Reading Notes for Rodgers

Rodgers, 409-484:

Rodgers claims it is a mistake to search for meaning in the New Deal only by looking at statute books. The New Dealerís 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:

  • Continued grass roots movements for social change?
  • The forceful effects of crisis intervention, and the need for rapid responses from the government-which, gave new life to old ideas?
  • A disjointed movement of many and varied projects supporting economic growth and recovery-often competing and contrary with each other?
  • Finally, another era of drastic acceleration of government involvement, providing for a social safety net for protection against corporate interests and economic cycles, involving no coherent path or plan, but varied languages?

Rodgerís 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?

Rodgerís makes a case for New Dealersí 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 Dealerís agenda of policies and projects?

Throughout the reading, Rodgers makes references to Southern Democratic support for certain projects, especially those involving support for farmers.

  • Why was Southern support important to Roosevelt? Was this need a help or a hindrance, or perhaps a non-factor, in New Deal projects?

After Europe, a leader in progressive policies, once again engaged in war the importance of American native progressivism grew necessary. Did American linkage of Europeís progressivism to their collective failure to maintain peace derail American progressivism, as Rodgerís seems to suggest?