Federal Emergency Relief Admin.


Why was FERA created?

It was to provide state assistance to the unemployed and their families. Roosevelt believed in work relief, and had many employees construct, repair, or build different projects for payment. The President wanted to keep the morale of the workers high and had them work hard on projects and receive money for their efforts. FERA wanted to work cooperatively with state governments and provide federal grants for relief purposes.

Harry Hopkins

In 1933, a former social worker and executive director of the New York State Temporary Emergency Relief Adminstration, Harry Hopkins was appointed by Roosevelt to be the director of FERA. He believed in relief programs that had people work hard for their earnings and was also a friend of Roosevelt. While he was the director, over $3 billion was distributed out to the country. In 1935, FERA was taken over by the Social Security Board.

How did FERA work?

There was three goals for this program: adequate relief programs, providing work for employable people on the relief rolls, and diverse relief programs. Not many states had much experience with running relief programs, so FERA started the Civil Works Administration (CWA) to try and get the programs started. Most jobs that were started were with construction or engineering. The overall goal was to help the unemployed and work on different community projects.

Major Projects

One of the major projects FERA helped create was the Montlake play-field field house in Seattle and the Montlake Community Clubhouse, later called the Tudor Building. Other projects in agriculture, building schools, public buildings, theaters, art centers, and many more were built. Workers repaired national parks and other buildings or areas as well. Over 15 million people were put to work and thousands of different projects were completed. Public workers are still around today helping build or repair government or state buildings.

The New Deal

I believe the New Deal helped restore the nations confidence and gave them a boost in the right direction. It did help end the Great Depression, start multiple different government policies, agencies, and worker programs. I think in the long wrong, our economy would have been far worse if Roosevelt hadn't put the New Deal into action.