How did the Southeners react to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal? 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main Southern reaction to the New Deal was to try to make the programs of the New Deal work for them while minimizing the extent to which they could be used to try to change the South's culture.

The South benefited greatly from many aspects of the New Deal.  Perhaps the greatest impact came from the Tennessee Valley Authority.  This brought jobs and electricity and flood control to a large section of the region.  Of course, Southerners were in favor of this.

What Southern politicians did not want was any hint of being forced to liberalize on racial issues.  Therefore, they blocked portions of some programs that would have helped black agricultural workers.  Roosevelt tried to push to elect more liberal Democrats from the South but was unable to do so.

Southerners, then, tried to get the benefits of the New Deal while preventing it from forcing unwanted change on them.