Houjun Liu

effects of the New Deal

  • Many Mexican-Americans worked as migratory laborers + outside programs
  • Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
  • Woman were paied less
  • Environmental cost of damns and public projects

commentary on the effects of the New Deal

Incorporating aspects of Arthur M. Schlesinger’s Appraisal of the New Deal, William E. Leuchtenburg’s Appraisal of the New Deal, Anthony Badger’s Appraisal of the New Deal.

Through the analysis of the New Deal programs, what was particularly salient was Anthony Badger’s framing of the event as not one that is ultimately “successful” or “failed” but instead one which focuses on its long-term effects in context with the future policies. The equivocal labeling allows nuance that places the Deal properly in its historical content. According to Badger, helping the poor, a significant policy goal of the deals, were left as “unfinished business” when going to war. This idea contrasts with William E. Leuchtenburg’s framing of the same event—that it was never the true intention of the deal to assist in subsidies on a humane level, but that which supported the economy and incidentally those that reaped benefits on it.

This new frame is much more useful when analyzing the deal. In fact, Leuchtenburg took this a step further and claimed that the New Deal didn’t work largely because it was impossible for it to have repaired the damage by the Hoover administration. Furthermore, according to Schlesinger, programs like the NRA were created with already the clear assumption that there were not enough policy tools in place to actually achieve it to the fullest extent. Under this mind frame, then, it is not difficult to see the New Deal as one that intentionally brought a failing US economy—and those participating in it—to full swing whilst ignoring those that didn’t have an economic influence. It was, therefore, never about helping “people”: it is a policy and economic tool like any other.

Through this somewhat revisionist view, it is much easier to place into perspective New Deal’s zealot focus on young men, strange deficiency in some areas, and central focus on infrastructure. In that regard, the New Deal worked very well to bring a failing economy back to a semblance of normalcy for the privileged few.