Hoover vs. Roosevelt

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Matt Stefanko
APUS – Period 7
8 April 2010

Hoover vs. Roosevelt

Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were both presidents during one of the most difficult times in American history, the Great Depression. To try and ease the hardships that many Americans were facing, each President developed many different programs. The different actions that each took to lessen the blow of the depression classified them as either a liberal or conservative. If their actions focused on helping the economy, they would be considered a conservative. If they were more focused on helping the lives of the American people, they would be classified as a liberal. Neither President can be labeled as strictly one. Although Franklin Roosevelt was commonly thought of as a liberal and Herbert Hoover a conservative, neither can be considered strictly one sided.

Hoover’s conservative side is shown in his candidate speech on October 22, 1928 when he renounced liberalism because it set bounds to the liberties of the people. He felt the need to take the government out of peoples’ lives (Doc. A). Hoover believed that “the government must not undertake works that are not of sound economic purpose” (Doc. B). This shows that he was more worried about making the economy better instead of trying to improve the lives of American people. About three months later, Hoover began to shift from his conservative stance. In a statement to the press on February 3, 1931, Hoover stated “hunger and cold shall be prevented” (Doc. C). This shows his growing interest in the American people. It can also be seen from this statement that Hoover is slightly changing his approach on improving the depression, a shift toward liberalism. Hoover began to stop focusing solely on the economy and began to sympathize with the people. He began to realize what the people had to go through. This change of position is shown in a political speech in which Hoover is desperately trying to save the economy and...
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