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Men work on a Watauga County road during the Depression.

Men with shovels and wheelbarrows in a work program in Watauga County, North Carolina. This photograph is part of the online exhibit, “Works Projects in North Carolina, 1933-1941″ and is published courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives. About the photograph

President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” created a variety of new federal programs that aimed to put Americans back to work and to regulate the economy to prevent another Depression. State governments, too, worked to help citizens cope with the effects of the Depression. Governments also took the opportunity to introduce other kinds of reforms — regulating industry to protect workers’ health and safety, for example.

In this chapter you’ll read about some of the programs enacted by the State of North Carolina and by the federal government during the 1930s. These programs were meant to create jobs and improve people’s lives, and many did — but others, intentionally or unintentionally, hurt some of the people who needed the most help.