How Federal Policies Narrow Class, Race, and Ethno-Religious Differences in the Middle Decades of The 20th Century

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Cultural advancements and the nature of human geography that they produce are experienced over a long period. Nevertheless, culture transforms slowly and so does the perceptible landscape that it brings forth. The diverse cultural landscapes in the United States have developed as a consequence of demographic, technological and economic transformations. However, other scholars argue that state policies have helped in narrowing race, class and ethnographic variations during the 20th century asserting that these changes were not brought about by cultural advancements but rather these developments came about as a result of demographic, economic and technological advancements in the United States since World War II. According to historian Carl Degler, the New Deal was a concept which was innovative[footnoteRef:2]. He was of the belief that the New Deal was a representation of radical transformations in the way Americans perceived government and its duty in the economic development. Instead of expecting economic hurdles to be resolved through the market forces, Americans started to have expectations on the state and act in moments of economic trouble thus creating interventions that would help in making things better. [2: Degler, Carl N. “The Third American Revolution.”? Out of Our Past (New York: Harper & Row, 1959)? (1971).]

Degler perceived Social Security as a way of changing situations thus indicating that Americans perceived the state as a responsible way of making sure that elder Americans would get lives that were decent. This was considered as a change from the perception that this responsibility was solely on those people who had families. Deglar additionally argued that Social Security illustrated the flexibility of FDR as well as the will to experiment whenever the public demanded its implementation. Therefore, Americans were ready to undergo a transformation after they had experienced the extreme conditions which had been brought about by the Great Depression, whereby banks had failed, industries were flattered and the country was full of individuals who were not employed. Deglar further argued that the New Deal was made of a permanent change in the expectations of the American public who wanted the state to be an active player in the country’s economic development.

According to a historian Baron Bernstein, writing that was done during 1960s argued that the New Deal was not perceived as a revolution and that the transformations that were suggested by Degler and other individuals had been blown out of proportion. Bernstein was of the view that President Roosevelt had worked hard to protect the current political system and that the transformations in the political system as well as changes in attitudes and policies were perceived as a break from the preceding moments. However, it is evident that there were less positive transformations that took place during this moment when America was repositioning itself in the international affairs while the country was experiencing numerous global and domestic challenges.

Degler perceived the Social Security Act as a way of responding to the radical ideas as well as programs that attracted most Americans,

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