How did the New Deal fundamentally reshape the relationship between the federal government and its citizens?

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Before the New Deal, the federal government primarily saw its role as defending the nation militarily and left other financial issues in the hands of state and local governments, the private sector, and private, often religious, charities. However, the magnitude of the economic collapse brought on by the Depression overwhelmed local and private institutions. More and more people began to look to communism and other radical solutions to alleviate the widespread economic distress. More troublingly, people began to feel that the capitalist system was the wrong way to organize society, as it had so obviously failed to bring prosperity. President Roosevelt's New Deal has been credited with saving the capitalist system in the US by both regulating it more strictly and providing a social safety net that allowed it to function without destroying itself.

For the first time, the federal government began safeguarding the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 450 words.)

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