The Impact of the New Deal on the Great Depression Era In 1933, President Roosevelt proposed New Deal legislation to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression through various public works programs and other federal initiatives. The many reforms of the New Deal were racked by intense criticism from their very beginnings. The New Deal was a catalyst in the surge of the federal government’s power. One year before the financial collapse on Wall Street, President Hoover said, “We in America today are nearer to the financial triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of our land” (Major 31). This overly confident statement was outrageously wrong. On October 24, 1929, the Wall Street stock market plummeted. As of that date, the beginning of the Great Depression has infamously become known as “Black Thursday.” The nation and its leaders were at first put off-guard by the unanticipated event of the economy crashing. However, a few leaders during Hoover’s remaining years in office did show signs that the government’s program of laissez-fair economics were out of date in resolving this catastrophe. Among the early proponents of direct welfare-relief was Wisconsin Republican Robert LaFollette Jr.. LaFollette went against the Republican political grain by proposing legislation that would help the plight of the poor by using federal relief money. Nevertheless, his plan could not be passed by the strong anti-welfare Republican majority (Landis par. 3). With the election of President Roosevelt in 1933, Americans of all social status felt a new found hope for an end to the depression. Roosevelt quickly began encouraging Congress to pass national relief bills after he was elected president. Only two months after his in... ... middle of paper ... ..., and ‘Natural’ Disaster Relief: Narrating the American Welfare State.” Law and Society Review 33 (1999): 257-318. WilsonSelect Full Text Database. OCLC FirstSearch. M.M. Bennett Lib., St. Petersburg Junior College. 19 May 2000 http://firstsearch.altip.oclc.org/. Major, John The New Deal. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967. Romanscu, Albert U., et al. The New Deal: The National Level. Ed. John Braeman, Robert H. Bremner, and David Brady. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1975. Roosevelt, Franklin D. “Letters to the Nation’s Clergy.” 24 Sept. 1935. FDR Library. Stewart, Richard B. “Evaluating the New Deal.” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 22 (1998): 239-46. Academic Search FullTEXT Elite. EBSCOHost. M.M. Bennett Lib>, St. Petersburg Junior College. 19 May 2000 http://gw2.epnet.com/. With the Civilian Conservation Corps.” American Forests July 1933: np.