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It's hard to say whether the New Deal was really successful or unsuccessful. It was very ambitious, even desperate. It did over-reach, but it put into place some crucial social programs that survive today even though they have been targets ever since.
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The main way in which the New Deal was not successful was in the fact that it did not end the Great Depression.  Instead, the Depression lasted until the US started to gear up for WWII.  Even as late as 1940, the unemployment rate in the US was much higher than it had been before the start of the Depression.  In addition, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the US was still lower in 1940 than it was in 1929.  Those are the two most important measures of a country's economic strength and the New Deal failed to get either of them back to pre-Depression levels, even 7 years after the start of the New Deal.

Although the New Deal was a success in many ways, it failed to end the Depression.  This is the main way in which it was not successful.

 

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I wouls say the one argument that could be made as to why the New Deal was not successful was that it did not remedy the economic problems that plagued the nation.  The idea of being able to overcome the crippling economic depression that held the nation was something that helped to give birth to the New Deal.  In the end, it was something that could not be overcome because it was the Second World War that officially pulled America out of economic chaos and the crippling condition of the nation.  World War II essentially killed the New Deal, and its intended goal was never achieved.  As evident as 1938, when anti- New Deal leaders were being elected to Congress, it was becoming apparent that the allure of the New Deal was wearing thin.  The lack of success of the New Deal ended up being parlayed into American entry into World War II, a move that ended up doing what the New Deal could only hope to do.

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