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Q8. What were the ‘Alphabet’ agencies, FERA, AAA, NRA, PWA, CCC, TVA.

Alphabet agencies were new government departments set up to implement Roosevelt’s policies and were the best known aspects of the New Deal.

  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). This helped the poor in a number of basic ways, such as giving clothing grants and setting up soup kitchens for the poor.
  • Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). This tried to help farmers by controlling farm production and stabilising prices. It was an attempt to end the over-production and falling agricultural prices that had crippled American farmers.
  • National Recovery Administration (NRA). This tried to help industry and factory workers by increasing wages and improving hours and conditions.
  • Public Works Administration (PWA). This created jobs by paying unemployed people to build schools, bridges and dams. This was replaced by the Works Progress Administration in 1935.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Similar to the PWA, this department provided jobs to large numbers of young men in conservation schemes in the countryside.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This scheme brought hydro-electric power to seven states in the Tennessee Valley, one of the worst affected areas of the country. Dams and power-plants were built, creating many jobs.


In addition to this, Roosevelt’s administration carried out major reforms to the American Stock Exchange and the banking system. There were two key elements in Roosevelt’s plans to repair the economic damage caused by the Wall Street Crash. These were, ending the practices of cheap credit from banks and irresponsible share trading on the Stock Exchange.


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