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The Great Depression, The New Deal

brain trust, pressure groups, Eleanor Roosevelt, Great Depression, progressive

Roosevelt was a progressive who had been a supporter of Woodrow Wilson. He believed in active government and experimentation. His approach to the Great Depression changed the role of the U.S. government by increasing its power in unprecedented ways.

Roosevelt gathered a “brain trust”—professors, lawyers, business leaders, and social welfare proponents—to advise him, especially on economic issues. He was also influenced by his cabinet, which included Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace, and Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, the first woman cabinet member. A final influence on Roosevelt was his wife, Eleanor, whose activist philosophy had been shaped by the women’s movement. With Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House, the disadvantaged gained an advocate. Federal officials sought her attention, pressure groups pursued her, journalists followed her, and constituents admired her.

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brain trust, pressure groups, Eleanor Roosevelt, Great Depression, progressive, economic issues, advocate, professors, White House, constituents, Federal officials, journalists, lawyers, disadvantaged, business leaders, attention, role, power, approach, wife


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