- Published: December 31, 2021
- Updated: December 31, 2021
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July 21, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Some American presidents share the same vision of helping uplift the lives of many poor Americans. In two different historical periods, two presidents shaped social welfare through their programs. The Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson are similar to the New Deal programs of Franklin Roosevelt, because they both aimed to help the poorest Americans and elevate the quality of their living, through changing the role of national government versus state governments; nevertheless, the New Deal represented a response to the Depression, while the Great Society responded to the prosperity of the U. S. Johnson’s Great Society and Roosevelt’s New Deal extended assistance to the poorest Americans, as encapsulated by different anti-poverty measures. Johnson established the Medicare program that provided health care to the poorest (Corse). Under his term, the office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was also established. It sought to offer low-cost housing and economic assistance to the nation’s urban poor (Corse). These programs are comparable to Roosevelt’s New Deal era programs, where Roosevelt also made Social Security to provide assistance to the elderly and he also established the Works Progress Administration that provided jobs to the unemployed (Corse). In addition, both the Great Society and New Deal envisioned greater national government role in managing economic affairs and outcomes. Johnson imagined a Utopian society, where the government will provide for the basic needs of all Americans (Corse). This means greater national government involvement in how social welfare programs and laws should be made and implemented. Roosevelt also aimed to create a more active role for the national government. The New Deal broadened the power of the Federal Government and made it more responsible for the general welfare of the states. The Constitution states that the federal government has the power to influence the commerce between states and international trade and that it can make new laws that are aligned with the Constitution. Though the New Deal has been said to be unconstitutional, it enhanced the powers of the national government in generating new social welfare programs that applied across the states. Nevertheless, the New Deal represented a response to the Depression, while the Great Society responded to the prosperity of the U. S. During the New Deal of the Roosevelt administration, from 1933 to early 1935, the main objectives were recovery and relief. The president and his advisers asserted the necessity of generating new laws that would jump-start the economy and supply new jobs. Roosevelt stressed that “ business and banking, agriculture and industry, and labor and capital” must work together to resuscitate America’s economy (Bryant). By mid-1960s, however, Johnson lived in the wealthier times of America (Corse). He believed that it was only right for the wealth of the few to be distributed and also benefit the lives of many poor Americans. It was an essential part of the Great Society’s vision for the gap between the rich and poor to be significantly reduced. Johnson’s Great Society and Roosevelt’s New Deal extended assistance to the poorest Americans through similar-goaled anti-poverty measures. The main difference is that they did so during different economic conditions. The New Deal responded to an economic low of the U. S., while the Great Society wanted to extend the wealth of America to the poor. Works Cited Bryant, Joyce. The Great Depression and New Deal. 1998. Web. 20 July 2011 . Corse, Theron. “ Civil Rights.” No date. Web. 20 July 2011 .
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