Free «Political History of the United States from 1920-1963» Essay Sample
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The political history of the United States from 1920 to 1963 can be said to be a liberal one. Liberalism during this period can be referred to as modern liberalism mainly attributed to one well known president of the United Stares, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was the only U.S. president to get elected on a fourth term into office. However, he took office when America was experiencing a great depression. This political philosophy could be clearly exemplified in Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Works Progress Administration, the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights, and later the Community Reinvestment Act, and Voting Rights Act.
During this time, WW II was building up but the American public was anti-war, hence most of these political ideologies were used domestically while trying to be non-partisan in WW II. Liberalism can be found in the New Deal brought in by Roosevelt after he took office in 1933 (Sidney & Jerome, 2002). Moreover, liberalism can also be found in his Four Freedoms, in 1941, which was during the Cold War. This was basically a notion of freedom touching on freedom of speech and religion and many more to help the Americans overcome their problems and stick together during the tough times they were facing at the time.
Liberalism in the New Deal
Liberalism was present in the New Deal, introduced by Roosevelt after assuming office in 1933 to help ease the hard economical times and joblessness facing Americans at the time. The New Deal had three programs to help improve the economy (Arthur, 1962). Reform included the National Labor Relations Act, Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act, and the National Industry Recovery Act amongst others. Recovery was directed through Reconstruction Finance Corporation, while Relief was an immediate effort meant to help about a third of the population hardest hit by the depression, which included work relief programs, the Social Security Act, Public Works Administration, Security Exchange Act amongst many more others (Sidney & Jerome, 2002). Although the New Deal could not immediately do away with the depression, it restored public confidence and stabilized the banking system as many other people got employed.
Liberalism in the Cold War
These are present in the Four Freedoms brought about by Roosevelt after the New Deal. Some included freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, freedom from want. All these were meant to give the public freedom, however, some like the freedom of want was meant to meet the economic needs of the country. There was a call for spending on education, infrastructure, science, and NASA. Liberalism in the Cold War supported the building of a domestic economy that was based on a balance between management and labor (Arthur, 1962).
Liberalism with civil rights groups
This was after Cold War liberalism, which had remained the predominant paradigm in the history of U.S. politics for quite some time (Arthur, 1962). Early 1947 saw liberals embracing the civil rights movement. Various avenues like the armed forces and the Democrats began to incorporate civil rights groups within themselves who pushed for more rights for those who were minority. Martin Luther King was instrumental in organizing several civil rights movements, which called for a Civil Rights Act. This merge between liberalism and civil rights movement was very instrumental in bringing several legislations on to the table. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to be passed as a result of this, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In conclusion, the political history of the United States from 1920 to 1963 can be said to have been a liberal one. By the year 1950, it was evident that the liberal ideology had become so dominant that there were no other ideas from conservatives or other groups. Just after the roaring twenties, the Great Depression struck hard, and it was then that Franklin Roosevelt came with The New Deal, which was followed by Cold War liberalism. Some of the reforms that came in with this political philosophy could be clearly exemplified in Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Works Progress Administration, the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights, and later the Community Reinvestment Act, and Voting Rights Act. In my view, Cold War liberalism was a favorite one, which lingered for about two decades. It supported a domestic economy boost, expansion of the previous New Deal, and a foreign policy that alienated the Soviet and its allies.