Compare And Contrast The Great Society And The New Deal

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“There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves” – Lyndon B. Johnson. The Great Society and the New Deal were two initiatives that came during periods of turmoil in different parts of history. These initiatives came from administrations that were similar in some ways and different in others with the same goals in mind, to end the suffering of a forgotten part of the American population, the poor. FDR’s New Deal was a series of programs, laws, and government agencies that attempted to ease the impact of the Great Depression on the American people. FDR created programs, such as Social Security and the Works Progress Administration, to provide direct government relief to the poor, retired poor, …show more content…

Johnson (LBJ) created a “welfare” system, much like that in Great Britain, that also provided direct relief to the poor within the country. Inspired by FDR and his New Deal, LBJ sought to not only address poverty within the country but also the racial inequality in poverty as well. Termed the “Great Society”, its legislation was his administration’s attempt to “go to war” against poverty. LBJ’s Great Society was a series of legislation and programs to combat the still growing poverty issue in the country but unlike the New Deal; it came during a time of prosperity not depression (Foner, 415). Unlike FDR, LBJ was not a wealthy political leader from an affluent American family. LBJ was from a poor Texas family who saw what poverty and discrimination was like first hand and someone who built his reputation from the ground up (The White House 2015). He felt that with continued economic growth, the government had a duty to its people to extend the wealth within to the American poor, especially within the African American population. However, it was not meant as direct relief but more as empowerment. LBJ wanted to provide the poor with the skills they needed to create their own economic independence. He created programs such as Job Corps, Head Start, Medicaid/Medicare, and HUD to help the poor become better educated, trained, healthier, and closer to equality in all aspects of American life (LBJ Presidential Library

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