You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

The New Deal, 1933-41

3. Industrial Strategy

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the industrial strategy of the new deal, focusing in particular on the initiatives designed to aid recovery in the financial, commercial and agricultural sectors. As we move through the module, we think about: (i) the problems facing the financial system in 1933 and Roosevelt's success in solving them; (ii) the provision of deposit insurance through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); (iii) the abandonment of the gold standard and the devaluation of the dollar; (iv) the size of the farming sector in the United States, and the strength of the farming lobby in Congress; (v) the success of the Agricultural Adjustment Act 1933 (AAA), which allowed the federal government to buy livestock for slaughter and paid farmers subsidies not to plant on part of their land; (vi) the extent to which the farming sector was thought to have an impact on the economy as a whole, i.e. through their purchase of manufactured goods, and the extent to which this overestimated the economic clout of the sector; (vii) the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA): its regulation of the labour market and business practices, and the success of these measures; (viii) the ecological and agricultural crisis of the Dust Bowl; (ix) the success of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act 1936; (x) the unintended consequences of farm policy: tension between landlords and tenants, rise of mechanised agriculture, eviction of tenants, etc.; and (xi) the overall success of farm policy in this period.


In this course, Professor Peter Fearon (University of Leicester) explores Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. In the first module, we think about the problems facing the US economy when Roosevelt came to power in March 1933, including the almost total collapse of the banking system, high levels of unemployment, and rapid deflation. In the second module, we think about Roosevelt's belief in "bold, persistent experimentation" in tackling these problems, before turning in the third module to explore the initiatives implemented by Roosevelt to support the US businesses – particularly in the financial and agricultural sectors. In the fourth module, we think about the range of social welfare programmes implemented as part of the New Deal – including programmes such as the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the establishment of social security and old age pensions – before turning in the fifth module to think about the longer-term legacy of the New Deal.


Professor Peter Fearon is Emeritus Professor of Modern Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester. His research interests centre on economic change in the United States in the 20th century, agricultural history of the mid-West in the 1920s and 1930s and the New Deal economic and social policies.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Fearon, P. (2021, March 19). The New Deal, 1933-41 - Industrial Strategy [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Fearon, P. "The New Deal, 1933-41 – Industrial Strategy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 19 Mar 2021,