The Great Depression and The New Deal by: jacob choi, Mateus Norton de matos, niels koopmans, Noah Haefner

Key dates

October 29, 1929 - US stock market crashes

March 3, 1931 - Star Spangled Banner becomes national anthem

May 1, 1931 - Empire State Building opens for business

November 8, 1932 - Franklin D. Roosevelt beats Hoover for office of president

March 4, 1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for the first time. Gives famous “nothing to fear but fear itself” speech

March 9 - June 16, 1933 - congress passes the New Deal Programs - a series of social and economic programs to help with the depressed economy. President Roosevelt establishes the New Deal as a response to the Great Depression and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs": relief, recovery and reform

March 9, 1933 - Emergency Banking Relief Act passed

March 31, 1933 - Civilian Conservation Corps created

May 12, 1933 - Agricultural Adjustment Act passed

December 5, 1933 - The 21st amendment is passed, repealing the 18th amendment, ending prohibition

June 6, 1934 - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission established

June 2, 1935 - Babe Ruth retires

August 14, 1935 - The Social Security Act is passed

August 1, 1936 - Summer Olympic games in Berlin, Germany

November 3, 1936 - FDR wins second term

March 26, 1937 - William Henry Hastie becomes the first African American to be a federal judge

May 27, 1937 - The Golden Gate Bridge opens, connects San Francisco and Marin County

May 17, 1938 - The Naval Expansion Act passes

June 25, 1938 - Minimum wage signed into law

September 5, 1939 - US declares neutrality

November 5th, 1940 - FDR runs for a third time, breaking presidential tradition

KEy Events

US Stock Market Crash (1929)

This event signalled the onset of the Great Depression. It can be argued that one reason for the financial despair was overproduction in agricultural produce which put many American farmers in poverty. The American stock market crash followed directly after the London Stock Exchange crash and put almost all Western industrialised countries into depression.

Crowds gather outside Wall Street after the crash

Herbert Hoover and “Rugged Individualism”

Herbert delivers his platform during a campaign address and essentially argues more conservative principles such as less government intervention, more individualism and is very business-oriented. He introduced many progressive era themes such as international trade, but many of these ambitious projects were nullified by the onset of the Great Depression. In fact, it seemed as if the Great Depression got worse despite the large-scale interventions into the economy he enacted. This significance of this was that this set up a landslide victory for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

New Deal Programs

The most significant New Deal program was the enacting of Social Security, a federal social insurance agency. The focus of the New Deal was on relief, recovery and reform and sought to help the unemployed and poor, recover the economy and reform it so that there would not be any future depressions. While many argue that these acts helped America leave the Depression, many conservative critics argue that it greatly expanded federal power.

Judiciary Reorganisation Bill of 1937

As a result of many New Deal legislation being blocked by the "Four Horsemen," FDR argued that the court was getting in the way of the agenda of progressive legislation and the democratically elected government. As a result, he introduced this bill that gave the president the right to appoint a new justice when a judge reached the age of 70 and did not retire in six months. Many congressmen considered this unconstitutional and it was struck down. It was important because it demonstrates an example of the president attempted to bypass the checks and balances of the US government.

FDR’s First Inaugural Address

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”

This speech was significant because it helped push for a greater sense of patriotism during this time of depression. It also helped FDR garner support for his causes and many found this speech a resurgence in patriotic principles despite the tough situation that the United States was in.

Key People

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR was elected president and is said to be the president who expanded federal power the greatest. As a democrat, he defined American liberalism throughout the 20th century. He is known for winning four consecutive terms. While many American liberals praise him for his work during the Great Depression and many of his programs within the period, he is criticised by conservatives due to the fact that many argue he increased the size of government and threatened the checks and balances of American government, as shown by the Court Packing Incident.

All four were Republican appointed and blocked many pieces of progressive legislation

These four supreme court justices were the last bastion of conservative resistance against FDR’s programs. Due to the fact that the republicans had a reduced amount of people in legislation, the greatest amount of conservative action against FDR’s agenda was on the supreme court where these four judges blocked acts including National Industrial Recovery Act (1935) and the Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933).


The significance of this period was the fact that it was the most signifiant financial crashes in the United States and in Western history. This created an era of economic strife and issues that were fixed by FDR through the New Deal. However, the aid sent to improving the economy and providing relief for citizens has at the expense of a growth in federal power that threatened the checks and balances of the US government. Not only did FDR run for four consecutive terms but also tried to bypass the supreme court by expanding the executive branch into jurisdiction. However, this era also led to further developments of American exceptionalism. The issue was that directly after this period, WWII started and plunged the United States into an era of even more strife and mortality.

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