Historian Barton J. Bernstein's Views on the New Deal

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, New Deal, Washington, D.C. Pages: 4 (1104 words) Published: December 14, 2012
The Effects of the New Deal

Historian Barton J. Bernstein claimed that the New Deal "did not transform the American System… It failed to raise the impoverished, it failed to redistribute income, it failed to extend equality and generally countenanced racial discrimination… It failed generally to make business more responsible to the social welfare or to threaten business' pre-eminent political power." Although he makes valid points in his argument, I personally have to disagree with him. First, The New Deal did indeed transform the American System in many ways. Second, it did achieve to extend some equality to those who were racially discriminated. Finally, it did make business more responsible to social welfare. The New Deal allowed the American Government to expand its role, thus transforming the American System.

In the year 1932, thirteen million people living in the United State were out of work. Of those out of work, one third relied on hand outs given by charities, and there was no government welfare. In November of 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States. One of his first moves as President was introducing the "The New Deal." It was created not to destroy democracy, but to strengthen it. It became historically significant to our nation, giving the 1930s its own identity. Although it did not pull the United States out of the Great Depression, it laid out the tracks that led to its recovery through Roosevelt's reforms. Barton J. Bernstein makes a valid point that the New Deal failed to redistribute income, at least, the national income. It failed to resolve the economic crisis. What it did was it reforming the American financial sector. Other than redistributing the national income, it did redistribute where the American people's money went. Programs, such as the Social Security Act, gave the American people benefits and economic security from their own government.

The Social Security Act "established a permanent...
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