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Great Depression and the New Deal

Selected and introduced by John E. Moser


This collection of documents on the Depression and New Deal is the second volume in an extended series of document collections from the Ashbrook Center that will cover major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government.

The series began with a collection on the Founding. This volume follows appropriately, because it makes clear the reasons why and the degree to which Franklin Roosevelt intended the New Deal to be a re-founding of the American republic. In presenting the words that Roosevelt spoke, the collection shows us not only his arguments but his masterful rhetoric, which presented the New Deal as only an updating of the Founding. The collection presents as well the arguments of those who opposed the New Deal — Democrats as well as Republicans — and those who thought it did not go far enough. Taken together, the documents in the collection are an enlightening guide to one of the most consequential periods in American history.

Companion Volume:  The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Concise History

Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • Herbert Hoover, Speech on the “Principles and Ideals of the United States Government” (1928)
  • Representative Jacob Milligan, Speech on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)
  • Philo D. Burke, Letter from Bonus Army leader to President Hoover (1932)
  • Mauritz Hallgren, “The Right to Strike” (1933)
  • E.E. Lewis, “Black Cotton Farmers and the AAA” (1935)
  • Representative James W. Wadsworth, Speech on Social Security (1935)
  • Senator Huey P. Long, Statement on the Share Our Wealth Society (1935)
  • Al Smith, “Betrayal of the Democratic Party” (1936)
  • Edward Levinson, “Detroit Digs In” (1937)
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Fireside Chat” on “Purging” the Democratic Party (1938)