President Roosevelt and his advisers created an economic relief, recovery, and reform plan called the New Deal. Explain the significance of this plan in terms of its change in the role of government.
One of the most significant elements of the New Deal was that it forcefully transformed the role of government into an initiator of action. This can be best seen when President Roosevelt's view of government is contrasted with the view held by President Hoover. For Hoover, the economic crisis that gripped the nation could be managed without government action. Private charities and businesses could handle the magnitude of the problem. In his reassurance that everything was fine and that the Status Quo was still acceptable, it became clear that Hoover advocated a form of government where intervention was minimal, at best.
President Roosevelt viewed the role of government as transformative. Roosevelt sought an active government that could provide immediate relief to sectors impacted by the economic crisis. The immediacy of government action in declaring a bank holiday and that all assets could be guaranteed was evidence of this. At the same time, the development of new initiatives of government that sought to get people back to work is another example of how government was seen as a direct initiative force.
For Roosevelt, the value of government was evident in how it could provide a sense of relief and recovery to people and institutions impacted by the economic crisis.
It is significant to note that government was no longer to be seen as an outsider, a bystander in the economic challenges. Roosevelt developed a view of government in which it was designed to help individuals navigate the crisis. It was an instrument of change, a tool that could be used to help alleviate the suffering of individuals in a time where much struggle was evident.