Reading notes for 14 Feb 2002, New Deal
Rodgers claims it is a mistake to search for meaning in the New Deal only by looking at statute books. The New Dealer’s had their own style, reminiscent of pre-war progressives. In fact, according to Rodgers, the New Deal was an extension of progressivism.
Are the similarities of New Deal projects to earlier progressive projects a factor of:
Rodger’s seems to waver back and forth on New Deal uniqueness from cross Atlantic influences and the inseparableness of projects in England, Germany, and Sweden to similar projects in America. Which is it?
Rodger’s makes a case for New Dealers’ having to hide European inspiration for various projects due to American patriotic fervor, especially when the influences originated in the Soviet Union. Was this combination of American jingoism and Red Scare paranoia, in the end, helpful or hurtful to the New Dealer’s agenda of policies and projects?
Throughout the reading, Rodgers makes references to Southern Democratic support for certain projects, especially those involving support for farmers.
After Europe, a leader in progressive policies, once again engaged in war the importance of American native progressivism grew necessary. Did American linkage of Europe’s progressivism to their collective failure to maintain peace derail American progressivism, as Rodger’s seems to suggest?
Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1933
Roosevelt’s rhetoric supports social values over corporate, or personal, selfish pursuit of profit. In addition, Roosevelt attempts to de-link happiness with material wealth, linking happiness instead with achievement and creative effort.
Continuing, Roosevelt admits recovery will require much more than a mere change in ethics. The real restoration will come only from "action, and action now."
Roosevelt makes it quite clear, national economic interests took precedence over foreign affairs, to include international trade relations.
Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address, 20 January 1936
Once again, Roosevelt devotes much of the first portion of the speech to American morality: de-linkage of morality and the pursuit of wealth. However, unlike his first inaugural address, Roosevelt makes no play towards an increase in Executive powers. He does though; advocate the increase in government activity and responsibility for the economy.
Roosevelt’s case for governmental growth in size and in responsibility is for those living the lowest standard.