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In the election for President in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory over Herbert Hoover. Explain why.

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Introduction

History Coursework In the election for President in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory over Herbert Hoover. Explain why. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, came from a wealthy New York family and was educated at Harvard University. He entered politics in 1910 and elected Governor of New York State in 1928 after surviving a bout of polio. The Democrats choose Roosevelt as their candidate to oppose Hoover in the 1932 Presidential Election. During the campaign he said, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people". He promised to use government money and power to rebuild the economy. Roosevelt won with a landslide victory. One of the main reasons for this was that the previous President, Hoover, had not controlled, or attempts to help the economic downfall of the United States. Hoover thought matters would right themselves and therefore took little action. In 1932 Hoover did eventually find some money to help a number of struggling banks and businesses, but he refused to set up federal relief programmes to aid the unemployed. As the Depression dragged on, a protest movement developed among the hungry and the unemployed. Many Americans had lost confidence in President Hoover and were looking for new leadership that arrived in the form of Roosevelt. Before Hoover took over Presidency, Calvin Coolidge had been in office, during which time he had said, "the business of America is business". ...read more.

Middle

No inquiries were made as to why so many banks were as unstable as that 1616 closed in just a few days. Hoover's 'stone-cold' attitude to his people was probably one of the deciding factors in the loss of the 1932 elections. On no occasion did he attempt to make a rallying speech or organise a sufficient amount of money to be helpful. His 'hands-off' approach meant that he only gave advice to businesses and that no direct orders were given until too late. To compare, 1.6 million people (3%) were unemployed in 1920, rising to 4.3 million (9%) just after the crash and skyrocketing to 12 million (24%) in the year Roosevelt took over. In some cities such as Chicago, 40% of the workers were unemployed, and due to racism and the Ku Klux Klan being prominent, unemployment among black workers was as high as 70% in some areas. As industry was scaled down in order to stay profitable with the reduced demand, a vicious circle of workers being laid off => unemployed having less money, and so buying less, leading to => reduced demand for goods led America quickly into a deep depression. Quick action by Hoover at this point could have averted the drawn out suffering many Americans experienced and also saved his political career. Without social security, the economy ground to a halt. ...read more.

Conclusion

He fought the illness and, by exercising, he had regained use of his arms and back. While fighting the illness, Roosevelt gained an affinity for the suffering and had a chance to read and develop ideas. In 1924 Roosevelt returned to politics, and in 1928 was elected for Governor of New York. Soon after his election came the Wall Street crash and he insisted that governments should do something about those in need. Roosevelt helped get $20 million to be spent on schemes to provide work. This was in sharp contrast to the work that Hoover was doing and attracted a lot of attention. In a speech made to the public he said "Remember the forgotten man". This was one of the most poignant sayings that Roosevelt said on his campaign and it showed that Roosevelt saw that the gap between the rich and poor was very large: the top 5% of Americans earned one-third of all income. Speaking in Chicago before he was elected, Roosevelt talked about a 'New Deal'; "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people". Roosevelt's phrase "a New Deal" caught the imagination of the American people and its was an inspiring response to the depression showing true compassion through his actions. In 1932 he was chosen to stand for President against Hoover and won with a landslide victory in the elections. He received a massive 22 million votes and the biggest percentage of states supporting him in the history of the elections. ...read more.

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