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Two Types Of Liberalism In The End Of Reform By Alan Brinkley

1909 words - 8 pages

In “The End of Reform”, Alan Brinkley makes it very clear that there are two types of liberalism. The first type came from conservationism, which is what can be titled as liberalism today. This form of early liberalism was as a result from the new deal. The ideas of this new deal were clearly stated as to help the American people come out of an economic depression. Essentially, the objective behind it was to keep the people alive. Due to damages of the great depression, it was a rarity to find someone who could support his or her family. The people of this country wanted two things; food for their family, and for the government to protect them from the discomfort of their current financial ...view middle of the document...

If it did, then the President would jump on and take credit for it, but if it didn’t, he would kind of be put in the shadows and throw the problem on someone else.
Another issue that Brinkley brings up regards Keynesians. Brinkley states that WWII required so much production that people were making more money because of the various job opportunities, therefore spending their money more creating a more stable economy. This proved that the ideas of the Keynesians were pretty accurate. Throughout the book, Brinkley shows the various disagreements on how to solve this problem in the United States. Overall I think Brinkley’s main point throughout the book is that the war had the greatest impact on liberalism.
From reading this book, one can infer that Alan Brinkley is definitely liberal in thinking. He simultaneously states the problems of the new deal and of the economy but never really gives a solution. He ultimately believed that the idea of the New Deal was to use the government to fix Capitalism. On this topic, I believe that the government wasn’t the only thing that could fix the economy at this time. The government can help create new jobs and manage money flow, but at the same time, the people influence the economy a great deal too. The people work, which earns them money. This then enables them to spend more, thus creating a growing economy. If the government gets too involved, the people can take advantage of the system by claiming things like disability and food stamps when they are really not needed.
Brinkley also thinks that economic growth can only come from high consumption from the people. I believe this is true in one way, but I think that a great solution would be to not import things. This would be so much cheaper, and would create more jobs if the United States would make their own goods. Importing and exporting is good for global economy if each country utilizes others, however this is not reality. America imports so many goods from countries like China, but does not have as large of an exporting influence. However, there is one thing I agree with that Roosevelt did. In 1934 he created the Export-Import bank. It was part of the new deal and was heavily used to support his foreign policy. This policy gave greater opportunities to businesses and allowed them to export to more places. This, therefore, created more jobs for people.
Throughout the book, Brinkley looks at the politicians who created the policies from the New Deal and doesn’t look directly at the policies. He uses outside sources from different people such as the British economist, John Maynard Keynes, and famous poet Archibald MacLeish. If the policy worked, or didn’t work, don’t go to the person who created it because biased opinions could arise. I don’t believe the book is written in chronological order due to this. I appreciate how he hits his points by topic, but as a non-history buff, I prefer chronological order. It helps to understand historical context...

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