Hoover And Roosevelt: A Comparative Analysis

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President Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt have often been compared to one another throughout American history. For instance, their political views during the Great Depression have often been debated. Although President Hoover is commonly thought of as conservative while President Roosevelt is thought of as liberal, this is only true to a certain extent. To be liberal is to have a progressive stance on the government. During Hoover and Roosevelt’s presidency this implied securing personal freedom for the people, whether that freedom was political or economical. On the other hand, a conservative preserves the ideals of the previous administration. Thus, both Hoover and Roosevelt were liberals because they both involved the government…show more content…
At this time, extreme government involvement was progressive because in the past, the government wasn’t as involved. This was seen in the 1920’s where corporations and monopolies evolved quickly and took over the economy and in the 1880’s where the national government had little influence besides in postal service. Even previous administrations, such as Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, who were involved, were used their influence much less over the nation. Roosevelt passed acts which gave him unprecedented power over the economy as the president. He passed acts such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act, in which crop production was decreased to halt overproduction. In doing so, he increased government intervention in attempt to stop the country from accumulating more debt. In Document E, he blatantly said that the center of control should be in Washington with the government. He wanted to balance the budget without increasing taxes on the people. Thus, he was liberal in giving the government more power, while also ensuring that those powers were not abused. By creating the Civil Works Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, he decreased unemployment by giving occupations to young, men which allowed for individual economic freedom. Since America was in a depression and…show more content…
This is clearly shown in his desire to preserve governmental control and capitalism as well as use governmental powers to protect and aid the people and economy. Roosevelt acted like previous presidents did in emphasizing the need to preserve the ideals of democracy. This is shown when he used his powers as president to create acts such as the National Industry Recovery Act in 1933 which set a minimum wage, prevented child labor, and increased employment. Roosevelt created numerous acts such as this to aid the unemployed, while still supporting capitalism. In this sense, Roosevelt was clearly conservative by keeping the federal government strong while still aiding the people in a non-oppressive way as many other presidents did in the past. Roosevelt even created the “broker state” in 1939 to bridge the gap between society and interest groups, which reflects back to the 1920’s where corporations and interest groups were at large. Roosevelt even called himself a conservative in Document G where he defines both liberals and conservatives. He says that a conservative has concern for injustices and seeks to protect free enterprise and such. Yet, liberalism is the protection of this “far-sighted conservative”, and conservatives must adjust as times change.
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