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Struggle for the New Deal: Truman and the Hoover Commission

William E. Pemberton
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Vol. 16, No. 3, Leadership and National Security Policy (Summer, 1986), pp. 511-527
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27550356
Page Count: 17
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Struggle for the New Deal: Truman and the Hoover Commission
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Abstract

Following World War Two, the administrative structure previously developed to carry out New Deal reform measures proved vulnerable to attack. Although segments of the population supported individual programs, they had yet to reconcile themselves to the permanent existence of big government. They believed that government had expanded only temporarily in response to the depression and war crisis. As an expression of this attitude, the Republican Eightieth Congress created the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (the Hoover Commission) to prepare for the Republican housecleaning that it anticipated would follow the 1948 election. Republican leaders intended to use the commission to spearhead a concerted attack on New Deal reform programs. However, the Truman administration thwarted this strategy by molding the commission into an instrument for ratifying, rather than destroying, New Deal innovations. Instead of trying to end the surge of government activities, the commission, led by Herbert Hoover, concentrated on making the existing structure work better.

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