American History

Documents: “Herbert Hoover Protests the New Deal” and “FDR’s Second Fireside Chat”

Compare and contrast the way(s) in which Franklin Delanor Roosevelt’s and Herbert Hoover’s political/economic philosophies shaped their response to the Great Depression.

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The collapse of the U.S. economy in the late 1920s was unprecedented in scope and scale. The ensuing debate about how best to respond to it challenged many long-held beliefs about the role of government. Closely connected to that debate was another one on how best to preserve liberty (freedom) in the new economic order of the twentieth century. Herbert Hoover, the 31st President, and presiding at the onset of the Great Depression, and Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President, disagreed profoundly on how the government should respond, and what role it should play in the economy. An important part of each of their views was their concern with the individual liberty of U.S. citizens. For this assignment, you will be looking for how each articulated their political philosophy in terms of protecting individual liberty. As you read their speeches, look for the connections they make between their ideas about the role of government and freedom.

Make sure to address the following two points:

1. What does each see as the proper role of government in guiding the economy?

2. What does each see as the greatest threat to American citizen’s liberty/freedom?

Your essay should be approximately 700 words long. Assignment should be typed, double-spaced, and normal size font (e.g. Times New Roman, 12).

Note: You do not need to answer the questions at end of each document individually, but it would help to incorporate them into your essay.

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