Herbert Hoover And Franklin D. Roosevelt And The Great Depression

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The picture of Fred Bell known as ‘Champagne Fred’, a one-time millionaire, selling apples at his stand on a busy street corner in San Francisco in March 1931 during the Great Depression, became a symbol of the stock market crash in 1929. (McLeod, 1969) Although the collapse of the stock market on October 24, 1929, known as the ‘Black Thursday’, signed in everyone’s mind the beginning of the Great Depression, actually it only precipitated it. A combination of conditions led the United States to the worst economic crisis in its history. During this traumatic period of despair, the Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt would answer this crisis with very antagonist approaches to bring the United States out of this economic catastrophe. …show more content…
Roosevelt became President in November 1932, the country was counting 13 million of unemployed and almost every bank was closed. (Freidel & Sidey, 2006). Unlike Hoover, he had compassion for ordinary citizens and was ready to give the change they wanted. During the first one hundred days, President started a multitude of programs called the three R’s to provide relief, create jobs, and stimulate economic recovery. These programs would be known as the ‘New Deal’ and wanted to bring quickly economic relief as well as reforms in industry, agriculture, finance, waterpower, labor, and housing, considerably developing the scope of the federal government’s activities. Unlike Hoover, Roosevelt thought the federal government’s duty was to help the American people through these harsh times. With a circle of advisers nicknamed ‘brain trust’ (Boyer et al., p. 737), Roosevelt tried to find ways to help the struggling nation. He started with the Emergency Banking Bill of 1933 as he wanted quickly to stabilize the banking system and restore the public’s confidence in the banking with the federal government intervention behind it. He would pursue with the Glass-Steagall Act which created the Federal Deposit Insurance (FDIC), federally insuring consumer bank deposits. The Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) addressed the problem of unemployment in sending 3 million single men to work in the forest. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) would employ more than 8.5 million people to build bridges, roads, and public buildings. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and the National Recovery Administration (NRA), were designed to regulate the number of hours worked per week and to ban child labor in order to address unemployment. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) provided $3 billion to states for work relief programs. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), subsidized farmers for reducing crops and provided loans for farmers facing bankruptcy. The Home

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