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The New Deal: Franklin D. Roosevelt Vs Herbert Hoover

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There is no doubt that to live in America during the early 1930s was more than complicated. This was a time laced with hardships and uncertainty to all Americans. With fear always looming overhead, the choice between Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt was the difference between a new America and the old America, reinstated. Roosevelt advocated for a new deal approach for the country while Hoover wanted to keep old American traditions and policies in place. America lobbied for change, and Roosevelt was elected president as American’s everywhere waited for the relief that he promised with his new deal policies. While both nominees were great contenders, Roosevelt worked through many issues, and while somethings fell through as they always will, gave America a great foundation on which to build on.

Hoover implied that the new deals would destroy “the very foundation of the American system of life.” He wanted to keep the traditional philosophies of the American people. He warned of the changes that would take place if Roosevelt was to get his way and argued that America would be unrecognizable in the days to come. Hoover wanted no class systems in America, arguing that we should care for those in destress, but give incentives and count on voluntary cooperation for American’s to do what is right to better their lives, and the lives of the whole country. His quote “The able and ambitious are able to rise constantly from the bottom to leadership in the community.” He suggested that the government was a tool for the American people to be used by them, not to be ruled by it.

Unfortunately, the American people had struggled and suffered. Even through many technological advances, and improvement on the quality of life, America had fallen on hard times. The people wanted change, and the New Deal that Roosevelt proposed sounded like music to their ears. Under Roosevelt, many policies and regulations came to be. Roosevelt believed that regulations and rules were just what the people needed so that the country could come out on top once again. He lobbied for people to have faith in the banking system and even though depression was around, stated to “keep your money in the bank, it’s safer than under a mattress”. He lobbied for cooperation of the public, for the public to use the banking system, and all would be alright.

Roosevelt justified his New Deal experimentation with the fact that America needed help. He won over many with his compassion for those who were on the bottom of the economic ladder and warned of Hoover’s “reckless spending” which in their minds, would surely just hurt America more. Roosevelt wanted to show the American people that the government was addressing their urgent problems and had 3 basic goals, industrial recovery, agricultural recovery and short-term emergency relief. While all these programs sounded like a safe haven, and Roosevelt was quick to crank them out, many problems still loomed ahead for this country. Problems that would have to be reworked and faced for years to come.

With the founding of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) in 1933, Roosevelt’s goal was to eliminate unfair competition by creating codes, fair practices and prices to be set for all. However, corporate America resisted, and this resulted in many code violations. Small businesses complained of fixed prices and unfair competition continued. The Supreme Court ruled the NRA unconstitutional in 1935.

Also, in 1933, was the Agricultural Adjustment Act which was designed to increase agricultural prices by reducing supply. The government paid farmers subsidies to leave part of their land vacant. This didn’t help farm laborers or migrant workers, both who were on the bottom of the economy chain, and instead caused more turmoil as the Interracial Southern Tenant Farmers Union, which was led by the Socialist Party, formed unions throughout. This caused strife with union members and organizers and landowners who fought back.

The Civil Works Administration (CWA) of 1933, under Harry Hopkins, was Roosevelt’s idea of relief in his New Deal policy. It funded short term work projects for those who were without jobs and gave hope to some Americans. Roosevelt soon did away with this though for fear of creating a permanent welfare underclass, something his counterpart had warned of during the election. However, not all bad news came from this since the PWA came to be because of this and put people back to work, creating dams, water utilities, public buildings, air ports, etc. Despite was his opponents said about welfare, Roosevelt knew that to be needed was the best medicine for these men and women in need.

The Social Security Act of 1935 gave working class citizens peace of mind when it came to their retirement, insurance, and many other benefits. Roosevelt was a true humanitarian and fought hard for those who suffered. He stated that the government should be on the same side as the Good Samaritan and that those who were in need were not worthless, but worthwhile. Due to the extreme distress America was in, Roosevelt had many trial and errors during this time but was a great leader and took action to better his country.

During this time of confusion and distraught economical issues, there is no doubt that change was needed. Both these men fought for the government to help when need be, and both realized that the American people needed hope. They both lobbied for the American people to put their trust in the government and lobbied for a better America, one in which the next generations could do nothing but succeed. Roosevelt and Hoover, both great men, had different standpoints when it came to political policies, but America learned a great deal from both and is a better country because of their influences.

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