John Collier persuaded Congress to pass the Indian Reorganization Act, which terminated the allotment program of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887; provided funds for tribes to purchase new land; offered government recognition of tribal constitutions; and repealed prohibitions on Native American languages and customs. Later the same year, federal grants were provided to local school districts, hospitals, and social welfare agencies to assist American Indians.
Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the federal court system and the position of attorney general. The Supreme Court had already been established by the Constitution but the creation of a lower federal court system had been left to Congress.
Congress enacted the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which dramatically raised tariffs on imports an average of 20 percent in order to protect American industry and farming. The tariff prompted retaliation from foreign governments and created a ripple effect of global trade reduction.
At Roosevelt’s urging, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Bill, which took the nation off the gold standard, allowed some Federal Reserve System banks to reopen, and permitted the Federal Reserve and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to provide funds to buy stocks in chosen banks.
Congress adopted a policy of “termination” toward American Indians with the intention of “as rapidly as possible mak[ing] Indians within the territorial limits of the United States subject to the same laws and entitled to the same privileges and responsibilities as are applicable to other citizens of the United States.”
Congress adopted the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the Union as a free state without forbidding slavery in other territories acquired from Mexico. The law prohibited the sale of slaves in Washington, DC, but included a strict law requiring the return of runaway slaves to slaveholders.