Introduction The stock market crash of and the following Great Depression left millions of workers unemployed. By when President Franklin Roosevelt served — took office the unemployment rate had climbed to 25 percent of the workforce, or over 12 million people. Roosevelt responded to the Depression with the New Deala vast array of federal programs addressing a broad spectrum of social and economic issues. A key element of those programs was work relief, putting the unemployed back to work on public projects that would benefit society.
Herbert Hoover's Historical Reputation President Hoover has gone down in history as a totally uncaring chief executive who, while he presided over economic disaster, cared little about his fellow citizens, accepted the Great Depression as inevitable and something to simply be endured regardless of the level of suffering it caused, and who refused to do absolutely anything to alleviate the incredible suffering all around him for three and one-half long years.
While this image was particularly widespread during the s and persists even to this day, it is totally fallacious, misleading, and unjustified.
He could well have been a good - if not great - president had he served at another time. His ideological beliefs were such that he could well have launched the country in a more progressive direction than his predecessors in the s had not the Great Depression intervened.
He was far more committed to active government than either Calvin Coolidge or Warren Harding. However, as the presiding chief executive when the Depression began, he has received the blame for the Depression from his fellow countrymen both at the time and from subsequent generations.
While he really was a "progressive" in his own way and probably did more to end the Depression than any preceding president in previous economic collapses, what he did failed to alleviate the situation and therefore he gained a reputation that was only partially deserved. The Self-Made Man Orphaned at an early age, Hoover had made a success out of himself - according to his pre-Depression legend and hype - by dent of his own hard work.
Working his way through Stanford University to a degree in mining engineering, he went on to found his own business and became a multimillionaire. During the Great War he served in a voluntary capacity as director of the Food Administration Board, assigned the task of overseeing the production and distribution of foodstuffs required for victory.
Following World War I, he headed up a private relief campaign to provide Europeans - literally facing the prospect of starvation - with food.
His efforts were highly publicized and there was even talk in of him being the Republican candidate for president. While Warren Harding would be the nominee of a brokered convention, Hoover would serve as Secretary of Commerce during the next eight years.
Escaping any involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal and receiving a great deal of positive publicity - much of it self-generated - for his supposed role in engineering the economic boom of the s, Hoover entered the presidency in with a great deal of ballyhoo.
During the presidential campaign his political handlers built this reputation up to phenomenal heights. Thus, when the Depression began and Hoover's efforts to deal with it were unsuccessful, his fall from grace was that much more spectacular because the publicity had built expectations up to a totally unrealistic level.
Hoover himself was apparently aware of the potential problem. As president-elect in late he confided his fears in this respect to a confident, William J. Abbot who was editor of the Christian Science Monitor. They expect the impossible from me and should there arise in the land conditions with which the political machinery is unable to cope, I will be the one to suffer".
Hoover certainly felt byafter over three years of the worst economic depression the country had ever known, that his declining approval rating and popularity were the result, at least in part, of this public image as a superman.
He said that he had been "absolutely oversold". To a Republican senator he said: Responding to the Crisis Despite an undeserved, fallacious, but enduring reputation as a do-nothing who simply accepted the Depression as an unpleasant fact of economic life that simply must be endured, President Hoover did try to end the Great Depression and, in fact, probably did more to deal with it than any preceding president had ever done in time of economic catastrophe.
Hoover applied a conservative business-oriented approach that stressed voluntary efforts by Americans rather than governmental interference in the economy. What he tried was unsuccessful and sometimes poorly handled and out of this grew his public reputation. Having taken at least partial credit for the economic boom of the Twenties when he campaigned for the presidency inHoover had trouble personally accepting the end of the boom or fathoming just how bad the crash and Depression would be.
He, however, was not alone in this. Hoover initially felt that the Depression was a temporary aberration in the economic cycle caused more by psychological fears than economic realities.For everyone else, a one-year subscription is $25, and includes access to our Collection, essays by leading historians, and special programs and events.
The proceeds of your subscription will support American history education in K–12 classrooms worldwide. How successful were the programs of the New Deal in solving the problems of the Great Depression? Assess with respect to TWO of the following: Relief, Recovery, Reform. Respond in a 5 paragraph essay.
His legislative program, the New Deal, greatly expanded the role of the federal government in American society. At times, Roosevelt's New Deal incorporated watered-down elements of more radical political ideas that became popular during the Great Depression.
The New Deal did save the American banking system, as declaring a bank holiday was essential to keeping the surviving banks open. New banking reforms such as the FDIC and the Glass-Steagall Act.
FDR and the New Deal: How successful was the New Deal in solving the economic and social problems of the Great Depression?
The New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt This essay will focus on the economics of the New Deal. An Evaluation of the New Deal At the time of its construction during the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam was the largest in the world.
To this day, it uses the .