• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did The Policies Of President Hoover Fail To Combat The Great Depression Effectively?

Extracts from this document...


WHY DID THE POLICIES OF PRESIDENT HOOVER FAIL TO COMBAT THE GREAT DEPRESSION EFFECTIVELY? In October 1929, the USA was plunged into the sharpest recession to take place in American history. The period it lasted for became known as the Great Depression. Drastic action was required to fix the situation, and the first person people looked to was President Hoover, who had unluckily took up presidency eight months before the Wall Street Crash. However, Hoover is known for his inability to sue federal powers to overcome the Depression quickly and effectively. Some recent historians have been more sympathetic towards Hoover because they believe he was a victim of both his own mindset and of one of the most difficult to solve crises in American history. But most believe it was his political beliefs and policies that stopped him fight the Depression successfully. Hoover's main trouble was that he was not willing for direct government to take place. His two central policies were self-help and voluntary co-operation. His continued belief in these represented his continued belief that the economy had to right itself and that changes he made would not help - "Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement". ...read more.


As the depression worsened, however, they could not afford to do this. Workers were fired and wages reduced, raising unemployment levels. So, Hoover then secured $500 million in 1932 from Congress to use as unemployment relief, but the amount simply wasn't enough. He also set up the President's Emergency Committee for Employment to help agencies organise efforts, but still refused to help directly because of his self-help policies. An example of this is during the 1930-31 drought, which was so severe it led to almost starvation in the South. Congress gave $47 million to be offered as loans, but Hoover still didn't want to give direct relief. He didn't believe in giving out benefits. So unemployment relief was another failed attempt by Hoover to fight the Depression. The Federal Home Lon Bank Act was passed in July 1932, and was Hoover's attempt to save mortgages. A series of Federal Home Loan banks were set up to help loan associations providing mortgages. However, they only lent 50% of the property value. The Act failed and was largely ineffective, and homes were repossessed. ...read more.


An example of his flexibility is the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, set up in 1932. Though it was temporary, it was the first state-run relief effort in the nation. In comparison, Hoover refused to hear ideas remotely associated with government intervention. However, some historians argue that Hoover did in fact involve the government in more areas of life than ever before, for example the expansion of federal lending and the encouragement of public works' schemes. Hoover had a personal concern for those suffering the Depression. He cut his own and state officials' salaries by 20% and had long working hours. On the other hand, he showed optimism in public, which led people to accuse him of losing touch with reality. Although Hoover worked tirelessly to fight the Depression, his refusal to abandon his policies of self-help and voluntary co-operation prevented him from doing so successfully. In conclusion, President Hoover's policies failed to combat the Great Depression effectively because the help they provided were very limited in the extent the Depression had gone to. Because of his beliefs in self-help and voluntary co-operation he blocked direct government intervention from his policies, driving away supporters towards Roosevelt, who won the elections of 1932 and began his 'New deal'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. Prohibition bound to fail?

    Being a policeman he was reluctant to take the bribe and wanted to enforce the law of prohibition: 'if u tried to enforce the law they'd put you in a post where there was nothing but weeds'- this is trying to say a job in back water.

  2. The Wall Street crash, the great depression and its how it affected the lives ...

    They had to make do with as little as possible in an attempt to save as much they could to avoid starvation and homelessness. The poverty of the nation meant that rival farming companies waged price wars upon each other to try and sell the most food they could to an economising nation.

  1. Policies to end the Depression: Hoover vs. Roosevelt

    These emergency policies were mainly to help the immediate problems of the Depression: the suffering and need of the people. This is another example of Roosevelt's clever handling of public opinion. He was seen to be acting immediately to better the situation, a complete contrast to Hoover's cautious 'Wait and See' policy.

  2. How do the philosophies of President Hoover with those of President Roosevelt compare, in ...

    Hoover's immediate response was to allow the economy to fix itself, with the belief that the government should not interfere with private enterprise. He believed as president, he should limit himself to be an "influential advisor and well-placed cheerleader (Greenhaven Press 23)."

  1. The nature and the causes of the Great Depression of 1929 in America.

    All this based on increase of the salaries and lowering of prices. None of the private institutions was able to change the credit circumstances, because of the wrong, misleading speculations. 1928 the American Federal Reserve Board hesitated to pull breaks on the credits because the building industry and the mining

  2. The great depression.

    Baseball was especially popular heading into the depression. Fans had stars, and idols in Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. It just so happened they played on the same team, the New York Yankees. The Yankees were by far the leagues most popular team, and showed in the fact they led all of sports in attendance.

  1. The Great Depression in America

    Another short-term cause for the boom was the rise of credit and advertising. Although many people were receiving improved wages people still needed money to buy certain goods. Advertising made people think they needed these products. Advertising came in many forms such as posters, radio, newspapers and cinema.

  2. In 1932 America was suffering from a terrible economic depression.

    (6) This advertisement poster was taken in 1937 with a queue of black people, queuing for government relief. On this poster it quotes:- "There's no way like the American way" This shows a stereotypical white American family. This also seems like a highly standard of living for the family (their wealth).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work