The Extension of the
New Deal Party System
The New Deal as such lasted less than a decade, from Roosevelt's inauguration on March 4, 1933, up to the outbreak of war in Europe which shifted attention away from domestic social reform toward questions of involvement in the greater international struggle. But the New Deal era surely extended beyond the 1930s—if the era is seen encompassing those years when the political agenda formulated during the thirties continued to dominate or structure public debate. Roughly the three decades from the Depression on through the 1950s assume coherence as a sociopolitical setting around continuing efforts to establish a new order of public-private relationships in response to the condition of mature industrialism. The managerial state was erected and fleshed out. A massive urban working class, product of the successful enterprise of industrial nation building, was accommodated within the structure of industrial decision making and national political life. Overall productive capacities were extended enormously, and the pressures to use these for a much larger measure of popular enrichment and economic security were strong and persistent.
We get a direct sense of the continued persistence of the