Why was president Franklin Roosevelt voted into power in the presidential election of 1932? In 1932 America was suffering from a terrible economic depression. President Hoover did not believe in government intervening in industry or business and little was done to help the unemployed and the increasing numbers of poor people. In the1932 election for president, Hoover lost to Franklin Roosevelt, the demorcratic candidate. During the election campaign Roosevelt had promised the American people a “new deal”. Roosevelt’s government created jobs thought public works schemes the poor were given help. Never before had the government played such an important part in the economy.
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One of the main reasons why Roosevelt was brought into power was because president Hoover was a main course of why the depression continued. He believed in a policy called “Laissez Faire” which meant things would sort themselves out. However this was not the case. In the 1932 election president Hoover paid the price for being unable to solve the problems of the depression. Until 1932 he refused to accept that there was a major problem. He insisted, “Prosperity is just around the corner”. A famous banner carried in a demonstration of Iowa farmers said: “in Hoover we trusted now we are busted”. Hoover was regarded as the do nothing president despite several attempts to bring American economy back on track, he tried to restart the economy by tax cuts, he tried to persuade business leaders not to cut wages, he set up the reconstruction finance company, which stopped the banks going bankrupted and he tried to protect U.S industries by putting up tariffs. However none of these really did anything, and it seemed that Hoover and most republicans were very reluctant to their basic policies. In 1932 Hover blocked the Garner-Wagner Relief Bill, which would have allowed Congress to provide $2.1 billion to create jobs. This did not go down well with the general population. Even more damaging to Hoover’s reputation, was how little he tried to help people suffering from the depression. People were suffering very badly they were living in shantytowns, these towns were nick named “Hoover towns”. There could be no greater contrast to Hoover than his opponent in the 1932 election, the democrat, Franklin D Roosevelt’s main characteristics as a politician were, He believed strongly in “active government” to improve the lives of ordinary people, He had plans to spend public money on getting people back to work, He was not afraid to ask advise on important issues from a wide range of experts. The American people liked Roosevelt because of quotes he says such the example in source A in which he says “I pledge to you, I pledge myself to the new deal for the American people”. Roosevelt went on a massive train tour of the U.S.A in the weeks before the election and mercilessly attacked the attitude of Hoover and the republicans. Roosevelt new that the people wanted action now, so on a 20,800km campaign trip he made 16 major speeches and another 60 from the back of his train. He promised the people a new deal. In the new deal Roosevelt aimed to, get Americans back to work, protect their savings, provide relief for the sick, old and unemployed, and getting the American industry’s and agriculture back on its feet. He spoke I military terms saying the depressing were the enemy and the war would be won. This was shown in source A when he says, “it’s a call to arms, not to win votes alone but to win in this crusade to restore America”. The election was a landslide victory for Roosevelt. He won by 7 million votes and the Democrats won most of the seats in Congress. It was the worst defeat the republicans had ever suffered.