The New Deal Was Not a Success

In order to look at the New Deal in any context then you have to look at the time it was developed. It was a series of government programs established in the mid 1930’s by US President Franklin Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression on the people of the United States. Many of these programs were created specifically to help to get people back to work and restore faith in government. The new deal can be looked at as both a failure and as a success because of the long term effect on the country. There are both positives and negatives that came from these programs that need to be weighed and measured before you can evaluate the success or failure of the system as a whole.

New Deal Success

One of the things that made the New Deal a success was that at the time, the nation as a whole was desperate and looking for change. All over the world, economic problems led to the rise of despots like Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy. The United States could have come under the influence of a fascist dictator without too much trouble. Yet the programs of the New Deal kept people hopeful and willing to pursue democracy further. Also there were programs of public works like the Tennessee Valley Authority that built dams and provide power to a region even today. Also there was an underpinning provided to society through social Security that didn’t exist before.

Failure of the New Deal

In the end though, many would argue that the New Deal was not a success because of the failure of many of the programs that were started. In the initial stages of the New Deal, many of the programs were deemed to be unconstitutional and discontinued right away. Even seeming long term successes like Social Security, seem to be on their last legs as we start to close in on the one hundred year anniversary of its beginning. There are also many people who feel like the programs of the New Deal were nothing more than charity and if you give charity to people then they are going to take advantage of it and not be responsible for their own actions.


The New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt was a large number of government programs that were designed to revitalize the economy of the US in the 1930’s and although they experienced some success in public works, the long term effects of the Great Depression were never ended until the onset of WWII and the economic boom of a war economy.

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