Back to the video list: North American History


The Great Depression of 1929 hit Germany and the United States the hardest. President Roosevelt responded with the New Deal which was established in the years between 1933 and 1938.






  • Date: 1933 – 1938
  • Location: United States of America
  • Event: Means to overcome the Great Depression


Parties & Persons Involved

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945), U.S. President


The Great Depression

  • 24 Oct 1929: The Black Thursday is the start of the Great Depression


  • 04 Mar 1933: The presidency of Roosevelt & the New Deal policy start
  • The Brain Trust, think tank of economic & legal experts, is the main advisory board for the president



The New Deal

First New Deal (1933 – 1934)



Law / Organisation





Tennessee Valley Authority & others


Job creation measures


Agricultural Adjustment Act (adjusted 1938)


Measures to stabilise the agricultural prices


Glass-Steagall Act (repealed 1999)


Separation of business & investment banks


Federal Deposit Insurance Company


Deposit protection funds


Securities Act


Regulation of financial markets


Securities & Exchange Commision (SEC)




Federal Housing Administration


Public insurances for mortgages


Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act


Reducing protective duties & enhancing free trade


Gold Reserve Act


De facto abolishment of the gold standard


Second New Deal (1935 – 1938)



Law / Organisation





Emrgency Relief Appropriation Bill


Extension of the job creation measures


Social Security Act


Introduction of social insurances


Public Utility Holding Company Act


Dissolution of large & complex holdings


Wagner Act


Recognition of trade unions


Income Tax


Increase in the income tax



Corporation Tax


Introduction of corporate taxes



US Housing Authority


Social housing



Fair Labor Standards Act


Minimum wages, 44h week & prohibition of child labour


Developments after 1938

  • 1941: After the U.S. enter World War II the economy reaches full production capacity & full employment
  • 1940 – 1980: Republicans & Democrats join the New Deal Consensus which defines economic policy as demand-oriented interventions by the government
  • 20 Jan 1981: Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan
  • The Reagonomics (officially) end the demand-oriented economic policy of the New Deal


Consequences & Impact

  • The New Deal eases the economic & social distress of the Great Depression
    • But please note: full production capacity & full employment is only reached after the publicly induced increase in demand because of the U.S. engagement in World War II
  • The Success & the effects of the New Deal are subject to controversial discussions
  • The New Deal is the basis for the U.S. social state
  • Establishment of economic interventions by the government
  • The U.S. society regains self-esteem, orientation & hope in the desolate situation of the Great Depression