The Jeffersonian idea that liberty and equality would be best achieved by everyman pursuing his own interest and a federal government with greatly constrained powers is often seen as America's traditional political philosophy. During the 20th century, three periods of government activism particularly called into question this philosophy: the Progressive Era, the New Deal and the Great Society. During these three atypical periods in American history, federal government actively attempted to reform U.S. society with profoundly similar objectives: winning social and economic justice, revitalizing public life and democracy, and unify a divided society. Their priorities and greatest achievements were different mostly because they occurred in different social, economic and political circumstances. But there was great continuity between the Progressive Era, the New Deal and the Great Society, which this paper intends to demonstrate.
Tags: Comparing the great society and progressive era, Great society era, Great society and new deal, American progressive era and great society, Great society, new deal and progressive principles
[...] To conclude, although Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson also played crucial roles, it is important to notice that the Progressive Era was the achievement of large and bipartisan grass- root movements rather than only the project of a president. As a result, the priorities for government activism were those of these movements' middle-class base. The Great Depression greatly determined the nature and extent of the New Deal achievements. First of all, Herbert Hoover's failure to handle the Great Depression brought Franklin D. [...]
[...] Yet, the founding of the Progressive Party was a crucial moment in the development of American liberalism, for it first proclaimed the government duty to help the disadvantaged in overcoming poverty and powerlessness that FDR would then embrace as his own creed. The New Deal was the inspiration for LBJ's Great Society in 1960s. Liberal transformation of American society from the early 20th century to the 1960s was a gradual process resulting from the successive and complementary contributions of the Progressive Era, New Deal and Great Society. Works Cited Dawley Alan. [...]
[...] The Great Depression made it politically possible in peace time and the Progressive precedent of large federal government with the power to control the economy during the WW1 helped FDR to justify his federal activism. In some ways, the New Deal was the achievement of the Progressive agenda. Roosevelt and his close collaborators were truly the architects of the New Deal while the Progressive Era had been influenced by diverse grass-roots movements. Under FDR, the President was the single leader of the nation, talking directly to the American people through his famous fireside chats and using executive orders largely. [...]
[...] The Progressive Era, the New Deal and the Great Society all defended the same idea of progress. Their principles and objectives were almost the same and numbers of these principles such as environmental conservation, support to unions, and improvement of the wider world would deserve to be recalled but their priorities and thus their achievements differed. The next part of this paper explains how the economic, social and political circumstances determined what governments saw as the most pressing issues and the way they handled them. [...]
[...] During the Great Depression, social and economic problems temporarily overshadowed the racial issue. African Americans were certainly among the major victims of the Depression but not of the New Deal as Powell pretends (ix). Although it is truth that racial discrimination and segregation persisted, they were originated in local administration rather than from the policies of the New Dealers and important gains were nevertheless registered in the 1930s. Federal funds went to schools and hospitals in Black neighborhoods and Roosevelt appointed a small but unprecedented numbers of African Americans in the government and other federal positions (Kennedy 378). [...]
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