Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

Classic Pamphlets

By D. K. Adams, published 12th July 2011

A watershed moment in American history

New Deal is the name given to the policies of the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s. Elected in 1932, at a time of great economic depression, he sought to alleviate distress by using the inherent powers of government, and the New Deal era come to be seen as a one of the classic watersheds in United States history.

Historians and commentators, like Roosevelt's contemporaries, have been preoccupied with problems of definition presented by complex and varied policies. The present essay focuses on the mind of Roosevelt, and suggests that a key to his political philosophy may be found in the pragmatic and progressive traditions. Its findings may be controversial, but the New Deal is capable of widely differing interpretations. This pamphlet represents one stage in what is still an active debate.

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