Comparing the Reaction of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover to the Great Depression

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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. Hoov...

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...y dismiss the program and start a different program in it place. Hoover on the other hand wanted to wait and think. He wanted to make sure that the programs that he provided money for wouldn’t be a waste and would definitely work. Hoover didn’t want to spend anymore money than he had to. Hoover really didn’t want to raise the national debt no matter what. Roosevelt did whatever it took no matter what the cost. Money was no object to Hoover, as long as he thought that program or agency could have a chance of getting them through the Depression he took a gamble on it and raised the national debt. Hoover made sure that there was enough hard money to back up the paper money in America while Roosevelt played it risky and printed extra money. Hoover and Roosevelt’s policies were extremely dissimilar and they each viewed relief from the Depression very differently.

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