President Franklin D. Roosevelt's program of relie

This essay has a total of 868 words and 4 pages.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt's program of relief, recovery, and reform that aimed at
solving the economic problems created by the Depression of the 1930's, was referred to as
the New Deal. The Great Society was the name given to the domestic program of the U.S.
president Lyndon B. Johnson. Both programs had similar yet opposing points.

Something had to be done about the banking system disintegration, and the most
conservative business leaders were as ready for government intervention as the most
advanced radicals (Garraty 765). It was unquestionably Franklin D. Roosevelt who provided
the spark that reenergized the American people (Garraty 765). "His inaugural address,
delivered in a raw mist beneath dark March skies, reassured the country and at the same
time stirred it to action" (Garraty 765). Accepting the 1932 Democratic presidential
nomination, Roosevelt said, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American
people" (Stevenson 125). "The New Deal included federal action of unprecedented scope to
stimulate industrial recovery, assist victims of the Depression, guarantee minimum living
standards, and prevent future economic crises" (Stevenson 125). At first, the New Deal was
concerned mainly with relief, but the later years-beginning in 1935 and often called the
second New Deal-emphasized reform (Stevenson 127).

His inaugural captured the heart of the country; almost half a million letters of
congratulation poured into the White House (Garraty 765). A large minority labeled the New
Deal a solid success. "Considerable recovery had taken place, but more basic was the fact
that Roosevelt, recruiting an army of forceful officials to staff the new government
agencies, had infused his administration with a spirit of bustle and optimism" (Garraty
769). Although he wasn't much of an intellectual, his openness to suggestion made him
eager to draw on the ideas and energies of experts of all sorts.

The New Deal lacked any consistent ideological base. After 1936, the New Deal was thrown
increasingly on the defensive (Stevenson 130). "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that much of
the New Deal legislation was unconstitutional, and the presidents proposal to enlarge the
court to make it more liberal and therefore more amenable to the legislation caused many
members of Congress to desert the president" (Stevenson 130). In addition, a severe
recession led many people to turn against the New Deal policies. When World War II erupted
in September 1939, Roosevelt grew increasingly reluctant to support reforms that might, by
antagonizing conservatives in Congress or by alienating any bloc of voters, jeopardize
support for his foreign policy (Stevenson 131). No major New Deal was enacted after 1938.

United States entry into the war provided a temporary solution for many problems that had
baffled New Dealers. The war, not the New Deal, triggered massive industrial expansion,
brought about full employment, and pushed farm income to new heights (Stevenson 131). The
New Deal did, however, lay the foundation for a greater federal commitment to manage the
economy and provide a system of programs to aid the poor (Stevenson 131).

Existing laws had failed to end the Depression. "Extremists were luring away some of
Continues for 2 more pages >>