FDR and the First Hundred Days

FDR Giving first Fireside
Giving First Fireside

Upon taking office, Roosevelt took swift action. He announced a banking holiday, closing all the banks nationwide. He immediately requested from Congress emergency banking legislation. This legislation provided emergency loans for sound banks, thereby allowing them to reopen. Roosevelt dealt with the burgeoning federal deficit next. He convinced Congress to pass, within days, the Economy Act, which gave the President the power to cut federal salaries and veteran benefits. Roosevelt used the solid Democratic majority in Congress and the national consensus that swift action needed to be taken to persuade Congress to pass actions in record time.

Roosevelt dealt with the growing unemployed and the hungry with two actions. First, he inaugurated the Civilian Conservation Corps, which put able bodied men to work in conservation projects, thus providing them with money. This allowed people to retain their pride and keep them off welfare. For those who needed the welfare, he had Congress pass the Emergency Relief Act that set up a national system of relief. To deal with the surplus of agricultural products that had caused prices to drop to such an extent that farmers could not support themselves, Roosevelt proposed the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This act paid farmers for not planting crops.

The National Industrial Recovery Act was considered one of the key parts of the Roosevelt recovery plan. It called for the institution of fair labor and pricing practices in industry, consequently making sure that manufacturers would get a fair price for their goods, and that workers would get fair wages for their work.

Within his first 100 days in office, Franklin Roosevelt also addressed some of the causes of the stock market crash of 1929 that helped precipitate the Depression. Congress passed the Truth in Securities Act, which regulated the issuance of new stock, and the Glass Steagall Act, which separated the banks from the securities industry. Finally on the last of the 100 days, Congress approved the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority- to electrify and control flooding in the Tennessee Valley.