How did the New Deal fundamentally reshape the relationship between the federal government and its citizens?
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The New Deal fundamentally changed the relationship between the federal government and its citizens by creating a relationship in which the people came to depend more on the government than they had in the past.
Before the New Deal, the federal government was relatively detached from the lives of average members of the public. Most importantly, the federal government took little or no responsibility for the people’s prosperity or financial security. There was much more of a sense that people should take care of themselves. In the event that people could not do so, families and things like private charities should step in.
With the New Deal, all of this changed. All of a sudden, the government was taking a major role in ensuring that people would be at least somewhat secure. It created programs like Social Security and the FDIC to do this. The New Deal also created the expectation that, when things go really badly, the federal government will help people. This is what the government was doing through programs such as the WPA and the CCC.
The major change, then, is that the people came to expect that the federal government would help to ensure their prosperity and economic security.
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