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Unit 10 – The New Deal Notes #4 USII 6d. The student will d) Identify the causes of the Great Depression, its impact on Americans, and the major features of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected President of the United States in 1932. He immediately took actions to improve the Great Depression. Laws passed during this time were known as: The New Deal Major features of the New Deal: 1. started Social Security 2. started work programs to create new jobs 3. started environmental improvement programs 4. started farm assistance programs 5. increased rights for labor FDR and his wife Eleanor were very popular with Americans. He began talking to people in the United States over the radio. These talks were called “fireside chats.” Franklin Roosevelt suffered from a disease called polio, which paralyzed both of his legs. Because of this, Eleanor often traveled in his place. She also wrote a daily newspaper column and worked on equal rights for women and minorities.