New Deal Agencies and Programs for Kids and Teachers Illustration

New Deal Agencies and Program

For Kids

Here are some of the new federal agencies and laws created by FDR's New Deal program.  Each had a mission - relief, recover, reform. These missions were known as the 3Rs. You can see why they were called the "Alphabet Agencies".

AAA - Agricultural Adjustment Act - Supply and Demand; this paid farmers to lower production and, in some cases, to destroy crops, with the greater goal of raising crop prices and farm income

CCC - Civilian Conservation Corps - This employed thousands of young men in camps across the country improving public lands by planting trees, clearing trails, and fighting forest fires.

CWA - Civil Works Administration - A short lived program to provide rapidly created, temporary manual labor jobs during winter 1933-1934, while other programs were considered and placed into law and operation.

Emergency Banking Relief Act - Aimed at restoring public confidence in the banking system, this act authorized the Treasury Department to inspect banks and to reopen them as soon as they had been found financially secure. Within 3 days of this act, 5,000 banks had been given permission to reopen their doors. Later in the year, Congress passed the 1933 Banking Act, which became in turn the FDIC. (Glass-Steagall Banking Act)

FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act - This set a national, minimum hourly wage, and prohibited factory labor for children under 16

FCA - Farmers Credit Administration - Provided low cost farm loans

FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - Created with the goal of restoring public confidence in the banking system by insuring if the bank failed, peoples savings would be protected against loss (Glass-Steagall Banking Act) 

Fera - Federal Emergency Relief Administration - Provided direct relief in the form of food and clothing to the neediest people hit by the Depression - the unemployed, the aged, and the ill. Congress approved the distribution of 500 million in federal funds to state agencies. These were grants, not loans. This money did not have to be repaid.

FHA - Federal Housing Act - This insured home mortgage loans made by banks and private lenders to encourage more loans to homeowners. This led to more construction, more jobs, and improved housing standards.

HOLC-  Home Owners Loan Corporation - Provided homeowners with low cost loans.

NLRB - National Labor Relations Board - Set up by the Wagner Act. This agency strengthened the power of labor unions by outlawing unfair labor practices. Employers had to bargain with unions or keep workers from joining unions. The board watched over business to ensure collective bargaining.

NRA - National Recovery Administration, created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) - This created an administration that set fair prices on many products and established labor standards, with the greater goal of ensuring fair business practices and promoting industrial growth

NYA - National Youth Administration - Provided jobs for young people

PBA - Public Buildings Administration - 10 year life, it's purpose was to construct, protect, and repair Federal buildings including buildings to house some new agencies. PBA projects included the Social Security Board Building, the Railroad Retirement Board Building, the War Department Building, the U.S. Government Printing Office Building, a restaurant for the National Zoo, terminal and hangers at Washington National Airport, and many courthouses, marine hospitals, and post offices. They built a lot in 10 years, spent 350 million (abut 5 billion in today's money.) Most buildings were designed and managed by the PBA, and bid out to private industry for construction.

PWA - Public Works Administration - This provided funds for construction projects such a roads, dams, bridges, and warships. It helped business by putting people to work so that they had money to spend.

REA - Rural Electrification Act and Administration - This provided funds to bring electricity to rural areas

SEC - Securities and Exchange Act and Commission - Created in 1933 to monitor the stock market and enforce laws regarding the sale of stocks and bonds. Federal Securities Act - This required corporation to provide complete information on all stock offerings, with the greater goal of restoring public confidence in the stock market.

SSA - Social Securities Act - This was a form of insurance where employers and workers would each pay a tax to cover unemployment benefits, old age pensions, programs for the blind, needy families with children and for children of workers who had died. Domestic and farm workers were left out of the bill.

TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority - This improved the economy of the Deep South by building dams and improving existing ones along the Tennessee River and its tributaries so that electricity could be brought to the region. It provided flood control and a reliable supply of water for irrigation, drinking and recreation.

WPA - Works Progress Administration - millions were put to work in construction projects such as schools, libraries, hospitals, roads, sewer systems, and airports. Musicians were hired to give lessons, writers and artists and actors were hired for special projects.

The Periodic Table of the New Deal

The New Deal for Kids

The Great Depression and the New Deal Interactive Quiz with answers

Franklin D. Roosevelt