FREEDOM REDEFINED: THE NEW DEAL
THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 FORCED AMERICAN PO litical thought into new and exciting channels. As the depression deepened in intensity and broadened in coverage, it set people to thinking. Under their scrutiny, the foundations of the old faith began to crack. The very premises on which that faith rested were queried. For the first time in American history men began to doubt the survival of American capitalism itself. The economic crisis penetrated into every corner of the land, creating unrest and dissatisfaction as it spread. As the months and years dragged on, the people became more and more anxious to find reassurance, to discover a positive program, to feel certain once again of their direction and purpose. They wanted, above all, action. Under Hoover, they had seen stubborn adherence to an apparently outmoded philosophy push the nation perilously close to disaster. To avert it required a new leader, a new philosophy, and a new program.