Book cover for FDR's New Deal Speech

FDR's New Deal Speech

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Guided by

Kevin Kruse

FDR’s first inaugural address -- one of the most famous presidential speeches in American history -- signaled a turning point, not just in terms of how the government would respond to the specific crisis of the Great Depression but also what the government could and would do to address the ongoing needs of the American people.

The New Deal, which he introduces in broad strokes here, fundamentally transformed the size and scope of the federal government. It set down new expectations for Americans about the role and responsibilities of the presidency, too, elevating the chief executive to an even bigger position of prominence than ever before.

Americans have pretty much been fighting over the New Deal for nearly a century now. It’s become the embodiment of “big government liberalism” for those who see that as a dream and for those who see it as a nightmare. FDR’s first inaugural address was basically the first shot in a hundred years’ war.

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Book cover for FDR's New Deal Speech

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