Legacies of New Deal Liberalism

Legacies of New Deal Liberalism

The United States, as Louis Hartz argues in The Liberal Tradition in America, may have been born liberal, and it may have grown up over two centuries confined within an unselfconscious Lockean consensus about an “American way of life” based on private property, individual freedom, and equality of opportunity for everyone to race ahead in the free market unencumbered by state controls.’ Nevertheless, “liberalism,” as an explicit political stance defined in opposition to “conservatism,” emerged only during the New Deal of the 1930s—ironically, at the very historical moment when U.S. politics was pushing beyond the antistatist presumptions of classical liberalism.

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