Alphabet Soup (New Deal Laws and Programs)
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by Kerel Cain
| 14 Questions
RELIEF PROGRAMS: Giving people what they need to survive.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
The FERA channeled money--a half-billion dollars in all-to state and local agencies to fund their relief projects. Some criticized this program by saying that some of the programs didn’t make sense in the long-run. In response, the leader of FERA, Harry Hopkins, said “People don’t eat in the long run--they eat every day.”

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
The CCC combined Franklin Roosevelt’s love of nature and commitment to conservation with the need to help the unemployed. The CCC offered unemployed young men, 18 to 25 years old, the opportunity to work under the direction of the national forestry service planting trees, fighting forest fires, and building reservoirs.

RECOVERY PROGRAMS Creating economic opportunities.

Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA)
The AAA was passed on one simple idea--that prices for farm goods were too low because farmers grew too much food. Under the AAA the government paid farmers not to raise certain livestock, such as pigs, and not grow certain crops, such as cotton, corn, wheat, and tobacco. After a couple of years, farm surplus fell and food prices rose along with total farm income.

Works Progress Administration (WPA)
The WPA was a agency created “for work relief and to increase employment by providing useful projects.” Over the next several years the WPA spent 11 billion dollars. It’s 8.5 million workers constructed about 650,000 miles of highways, roads, and streets; 125,000 public buildings; 8,000 parks; and improve 853 airports and 124,000 bridges.
The WPA also included a program for artist, musicians, theater people, and writers. The program produced murals and sculptures for public buildings; symphony orchestras and small musical groups throughout the country; financed plays for writers, actors, and directors; and paid historians to interview former slaves to document American history.

REFORM PROGRAMS: Changing society to prevent another economic collapse in the future.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The FDIC provided government insurance for bank deposits up to a certain amount. By protecting depositors in this way, the FDIC greatly increased public confidence in the banking systems because if a bank closed then people wouldn’t lose their money because the FDIC protects their money up to a certain amount.

Social Security Act (SSA)
The SSA provided some security for the elderly and for unemployed workers. Also it provided modest welfare payments to other needy people, including those with disabilities and poor families with young dependent children. The core of the SSA is the monthly retirement benefit, which people could collect when they stopped working at age 65. Another important benefit, unemployment insurance, supplied a temporary income to unemployed workers looking for new jobs.

Emergency Banking Act (EBA)
After becoming president, Roosevelt declared a “bank holiday.” For four days banking transactions were suspended across the nation, which allowed the president to determine which banks were healthy and aid those that were not. The Glass-Steagall Act, restricted banks from risking people’s deposits in the stock market.

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What information is this column giving you?
A How the law solved the problem
B The historical circusmtances of the Great Depression
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What did this law do? (In your own words)
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How did this law provide direct relief?
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How did this law provide direct relief?
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What did this law do? (In your own words)
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How would this help the U.S, recover from the Great Depression?
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How would this help the U.S, recover from the Great Depression?
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How did this law make society different?
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What is "alphabet soup" or "alphabet agencies"?
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