In the summer of 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York, was nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. In his acceptance speech, Roosevelt addressed the problems of the depression by telling the American people that, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.” In the election that took place in the fall of 1932, Roosevelt won by a landslide.
The New Deal Roosevelt had promised the American people began to take shape immediately after his inauguration in March 1933. Based on the assumption that the power of the federal government was needed to get the country out of the depression, the first days of Roosevelt’s administration saw the passage of banking reform laws, emergency relief programs, work relief programs, and agricultural programs. Later, a second New Deal was to evolve; it included union protection programs, the Social Security Act, and programs to aid tenant farmers and migrant workers. Many of the New Deal acts or agencies came to be known by their acronyms. For example, the Works Progress Administration was known as the WPA, while the Civilian Conservation Corps was known as the CCC. Many people remarked that the New Deal programs reminded them of alphabet soup.
By 1939, the New Deal had run its course. In the short term, New Deal programs helped improve the lives of people suffering from the events of the depression. In the long run, New Deal programs set a precedent for the federal government to play a key role in the economic and social affairs of the nation.