How did the New Deal change the role of the federal government in American life?

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The New Deal set out from its very inception to make significant changes in American life. Never before had the federal government entered into the business of job creation for job creation's sake. With the Great Depression decimating the American economy, the second Roosevelt Administration saw it as necessary for the federal government to take an active role in mitigating the ongoing crisis. It had become clear that the scale of the Great Depression was simply too large and too widespread for traditional private charities and programs to deal with. The task of keeping Americans employed, fed, and housed needed to be coordinated and funded on a scale only achievable by the federal government.

Many New Deal programs are still in place today. These include social security, the FDIC, the FCIC, and the SEC. Also, the New Deal set a precedent in which the federal government could take a more active role in the lives of Americans. In this way, the role of government was greatly expanded. Government agencies to protect the rights of farmers, unions, workers, etc. were established. Later presidential administrations, such as Truman, Johnson, and Obama would take inspiration from Roosevelt's New Deal to create or advocate for their own large-scale liberal programs aimed at expanding American prosperity.

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The New Deal brought about many social service programs into the sphere of the federal government that had not formerly existed on the size, scope, and scale of The New Deal. As a response to the Great Depression, in which the US experienced the worst economic crisis in its history, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted several laws that aimed to alleviate the heavy burden of the economic crisis from the shoulders of working class America.

Dozens of programs and agencies were created by FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) through the New Deal. There were two waves of the New Deal in which FDR's administration sought to address economic, housing, food, and quality of life issues for working class and unemployed Americans. Previously, much of the social and economic inequality in America was addressed through charity and private aid. Welfare was not really a realm of the government. However, because of the immense size of the economic crisis, the federal government decided to introduce agencies and programs within the federal government realm that addressed the economic welfare of its citizens.

This shift led to a cultural shift in the ways in which the state was viewed by Americans. While these views could certainly be affected by the race, class, and gender of an individual, there was a general shift in the view that the government could perhaps provide a form of economic security to Americans. The New Deal greatly expanded the role of the state in citizens' lives, which was previously thought to be an oppressive and unwanted force in people's everyday lives. After the New Deal, people who were able to benefit from the programs began to see the growth of the state as not inherently oppressive.

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The New Deal led to a huge and unprecedented expansion in the role of the federal government in American life. Before Roosevelt was elected in 1932, the prevailing consensus was that the role of the federal government should be limited. Americans has always had a healthy suspicion of too great a centralization of power; this was a key part of the nation's revolutionary inheritance. However, due to the unprecedented economic disaster of the Great Depression, more people came to see the necessity of the federal government taking on a more active role in the management of the economy. It seemed to many that only the federal government had the requisite resources and power to be able to dig the country out of the huge hole it now found itself in.

In numerous agencies, such as the Works Progress Administration, the federal government created jobs that would have been generated by the private sector under normal circumstances. Although the New Deal was ostensibly designed to ameliorate the worst conditions of the Great Depression, it came to take on a life of its own, so that increasing numbers of Americans looked to the federal government to provide a range of services on a more permanent basis. The New Deal initiated a cultural sea change in how most Americans perceived the role of the federal government. Far from being a threat to liberty, centralized government was now seen as something that enabled millions of individuals to lead more fulfilling lives, free from the clutches of poverty and unemployment.

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The New Deal had a significant impact on the role of the American government in people’s lives. Before the Great Depression, most Americans believed the government should have a very limited role in their lives. This laissez-faire philosophy worked very well during most of the 1920s. Many people didn’t want there to be too many government rules and regulations.

When the United States went through its worst depression ever, people began to shift their attitude about the role of government. During the Great Depression, people looked to the government for answers. They expected the government to develop programs to provide them with relief from the devastating effects of the Great Depression. They also expected the government to bring about changes so this type of crisis wouldn’t happen again. People began to the view the government as a safety net during times of crisis or difficulty.

To this day, people look to the federal government when times are tough. We expect the federal government to provide relief from natural disasters. We expect the government to act when the economy significantly slumps. It is no longer acceptable for the government to be inactive during times of serious crisis. This shift in attitude came about as a result of the Great Depression.

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