How did the New Deal change the role of the government?

The New Deal changed the role of the government in several ways, including involving the government more in the economy and in the personal lives of citizens and establishing organizations and systems to help the people, such as Social Security.

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It should be noted, during the early Twentieth Century, the United States government took on a more significant and active role under the Progressives. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, was famous for his efforts in prosecuting big business operations (furthermore, it should be noted that his successor, Taft, was far more...

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It should be noted, during the early Twentieth Century, the United States government took on a more significant and active role under the Progressives. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, was famous for his efforts in prosecuting big business operations (furthermore, it should be noted that his successor, Taft, was far more active in prosecuting big business than Roosevelt himself had been). Later, government would take on still greater power for itself, with the advent of World War I and the requirements of coordinating a wartime economy.

After the end of World War I, there was a reaction against this increase in government power represented by the Progressives and, later, the First World War. Thus, in the 1920's, Republican presidents, starting with Warren Harding, restored a policy of laissez faire economics, which eschewed government regulation of the economy. However, the Great Depression made laissez faire untenable. The election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt signaled a profound shift towards the political left, with a far more powerful and interventionist federal government than had ever previously been seen in US history.

Roosevelt advocated for deficit spending, and under the New Deal, federally funded organizations and agencies were created, aimed at providing relief and getting people working again. Under his leadership, the government also famously imposed an audit of the banking industry in order to stabilize that sector of the economy. New regulatory measures and safeguards were put in place (such as the FDIC, which insured savings accounts, or the SEC, which regulated the Stock Market). Additionally, as part of the New Deal, the US government would adopt a system of social security for the first time. These are only a few examples. There are many more you can point to.

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The New Deal significantly impacted the way the government worked and related to everyday peoples' lives. The New Deal was the first experience people had with a government that was actively and intimately involved with their livelihood and every day activities.

Prior to the New Deal, the government dealt strictly with major legislation, the overall economy and federal reserve, and foreign affairs such as wars and treaties. Obviously this minimizes many of their actions, but in general, these were its functions. The New Deal, however, overthrew much of those ideas.

When Roosevelt introduced the New Deal, the American economy was in the middle of the worst depression the world had know, and many people were out of jobs, becoming homeless, and starving. In order to revitalize the economy, FDR decided to create the New Deal, which created countless jobs for the citizens, in an attempt to create new industries and more economic growth. This action was fairly successful, helping to create new highway systems, expand America to the west, and create new opportunities at gathering resources. This stimulated the economy and helped people find jobs. Prior to this event, however, the government had been largely separate from people's everyday lives, including their jobs and housing situations. This was the first step to creating a personal government, that would involve itself in the daily details of everyone's lives and activities.

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Before the New Deal, the government was not as deeply involved in the financial and personal lives of ordinary people, and the bureaucracy of the federal government was far less developed. For example, Herbert Hoover tried to resolve the Great Depression with a limited public works project and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which loaned money to businesses. However, the bureaucracy and power of the federal government were too limited under Hoover to really stop the financial woes of the country.

Under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, government bureaucracy greatly expanded to provide relief, recovery, and reform. Relief was money and grants paid to states that went to individuals through agencies such as FERA (Federal Emergency Relief Act). Recovery helped to "pump prime" or restart the economy through providing jobs in agencies such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The government was also actively involved in reforming the economy through acts such as the establishment of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to ensure that a massive economic depression would not reoccur. Finally, the government established entitlement programs such as Social Security that provided a safety net for the elderly and poor. These entitlement programs were later expanded to include Medicare and Medicaid under Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty (and the Affordable Care Act under Barack Obama). During the Great Depression, the government began to play an active role in protecting the poor and disenfranchised—a role that liberal Presidents would continue in the years to come. 

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The role of government during FDR's New Deal was an expansive one.  President Roosevelt understood government's role as one to provide relief, recovery, and reform to the nation's economic institutions that had failed after years of governmental non- intervention.  Roosevelt saw government differently.  As opposed to a force whose presence was largely absent from business and economic affairs, the New Deal saw government as an agent of action.  Roosevelt understood that the stagnant nature of the American economy featured so much inertia that government had to be the source of all action, initiating paths where job creation and growth could be evident.  It was in this light that the New Deal's alphabet soup of initiatives along with broadened executive power enabled Roosevelt to use government as a source of solutions towards people's power.

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The New Deal changed the role of government completely.  Before the New Deal, government had essentially no role in steering the economy or in providing for the people.  After the New Deal, the government has come to play a huge role in both of these things.

Before the New Deal, the government was expected to be more or less laissez-faire.  It was supposed to just stay out of the way and let the economy rise or fall "naturally."  If people were too old to work, they needed to rely on family.  If a bank failed, its depositors were out of luck.  The New Deal changed all of that.

Since the New Deal, the government has started to take care of us.  It provides Social Security and Medicare for the elderly.  It runs the FDIC to insure our bank deposits.  It lowers taxes and increases spending and does other things like that when the economy goes into a recession.

Because of the New Deal, the government has taken a huge role in the economy.  This is something that simply was not the case before the New Deal.

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