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Hoover and the Great Depression

Unit 1 - Section 3
by

J Hawk

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Hoover and the Great Depression

USA 1928 - 1945 Hoover and the Great Depression Starter - Recap the main issues related to the 'Normalcy' policy of Harding and Coolidge.

Do you think such a policy could deal effectively with an economic depression? Task 1
Using Clements and notes from this lesson- give reasons for Herbert Hoover's popularity in 1928.

Include his;
Rise to power
Political beliefs
Key dates
Positions held
Al Smith's failings Key Terms
Laissez-faire
Free Trade
Protectionism
Voluntarism
Hooverization

Construct a spider diagram that shows;

Hoover's non-action / Consequences of non-action
Hoover's action / Consequences of action

Consequences for Hoover, the people and the economy.

Include events that were out of Hoover's control and colour them or label them accordingly. Task 4
Using your notes and further research, answer this question.

1. To what extent can it be argued that Herbert Hoover was to blame for America sliding into the 'Great Depression.'

Brainstorm the question first ensuring you have considered all the relevant points.

Check the mark scheme on page vii in your text book. FREE TRADE V PROTECTIONISM

Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of these two economic ideas The large number of shanty-towns that grew up around US cities were known as 'Hoovervilles.' What does this say about attitudes towards Hoover? Hoover and the Great Depression Following the Stock Market crash, the emerging consumer economy stalled and would not recover for over 15 years.

While the causes of the Depression were primarily rooted in the structure of the American economy, Hoover, following conservative economic thinking, believed that economic matters were best left to the markets to sort out and, as a result, favoured a minimal governmental response, largely centered on “trickle down theory,” to the growing crisis. Hoover and the Great Depression Hoover, who was freed to run for the presidency when Calvin Coolidge declined to seek reelection. Hoover easily beat Smith, who even failed to carry his home state of New York.

The nation was at peace, was prosperous, and Herbert Hoover had an impeccable background. Few Americans had much cause to seek change - even the abolition of Prohibition was not a vote winner for Smith in 1928. Hoover Becomes President Following the war, Hoover turned the United States Food Administration into a relief organisation for the devastated populations, including the defeated Central Powers, in Europe.

American aid fed two million people per day in Poland alone.

When a critic accused Hoover of helping the Bolsheviks by providing food aid to the Soviet Union, Hoover responded in the following speech, “Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they will be fed.” “They will be fed!” Woodrow Wilson placed Hoover in charge of agricultural production for the American war effort.
Hoover was immediately successful.

In addition to rationalising the American production system, Hoover convinced Americans that it was patriotic to go without in war time.

Cutting back became known as “Hooverizing,” rationing was one way that World War I affected people on the home front.

Seeking to manage domestic consumption in order to feed the U.S. Army and to assist Allied armies and civilians., the U.S. Food Administration declared “Food Will Win the War.” “Hooverizing” Hoover made a specialty of turning around struggling operations with organisation and technology.

His wife helped translate his work and bridge the cultural gaps in foreign nations. Their work made them wealthy.

They were forced to flee China for a time during the Boxer Rebellion, an insurrection aimed at purging the nation of western influence.

While in London, at the outbreak of the First World War, the Hoovers organised an impromptu organization to evacuate expatriated and vacationing Americans from Europe. Hoovers’ Mining Career Hoover and The Great Depression In 1932, Edward Angly published a small book called "Oh Yeah?" skewering the Hoover administration for overly optimistic view of the economy.

Herbert Hoover was a great product of and great believer in rugged individualism.

To Hoover, charity was a matter for local governments and churches.

Many Americans resented what they saw as an insufficient governmental response to the economic crisis, and, as president, Hoover bore the brunt of their animosity.

“Hooverizing,” a term embraced by Americans during the war to mean economising, came to be a bitter synonym for poverty. Dissatisfaction with Hoover’s Response With Hoover was invited to serve in the cabinet as Secretary of Commerce of Republican President Warren G. Harding.

While many members of the Harding cabinet were implicated in controversies and scandals, Hoover remained unscathed and, thus, retained his post under Calvin Coolidge.

By the 1920’s the American economy was transformed, industry and commerce, rather than agriculture, now provided the backbone of the American economy.

As Commerce Secretary, Hoover was in the middle of the economic transformation, leading to the impression that Herbert Hoover was everywhere. Secretary of Commerce During WWI, when Germany invaded Belgium, Britain and France placed a blockade on the Central Powers which kept them from importing food.

Germany no longer had enough food for its own population, let alone occupied countries such as Belgium.

Hoover, living in London, organised his entire mining firm as a relief operation for Belgium.

