Conservatives vs. Liberalists

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Alyssa Panganiban
AP US History

Because the struggles of the Great Depression rapidly changed the views of liberalism, it is valid to declare that Franklin D. Roosevelt a liberal and consider Herbert Hoover a conservative, while agreeing or disagreeing on similar topics. Conservative beliefs have a totally different aspect as opposed to liberal beliefs. Politically, conservatives preferred a small, tight government and less regulation. These actions preserved the decision-making of the people. Individuals were expected to exert personal responsibility and the government is placed as a “helper” to hold them liable. Liberalists preferred universal health care provided by the government by all citizens. As the country expanded and the population grew, and as the economy became more complex and powerful, some of the underlying structural weaknesses were not apparent to most U.S. citizens. But the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression changed their views. President Herbert C. Hoover’s standpoint as a conservative gives him the belief in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. In Document A, Hoover states that United States is to use natural resources with protection from public interest. He believes in American individualism, but also did not want to be considered completely laissez-faire. For instance, the advantage of the American economy under Coolidge and Harding required him to verify that the lack of intervention would be maintained. In Document B and C, Hoover exhibits traits of over-confidence and false wit by saying how the economy rarely needed government aid during the Great Depression. Hoover stresses how important it is for the individual to end the depression, while assuring government support for job production in case it was needed. Fighting conflicts such as starvation and unemployment, Hoover sought to increase pay and loan,...
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