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Series of Economic Programs

  • Date Submitted: 03/15/2010 10:59 AM
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The New Deal was a series of economic programs passed by Congress during the first term of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, from 1933 to his reelection in 1937. Few new programs were enacted after 1936, and many agencies were disbanded during World War II. The programs were responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the 3 Rs: relief, recovery and reform. That is, relief for the unemployed and poor, recovery of the economy to normal levels, and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression. The New Deal produced a political realignment, making the Democratic Party the majority, with its base in liberal ideas, big city machines, and newly empowered labor unions. The Republicans were split, either opposing the entire New Deal as an enemy of business and growth, or accepting some of it and promising to make it more efficient. The realignment crystallized into the New Deal Coalition that dominated most American elections into the 1960s, while the opposition Conservative Coalition largely controlled Congress from 1937 to 1964.
    As a Republican President in the 1950s, Dwight D. Eisenhower left the New Deal largely intact. In the 1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society took New Deal policies further. After 1974, libertarian views grew in support, calling for deregulation of the economy and ending New Deal regulation of transportation, banking and communications in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, key elements of the New Deal, especially Social Security, still exist today.[1]


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