After the Great Depression: New America

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After the great depression, the republicans who were in power were replaced by the democrats with Franklin Roosevelt heading it. The new dealers created a new national consensus called the New Deal Coalition which was a political coalition incorporating members of the Democratic party, labor unions, intellectuals, liberal farm groups, seniors and the minorities such as racial, ethical and religious. The coalition believed that the government should act on behalf of the citizens and internationalism. According to Allswang (1978), the policies of pulling America out of depression proved popular although it had some oppositions from the Conservatives Coalitions like the northern Republicans and the southern democrats. The coalition remained intact until the late sixties. It was during and after this period that the New America started to be revealed.

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In 1952, the twenty-year reign of Franklin Roosevelt party the Democratic and their New Deal ended. The republicans took control of the congress and elected their president as the war hero Dwight Eisenhower (Gormly and Gilbert, 1984). This period between the fifties and sixties saw the return of the prosperity that had been planted in the early years which had a profound social and cultural impact. A consumer culture was developed in which the production, acquisition and marketing of materials was a symbol of good life and was the reality that was shaping the society and its values. Also, the seeds of conservative social values continued to grow and prevailed but there was resistance by the middle class to the status quo. Generally, the American society in the fifties and sixties was shaped in the earlier years which then developed to present complex and paradoxical advances in material well-being but also uneasily coexisting with Half-acknowledged social problems and cultural strains that were severe.

After the Cold war, America dominated the global affairs and had missions to accomplish. The cold war shaped the foreign policies of the country and had a profound effect on the domestic affairs. The postwar experienced phenomenal economic growth and the return of prosperity as it position itself as the worlds richest country. The Gross national product is a measure of all goods and services produced in America jumped from about $200 million in 1940 to $300 million in 1950 to more than $500 million in 1960 and continued to grow in the 1970(Gormly and Gilbert, 1984). More Americans were now considering themselves as the middle class as the enjoyed the postwar prosperity that created new levels of affluence in America.

However, the urban crisis developed. It involves a number of interconnected factors in the problems that was facing cities. The problems are multifaceted and impacted by race, class, history, gender, technology and the growing internationalization of the economy. The origins of the urban crisis were discussed by Sugrue (2005) a historian and Detroit native. He examined the role race, job discrimination, housing and capital flight played in the decline of Detroit. He gave his explanations for the crisis as the institutionalized and legalized racism which resulted in sharply limited opportunities for Detroit. Also, the process of deindustrialization, the flight of jobs and investments from the city dwindled as employers moved to suburban areas and in smaller towns and introduce new labor-saving technologies. The urban crisis resulted in capitalism which generated economic inequality which conflated it with the crisis of liberalism which caused social conflict due to the inequality issues. The fact that there an increase in poor people and unemployment causing crisis in liberalism

The Black Power movement also emerged in with parties like the Black Panthers Party, the republican of New Africa, US, the Revolutionary organizations such as Black Workers, Action Movement and others (Hamilton et al, 1992). It was a movement for social, political and economic change. It also concentrated on the consciousness of the other oppressed people throughout the world thus greatly influenced the direction of the movements.

Additionally, The New Right emerged as a combination of Christian religious leaders, conservative business people who claimed that labor and environmental regulations were undermining the fringe political groups and the competitiveness of American firms in the global market. It gave rise to the conservatism with its roots starting with opposition to the programs of the liberals of the New Deal. The success of the politics of the conservatism can trace its roots back to the Old Right in the 1950s and 1960s (Himmelstein, 1990). It laid its foundation on the reconstruction and organization of transformation. It was then followed by a combination social movement and electoral and elite transformation and realignment. This morphed conservatism with minimal public support with its radical idea to a popular political movement and the movement reached its full maturity becoming for a time a dominant force in American politics.

Lastly, the rise of rights was underscored by political and social issues. They were considered to cause episodial disruption of American politics. Therefore, the presence of the Radical Right was seen as a fluctuating group of people protesting social change (Himmelstein, 1990). It was seen as if it was fighting modernity. The community was affected by the politics of right as the poor urban poor and the African- American used this opportunity to express their grievances and some of their issues were addressed. The wealthy and the middle- working-class felt threatened by this right.

In conclusion, the New America was developed as a result of many movements and occurrences that lead to a great development in Economy, social and politics.


Allswang, J. M. (1978). The New Deal and American politics: A study in political change. New York: Wiley. Read more

Carmichael, S., & Hamilton, C. V. (1992). Black power: The politics of liberation in America. New York: Vintage Books. Read more

Gormly, J. L., & Gilbert, J. (1984). Another Chance: Postwar America, 1945-1968. The History Teacher, 18(1), 148. Doi: 10.2307/492896

Himmelstein, J. L. (1990). To the Right: The transformation of American conservatism. Berkeley: University of California Press. Read more

Sugrue, T. J. (2005). The origins of the urban crisis: Race and inequality in postwar Detroit: with a new preface by the author. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Read more

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