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Satisfactory Essays
Elected in 1932 following the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took on his presidency as a challenge to reform the United States by finding ways to provide a larger amount of people economic security in an unequal financial environment. To accomplish this goal, Roosevelt not only implemented a variety of New Deal programs under the categories of reform, recovery and relief, but also redefined what the word “liberty” meant for Americans.
Upon winning the presidency, FDR faced several problems that had been perpetuated by the Great Depression. He focused on the government’s responsibility to improve the welfare of more Americans and addressed the large problem of unemployment. FDR “worked to reclaim the word ‘freedom’ from the Republicans, and made it a rallying cry for the New Deal”(Foner, Voices, page 172). He redefined what “liberty” meant for America, giving it a wider breadth that encompassed the average man, not just an elite few. The concept of “liberty” transformed from an idea that promoted free economic activities and limited government interference, to a more modern view that encouraged government action and the economic uplifting of the average man (Foner, Give Me Liberty, page 644). FDR believed in “social- welfare” liberalism where the government increases its scope of influence by taking on a more active role to promote the well being of more Americans. This differed from the more traditional view of liberty that produced capitalistic success among the “privileged few” at the expense of the working class.
Under the New Deal, several legislations were passed to reform the United States labor policies and encourage more active government participation; one of these policies was called the National Labor Reli...

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... New Deal, because he believed it was not providing enough help for the poor. He developed his own alternative to the New Deal that he called “Share Our Wealth”. This plan called for the introduction of progressive government taxes in order to spread the nation’s money more evenly among class lines.
Overall, the New Deal was a mixture of both success and failure. While it provided relief to millions of people and increased government involvement in the economy, the New Deal was unable to redistribute the wealth among Americans, and poverty was still prevalent. During his time in office, FDR established a modern definition for the word freedom and introduced a new type of liberalism that encouraged the government to have a more prevalent role in the lives of Americans. Though not supported by all, the New Deal was FDR’s attempt in bettering the welfare of the nation.
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