Compare and contrast the New Deal’s goals with those of the Populist movement.

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Both Populism and the New Deal sought to create better conditions for marginalized members of society. While Populism focused mainly on the farmer, the New Deal was intended to help the working class in general. Both sprang out of times of economic crisis: Populism from the economic downturn of the...

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Both Populism and the New Deal sought to create better conditions for marginalized members of society. While Populism focused mainly on the farmer, the New Deal was intended to help the working class in general. Both sprang out of times of economic crisis: Populism from the economic downturn of the 1890s and the New Deal from the Great Depression.

Populism sought to create a graduated income tax, the free coinage of gold and silver to ease credit, nationalization of railroads and telephones, and an eight-hour workday. Populist candidates succeeded on the city and state level and even elected some members to Congress. However, their party was co-opted by the Democrat William Jennings Bryan in 1896, and they never gained the White House.

The New Deal was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Before Roosevelt was in office, the United States had already created a graduated income tax and the direct election of senators, both of which were goals of the Populist movement. As part of the New Deal, Roosevelt created massive projects, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority and Civilian Conservation Corps camps. He instituted an eight-hour workday and a federal minimum wage. He also created Social Security and placed greater emphasis on labor unions. There was fear that the federal government would grow too strong during the New Deal era; however, Roosevelt never called for the nationalization of industries. Perhaps Roosevelt's greatest reforms were in the banking and finance industries, where he created the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation.

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