The Legacy Of The New Deal For America

He is widely recognized as one of America’s greatest presidents. His “New Deal” includes the Social Security Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Even though Roosevelt’s legacy and his New Deal were largely successful in combating poverty and unemployment that resulted after the 1929 Crash, the New Deal was not able to stop the stagflation. The military buildup after World War II, much like Germany’s, was what was able fully to pull America out from the depression. Although the U.S. had spent years on relief programs, its massive military buildup helped it reach full-employment again. The New Deal, even though it failed, still marks a significant turning point in American economics policy.

Roosevelt made major changes to fiscal policies, participated in economic and social reforms, and significantly restructured Government’s role in relation to the economy. Herbert Hoover, on the other hand, was very laissez faire about government involvement. Before Roosevelt, American economic regulation was accepted as being based on economic Darwinism. Most politicians supported “Crash and Boom economics” for America’s entire history. In other words, the market would fluctuate between growth and collapse and issues like unemployment and inflation would eventually “sort itself out.” Hummel (2015) explains that this policy was a failure to regulate the economy. Roosevelt felt quite the opposite. In fact, Roosevelt believed that America’s greatest threat was its massive unemployment rate in the mid-1900’s. He makes this clear in one of his Fireside Chats when he says “This is a great national crusade, a crusade to destroy enforced idleness, which is an enemy of the human spirit generated by this depression (Humphrey-Camardella, 2012. He was the first president to declare market regulation under the federal government’s control. The New Deal’s other major success was the restoration of people’s faith and belief in the presidency. Franklin Roosevelt, the predecessor to him, had done a terrible job of depressing the American public about these issues. He believed that public welfare was out of the scope of the government and stood by as the unemployment rate rose to nearly 25% and the number of people living in poverty grew (DeGrace (2011)). The residents of these towns created shanty towns and gave them the name “Hoovervilles”. The government’s reputation was further damaged when the military raided the Bonus Army’s protest camp. It was years before that much of the Cabinet of Warren G. Harding, 29th President, and Calvin Coolidge, 30th President, were plagued by scandals. Many of them took bribes. Roosevelt represented a significant shift away from the apathetic and scandalous tendencies of his predecessors. To create programs for public works that employed almost three million Americans, he used debt spending. He also managed wages and other workplace issues, making sure workers were not exploited or paid too low. Roosevelt was a populist and his primary concern was the well-being of his constituents.

Roosevelt was the Democratic party’s leader. They ruled the entire country, including both the Houses and Governorships. His New Deal helped unite Democrats and put them on the road to modern liberalism. Democrats accepted a social welfare and civil rights agenda; Roosevelt was the party’s de facto chief. His reputation for being a liberal populist was so widespread that, for the first 30 years, almost all of the offices of President were held by Democrats. Roosevelt was elected to his second and third terms by a wide margin. He served as a public figure in the United States for just over 12 years. His efforts helped create and unify the Democratic party. This led to one of the greatest American reigns. The current Democratic party still supports modern liberalism thanks to his introduction.

While the New Deal didn’t achieve its goals, it was a positive step in American politics. It was an attempt at solving a problem Roosevelt’s predecessor refused to address. Roosevelt’s efforts were not enough to end the depression. However, they helped millions of people and his programs for relief would have lifted America out of its depression. Roosevelt was the leader of a period known as liberalism. This liberalism can be called his birthright. Roosevelt also advocated for the same changes that high-profile Democrats are still pushing for today. His efforts restored America’s faith and led to the dawn of the modern age.


  • nicholashopkins

    Nicholas Hopkins is a social media teacher, writer and educator. He has been blogging since 2009, and has since published over 20 articles and taught social media in high school and college. He is currently a social media teacher and blogger at Nicholas Hopkins Academy.