Was the New Deal a Success or Failure?

When the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929 many people were convinced there would be a decade long depression (U.S. History 2008) and they felt that there was no hope left. Herbert Hoover was seen as doing nothing to help the nation during this awful time. Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated as a candidate for the Democratic party. During his acceptance speech he stated, ‘I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people.’ (Franklin D. Roosevelt 1932). During his presidency he made many amazing changes in the nation to help come back from The Great Depression the biggest one being The New Deal. The New deal had three main objectives; relief, recovery, and reform. He also helped to create many alphabetical agencies to better our country and help from this awful time happening again. Although many people supported F.D.R and the New Deal there were still quite a few that did not see eye to eye with him.

Development of the New Deal and Why It Was Necessary

The reasoning behind F.D.R’s New Deal was the Great depression. It was caused by the Great Crash in 1929, before the stock market crashed the industry was booming and millionaires were made over night (U.S. History 2008). When the market crashed many banks closed without warning, since many people had their saving in the banks and now had no way of getting their money out causing them to lose it all. The stock market crash caused the unemployment rate to sky rocket from 1.5 million in 1929 to 12 million in 1932. (U.S. History 2008). With unemployment and poverty rates so high F.D.R. new that something had to be done and that’s when his New Deal really came to life. After Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech where he promised the American people a New deal, he was elected into office by a landslide. As soon as his presidency began the New Deal immediately took shape. His New Deal had many objectives and ways of helping the nation.

Main Objectives of the New Deal

The New Deal had three main points to it; relief, recovery and reform. He created many programs that helped to achieve these things. The first thing on his agenda was getting the unemployment rate down from 12 million his way of doing this was relief. Relief was his way of ‘giving direct aid to reduce the suffering of the poor and unemployed’ (Relief, Recovery, Reform 2017). I n1933 Roosevelt created the Civil Work Administration (CWA) which helped to employ around 3 million people in only a month and then eventually around 4 million. Eventually the CWA expired and that is when the Work Progress Administration (WPA) was created which later employed around 9 million Americans making it the largest relief program of all. Next, was Recovery which helped get the economy up and running again, this helped to create more jobs and help businesses grow (Relief, Recovery, Reform 2017). The Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) was created to drive up the prices of crops. The last objective of the New Deal was Reform, this was to help ease the crisis and to avoid another depression later on (Relief, Recovery, Reform 2017). The Rural Electrification Authority (RFA) helped farmers that lost their land buy it was for a very low price and get electricity to their farms. Another program that helped was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which helped by building dams and educating people on better soil management to avoid flooding the areas surrounding the river. The Social Security Act was created so people would have a retirement fund to rely on.

Alphabetical Agencies in the New Deal

During the New deal many agencies were created to help insure that the objectives were met. There were agencies created for many different things such as Protecting investors, helping to ensure retirement, help with housing issues and concerns, allow children to get work and an education and help lower the cost of construction.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

This program helped to ensure protection for investors and maintain fair and functioning markets. This organization came to life because during the Great Depression many banks went under after making bad investment decisions and many people lost a lot of money due to this.

People Who Did Not Benefit From the New Deal

Although many people loved president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal like every president there were people who did not agree with his ideas and the actions he took during his time in office. There weren’t many that didn’t support him but the Liberal and Radicals were two groups who didn’t. They attacked him for ‘not providing enough relief and for maintaining the fundamental aspects of capitalism. Conservatives claimed his policies were socialism in disguise’ (Roosevelts Critics 2008). Besides from those two groups Father Charles E. Coughlin, Francis Townsend, and Huey Long were three specific men that did not support F.D.R. or the New deal. Coughlin was a priest on the radio in Detroit. He was an original supporter of F.D.R but turned against him when he refused to nationalize the banking system. Townsend was a doctor in California. He proposed the Old Age Revolving Pension, which required that every American retire is they were over the age sixty to open up more jobs for younger Americans that were unemployed. The biggest threat politically for Roosevelt was Long from Louisiana. He was a lawyer that then became the governor of Louisiana. ‘He used strong- armed tactics to intimidate the legislature into providing roads and bridges to the poorest parts of the state’ (Roosevelt’s Critics 2008).


Although Franklin D. Roosevelt had quite a few people that did not support his New Deal, he still had a lot of successes during his presidency. The New Deal started a new way for people to live, they no longer had to live in fear or poverty. The New Deal’s relief, reform, and recovery made it to where there were many policies and Alphabetical agencies set into place to help insure that another Great Depression would not strike the nation again. Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the people of America that he would have a New Deal that would get them back on their feet and he followed through with his promise.