Hoover negotiated with the Allied nations to allow the relief ships through the blockade and negotiated with the Germans to not attack the ships with submarines. Belgium Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa in 1874.

He attended Stanford University where he studied geology.

Hoover’s wife, Lou (nee. Henry), was athletic and brilliant. She was the first woman to graduate from Stanford and met Herbert at the University.

Lou Hoover spoke five languages, assisted her husband in his geology and engineering work, often translating his articles and books.

She was a world traveller and often assisted her husband in the cultural aspects of his international business. Hoover’s Personal Life Democratic nominee Al Smith was the first non-Protestant to be nominated for President by a major political party.

Many Americans were highly suspicious of Catholics in high office, primarily because of their loyalty to the Pope.

The nomination of Smith also represented a shift of control in the Democratic Party away from rural, Protestant, agrarians, such as William Jennings Bryan, to urban interests. Al Smith runs for President In June 1932, a group of 15-20,000 impoverished First World War veterans marched on Washington to demand the immediate payment of an enlistment bonus not due to them until 1945.

On June 15, the House approved a bill that would grant the veterans early payment but, under a threatened veto by Hoover, the bill failed in the Senate. The Bonus March The Background On 28 July 1932, Army Chief of Staff Douglas McArthur ordered Major George S. Patton to remove the protestors from the Mall.

Patton quickly drove the protestors from Washington. McArthur then ordered Patton to pursue the marchers into Virginia and destroy their encampment.

In the resulting conflict, scores were injured and one child was killed. Handling the Depression Hoover (R) vs. Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)

In the end, Hoover had the impossible task of defending failed policies and strategies.

Instead of campaigning, Hoover spent time begging Roosevelt to not do anything too radical.

Hoover was afraid FDR would undo the nation’s chance for recovery if he was too radical. Election of 1932 Hoover decided to ask Americans to be Charitable
He suggested giving $ to charity, giving loans to neighbours, and inviting troubled neighbours to dinner

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
- This was only a Temporary Solution
- Gap between wealthy and poor was so big, the wealthy could not give enough to help! 6. Charity Hoover started to demand that State and Local Government should find solutions and help people in a rough state

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
- Federal Government maintained it was not part of its responsibility
- No Money to use because Hoover cut taxes 5. State and Local Government Should Get Involved Hoover begged employers to rehire, and to reopen closed factories

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
- Businesses could not sell  could not pay employees  could not rehire because there was no work to be done 4. Plead with Big Business He believed that if he cut taxes  people would have more $$$ to spend

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
1. People had no money to begin with to be taxed, so lower taxes made no difference
2. LOWER GOVERNMENT SPENDING!!!
3. People started hoarding $, rather than spending 3. Taxes Hoover gave speeches in which he said this is a temporary problem and encouraged people to be positive thinkers

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
1. He did not really solve anything, and many thought of him as a liar when things did not work out.
2. Hoover angered People because he was a millionaire!
- Cardboard box homes  Hoovervilles
- Newspaper blankets  Hoover Blanket
- Trouser Pocket turned out  Hoover Flag 2. Presidential Optimism An extremely high tariff

Hoover wanted to raise the tariff higher to protect US goods

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome:
1. It raised the cost of goods
2. The tariff was one of the Causes of the Depression! 1. Smoot Hawley Tariff Hoover had to face an economic situation that any President would fear HOOVER’s Policies in the GREAT DEPRESSION Hit farmers hard (huge surplus of food)
Farmer Revolts and the Bonus Army
Bank Failures
Unemployment – rose as high as 25-30%
Foreclosures and Evictions Worst Phase – 1930-1933 Inaugurated March, 1929

Economy was booming!

Stock Market Crash, October 29th, 1929

Common Perception  - Economy was fine until Hoover came in First Year of Presidency He supported Laissez Faire government

He was very Intelligent – graduated from Stanford, president of Cornell University

In WW1, he organised a food drive for starving civilians in Belgium

After the war he organized a relief for many European countries to help stabilise some of their economies

He was a great humanitarian

He didn’t take a pay cheque Remember Herbert Hoover’s background Hoover’s Response to the Great Depression A programme was established in 1932 that gave Federal government loans to banks and business to help them re-adjust

To what extent was this a cause of the Great Depression?

Outcome: Good idea, but waits to long and it did not go far enough in Federal Aid 7. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (R.F.C.)
1. Once the economy had collapsed, Hoover got the blame

2. Hoover was a millionaire – he was resented by suffering people

3. The problems during the Great Depression were very, very bad

4. His policies during his presidency were ineffective Problems with Hoover Hoover’s Response to the Great Depression

Analyse each of his Responses to the Great Depression Election of 1932
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