The philosophy of Lester Ward and its reflections on the New Deal

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen Hayes (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: A cursory study of intellectual history reveals that theories sometimes appear in one period of time, apparently disappear for a while, and then reappear at some later date. Such a situation, the apparent similarities "between the philosophy of Lester Ward, an American sociologist in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and the policies and attitudes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his advisers in the 1930’s, stirred this writer's curiosity. Although there were reform movements between the period of Lester Ward and Roosevelt, such as Populism and Progressivism, no reform movement until the New Deal advocated positive governmental action to the degree that Ward had foreseen. While Populism and Progressivism called for government to be a regulator, the New Deal designed government to be an active initiator of social programs. Ward had been one of the early advocates of a planned economy and a regulated society. In the New Deal, the idea was again introduced, but more forcefully and with greater acceptance by the general public. How greatly did Ward influence the preparation and presentation of the New Deal?

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1965

Email this document to