Hoover Vs. Roosevelt Essay

1064 words - 5 pages

What is considered liberal versus what is considered conservative shifts in a similar pattern. While laissez-faire policies are considered liberal in the Roaring 20's, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 quickly changed America's view of liberalism. Suddenly, the small government politics of Hoover were conservative and the progressive politics of Roosevelt were considered liberal. Thus, because the Great Depression quickly changed America's view of liberalism, Roosevelt can be considered a liberal and Hoover a conservative, despite occasionally supporting similar policies.Because the Great Depression occurred during Hoover's term as president, in the public's mind, Hoover started his ...view middle of the document...

This lack of complete dedication to private interest or public purpose is further displayed in Documents B and C where Hoover stresses the importance of the individual in ending the Depression while also assuring government support for job production if the situation required it. Hoover's speeches are remarkably similar to Roosevelt's speech in Document E. Here, even during the Depression, Roosevelt stressed the importance of balancing the budget unless unemployment required the government to spend money stimulating the economy. Instead of Hoover's desire to continue restricting government, Roosevelt wanted to balance the budget. The Depression created the need for government intervention and an unbalanced budget as shown in Document F. However, despite a few efforts by Hoover to create jobs, he still seemed much different than Roosevelt who insisted in 1936 that America must not go back to supporting Conservatives who protected private interest unjustly. (Document G)Hoover started creating jobs when the Depression caused Americans to demand public purpose reform, but the public still quickly characterized him as a conservative despite passing some, now considered, liberal legislation. At first Hoover stubbornly held to his belief that government could not and should not try to end the Depression as shown in Document B. In 1930, Hoover remained conservative. He rarely intervened in the economy and thus was considered a conservative despite being a liberal while supporting the same policies a few years before. Even by 1931, Roosevelt's liberal New Deal sharply contrasted Hoover's belief that the private individual can do more than the government to end the Depression as shown in Document C. Document C demonstrated Hoover's faith that prosperity would return to America. Roosevelt shared similar optimism, but the public supported Roosevelt more because he adapted to the demand for government intervention in the economy, and worked hard to create reform, even though many of Roosevelt's new policies failed.However, as the Depression wore on, Hoover too tried to pass legislation similar to Roosevelt's New Deal. Under the Federal Farm Board, the government bought surplus crops in an effort to increase farm prices. He also adopted a few public works programs, such as...

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