The New Deal in the US

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The New Deal was assumed by most to be totally constitutional, however this might not be the total picture. Some of the legislation passed in the Hundred Days of emergency during 1933 blatantly defied parts of the constitution. In some cases, the President was given authority that was delegated specifically to the legislative branch. Franklin D. Roosevelt had just beat Hoover in a presidential election just under five months before he called the legislature in for a special session. During the next hundred days Roosevelt had the congress at his mercy, boasting his three R's, Relief, Recovery, Reform. The Congress passed hundreds of bills into laws all known under many different acronyms, which was later called 'alphabet soup.'

        One of the first streams of legislation was to reform the banking of the country. In 1933 Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933. This law gave the president the power to regulate banking transactions, foreign exchange, and to reopen solvent banks.

This laws authorized to confiscate all the gold of the country. The gold reserve was quickly disintegrating. In order to prevent further disruption of currency caused by the lack, Roosevelt turned back to the fiete money system. The Treasury printed bills that were not necessarily backed by gold. Congress backed him up by canceling the gold payment clause in all contracts and authorizing repayment in paper money. These laws went directly against the constitution. Article I, Section X, Paragraph 1 states, 'No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts....' Clearly this would mean that this laws are unconstitutional. However, it can be said that the 'elastic clause', Article I, Section VIII,