Continuity And Change Over Time Essay Thesis

Indeed, the 1930s saw both the potential for a “New Left” as well as a slide into extremism.Radicals promised “state socialism that would control national economies and restore stability.” This reality was epitomized by the fate of the Popular Front coalition, “which terminated with the signing of the Hitler-Stalin pact in the summer of 1939.” Both FDR and the masses wanted to end the Depression and reform the economy so that it would not happen again, but neither wanted to embrace dictatorship.[5] One way to approach the novelty of the New Deal is to understand the system it was reacting against: that of the Hoover administration.

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For example, the RFC was set up to redistribute money to local treasuries, but Hoover would do so through loans, grants.

As Rauchway states, Hoover “did nothing immediate for non-banker Americans.”[6] The failures of Hoover’s administration to halt the quickening slide of the Depression culminated in the Bonus Army Riots of 1932.

Rather, the New Deal was guided by a patrician-like desire to appease the American public by presenting novel, openly experimental approaches to an extraordinary problem.

FDR intended these approaches to revise the game board of the American economy, not to change the game.

As Kathryn Olmsted states, “Roosevelt wanted to save capitalism” through reform.

And so, while the New Deal was groundbreaking in many ways, its horizons were ultimately limited.It helped to decrease the flow of products through the erection of tariff barriers with the Smoot-Hawley Act.Also, instead of lending credit, the Federal Reserve remained largely paralyzed.The program never embraced wealth redistribution, extreme ideologies, the nationalization of private property, or state-protected racial equality.[2] What are historians to make of this seeming paradox between the radicalism and conservatism of the New Deal?The following paper will briefly explore this question through an analysis of New Deal history.The Democratic nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt entered the White House on March 4, 1933.The former New York governor had won the 1932 election by a landslide to become the thirty-second president of the United States.From approximately 1933 to 1940, the New Deal fundamentally altered the texture of American history.Political parties realigned, the federal government’s role in society mushroomed, labor and consumers received support against capital, Progressive legislation redefined welfare, and the landscape was redrawn with new infrastructure.Out-of-work veterans and their families camped near the Capitol in hopes of receiving an early redemption for their service certificates.General Douglas Mac Arthur used the United States’ own army to violently evict them.


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