The New Deal Program was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's effort to pull the United States out of the Great Depression. As part of it, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration was designed to improve the income of farmers and create economic stability. It was a short-lived program that produced limited achievements.
The Goal of the AAA
In 1933, Congress passed a bill that established the AAA. Under the program, the government paid farmers for reducing the production of their crops -- this was called subsidization. By cutting production and reducing crops held in surplus, or storage, prices for existing crops rose due to increased demand. Exports to other countries were also reduced. In three years, the government paid American farmers $1.5 billion to take part in the program. The Commodity Credit Corporation was also implemented to provide loans to growers.
A Drought Helps Out
Between 1933 and 1936, the goal of the AAA was achieved mainly by Mother Nature. The implementation of the AAA coincided with a severe drought that reduced the production of crops and drove prices higher. By 1936, the Supreme Court had declared the AAA unconstitutional and it came to an end. The program was reauthorized by Congress in 1938. However, only the production demands of World War II could reduce surpluses to the level the AAA had hoped to achieve during the Great Depression.
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