History 1111: U.S. History after 1865
Professor Catapano

New Deal Legislation - "The 3 R's"

Below is a partial list of New Deal legislation that addressed the problems of relief, reform and recovery during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


Federal Emergency Relief Administration - FERA - 1933

DIRECT RELIEF - federal money given to the states - states could use the money in their state for any relief they felt necessary.
At one time - 8 million families on direct relief.Note: Many of the recovery plans were job programs designed to eradicate unemployment and stimulate the economy.


Civilian Conservation Corps - CCC - 1933

Youth program - ages 18-25 - most unmarried from poor families - 2600 work camps - almost like the military. Lived in barracks, room and board provided by the government. Paid wages, but were expected to share their wages with their families. Socially useful work - built fire trails, camp sites in parks, cleared swamps, planted trees, conservation measures.

Public Works Administration - PWA - 1933

Purpose - to help the construction and building industry recover government contracts granted to private firms for the construction of public works. Federal government encouraged state and local governments to carry on their own projects - offered them loans and "gifts" to build
Harold Ickes - Director

Works Progress Administration - WPA - 1935

Useful work - used people's talents - worked with state and local government on public works projects (schools, roads, bridges, sewage plants)
Also, employed actors, artists, musicians, writers - 1936 - peak year - nearly 4 million Americans working for the WPA - Harry Hopkins - Director  


Glass-Steagall Banking Act  (1933)
Purpose - to protect bank depositors and the banking system
1. Seperated Commercial from Investment Banking
federal regulation to insure that banks do not use deposits for speculative investments (repealed in 1999)
2. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - FDIC
federal government insured the money of bank depositors
3. Increased the power of the Federal Reserve Board to regulate interest rates
National Industrial Recovery Act - NIRA - 1933
Purpose - to revive industry by getting employers to work together - urged cooperation instead of competition. Businesses were to form cooperatives to eliminate unemployment and raise wages.

National Recovery Administration - NRA - agency created to administer or carry out the law - Hugh Johnson - Director - NRA helped each industry draw up Fair Practices Codes (within their industry)-once the codes were approved by the President - all businesses in that industry had to abide by them.

In general - NRA codes:
  • limited production
  • common control of prices and sales practices
  • outlawed child labor
  • 40 hour work week
  • minimum wage - $12.00 - $15.00 per week
  • Section 7a recognized the rights of unions to organize 
Emblem of NRA - Blue Eagle - (NIRA later ruled unconstitutional - Schechter  v. U.S.
1935 Section 7a - encouraged union membership

Wagner Act - 1935
  • Expanded labor protections of Section 7a
  • Outlawed company unions
  • Prohibited employers to fire worker after a strike
  • Rules enforced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Social Security Act - 1935
1. Unemployment Insurance - payroll deduction
workers contribute to a fund - employers contribute for each worker - if unemployed, workers draw money based on their contribution
2. Old-Age Pensions - payroll deduction
retired workers collect pension based on their contribution. Must work to collect both one and two
3. Aid to widows, handicapped and dependent children.
updated 4/14/10