MORE NEW DEALFranklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal fundamentally changed how the federal government of the United States would guide its economy and interact with its citizens. It deserves a closer examination of the many programs that it offered, so here we go…1
THE 1932 ELECTIONThe 1932 presidential election would determine which way the country would go. Would they continue the policies of Herbert Hoover, the Republican, favoring a top-down solution to the Great Depression that gave assistance to businesses in the belief that they would turn around and help the citizens? Or would they reject that notion and go with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democrat, who believed that the government needed to offer programs to help everyone who needed it? 2
CANDIDATE FDR•“I pledge myself to a New Deal for the American people”•Exuded confidence•Empathy for public suffering•No specific plans for recoveryFranklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was a fifth cousin of former president Theodore Roosevelt and had a similar upbringing. He was a member of the wealthy elite – he went to the best schools and had every advantage possible in his life. In the presidential election of 1932, however, he campaigned to change the system. He believed that the dire situation of the still downwardly spiraling economy of the Great Depression demanded it. Right away, he signaled that he would do things differently by breaking tradition and appearing in-person to accept his party’s nomination. In order to do so, he had to catch a flight from New York to Chicago on a very bumpy night – at a time when air travel was not routine. In his speech, he promised even more change by stating: “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people.” In many ways, FDR was the exact right candidate for this time and these circumstances. He exuded confidence and a sense of optimism that was sorely needed by the country. He traveled the nation and met with hundreds of citizens, shaking hands and listening to their stories. Perhaps in part because of his experiences in dealing with his physical ailments, FDR possessed incredible empathy for the public suffering. He promised action and using the massive power of the federal government to help fix the situation, but he was woefully short on details3
PRESIDENT HOOVER•Rejected notion of government interventionism saving the people•Grim and dour•Routinely faced anti-Hoover protests•Seemed physically unwellOn the other hand, President Herbert Hoover stood in direct contrast to FDR in almost every way. He refused to change his philosophy of offering no direct aid to those hurting the most because of the economic downturn and rejected the very idea that government intervention would provide the answer to the nation’s problems. He was rarely seen smiling, possibly because he was met with antagonism at every turn.