What differentiated Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression from that of Herbert Hoover?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt had very different responses to the Great Depression. President Hoover believed our economy goes through cycles. He believed we needed to wait things out, and eventually things would return to normal. This was part of the laissez-faire philosophy to which Hoover subscribed. This philosophy called for very little government involvement in the economy. As a result, Hoover did very little to deal with the Great Depression during the first few years of it.

President Roosevelt believed the government should be actively involved in dealing with an economic crisis such as the Great Depression. When he got elected, he sprung into action right after he was inaugurated into office. He launched the New Deal program. In his first 100 days in office, many laws were passed to deal with the economic crisis. These laws dealt with the banking industry, the stock market, the creation of jobs, and the helping of those who were suffering. Throughout his first two terms, many laws were passed to help get the economy going and to help people who were suffering. This was in stark contrast to Hoover’s inaction when the Great Depression began.

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