Poverty and Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Farm Security Administration

By Sidney Baldwin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE FSA GOES TO WAR

War emphasizes regard for the general welfare, encourages unselfishness, stimulates co-operation, works for unity, and creates a certain exaltation of spirit.

ARTHUR C. MILLSPAUGH1. Democracy, Efficiency, Stability

"The tangled strands of history allow for little neatness," James MacGregor Burns has written of the shift from the New Deal to World War II. Although there was no precise time or place when the Farm Security Administration (FSA) lost its balance, there was a turning of the tide during the period from the convening of Congress in January, 1940, to the appropriations hearings in the House in January, two years later. With the mounting partisanship of the election year, with the growing preoccupation of Roosevelt with foreign affairs and the war in Europe, with the increasing resistance of Congress to the President, with the crescendo of demands for curtailment of non-defense governmental spending and for an end to "sociological experimentation," and with the coalescence of opposition to the New Deal, the foundations on which the strength of the FSA had rested during the 1030's began to crumble.2.

____________________
1.
Arthur C. Millspaugh, Democracy, Efficiency, Stability ( Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1942), p. 428.
2.
James MacGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox ( New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1956), p. 383; F.D.R., Public Papers ( 1940), Vol. 9, p. 16.

-325-

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