfect person, but he was the perfect man to pull the nation through the Depression.