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The New Deal Programs

The New Deal Programs

October 29th, 1929, a day commonly known as Black Tuesday, marks the day America’s stock market crashed. This day was the beginning of the worst economic crisis that lasted about ten years, known as the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, specifically in 1932, America held a presidential election. Franklin Roosevelt won the election mainly because he had promised the people a “New deal”, which would comprise reforms that would save America from the ongoing economic crisis (Kennedy, 2009). This paper explores the different New Deal programs that were implemented and how they impacted American politics, economy, and social life in the long term.

Political Impacts

Prior to the stock market crash, the government had taken a laissez-faire approach toward economic matters (Clack, Neely, & Hamby, 2009). However, Franklin Roosevelt rejected this approach and implemented a new philosophy through the New Deal. This philosophy was that the federal government had the duty to ensure that the country’s economy and people’s welfare were in a secure state. This meant that the government had to take an active role in controlling the economy and money supply in the country. Through the New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt expanded government control in banking reforms, agricultural programs, work relief programs, and emergency relief programs (Clack, Neely, & Hamby, 2009). Notably, some of these programs still exist today. For example, in 2008, America experienced yet another economic crisis. Consequently, the government lent 426 billion dollars to banks to slow down the crisis and avoid further losses (Prat Sabartés, 2020).

Secondly, the New Deal resulted in a political realignment whereby it unified a new voting coalition, making the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party comprised African Americans, unions, immigrants, and underprivileged individuals. This coalition then proceeded to dominate America’s presidential election up to 1969. Consequently, even today, the Democratic Party has continued to dominate politics and is one of the two major political parties in the country.

In addition, more federal programs that expanded the government’s responsibility to secure all Americans were established. One of the main goals of the New Deal was to provide relief, especially to those extremely affected by the Great Depression, including the elderly, orphans, single mothers, and the unemployed. As a result, in 1935, the Social Security Act was signed into law (Clack, Neely, & Hamby, 2009). This act set up federal retirement programs for individuals above the age of sixty-five and unemployment insurance and established a national welfare system. This national welfare system would be derived from a third of the amount that states used. Consequently, welfare became the government’s responsibility. Notably, President Clinton shifted this federal responsibility to the states in 1996. Nevertheless, welfare programs still exist in all states and comprise social welfare programs like SSI, SNAP, and GA and social insurance programs like worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance compensation.

Economic Impacts

One of the New Deal programs that had a significant economic impact was the agricultural programs. Franklin Roosevelt believed that the only way prosperity would be restored in America was when farming became successful again. Therefore, the New Deal had various programs that aimed to relieve farmers. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was implemented, which, in turn, created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. This act aimed to boost the price of agricultural products through artificial scarcity (Biles, 2011). Accordingly, farmers would receive subsidies to leave a portion of their land unutilized. One of the causes of the economic crisis was overproduction in the agricultural sector and low buying prices. Therefore, artificial scarcity meant that there would be a reduced production rate and, as such, increased prices. Later, this act was deemed unconstitutional and was replaced with another similar program that still paid farmers subsidies. The only difference was that the second program would pay farmers to plant plants like alfalfa, which could not be sold on the market. Even though the federal regulation of agricultural production continues to be amended, the subsidies paid to farmers to prevent overproduction are still in effect today.

Another economic impact of the New Deal resulted from the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934. Prior to the creation of this commission, there was no oversight on stock trade and bonds, among other securities. Consequently, this resulted in malpractices like insider trading in the market. Notably, a year prior to the creation of the SEC, the Securities Act had been passed to prevent securities fraud (Pritchard & Thompson, 2009). In addition, the act also required that investors be provided with valid data on public securities and gave the Federal Trade Commission the authority to block the sale of securities. The SEC boosted Americans’ confidence in the stock exchange market, and many invested in the market, particularly after the Second World War, which boosted the economy. The SEC still exists today and ensures that investors are protected, facilitates capital information, and helps maintain efficient, fair, and orderly markets. Further, the commission can also bring civil charges against people who violate the laws of the stock market.

The New Deal also stabilized the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). After the banks failed, Franklin Roosevelt implemented the Banking Act of 1933. The main aim of this act was to restore the public’s confidence in America’s banking system. Initially, bank failures meant that people’s deposits would be lost too; however, with the FDIC, the deposits could be insured (Friedman & Schwartz, 2014). The FDIC is still in effect today, with almost all incorporated commercial banks insuring depositors’ money. Further, the amount of money that can be insured has risen from 5,000 to 250,000 dollars.

Social Impacts

One of the most significant social impacts of the New Deal was outlawing child labor. Due to the economic crisis, many children were forced to work like their parents so that families could make enough money. However, the working conditions were dangerous and deplorable, which led to the maiming and sometimes death of children. Notably, only four states prohibited child labor. However, Franklin Roosevelt changed all this via the New Deal. The New Deal created the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which was responsible for establishing regulations that outlawed child labor in America (Fishback, 2016). Today, child labor is still outlawed in America.

Second, as mentioned before, the New Deal comprised various welfare programs for the elderly, people with disabilities, the unemployed, orphans, and single mothers. These programs helped improve the lives of people who could not afford basic needs. Accordingly, these programs still exist today and are dedicated to helping people in needy situations. Thirdly, the New Deal led to more inequality based on race and gender. Black, Asian, and Brown people were systematically excluded from welfare programs like the Social Security Program (Bailey & Moon, 2020). These discriminating policies extended to loan corporations and even to the National Labor Relations Act. Unfortunately, these racial inequalities have trickled down to today, whereby minority communities are still being discriminated against by various institutions (Bailey & Moon, 2020). Lastly, the New Deal programs also promoted unequal pay scales for men and Black people. This is also evident in today’s society, where women and minority groups are paid less than their White counterparts.


The New Deal was a variety of programs that aimed to revive the American economy during the Great Depression. This economic crisis resulted from the stock market crash back in 1929. Franklin Roosevelt was elected as president mainly because he had promised the New Deal to be the way to save America from the ongoing crisis. The New Deal had significant political, economic, and social impacts. Notably, these impacts were both positive and negative, and some of them are still affecting the world today.


Bailey, Z. D., & Moon, J. R. (2020). Racism and the political economy of COVID-19: will we continue to resurrect the past?. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 45(6), 937-950.

Biles, A. B. (2011). Politics and production control: American farmers and the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. University of Central Oklahoma.

Clack, G., Neely, M. S., & Hamby, A. (2009). Outline of US history. Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated.

Fishback, P. V. (2016). New Deal. In Banking Crises (pp. 241-250). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Friedman, M., & Schwartz, A. J. (2014). From New Deal Banking Reform to World War II Inflation (Vol. 67). Princeton University Press.

Kennedy, D. M. (2009). What the New Deal Did. Political Science Quarterly, 124(2), 251-268.

Prat Sabartés, M. (2020). The role of the US government in the 2008 Financial Crisis: Deregulation, Moral Hazard and Bailout.

Pritchard, A. C., & Thompson, R. B. (2009). Securities Law and the New Deal Justices. Virginia Law Review, 841-926.


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The New Deal programs of the 1930s had a significant impact on American society. How did the New Deal make long-term changes in the political, economic, and social landscape of the United States? In answering this question, make sure you’re looking at the long-term implications of the New Deal, not just how it sought to deal with the immediate problem of the Depression.

The New Deal Programs

The New Deal Programs

Please use one-inch margins and double-space or space and a half. Make sure the title of your essay clearly refers to the specific question you’re addressing. In writing the essay, make sure you have a clear introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Make sure that you support all main points with specific examples.

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