The Great Depression Era Presidents: Liberal or Conservative?
Throughout the 1920s, the United States thrived economically, but by the end of the decade the United States were thrown into a major depression, the worst the country had ever seen, and no one knew exactly what to do about it. During the Depression, the US had two presidents, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, both had different ways of approaching the severe deficit, and both were labeled as conservative or liberal. Conservative meaning a general belief in a less powerful federal government, a laissez-faire (hands-off) method with business, and a drip down method of helping the economy. The word conservative often comes into play when describing the opposite of someone liberal, or believing in a strong federal government, government regulation of business, and a perculator method of helping the economy. Even though President Hoover was considered mainly conservative and President Roosevelt a liberal, they both expressed some opposite tendencies.
President Herbert Hoover, though considered mainly conservative, had some liberal policies and ideas as well. For example, Hoover believed that the rugged individualist, or someone who helps themselves, could save the United States from the Depression. This idea backs up the conservative belief of a laissez-faire federal government. In his 1928 speech as a presidential candidate, Hoover calls for a small federal government by saying that his general policy includes the belief that a strong federal government would hurt the rugged individualism of the people. However, in the same speech Hoover states that however small the government, it still has to regulate business, not a true laissez-faire, so as not to take...
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...e end, FDR got a strong federal government that gave out welfare, even with his worry that with too much federal government people will start to depend too much on welfare, which are contradictory beliefs. President Franklin Roosevelt did many things to get the United States out of the Depression. However, it still cannot be said that he was strictly liberal or conservative seeing as he exhibited both liberal and conservative traits.
One cannot truly say that America’s Depression era presidents were strictly liberal or conservative. There is no strict divide between the two characteristics. Someone can have some liberal views as well as some conservative ones, and that can truly be said about Presidents Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt. In the end, it didn’t matter because both presidents did a lot to get the United States out of the worst depression it has ever seen.
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