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[TUTOR NAME] Compare and contrast the reactions of Hoover and Roosevelt to the Great depression. What were their competing visions of the government’s role in society? How did the New Deal contribute to the modern conception of the presidency?…
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Download file to see previous pages... Hoover’s intervention after the Stock Market crashed was to implement tariffs among other things. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (1930) however has been seen by historians and economists today though as something that actually made the problems associated with the Great Depression worse, not better. Those economists that believe that the economy can only benefit from lowering prices point to tariffs as a way of increasing prices rather than dropping them. Roosevelt on the other hand campaigned on a balanced budget and a promise not to intervene with the economy. However, once he was elected he went ahead and expanded some of Hoover’s programs and created some of his own. The minimum wage act and the Davis-Beacon Act (1931) meant a reduction is price flexibility which slowed the economy even further. The New Deal which was a program implemented under Roosevelt’s reign was actually two different deals. The first one which ran from 1933 – 1935 was aimed at inputting money at the top of the economy so that the people at the bottom benefitted from the trickle down effect. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933) for example paid farmers to reduce their production. No one was actually able to explain why that would help children in the poverty end of the scale who were going without food or the countless numbers of tenants and sharecroppers who were evicted and left without a job but it did make the larger (wealthier) farmers happy. As far as helping alleviate the impact of the Depression however, it was a non-starter – consumer demand fell because of course there were less people with money to spend. The National Industry Recovery Act (1933) was instrumental in setting up a centralized planning scheme that would encourage businesses to set prices that would drive weaker and smaller businesses out of the marketplace completely. Again this might have benefitted larger businesses but the smaller ones were still forced to close and unemployment figures still continued to rise, meaning there was less money being spent in the economy. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)(1933) was a cash injection model that was to help seven rural Southern states to get back on their feet. Through the TVA higher paying jobs were created which did help the economy in that region. The Second New Deal (1935 – 1940s) was the bottom up method of helping the economy. It involved a number of different programs like the Works Progress Administration (1935) which was responsible for hiring people who could then support their families. The projects were all based on local and community works that were set up such as road building, construction and work in public areas. Finally the New Deal did have an impact on the way American’s view the presidency today. The government has absolutely been committed to that time to intervention policies that are supposed to stop the country from sliding into another depression. This meant increased Federal legislation on a number of different areas that were previously left alone. There is no way of knowing what the outcome of the Great depression would have been if it wasn’t for the start of World War II but the population of American now expect their government to not only intervene in the economy but also protect them from the consequences of it. Works Cited Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, Volume 2, 6th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009 [STUDENT ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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