Top 10 New Deal Programs

Significant New Deal Programs to Combat the Great Depression

The Great Depression (1929-1939) was the largest and most significant economic depression to affect not only America but also the world. The Stock Market Crash on October 29, 1929 is cited as the beginning of the Great Depression. Herbert Hoover was president when the Crash occurred but felt that the government should not become overly involved in helping individuals dealing with economic troubles. However, this changed with the election of Franklin Roosevelt. He worked to create numerous programs through his New Deal to help those affected worst by the Depression. Following are the top ten programs of the New Deal.

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CCC - Civilian Conservation Corps

1928: American statesman Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 - 1945) smiling when he heard that he was leading the contest for Governor of New York State on June 1, 1928.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat unemployment. This work relief program had the desired effect and provided jobs for many Americans during the Great Depression. The CCC was responsible for building many public works and created structures and trails in parks across the nation.

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CWA - Civil Works Administration

CWA workers
Civil Works Administration workers on their way to fill a gully with wheelbarrows of earth during the construction of the Lake Merced Parkway Boulevard, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, San Francisco, California, 1934. Photo by New York Times Co./Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Civil Works Administration was created in 1933 to create jobs for the unemployed. Its focus on high paying jobs in the construction arena resulted in a much greater expense to the federal government than originally anticipated. The CWA ended in 1934 in large part due to opposition to its cost.

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FHA - Federal Housing Administration

Boston Mission Hill development
Boston's Mission Hill housing development, built by the Federal Housing Authority as part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal implementation. Federal Housing Administration/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The Federal Housing Administration was a government agency created to combat the housing crisis of the Great Depression. The large number of unemployed workers combined with the banking crisis created a situation in which banks recalled loans. The FHA was designed to regulate mortgages and housing conditions.

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FSA - Federal Security Agency

William R. Carter
William R. Carter, government pharmacist for 40 years, was a laboratory aide in the Food and Drug Administration of the Federal Security Agency, where he is entrusted with the job of preparing media for testing the sterility of bandage material, 1943. Photo by Roger Smith/PhotoQuest/Getty Images

The Federal Security Agency established in 1939 had the responsibility for several important government entities. Until it was abolished in 1953, it administered social security, federal education funding, and food and drug safety.

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HOLC - Home Owner's Loan Corporation

Foreclosure auction
Foreclosure was common during the Great Depression. Here was a foreclosure sale in Iowa in the early 1930s. Military police were on hand to keep farmers from preventing the auction. The Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) was created to help deal with this crisis. Library of Congress

The Home Owner's Loan Corporation was created in 1933 to assist in the refinancing of homes. The housing crisis created a great many foreclosures, and Franklin Roosevelt hoped this new agency would stem the tide. In fact, between 1933 and 1935 one million people received long term loans through the agency that saved their homes from foreclosure.

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NIRA - National Industrial Recovery Act

Chief Justice Hughes
Chief Justice Hughes presided over A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, which ruled that the National Industrial Recovery Act was unconstitutional. Harris & Ewing Collection / Library of Congress

The National Industrial Recovery Act was designed to bring the interests of working class Americans and business together. Through hearings and government intervention the hope was to balance the needs of all involved in the economy. However, the NRA was declared unconstitutional in the landmark Supreme Court case Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US. The Supreme Court ruled that the NIRA violated the separation of powers.

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PWA - Public Works Administration

Public Works Administration housing
The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided housing for African Americans in Omaha, Nebraska. Library of Congress

The Public Works Administration was a program created to provide economic stimulus and jobs during the Great Depression. The PWA was designed to create public works and continued until the US ramped up wartime production for World War II. It ended in 1941.

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SSA - Social Security Act

Social security machine
This machine was used by the Social Security Administration to sign 7,000 checks per hour. Library of Congress

The Social Security Act was designed to combat the widespread poverty among senior citizens. The government program provided income to retired wage earners. The program has become one of the most popular government programs and is funded by current wage earners and their employers. However, in recent years concerns have arisen about the viability of continuing to fund the program as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age.

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TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority

Tennessee Valley Authority
General planning was conducted by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in order to replan the valley. Library of Congress
The Tennessee Valley Authority was established in 1933 to develop the economy in the Tennessee Valley region which had been hit extremely hard by the Great Depression. The TVA was and is a federally owned corporation that works in this region to this day. It is the largest public provider of electricity in the United States.
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WPA - Works Progress Administration

Works Progress Administration
Here a Works Progress Administration supervisor teaches a woman how to weave a rug. Library of Congress

The Works Progress Administration was created in 1935. As the largest New Deal Agency, the WPA impacted millions of Americans. It provided jobs across the nation. Because of it, numerous roads, buildings, and other projects were completed. It was renamed the Works Projects Administration in 1939. It officially ended in 1943.