Which President was an activist progressive and which one was more "hand's off and willing to let businesses solve the great depression on their own without government intervention?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were two presidents who were in office during the Great Depression. They were Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. They had different ideas for dealing with the Great Depression.

Herbert Hoover believed in laissez-faire economic principles. He believed our economy goes through cycles. We will have good times that will be followed by bad times. He believed the government should stay out of the economy and let economic events run their course. He was confident business owners could figure out ways to help get the economy going again when we were experiencing the bad times. He believed things would eventually get better. For the first year of the Great Depression, President Hoover did very little to help end the Great Depression. Eventually, as things worsened, he did take some government actions to stimulate the economy. The National Credit Corporation and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation are examples of programs developed by President Hoover. However, it was too late and not enough. President Hoover is characterized as a president who did very little to end the Great Depression.

President Roosevelt believed the government must be actively involved in trying to end the Great Depression. He helped to develop various programs that would ease the effects of the Great Depression and would try to fix the factors that led to the Great Depression. There were many job creation programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. The Glass-Steagall Act and the Securities Act were designed to fix the issues with the banks and with the stock market. Money was provided to help farmers and homeowners. The Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Home Owners Loan Corporation are examples of these programs. President Roosevelt encouraged the businesses, the workers, and the government to work together as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act. President Roosevelt was very hands-on in trying to deal with and end the Great Depression.

Both Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt had ideas on how to deal with Great Depression. These ideas were very different. Hoover’s ideas weren’t successful while Roosevelt had some success with his ideas.