The Great Depression
and the New Deal
Trends and Themes of the Era
- The frenzied speculation and mergers of
the booming economy in the 1920s led to the economic depression
of the 1930s.
- Under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the government
committed itself to unprecedented levels of regulation and control
over the national economy. These policies of the New Deal made FDR
and the Democrats extremely popular and changed the role of government
in American’s lives forever.
- FDR’s policies changed the demographics of
the political parties. His support for blacks, the poor, and labor
unions won him and the Democrats support from those groups—a support
base that remains in place today. Up until that time, blacks tended
to vote for Republicans (Republicans had been the antislavery party
during the Civil War and Reconstruction). FDR’s policies also lost
Democrats their traditional support from the white South.
- The Depression, a worldwide phenomenon, created the circumstances
that allowed for Fascists to rise to power in Germany and Italy.