How far was Roosevelt himself responsible for his election victory in 1932? Explain your answer.

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History Coursework #2:

How far was Roosevelt himself responsible for his election victory in 1932? Explain your answer.

        In 1932, there were two main candidates running for the President of the USA. The two candidates were Herbert Hoover from the Republican Party, and Franklin D. Roosevelt from the Democratic Party. At the time, the American society was in complete shock due to the Depression and they desperately needed a president who would guide them through this hardship. The two candidates had very opposing beliefs. Hoover believed that the government should not interfere with people’s lives. He followed the system called ‘rugged individualism’ which meant that America had become rich through the individual efforts of the people. In contrast, Roosevelt believed that the government should provide assistance to the poorer citizens by using methods such as creating jobs for the unemployed and giving money directly to the poor. This essay will explore how responsible Roosevelt’s own strengths were of his election victory, as well as the other factors which helped him to do so.

        Roosevelt’s own strength was probably the biggest factor which led him to his election victory. He and a group of experts known as the ‘Brain Trust’ put together a programme called the ‘New Deal’, which was created to help America out of the Depression. The New Deal had three main aims: relief, recovery and reform. Roosevelt believed in direct relief, meaning that the government would give direct help to the millions of people that were starving and homeless. He looked to revive the economy by getting industries going, reducing unemployment and boosting demand for goods. Lastly, he aimed to reform the country and make it a better place for ordinary people by bringing in actions such as unemployment insurances and old-age pensions. He was not afraid to spend government money to bring the country out of the financial disaster, and was willing to intervene with the people’s lives as much as possible. His personality was another strength which he had over Hoover. He was a cheerful, optimistic and a good communicator as he enjoyed meeting people all around the country. This benevolent character of him was mainly built by his deadly disease polio as it helped him to empathise with the struggling Americans during the time. Just like how he had lost control of his lower body, the Americans had lost control of their lives. He was also an excellent speaker whereas his opponent Hoover was not. Through his promising campaign and his strong personal qualities, Roosevelt was able to gain the people’s trust and portray himself as a kind-hearted man who had good intentions.

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Another factor which was responsible for Roosevelt’s election victory was Hoover’s weaknesses. First of all, when the Depression first hit America in 1929, Hoover believed that it would only last a few months and would eventually end on its own. Hence, he did not attempt to end it until 1932 when it was obvious that the country would not return to prosperity by itself. He then started to take some action, although many people believed that it was too late. He began to make small loans to farmers and created a few new jobs for the unemployed in a road-building ...

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