What Provided Direct Relief During the Great Depression?

provided-direct-relief-during-great-depression Credit: Mel Curtis/Photolibrary/Getty Images

President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced a sweeping collection of programs and projects known as the New Deal in an effort to restrict the economic bleeding resulting from the Great Depression. In 1933, when Franklin took office, he told the American people that his administration would work to create jobs and stabilize the economy with the New Deal. The program met with mixed reactions.

During his inaugural address, Roosevelt told his audience that he would treat the economic challenges facing the nation as if they were military enemies.

The early days of the New Deal saw Congress passing Roosevelt's Emergency Banking Act, which closed insolvent institutions and reorganized those that still had assets. The President implored Americans to deposit their savings in banks again. The people listened, which resulted in nearly three quarters of closed banks reopening for business.

Next, Roosevelt asked Congress to decriminalize the purchase of beer, a step toward eliminating Prohibition and stimulating the economy.

Other New Deal measures included Roosevelt signing the Tennessee Valley Authority Act allowing the federal government to construct dams along the Tennessee River to generate cheap hydroelectric power and create jobs, Congress passing a bill paying commodity farmers to stop growing their crops for a time in order to end surpluses, and Congress passing the National Industrial Recovery Act to guarantee workers the right to form unions.