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Hoover's Response to the Great Depression

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Charles Erwin

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of Hoover's Response to the Great Depression

Hoover's Initial Response
During the Great Depression,he was cautious in giving too much government support.
Urged employers and unions to work together to help get the country on its feet again.
None of these steps worked in the long run as companies still went out of business, more soup kitchens were needed and shantytowns or "Hoovervilles" were in every major city.
The Hoover Dam was a success. Very little federal intervention in the project, but it benefitted much of the Southwest.
Hoover takes more action.
As the depression got worse, Hoover began to take a more active role in bringing about change.
Encourage further cooperation between big business and workers.
In 1932, he signed into law multiple acts designed to boost the economy.
Federal Home Loan Bank Act--lowered mortgage rates and allowed farmers to refinance their farms to avoid foreclosure.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)--gave $2 billion to banks, railroads and other big businesses--idea was for that money to eventually trickle down to the average citizen.
Hoover was at the wrong place at the wrong time. His economic policies would have been great if they would have happened earlier in our history. But, during the Great Depression, laissez-faire economic policies weren't successful. Most people saw Hoover as uncaring and against the American people. He is (unfairly) blamed for all of the problems of the Great Depression and does not see a 2nd term. Franklin Delano Roosevelt comes in with a much different approach.
Bonus Army
A group of 10,000 to 20,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington DC calling themselves the Bonus Army.
Came to DC to support a bill in Congress that would pay a bonus to WWI veterans.
The Senate voted the bill down and Hoover asked the veterans to leave. Most did, but about 2,000 did not.
President Hoover then forced the veterans out using tear gas and a 1,000 man military force.
Hoover's Philosophy
Believed that Government should encourage and facilitate cooperation between different parts of society not control it.(e.g. business/labor disputes)
Believed in "Rugged Individualism"
People should succeed through their own efforts. Should not rely upon the government to bail them out.
Believed that handouts would weaken self-respect and "moral fiber"
Believed that individuals, charities and local organizations should help the less fortunate.
Believed that direct Federal support would stifle individual liberties.
Hoover's Response to the Great Depression
"A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage."
--Herbert Hoover Campaign Promise
Full transcript