Social Philosophy and Policy

Research Article

The G.I. Bill and U.S. Social Policy, Past and Future*

Theda Skocpola1

a1 Government and Sociology, Harvard University

The fiftieth anniversary of the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived only months after the 1994 U.S. elections brought to power conservative Republican congressional majorities determined to reverse key legacies of Roosevelt's New Deal. At this juncture of special poignancy for many of those assembled at the “Little White House” in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1995, President Bill Clinton offered remarks on “Remembering Franklin D. Roosevelt.” “Like our greatest presidents,” Clinton eulogized, Roosevelt “showed us how to be a nation in time of great stress” and “taught us again and again that our government could be an instrument of democratic destiny.”


* This essay was written with support from a 1995–96 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Fellowship from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.