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

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Introduction

How far was Roosevelt responsible for his own election victory in 1932? In the 1932 Presidential election in the USA, Franklin D. Roosevelt won by an enormous 7 million votes. He was the candidate for the Democratic Party, and he was running against the Republican President, Herbert Hoover. Hoover had been President for four years, since 1928. The extent of Roosevelt's win was even more surprising as he had not been the Democrats' first choice, but a compromise when none of the other candidates could win enough support. Roosevelt's landslide victory was due to both his own actions and to factors outside his control, because in 1932 the USA was in the depths of depression, and Americans were blaming Hoover and his government because they were not taking action to help the people and the economy to recover. Hoover came across as if he did not care for the people of America. This helped Roosevelt because although he didn't outline his proposed policies in detail, he did promise that he would put an end to the depression. In this essay I am going to assess whether his actions were responsible for his victory, or whether it was largely due to factors outside his control. America in 1932 was still in the depths of the economic depression caused by the Wall Street Crash of October 1929. ...read more.

Middle

This meant that people had been left for three years to suffer hardships while their government did nothing but hope the economy would recover. By the time of the Presidential election of 1932 American citizens wanted a change; they wanted a President who do something to make things happen, and this is what Roosevelt was offering them. Roosevelt promised Americans that he would end the depression; he convinced them that he cared for them and would get them through the bad times. As part of Roosevelt's election campaign he promised Americans a "New Deal". This was a list of targets Roosevelt planned to achieve; in it there were four main points, they were: Government schemes to provide more jobs. Measures to revive industry and agriculture. Relief for the poor and unemployed. Protection for workers against irresponsible employers. All these points gained Roosevelt votes because at the time of the election, millions of Americans were unemployed and dependent on soup kitchens for food. By promising to abolish the prohibition laws on alcohol, he gained widespread support, and even middle class Americans who had work responded to him as they saw in him the only hope of saving America from revolution. Roosevelt had been Assistant Secretary to the Navy when America joined the First World War, and had shown that he could carry out an important job, but he had ...read more.

Conclusion

Roosevelt offered positive intervention in the economy to bring America out of the depression. Hoovers' personal image was also uncaring and cold, and Roosevelt made sure that his own was exactly the opposite. Roosevelt was seen as having triumphed over adversity in his own health, and seemed to be the man America needed to nurse the country out of sickness. He was also energetic and showed that he was willing to work hard to bring America back to prosperity. All this contributed to Roosevelt's success, but if the election had not been during the depression, it is possible that a prosperous America would not have even considered Roosevelt, because there would have been no reason to replace President Hoover with a candidate who did not outline his own policies exactly. Roosevelt did have a very good campaign which took his message all over the country, talking to people about their problems, showing he cared for them, and if he hadn't done that I don't think he would have won by such a large number of votes. The state of America at the time of the election gave Roosevelt the opportunity to offer Americans what they wanted, and the country was ripe for change. I therefore conclude that both Roosevelt's own actions, and factors outside of his control led to his win in the 1932 Presidential Election, but perhaps the greater role was played by the economic conditions and America's desire for change at the time. ...read more.

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