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Social Security: The Roosevelt Administration

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s philosophy was: that Government has a positive responsibility for the general welfare. Not that Government itself must do everything, but that everything practicable must be done. A critical question for F.D.R. was whether a middle way was possible– a mixed system which might give the State more power than conservatives would like, enough power indeed to assure economic and social security, but still not so much as to create dictatorship.Continue Reading »

National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933

Economists, scholars, politicians, and the public at large were deeply divided as to the underlying causes of the Great Depression and the best means to bring it to an end. In the months following Roosevelt’s inauguration, his advisers, along with members of Congress and representatives from business and labor, drafted the legislation that was introduced in Congress on May 15, 1933, as the National Industrial Recovery Act. The division of opinions about the Depression was reflected in those who drafted NIRA, and the act drew both praise and criticism from across the political spectrum. Nevertheless, the urgency of the economic situation (with unemployment exceeding 30 percent in many parts of the country) pressured Congress to act.Continue Reading »

Federal Emergency Relief Act of 1933

Text from the The Federal Emergency Relief Act of 1933Continue Reading »

Hopkins, Harry Lloyd

Written by Dr. June Hopkins, Associate Professor, History Dept., Armstrong Atlantic State University. Harry L. Hopkins (1890-1946) — Social Worker, Architect of the New Deal, Public Administrator and Confidant of
President Franklin D. RooseveltContinue Reading »

National Recovery Administration

The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA) was signed by newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 16, 1933. The new law created the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The NRA began to work with businesses to establish the mandated codes for fair competition, which were to be exempt from the antitrust laws.Continue Reading »

Harry Hopkins and Work Relief During the Great Depression

Harry Hopkins’ New Deal work relief and jobs programs, designed to overcome the economic devastation wrought by the Great Depression during the 1930s, included the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA), the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Continue Reading »

Roosevelt, Eleanor

Despite her initial intent to focus on her social activities as First Lady, political issues soon became a central part of the weekly briefings. When some women reporters assigned to ER tried to caution her to speak off the record, she responded that she knew some of her statements would “cause unfavorable comment in some quarters . . . but I am making these statements on purpose to arouse controversy and thereby get the topics talked about.”Continue Reading »

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