“FDR New Deal VS Hoover Solution in 1932 U.S Election”

“FDR New Deal VS Hoover Solution in 1932 U.S Election”

Tori Nuariza Sutanto1


  • A Glance About 1932 United States Presidential Election

According to Martin Kelly http://about.com in his writing of “Top 10 Significant Presidential Election in American History”, The United States of America presidential election of 1932 was on the third rank among top ten presidential election2.

The Republican Party nominated the incumbent US President Herbert C. Hoover as its Presidential nominee. The Democratic Party chose Franklin D. Roosevelt as its presidential nominee. The Socialist Party nominated Norman Thomas as its presidential nominee.

The United States presidential election of 1932 took place as the effects of the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression were being felt intensely across the country. The 1932 US election was held in the midst of the Great Depression.  With the background of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stressed upon the need of greater economic stability during his campaigns. He also promised to end the prohibition era, while unfortunately the incumbent President Herbert Hoover was portrayed publicly as an  ineffectual leader who was not capable of running the country in troubled times.

Eventually, The 1932 U.S Preseidential Election showed a shocked result where Franklin Delano Roosevelt, democratic party candidate, won 57,4 % of the popular votes. While his rival, Hoover gained much less about 39,7 % of the popular votes. Franklin Delano Roosevelt also got the support of 472 electoral votes while Hoover gained 59 electoral votes3.

                Franklin D. Roosevelt confidently won the election as a result of falling  Herbert Hoover’ s popularity in the society. The voters felt hoover was unable to reverse the economic collapse. Franklin D. Roosevelt used this momentum to gain his popularity in contrast with the Hoover.

He used what he called Hoover’s failure to deal with these problem as a platform for his own election, promising reform in his policy called the “New Deal4.

  • New Deal Proposal VS Hoover’s Solution

Contextually, in the U.S presidential election 1932, the Demoratic president candidates  and Republican president candidates offered the americans their programs to resolve and get out of the Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt in this way with his New Deal Programs offered government assistance while Hoover opposed it. Hoover states that “New Deal programs would destroy the foundations of American system.

To overcome from the Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered New Deal Programs, also the same ideas that ever proposed by U. S former President Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. It is necessary for the government to get involve for the economic life. While, the others opposed it felt it would ruin the American System because abandoned what it is  called the laisez faire belief.

The point of the debate was whether voted for FDR with his New Deal (But as the consequences the government getting involve to the economic life) or  voted for Hoover ??

a)      Republican Platform

Republican platform reflected Hoover’s desire to stay the course and rely primarily on voluntarism to solve the nation’s ills. The platform called for the following

  • Sharp cutbacks in federal expenditures;
  • continued support for high protective tariffs;
  • adherence to the gold standard;
  • further curbs on immigration;
  • the payment of pensions to war veterans;
  • U.S. participation in a scheduled international monetary conference;
  • on prohibition, no meaningful direction was provided; the party realized that the Eighteenth Amendment was not working as intended, but the platform did not endorse repeal5

b)      Democratic Platform

The 1932 Democratic platform, while avoiding many specifics, presented a sharp contrast to their opponents in calling for:

  • A “competitive” tariff designed for revenue, not for protection;
  • a “sound” currency, but no mention was made of adhering to the gold nge standard;
  • extensive banking and financial reform, including regulation of the stock exchanges;
  • support for veterans’ pensions;
  • aid programs for farmers;
  • a reduction of federal expenditures and a balanced budget6.
  • Stances ; voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt

If I were an American who lived in that period, I would vote for  Franklin D. Roosevelt. There are some reasons why my vote goes to him. Herbert Hoover lose the trust from the public as he portrayed as an inffectual leader who was not capable of running the country in troubled times. The Hoover solution to stay in the course and rely on voluntarism to resolve the nation’s ills would be not effective toward the resolution of Great Depression. Hoover viewed such solutions as contrary to American tradition and believed that only free enterprise would restore prosperity.

To my mind, it is not effective to resolve the depression by using the same way again and again. Eventhough, the America develops with the Laissez Faire belieffree enterprise system, Coorporations, It seemed to be difficult to stabilize the condition by using usual and basic way. There should be an innovation, revolutionary way to get out of the Depression. New Deal was the solution to overcome those problems.

Great Depression ; worldwide economic downturn that began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. It was the longest and most severe depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. Although the Depression originated in the United States, it resulted in drastic declines in output, severe unemployment, and acute deflation in almost every country of the globe. But its social and cultural effects were no less staggering, especially in the United States, where the Great Depression ranks second only to the Civil War as the gravest crisis in American history7. (Christina D. Romer)

The point is how to make the most of teh “Innovations” of the New Deal.

New Deal were in fact expansions or intensifications of Hoover solutions, or pseudo-solutions, and that Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration differed from Herbert Hoover’s in only two important respects8 (Murray N. Rothbard)


Why New Deal is the revolutionary way for overcoming the Depression?

–  The growing corporation might threaten the economic freedom of individuals to earn a living; solution is how the government play an important role to assist the development of Industry, how to fostering infant industry and in here government was not to interfere.

–  The situation at that period of time, indicates the equality of oppurtunity for the citizen no longer exist, so government have to take a role.

–  Great Cooporation was too dominant, so that oppurtunity for doing business has narrowed and the consequences was the small enterprises would not significantly grow.

–    People should not abandon the principle of strong economic units called corporations, because their power is susceptible of easy abuse9.

–   The task of government is to assist the development of an economic declaration of rights, an economic constitutional order10.

–  The final term of the high contract ‘new deal’ was for liberty and the pursuit of happiness11

  • Conclusion

–          New Deal deeply changed many areas of American life

–          New Deal increased the role of federal government in American lives and communities

–          New Deal made Washington  a much greater center of economic regulation and political power

So, with those kind or reasons, if I were american who lived in that period of time, I would personally vote for Franklin Delano Roosevelt as Democratic president candidates for 1932 U.S Presidential Election.

Notes :

[1] Tori Nuariza Sutanto, a seventh semester student of English Department of Sebelas Maret University, focuses on american studies mainstream.

2 http://americanhistory.about.com“Top 10 Significant Presidential Election in American History” by Martin Kelly

3 http://mapsoftheworld.com/  keyword; “Historical Elections of U.S Presidential Elections”

4 http://infoplease.com/ The term New Deal; in U.S. history, term for the domestic reform program of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; it was first used by Roosevelt in his speech accepting the Democratic party nomination for President in 1932.

5  http://u-s-history.com/ Election of 1932 “Changing the Guard”

6  http://u-s-history.com/ Election of 1932 “Changing the Guard”

7  the explanation of term Great Depression; “Forthcoming in the Encyclopedia Britannica”, Christina D, Romer , December 20, 2003

8 Murray N. Rothbard, 2000 Introduction to Fifth Edition “American Great Depression” copywright by the Ludwig Vonn Misses Institute. Page 16

9 “Blueprint for Change”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt speeches. Page 9

10 Idem, page 9

11 Idem, page 12


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