49e. FDR's Alphabet Soup

by mikaela ortega


politicians saw their dreams come alive. The Great Depression created an environment where the government accepted responsibility for curing a wide array of society's ills previously left to individuals, states, and local governments.


The National Industrial Recovery Act contained legislation to spark business and to improve labor conditions. The National Recovery Administration attempted to create a managed economy by relieving businesses of antitrust laws to eliminate.The NRA, like the AAA for farmers, attempted to create artificial scarcity with commodities. The hope was that higher prices would yield higher profits and higher wages leading to an economic recovery.


Firms that participated in the NRA displayed blue eagles reminding consumers of a company's apparent patriotism.To enlist the support of labor unions, the NRA outlawed child labor, set maximum hours, and required a minimum wage. The greatest victory for labor unions was the guarantee of the right to bargaining, which led to a dramatic upsurge in union membership. Unfortunately, the NRA did little to improve the economy. The increase in prices actually caused a slight slowdown in the recovery.


The government blazed other new trails by creating the Tennessee Valley Authority in May 1933. The Tennessee River Valley had long been a problem for its residents. Centuries of resource exploitation contributed to soil erosion and massive, unpredictable floods that left parts of seven states impoverished and underutilized.