Relief Programs

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Barracks at the Gunflint Civilian Conservation Corps camp in winter, north of Grand Marais, Minnesota.

The New Deal programs were known as the three "Rs"; Roosevelt believed that together Relief, Reform, and Recovery could bring economic stability to the nation. Reform programs focused specifically on methods for ensuring that depressions like that in the 1930s would never affect the American public again. These programs, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Social Security Administration tended to focus on the management of money from the stock market and banking sector to the individual citizen.

The Relief programs, on which this section focuses, were implemented to immediately stop the continued economic freefall. These included the Emergency Banking Act, which ensured that only solvent banks remained open, and bank holidays that would close financial institutions when a wave of financial panic occurred. In addition, the Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided immediate support in the form of cash payments and temporary employment. And, in doing so, helped to develop and repair the American transportation infrastructure, and literally construct the foundations of National Parks across the US.