The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal: Fiscal Conservatism and the Roosevelt Administration, 1933-1938

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Abstract

This article examines the role of fiscal conservatives in Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal administration. Unlike most existing scholarship on the New Deal, which downplays the importance and complexity of fiscal conservatism in Roosevelt's administration, this article argues that the tradition was crucial to the development of the New Deal state. Through the New Deal, it demonstrates how the histories of liberalism and fiscal conservatism are intimately related. The article focuses on two key advisers—Lewis Douglas, Director of Budget from 1933 to 1934, and Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of Treasury from 1934 to 1945—who were instrumental in making fiscal conservatism a part of President Roosevelt's agenda. While Douglas's rigid orthodox approach eventually isolated him from policy making, Morgenthau's entrepreneurship produced a new vision of moderate fiscal conservatism that could coexist with the New Deal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-359
Number of pages28
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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