"How well did the New Deal combat the Depression?" I think that the answer
to this question is that it did very well and I would give it a grade of an A.
When Roosevelt took office, in 1933, he had three goals in mind, to save the banks, save the people, and to rebuild the economy. He set his sights on returning the banks to their prosperous days of the pre-depression age.
Since the beginning of the Depression, banks were closing faster than the people could withdraw all of their money. He countered this by closing all the banks and had Congress pass an Emergency Banking Act that made federal loans available to private bankers. At the same time he passed an Economy Act that required the government to balance the budget. These helped ease the financial problems throughout the nation and then he began to restructure the banking system with such acts as The Glass-Stegall Act and the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He also set up the Securities Act and the securities Exchange Act that were overdue regulations for the Stock Market. In order to enforce all these new acts, he started the Securities and Exchange Commission. These actions got the banks and the financial system started in the right direction of what would be a slow recovery process.
Roosevelt's next objective was to take care of the people. Though Roosevelt was a conservative, he realized the extreme need to help the poor. He had Congress respond promptly, and established the Federal Emergency Relief Administration that gave $500 million in relief to the poor people of the country. Roosevelt then went on to create organizations that would offer jobs and a sense of self-esteem to the unemployed of the country. One of these organizations was the Civilian Conservation Corps that provided young men with jobs to improved the environment. They had such jobs as planting trees and helping to stop erosion. Another government activity was the Civil Works Administration that paid unemployed people $15 a week to perform government projects. Many people during this time were also in jeopardy of losing their homes. To this, Roosevelt established the Homeowners' loan Corporation that allowed people to restructure or take out another mortgages on their homes. His ensuing step was to rebuild the economy.
Roosevelt felt that recovery would not only come from relief efforts, but also with the cooperation from agriculture and industrial groups. Probably the most significant acts by him and Congress were the Agricultural Adjustment act and the national Industrial Recovery Act. These were fixed on the idea that by controlling production it would start economic recovery. In other words, if the made products become sparse the price for those products would rise and consequently sales would climb. This would then restore the balance of the normal market. They hoped that through all their efforts the final result would be prosperity.
Roosevelt's actions at a time where leadership was needed immensely helped this country to return to its once prosperous hay days. His actions turned this country around for the better and brought our great country out of a very severe depression.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/the-new-deal-2.php