Comparing the Reaction of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover to the Great Depression
The year was 1929. America goes through the biggest national crisis since the American Civil War. They called it the Great Depression. The Stock Market was going down, unemployment was going up, and money was becoming scarce. The United States had to look up to the one person who could lead the country out of this national catastrophe, The President. At this time the man who had that title was none other than Herbert Hoover. Hoover, A republican, hoped that this was all a nightmare, he hoped that the Depression was a small fluke that would fix itself after a short period of time. After seeing that the Depression was getting worse had to use federal relief efforts. At the end of his term a democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, took his place and tried to fulfill his campaign promises by getting the country out of the Depression.
At first Hoover opposed any relief efforts, but as the Depression worsened, he started a few farm assistance programs. Hoover hoped that theses farm programs would help the farmers’ situation with the low crop prices. Unfortunately farmers had to come dependent on this government handout. Hoover also started federal work projects such as the Grand Coulee Dam and the Hoover Dam. These projects provided many jobs for people and provided affordable hydroelectric power for people but the Great Depression was a much bigger problem than a few extra job openings could fix. Hoping that raising tariffs could help American business Hoover created the Hawley-Smoot Tarrif. This actually worsened economy and caused lower export rates. One of Hoover’s big mistakes was that he wouldn’t go off the gold standard. Hoover believed that if our money was not backed up by anything that it would be worthless and that the United States would have bad credit. Also Hoover would not, under any circumstances, allow America to be in debt. He thought that taping into the national debt would prolong the depression even make it worse since the government would have to pay interest on the loans. Hoover was a man set on his ways and helped very little with the Depression.
In Roosevelt’s inaugural address he declared war on the Depression and asks for an expansion on his powers. When Roosevelt took over the office he summoned Congress to work out his recovery plan. This...