Successes and Failures of Roosevelt's "New Deal"

Essay by rain0535University, Master'sA+, December 2007

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A. IntroductionOn July 2, 1932, at the Democratic National Convention, the crowd listened intently to the phrase:" I pledge you, I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people." This was the first time when the term" New Deal" was mentioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. Since then, the New Deal name was soon applied to the programs instituted by Roosevelt from 1933 to 1939 with the goal of relief, recovery and reform of the United States economy, in order to solve the economic problems created by the depression of the 1930's.

The New Deal legislation was enacted mainly in the first three months of 1933 (Roosevelt's "hundred days") and dozens of alphabet agencies were created as a result. The New Deal is generally considered to have consisted of two phases. The first phase (1933-34) attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression through programs of agricultural and business regulation, inflation, price stabilization, and public works.

The second phase of the New Deal (1935-39), while continuing with relief and recovery measures, provided for social and economic legislation to benefit the mass of working people. After 1937 the New Deal met with increasing criticism and the speed of reform slackened, and there was growing Republican opposition to the huge public spending, high taxes, and centralization of power in the executive branch of government; within the Democratic Party itself there was strong disapproval from the "old guard" and from disgruntled members of the Brain Trust. As the prospect of war in Europe increased, the emphasis of government shifted to foreign affairs. There was little retreat from reform, however; at the end of World War II, most of the New Deal legislation was still intact, and it remains the foundation for American social...