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Civic GiftsVoluntarism and the Making of the American Nation-State$
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Elisabeth S. Clemens

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226559360

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226670973.001.0001

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In the Shadow of the New Deal

In the Shadow of the New Deal

(p.177) 6 In the Shadow of the New Deal
Civic Gifts

Elisabeth S. Clemens

University of Chicago Press

The Great Depression brought unemployment and misery on a scale that overwhelmed the capacity of voluntary as well as municipal resources for emergency relief. Government relief efforts were massively expanded, while those of private voluntary agencies contracted in relative if not always absolute terms. Yet the New Deal did not bring an end to the role of voluntary associations in providing relief and services to those in need. Even with an expanded capacity to tax, government resources remained insufficient; voluntarism would be supported by new policies, including the corporate charitable deduction. At the same time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his ally Harry Hopkins made new uses of national voluntary efforts to mobilize support for the president, notably through the March of Dimes to raise funds for polio treatment as well as research, and to strengthen patriotic solidarity.

Keywords:   Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Great Depression, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, Federal Emergency Relief Administration

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