The New Deal and the Great Society - Essay Example

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The New Deal and the Great Society

Roosevelt believed that other matters were far more important than racial discrimination. Never willing to lose the support of Southern Congressional Democrats, he declined to support legislation making lynching a crime, while denouncing lynching in his speeches. He declined to advocate banning the poll tax, used by southern whites to deny the vote to southern blacks. He refused to use the relief agencies to challenge local patterns of discrimination; the NRA tolerated widespread practices of paying blacks less than whites, blacks were largely excluded from employment in the TVA; the FHA refused to provide mortgages to blacks moving into white neighborhoods; and the AAA was ineffectual in protecting the interest of black share croppers and tenant farmers. Some liberal historians argue that the New Deal laid the groundwork for the “broker state” to be expanded a generation later, mostly through the work of the next wave of liberal reform – the civil rights movement and the Great Society – to embrace groups marginalized in the 1930’s – however, many African American historians insist that the civil rights movement owed everything to black activists and very little to the New Deal. Roosevelt was an idealist with a vision. He promised the American people a New Deal, but when he took office during his first term, he had no idea what that New Deal would consist of. He knew the American people were in dire need of relief, and this could only be brought about through recovery, and that all aspects of the American system were in need of reform. ...
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The author of the essay "The New Deal and the Great Society" comments on the historical issues. It is stated that historians on the left denounce Roosevelt for rescuing capitalism when the opportunity was at hand to nationalize banking, railroads and other institutions.
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