Constructing the Past


Franklin Delano Roosevelt looms large in American history as the man who led his country through the Great Depression and a World War. His dominance of the presidency and in American citizens' hearts and minds before and after he died make his personal and political impact in the Great Depression seem perhaps greater than they were. Certainly, he held great sway over the American people and can claim major responsibility for the New Deal and its policies but he was not the sole contributor, and certainly not to the values of the time. While Roosevelt may have instigated many of the governmental policies during the Great Depression, many other people contributed to the New Deal in response to a set of values that had begun to change even before Roosevelt took office.