It would not be an understatement to claim that the Great Depression was one of the darkest hours in the American history. Therefore, the New Deal suggested by Frank Delano Roosevelt, or FDR, as he was commonly referred to, could be seen as a life-saving force. At the same time, there was a significant amount of controversy about the New Deal since I led to the increase in the power of trusts instead of regular citizens (Shi & Tindall, 2016). As a result, the problem of economic inequality was not resolved completely, which led to an even greater divide between the rich and the poor (Shi & Tindall, 2016). The significance of the New Deal can be summarized in FDR’s ability to pinpoint the core problems of the American economy of the time, simultaneously being a controversial solution undermining the power of regular citizens.
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The attempt at calling the New Deal “the second American Revolution” often raises multiple questions, yet there is solid evidence that the New Deal warranted the specified title. Representing the set of principles that would save the U.S. economy from even worse recession and the ultimate economic collapse that could have followed the Great depression, the New deal represented a pivotal change to the American economic environment. The endeavor to encourage private entrepreneurship turned out to be the crucial choice that promoted the economic revival of the American market and was a truly revolutionary step at the tome (Shi & Tindall, 2016). At the same time, the controversial aspects of the New Deal, such as the failure to address the socioeconomic inequalities within the American society, provided opportunities for creating more efficient strategies that could address the needs of vulnerable groups within the U.S. community.
Process of Change
With the transformation of the focus of the American economy, a massive change occurred within the U.S. market, causing the state’s GDP to rise exponentially. the fact that Roosevelt recognized the importance of private business and the need to support it indicated that the U.S. was ready to transfer to capitalist relationships and create premises for free trade (Shi & Tindall, 2016). Thus, the relationships within the American market improved significantly, leading to the emergence of new companies and causing a noticeable rise in the state economy, particularly, the levels of the U.S. GDP (Shi & Tindall, 2016). In addition, the New Deal facilitated the transition to the concept of social security as a means of securing the lives of those that have been disadvantaged in some way that prevented them from participating in economic relationships and benefitting from them (Shi & Tindall, 2016). Overall, the process of change launched by the New Deal occurred at several levels, affecting not only the market but also the social aspects of citizens’ lives.
Before the New Deal was introduced, the Great Depression had left a devastating impact on the American economy, debunking a crucial myth about it and especially the concept of capitalism as market-based relationships. Namely, as the Great Depression reached its peak, the myth about high wages being the driving force behind effective economic performance, as well as the fact that, once stabilized, the economy will sustain itself (Shi & Tindall, 2016). Therefore, as awful as it was for the lives of millions of Americans, the Great Depression produced important lessons to learn. Showing what steps have to be avoided entirely when engaging in market relationships, the Great Depression was one of the darkest times in the American history. However, the Great Depression destroyed the myths that prevented the American economy from blossoming, which meant that the process was ultimately inevitable.
Liberalism, Positive Government, and FDR’s Policies
When embracing the role that the New Deal played in amending the American economy, one should note that it helped the participants of trade relationships to accept the significance of liberalism and positive government. Namely, the principles of classical liberalism were abandoned once the New Deal was accepted into the framework for managing economic changes within the country. Specifically, the range of liberal freedoms that American citizens could enjoy was expanded from the freedoms of the mind to those of economic and political actions, offering American residents, as well as organizations, greater agency in the U.S. economy. Likewise, the policies suggested by Roosevelt emphasized and enhanced the positive role of government, which was restricted to supervising the transactions occurring in the market and ensuring that the said transactions met the established legal requirements (Shi & Tindall, 2016). As a result, the government could not impede the development of economy and trade. Finally, the importance of state support from those in need was presented as a crucial part of the new economic model.
Government’s Responsibility to Support
The opportunity to receive state-funded support for those that found themselves in rather unfavorable economic conditions was one of the major outcomes of the New Deal. However, the practical impact of the specified change is still debated as one of the concepts that may undermine the foundational concept of capitalism. Nonetheless, the importance of state support for individuals who cannot provide for themselves due to the circumstances that are out of their control is tremendous. The specified change represents a shift toward the reinforcement of social justice and the introduction of humanism into capitalist relationships. Therefore, from the perspective of ethics, the described change was a crucial step in shaping the capitalist relationships within the U.S.
Government’s Positive Role in the American Dream
Finally, the role of the government in shaping the relationships within the capitalist society needs to be brought up as an important and often contentious topic. The interference of government into the economic and trade-related transactions that goes beyond legal control is traditionally seen as negative (Shi & Tindall, 2016). Therefore, the government’s role in implementing the famous American Dream, which implies that everyone should have an equal chance to succeed, is to ensure that the American society functions on the principles of equity. In the economic context, the specified function includes social security for those that cannot provide for themselves, as well as market regulation. The latter allows avoiding the scenarios involving the development of monopolies that limit the opportunities of SMEs, as well as the threat of fraud in the economic environment.
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The American Dream
Based on the concept of equal opportunities, the American dream implies that everyone can have a chance at garnering economic, financial and social success. While the specified notion might seem a bit unrealistic in the context of the modern U.S. society where inequalities still exist, the concept of the American dream retains its power. After the introduction of the New Deal that created premises for free trade, the American dream became particularly attainable, thus igniting the desire to succeed in millions of American citizens.
By distilling the exact factors that affected the U.S. economy to the greatest extent and creating the steps for influencing these factors to gain better control of them, as well as by extending the state support to those in need, Roosevelt managed to revive the American economy. With the emphasis on private business and the promotion of entrepreneurship, FDR modelled the setting where American people could explore business opportunities and improve their financial situation. As a result, the New Deal became one of the critical decisions that determined the course of the U.S. development and led to it establishing economic hegemony in the global market later.
Shi, D. E., & Tindall, G. B. (2016). America: A narrative history (10th ed.,Vol. 2). W. W. Norton & Company.