The New Deal and the Great Society

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Katie Wagner
Moira Clark
AP United States History
25 March 2013
The New Deal and the Great Society
Although the New Deal was established about thirty years before the Great Society was, they both embodied similar characteristics. The origins of these two parts of history clearly resemble each other. Also, the goals of the Great Society largely compare to those of the New Deal. Finally, the New Deal and the Great Society prove to be alike through their lasting legacies. The Great Society resembles the New Deal in its origins, goals, and social and political legacies.

The origins of the Great Society reflects that of the New Deal in various ways. One common origin of these two programs is their basis in Progressive ideas. Although the period after World War I was very conservative, many Progressive reforms were brought to the table and, through the New Deal, could now be used to help the economic crisis (Lawson 41). One Progressive reform from the New Deal was the creation of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which helped labor, industry, and the unemployed all at the same time (Kennedy, Cohen, and Bailey, “New Deal” 781). A Great Society Progressive reform is the increased funding for the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which helped to restore the tattered Appalachian region (Kennedy, Cohen, and Bailey, “Stormy Sixties” 922). Both of these reforms were based on using government intervention to provide for the working and middle class, which is a Progressive tactic.

The New Deal and Great Society also had another mutual origin in their necessity because of an economic hardship. Before the New Deal was established, the Great Depression hit America in 1929 (“New Deal” 1). Franklin D. Roosevelt commented, “… trade and commerce had declined to dangerously low levels; prices for basic commodities were such as to destroy the value of the assets of national institutions such as banks, savings banks, insurance companies, and others” (“Outlining”...
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