Explore BrainMass

The Great Depression and the New Deal

More questions regarding Foner's text and his meanings in Chapter 21, as well as Zinn's book Chapter 4.

1) FDR's response to the Great Depression was called the New Deal, but what did this mean, according to Foner and Zinn, and how was it a shift away from traditional American politics?

2) What were the major problems with the New Deal, according to Foner and Zinn?

3) Did these problems end the Depression? Why or why not?

4) How did the New Deal affect women and minorities, according to the two authors?

5) What is the legacy of the New Deal today, especially in the current debate about the economic recession?

Solution Preview

The New Deal, Depression, and Great Recession

President Roosevelt's exercise of power was not completely new (Andrew Jackson extended presidential authority quite a bit), but his insistence on passing programs, bypassing the Supreme Court and forcing their hand (basically, "I will do this and if it's wrong, let them force me to stop since they have that power") embodied a completely new approach. It was actually scary in its own right, because it revealed just how much the president could do if he wanted to, even with the checks from the Constitution in place. Was it productive? Yes. Was it necessary? Perhaps. Was it questionable behavior? Probably.

The reason your authors might be reticent to wholly endorse this actually has to do with a debate over Keynesian economics. At that time, it was viewed that, instead of being more laissez-faire and letting the market correct itself, input from an external source was necessary to keep the economy at ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the great depression and the new deal.