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Roosevelt did not win the 1932 election, Hoover lost it. Using the sources from this page and your own knowledge, discuss this view of the 1932 election.

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Introduction

Roosevelt did not win the 1932 election, Hoover lost it. Using the sources from this page and your own knowledge, discuss this view of the 1932 election. Many historians believe that the 1932 election was a popularity competition, with the prize being the chief of the white house. This is because they thought that Hoover's inability to revive the depressed economy, and his lack of a personality that reaches out to the average American, provided Roosevelt (who was very popular) with a path to victory. I shall discuss this view, with points in favour and points that argue Roosevelt had an appealing policy and opinions that ensured his triumph which did not rely on Hoover's incompetence and lack of charm. Beginning with the points in favour, it becomes easy to understand the principle behind the aforementioned statement. According to the historian Roger Smalley, Hoover's election campaign was based on his criticism of other parties. ...read more.

Middle

Another point, which greatly affected Hoover's chances of winning, was his inconsistency in methods. At first, he was dependant on voluntarism (charities and businesses helping at their own will) to solve the problem of the depression. Hoover implemented the POUR organisation to help the unemployed, but it only used donated money. The charity Red Cross, by 1931 could only provide 75 cents a week for hungry families. "The situation had developed far beyond the ability of private charity to cope" (source 3). His inconsistency is shown when he alters his approach from opposing direct government aid and 'laissez fair' (to leave alone), to intervention. He personally gave up a fifth of his income. In January, congress provided $2 billion in funding a new agency, the reconstruction finance corporation (which makes loans to large economic organisations) and in February, Hoover signed the 'Glass-Steagell' act, which allocated �750 million of gold reserves to businesses. ...read more.

Conclusion

2 veterans and a baby were killed. Both the veterans and the republicans used a great deal of propaganda to support their respective positions and stories of soldiers bayoneting children were contrasted with government warnings of an impending communist revolution. What is significant about the incident was that it cast Hoover in a very bad light and he emerged looking cruel and, insensitive and incapable. In my opinion, it was Roosevelt's public image that boosted the enthusiasm for his election. The 2 candidates had the same policies; for example, government support for businesses and job-creation schemes, so this could not have been what decided their futures. Roosevelt's victory was his exposure of the failures of the republican government, as well as his interaction with the average American. Roosevelt won the election because he won the people's hearts. As well as the instability of Hoover's approaches, these were the reasons that made Roosevelt win. So in theory, Hoover lost the election but Roosevelt offered himself as a friendlier option and so he won. ...read more.

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