The New Deal was a package of economic policies adopted in the United States during the 1930s under President Franklin Roosevelt and his political allies in Congress in response to the Great Depression. These policies involved a massive expansion in the size and scope of government, especially at the federal level. Roosevelt identified the New Deal's goals as the three Rs—relief, recovery, and reform—although we should not ignore a fourth R—reelection. Relief efforts comprised massive government-run “emergency work” programs and direct transfers to the poor, elderly, and unemployed. Recovery efforts hoped to bring the economy back to its potential, although they did not prevent the Depression from lingering until the arrival of World War II. In a survey of economic historians, about half agreed that, ...

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