The experimental and pioneering legislation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression was the first of its kind. Large amounts of money were appropriated toward direct government relief, and programs designed to immediately benefit the citizens who so desperately needed it. The devastating effects of the 1929 stock market crash permeated every aspect of American life, reaching all corners of the country with no remorse. Industries that experienced the greatest overall losses were in the areas of banking and steel. This in turn impoverished the American people, as well as the American spirit. Aimed at revitalizing the current national economic status, with a focus on immediacy, New Deal legislation was passed in various areas with a multitude of goals and effects. The people who were to be affected by Roosevelt's programs were going to be the ones who helped themselves. Though direct relief was the main goal of most New Deal legislation, many programs were designed to succeed by putting American workers back to work, on the payroll of the federal government.
The so called "alphabet soup" of programs that were enacted by Roosevelt during the period immediately following the Great Depression offered a variety of economic solutions to many situations that were occurring across the country. The snowball effect of despair that resulted from the crumbling economy was felt by the majority of Americans, and served only to further the depraved situation that gripped the United States. One particular situation that defines, yet defies, the circumstances of the depression and New Deal legislation is the survival of Otter Tail County, Minnesota. The farming economy of this community was most directly affected by the decrease in foreign market demand for their domestic products. Although this waning of economic demand had devastated other parts of the country to the point of no return, the self sufficiency of Otter Tail County farmers allowed them to maintain survival throughout the harsh years of the depression.