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A New Deal:  The First 100 Days

The First 100 Days

FDR's First 100 Days in office became the most action-packed in American history.

During the dark final months of President Hoover's term, Washington - like the nation's economy - seemed to grind to a halt. Now the capital suddenly buzzed with activity.

No new president had ever moved with such urgency on so many fronts so fast, issuing proclamations and executive orders and driving a torrent of legislation through Congress to stimulate recovery, relieve economic hardship, and enact reforms.

Some of FDR's initiatives succeeded. Others failed. Some programs were contradictory. But suffering Americans regained hope as they saw someone finally taking bold action to battle the Depression.

100 Days of Action

FDR believed recovery from the Depression was impossible without massive government action. He would use government to relieve hardship and pump life into a collapsed economy.

Government-funded jobs and relief payments would ease distress and give purchasing power to the unemployed. Government farm programs would boost agricultural prices - providing money to cash-strapped farmers. Government-sponsored industrial codes would keep wages and prices from falling further. New government agencies would bring electricity, conservation, and economic planning and development to impoverished regions. And government financial reforms would aid debtors, reduce economic risks, and restore confidence in financial markets.
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