Analysis of FDR’s second inaugural address

Posted by admin on November 18, 2017 in Articles

Analysis: FDR’s second inaugural addressIn the wake of WWI, the Progressive movement that had been growing throughout the early twentieth century came to a sudden halt. In a backlash against government expansion that had occurred during the war, people elected conservative Republicans to Congress and Warren Harding as president. In the following decade, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover maintained a laissez faire economic policy and brought about a “return to normalcy” from the days of Wilson’s more progressive Republican administration. In 1929, when the stock market crashed, Hoover stood strongly by his classical-liberal policy of smaller government, and refused to intervene, past a certain point, in the economy. Voters, terrified and unsure as the Depression continued, elected Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a landslide victory in 1932. The meaning of the term progressivism had changed after the war and the twenties, but FDR’s progressive policies were strongly influenced by early progressives in that they paralleled TR’s ideal of new nationalism and in that they expanded the government as Wilson’s had done. The welfare state FDR would create in the process of ending the Depression brought together a new coalition of voters that would continue on to flourish until the late twentieth century as the Democratic party.
During his first term, FDR began the long process of ameliorating the Depression by moving the government toward more modern-liberal ideals. This, unlike the more classical-liberalism that Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover had subscribed to, entailed that the government to play a large part in fostering the well-being of the common welfare. FDR supported the association of people, and a strong federal government as a means to “to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization” (1). Though he was an anti-individualist and was a proponent of workers rights, he also opposed socialism. These progressive ideals were…