• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

President Hoover and the Great Depression

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐President Hoover and the Great Depression I. Was Hoover inconsistent? A cursory examination of the Great Depression will inform us immediately the President Hoover's policies during the Depression did appear to be inconsistent. This often resulted in confused or startled interpretations of the government's designs by leading businessmen of the period, and it is indisputable that the effects of Hoover's presidency, certainly were not to cure America of its financial distress. However, sympathy is needed to understand Hoover's motivations. Although Hoover's government may have demonstrated unaccountable and inconsistent tendencies, Hoover himself would certainly have been consistent in his ideas. His main difficulty in employing these ideas, would have encompassed the political scene; he could not have contrived considerable alterations of government policy, without being acused of radical interventionism, which would have engendered the repugnance of the both the Republican party to which he belonged, and Republican voters. Indeed, Hoover had a distinct notion of what he intended to undertake - but he was all the while confronted by forces that hindered his undertaking them. IIa. Hoover's ideas It will be of good utility to illustrate Hoover's ideas in bullet-point format, which will enable them to be more easily digested and remembered. ...read more.


Hoover was induced to accept the need for direct relief, but only if administered by state governments, or by the private sector. Going farther would have entailed severe consequences. His opponents' disparagement of himself, and of his aims, would only be intensified by the evidence of conspicuous intervention; furthermore, Hoover's own idealogies conflicted with the construction of a welfare state. Hence, compelled by necessity and the force of his own convictions, yet withheld by detainments that he was incapable of overcoming, Hoover was only able to proceed a certain distance in the way of intervention. What he was able to accomplish, we will discover, was certainly not enough. III. What Hoover did It had long been established as Hoover's custom to encourage, but not to coerce, business leaders into agreement with his schemes. Among the first of Hoover's undertakings, was to persuade larger businesses not to renounce their employees, and not to reduce their wages, but to keep them as they were in spite of a plummeting market environment. His design and intention was to maintain purchasing power, since he believed that to kick-start the economy, there would need to be prevalent demand and consequent inflation; he initially introduced lower taxes to relieve disposable incomes, and his Agricultural Marketing Act afforded farmers a certain market with desirable prices. ...read more.


He initiated unexampled public work schemes, and his RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corporation) disseminated money across the nation, to sustain faltering banks and businesses. However, Hoover's actions have often been interpreted as insufficient. Hoover was only inclined to do what was necessarily to kick-start the economy; he then had faith that the fires of individualism would seize the American people, and the rest would be accomplished by their own independent enterprise and initiative, without the necessity of developing a welfare state. None of Hoover's ambitions, in this aspect, could be realised, unless confidence was planted within the mind and spirit of everybody. But it has already been observed the Hoover failed to do this. It has also been contended that, had Hoover done less, the economy would have corrected itself, the agonies of the Depression would not have been continued for as long. Some have even ventured to propose, that Hoover's operations only extended the Depression, and that such organisations as the RFC only delayed the collapse of businesses, and so delayed the purging of the economy that would ultimately have allowed for recovery. Yet Hoover's humanitarian propensities caused him to abhorr this. He could not endure that things should get worse before they should get better; he was determined to do what would, if not accelerate recovery, at least rescue America from the deepest furrows of destitution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    How far do you agree with the view that Hoover simply extended the agonies ...

    4 star(s)

    This view is supported by Harold Wilson who once stating that Hoover "should have left the economy to right itself". This indicates that what he implemented was merely a waste of time. He stuck by his policy of rugged individualism and voluntary cooperation: He did not accept the idea of direct government relief.

  2. Evaluate The Presidency Of Theodore Roosevelt.

    The policies and actions Roosevelt chose to follow in response to the issue of international affairs were greatly successful. This is shown by the effects of the actions he chose to take. The Roosevelt Corollary was successful, regardless of the fact that it was generally ignored by the major European powers, because it recognised the United States' new international role.

  1. Roosevelt(TM)s aims of relief, recovery and reform 1933-1945

    up to help the unemployed, relief benefits were given to families who took work organised by the government, with $500 million given to states and local governments. FERA's effectiveness was limited, some workers were refused office space in some states and its funds were inadequate for the number of unemployed in America.

  2. To what extent was Hitler's foreign policy consistent and planned?

    of acting unilaterally to halt any further aggression from Hitler and his Nazi followers. Undoubtedly the uncertainty created by the Abyssinian affair encouraged Hitler with his next and most rewarding gamble in the inter-war years, the invasion of the Rhineland.

  1. Causes and Consequences Watergate

    Over the coming months investigations by Congress, the federal judiciary and the Washington Post found evidence and testimony that linked the burglars to CREEP. It transpired that Nixon had not known of the break-in but had authorised a cover-up, which involved the manipulation and obstruction of the CIA and FBI.

  2. America's Reconstruction as Revolution

    His was the task of finding a way to integrate the freedmen into American society while reconciling the division between North and South and reintegrating the latter both politically and economically. This would be no easy task. Looking at Johnson's past statements and political career, many assumed that he would

  1. To what extent was the attack on Pearl Harbor a Surprise to President Roosevelt?

    * On September 24th a Japanese consultant received grid patterns of Pearl Harbor from Tadashi Morimura, who then gave this information to Japan Naval Intelligence using the J code (Stinnett 140). * Caption Kirk chief of Naval Intelligence and Great Britain warned FDR of prior knowledge to attack and the warnings were disregarded (Devany 40).

  2. The Great Depression, causes and effects.

    depression), most of the banks had uninsured deposits which lead to people losing their money without compensation. Surviving banks thereafter became less willing to give out new loans and credit thus reducing the expenditure in the economy. Businesses were also affected by this, they had lost money in the stock

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work