The New Deal got underway during the first 100 days of the Roosevelt administration and experienced both successes and failures; but those failures and a mounting opposition to New Deal policies and programs would deter the New Deal from moving forward. Out of the lessons learned during the first New Deal, a Second New Deal would hone its effectiveness and move the federal government to center stage. This move would prove to be successful in resolving many of the nation's immediate issues as well as change the way government is viewed by its citizens. Among the high points were the Works Progress Act (WPA), the Social Security Act, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), farming and labor reform. Within a short period, the Second New Deal would leave its mark upon the nation, but be halted with the focus of the nation turning to war. Nevertheless, the lasting effects of the New Deal are still evident in America today.
A primary concern coming from New Deal critics was its failure to address poverty, unemployment, and the elderly on a large scale. With an election looming n 1936, Roosevelt "launched a program designed to provide more security and income for the masses." (Link 299) Working with leadership of the groups identified coming out of the recent congressional campaigns of 1934, such as farmers, workers, the aged, and lower-middle classes, he would set out to use the power of the federal government to provide the primary relief for the entire nation. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a high point in that it would exemplified the notion of the "New Deal's humanitarian impulses." (Link 300) It began in 1935 and was allocated an enormous budget of $5 billion with a goal of moving people off relief in the form of jobs. The majority of the funds were spent for conservation and construction projects with a smaller but significant amount was spent on community programs "on the novel theory that even intellectuals had to eat-enrolling musicians, actors, writers, artists, and even historians.