Historians debate how effective the New Deal was at economically, socially, and politically restoring America. Liberal economists argue that America was facing a political collapse by 1932 that was the worst since the Civil War. Without taking such measures, unemployment would have increased and a worker’s revolution was plausible. The increased spending decreased unemployment, increased productivity, and forged a new role for the government that increased its level of responsibility to its citizens in a manner that many New Deal historians view as a new form of democracy promoting the social welfare of every citizen.
Critiques of the New Deal view such measures as wasteful and even socialist. Historians of this side of the debate argue that FDR’s policies, while well intended, did not end the Depression and did not stimulate the private sector. This side also argues that increased spending further weakened the nation by increasing the deficit and the expansion of federal programs created a dependency on the government that curbed productivity and weakened individual business owners control of their own enterprises.
Your task is, using the documents provided, take one of the two sides of the New Deal and debate your point of view with your interpretation of the sources. To do so, your midterm must:
1) Address all documents in the course content reader
2) Take into account both sides of the argument
3) Contain a clear and defensible thesis (not your opinion)
4) Be of a 4-5 pages double spaced
5) Contain a work cited page and also have documentation throughout the body section of your analysis