by Thomas Kessner
An enlistment poster for the Arizona Civilian Conservation Corps, 1938. (Gilder

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s protean presidency from 1933 to 1945 (the longest term of leadership in this nation’s history) has provoked many debates about the man and his policies. For some he is the brilliant tactician who wrestled mightily with the deadlocking forces of economic crisis and totalitarianism to save capitalism and liberal democracy in its time of grave danger. Others view him as a devious and unprincipled compromiser, a broker president who fragmented the national polity as he built electoral coalitions around self-serving interest groups. Yet others charge him with dramatically expanding the welfare state, undermining the free enterprise economy and sapping American initiative. Few disagree though that his response to the worst depression in American history is the defining feature of his presidency.More »

Essays

Coit Tower murals, San Francisco, CA (Carol Highsmith Archive, Lib. of Congress)

Are Artists “Workers”? Art and the New Deal

Author: Elizabeth Broun Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt, July 20, 1933. (Library of Congress Prints and

Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady

Author: Maurine Beasley Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
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Featured Primary Sources

Enlistment poster for the Arizona Civilian Conservation Corps., September 24, 19

Civilian Conservation Corps poster, 1938

Creator: Curriculum Subjects: Art, Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Franklin D. Roosevelt, [Press release of speech delivered on Memorial Day at Get

George Washington would have supported the New Deal, 1934

Creator: Franklin D. Roosevelt Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Herbert Hoover to Louis L. Emmerson, July 10, 1931. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Herbert Hoover on the Great Depression and New Deal, 1931–1933

Creator: Herbert Hoover Curriculum Subjects: Foreign Languages Grade Levels:
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Multimedia

A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917–1950

Speaker(s): Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Duration: 57 minutes 12 seconds

Changes in Supreme Court Doctrine in the 1930s

Speaker(s): Larry Kramer Duration: 44 minutes 13 seconds

Chat with the Curator: Amelia Earhart and Neta Snook

Speaker(s): Sandra Trenholm, Susan Butler Duration: 3 minutes 40 seconds
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