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What were the main features of Roosevelt's 1932 election campaign?

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Introduction

What were the main features of Roosevelt's 1932 election campaign? By the year 1932, President Herbert Hoover's presidency was in crisis. Despite the many steps he had taken, such as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to halt the effects of the Great Depression, the country's economy had slumped all the more. The relief efforts that had been set up by the government also failed to take full effect. On top of this, Hoover believed that while people should not starve (he was infact a passionate humanitarian), he also believed that relief should largely be a local effort. Unfortunately, it was badly underestimated just how much government help was needed, and many of the American people felt badly let down by Hoover, whom they saw as sacrificing them on the grounds of upholding an outdated "laissez-faire" attitude. Many modern historians, however, believe that traditional views of Hoover's presidency have been too critical. Hoover himself cannot be said to be responsible for the Great Depression, and he did try to combat it. ...read more.

Middle

However, Roosevelt was a born campaigner. He was one of the first politicians to use propaganda to such a large effect. He was the first to ever use radio to get his views across to thousands of people across the States. Unlike Hoover, Roosevelt knew how to charm the press, and he used this to his advantage. A vast propaganda campaign was set up, and posters and leaflets were spread across the country, attacking Hoover's policies. With the help of his wife Eleanor, his messages reached far and wide. Using these methods, Roosevelt tried to appeal to those who were out of work or stuck in low pay. He argued that the federal government, far from sitting back and "overseeing" things, should play an active part in regeneration. New laws would be set up to regulate industries, and extra money would be pumped into public services. These ideas seemed radical at the time, since the federal government had never played such an active role. However, Roosevelt's policies appealed to the average low paid man who was looking for change in the way the country was being run. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the Crash of 1929 wiped out many veterans' savings and jobs, forcing them out into the streets. Groups of veterans began to organise and petition the government to pay them their cash bonus immediately. By the end of May over 3,000 veterans and their families had made their way to the capital. There were clashes between the government and the veterans, and eventually Hoover ordered their removal by force. The bringing in of US forces made Hoover extremely unpopular, especially ass the protests had meant to be peaceful. With this final nail in the coffin, it seemed unlikely that Hoover would be re-elected. Roosevelt won the election campaign with over 57 per cent of the popular vote, the largest majority his party had ever enjoyed. This landslide victory was a devastating blow to the Republicans, and it firmly rooted the Democrats and a major source of political power in the future. Hoover indeed carried only four New England states and but two others, Roosevelt took the rest. He won a huge majority in the Hose of Representatives and a large one in the Senate. Jubilant bands played as the news was released, and America prepared itself for a new era in history. ...read more.

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