Meanwhile, farm prices began to fall and hit rock
bottom. John Steinbeck depicts the agony caused to the small farmers
who lost their lands in the moving novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
The fall in farm prices, coupled with the stock market crash, impoverished
a great number of people. The Depression was a traumatic experience
President Hoover tried to relieve the misery of the people
affected by Depression. He introduced voluntary relief programs
to provide employment. Later, he formulated a program of providing
credit to railroads and financial institutions. These laws became
part of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act (1932),
which was passed by the Congress. These measures did not gather
much support from the people. The condition of the people only worsened
as the Depression continued.
The Great Depression
In the election of 1932, Franklin Roosevelt, the Democrat candidate
gained victory over the unpopular Hoover. Franklin Roosevelt tried
to revive the economy by helping the clogged banks within weeks
of becoming President. Then, with the help of the Congress, he inaugurated
the New Deal under the principle of 3Rs-namely: Relief, Recovery
Under Roosevelt, the Congress passed a series of Acts:
The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)-aimed
to restore the purchasing power of farmers.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was
set up to reorganize the economy of a depressed country in consultation
with the people.
These Acts, along with the National Industrial Recovery Act (to regulate Industry) and the Civil Works Administration (CWA) to provide jobs to people proved to be quite popular with the people. By the time, America was to enter the second phase of the New Deal Program, the 2nd World War broke out.