The nation needed immediate relief, recovery from economic collapse, and reform to avoid future depressions, so relief, recovery and reform became Franklin D. Roosevelt's goals when he took the helm as president. At his side stood a Democratic Congress, prepared to enact the measures carved out by a group of his closest advisors — dubbed the “Brain Trust” by reporters. One recurring theme in the recovery plan was Roosevelt’s pledge to help the “forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”
The term New Deal was coined during Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech, when he said, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." Roosevelt summarized the New Deal as a "use of the authority of government as an organized form of self-help for all classes and groups and sections of our country."
At his inauguration in March 1933, Roosevelt declared in his lilting style, "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is, fear itself — needless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." In his first 99 days, he proposed, and Congress swiftly enacted, an ambitious "New Deal" to deliver relief to the unemployed and those in danger of losing farms and homes, recovery to agriculture and business, and reform, notably through the inception of the vast Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The New Deal effects would take time; some 13,000,000 people were out of work by March 1933, and virtually every bank was shuttered. (Source: u-s-history.com)
As you can see, the New Deal was created to provide relief to those who were unemployed, in danger of losing their homes or farms, or suffering in other ways due to the Great Depression. Think about some of the issues that our society is dealing with today (unemployment, homelessness, corruption and greed in business, unequal distribution of wealth, immigration, etc.) and come up with a new federal agency to address the problem.
- First, describe the problem and why the federal government (not local or state gov't, and not private business or charities) should be the one to resolve this problem.
- Next, describe the federal program you would like to create, name it and write the acronym for it (see above example: TVA).
- Then, explain how this program will help with the problem and where the funding will come from (ex. taxes, increasing national debt, etc.).
- Finally, anticipate and describe who might have a problem with your new agency, why, and what you can do to allay their fears.
***BE CREATIVE and SPECIFIC - Roosevelt not only created jobs programs, regulatory agencies, etc., he also created cultural programs to improve and promote the arts while creating jobs.***