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How far was Roosevelt himself responsible for his election victory in 1932?

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Introduction

How far was Roosevelt himself responsible for his election victory in 1932? Roosevelt gained an election victory over the previous president, Hoover, in 1932; he won the election by 23 million votes to 16 million. Roosevelt himself played an important part in his victory. Even before he put his name down for the presidency of the Democratic Party he had already made his name as a positive leader, and was a popular leader as governor of New York from 1928 to 1932. He had already begun to deal with the consequences of the depression. Roosevelt had increased state spending on roads, bridges and slum clearance, this provided jobs to a large number of citizens in New York, and therefore also helped the economy to revive. ...read more.

Middle

Roosevelt policies also helped him to gain support, one policy was to end prohibition, this was easily done because a lot of people had realised the adverse affects of it, to end it meant a lower crime rate, and aid to the U.S. economy through the alcohol market. Roosevelt's second policy also gained many supporters, although it did mean some opposition too. It was the idea that the demand for goods would be increased by spending more on public works eg. road building, this would (as in New York) provide jobs, and therefore wages to buy goods, hence increasing the U.S. economy. This idea attracted both supporters of laissez- faire and opposers of it because Roosevelt promised that the government would only interfere for a short time, until the economy stabilised again. ...read more.

Conclusion

They said that businesses should be left alone to recover by themselves; he refused to give any government help such as the dole to help the unemployed. He believed that they would become too dependent on it and would not be willing to work. This made Hoover seem heartless towards the needs of Americans. Hoover also lost a lot of support when he accused servicemen that had fought hard in the war of being communists and criminals when they asked for their war bonuses. This made ordinary people go against him and his policies. Beside Hoover's seemingly negative actions and ideas to U.S citizens, Roosevelt's promises of prosperity were more than attractive to American people suffering the consequences of the depression. So it was not just Roosevelt's actions that lead to his victory, it was his actions and Hoover's failings that both combined to form a major victory for Roosevelt. ...read more.

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