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Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)Get Rating Widget!

Overall Rating:2.75 based on 16 ratings
President Hoover's greatest crisis during his tenure was the collapse of the American economy which brought us into the Great Depression. (Add picture)

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Reviews for Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)  1-3 OF 3

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Drummond (58)
01/02/2006
Didn't even acknowledge there was a crisis.

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
Redoedo (40)
09/03/2003
The Great Depression had little to do with Herbert Hoover or his policies as the President of the United States. When he assumed office in 1929, economists were predicted some sort of economic downturn, and Hoover did little but watch and wait, and hope. He did sign the Agricultural Marketing Act that was rejected by his Predacessor. This Act authorized the purchase of farm surpluses in order to keep farm prices stable. However, with the Crash of 1929, it was clear that all was not well. Between 1930 and 1931, unemployment soared from 3% to 25%, farm prices fell 60%, and millions of Americans were homeless. Hoover continued to have confidence, but soon realized that recovery was nowhere in sight. He worked relentlessly to try to convince business and community groups to join together in common cause of private relief for the unemployed and invest in capital jobs and production. However, Hoover, a firm believer in limited government, refused to provide direct government relief for the poor or unemployed. He did agree to provide loans for farmers to buy seeds and fertilizer, but not once cent for feeding their families or paying their mortages. Hoover firmly believed that private charity groups should provide relief, not the federal government. Hoover did get Congress to pass a tax cut to stimulate economic goods. He got the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates so that corporations could borrow money more cheaply for modernization and expansion. However, with no markets because of the Depression, the lower rates did not spur corporations to borrow money. Hoover established the Reconstruction Finance Corportion which daily was channeling millions of dollars in handouts businesses, operationg under the Trickle Down Theory. Meanwhile, the President vetoed one relief bill after another. He did however in 1935 agree to allow financially exhausted states to borrow $300 million from the RFC, but it was too little too late. Near the end of his administration, he did release some farm surpluses to the unemployed, and dipped into highway funds to provide states with direct grants for their welfare programs. He also called on Congress to strengthen the Federal Home Loan Bank system to provide government funds that could be used for mortgages. Hoover possibly deepened the crisis by agreeing to raise tariffs in 1930 to an all time high. All European nations and Japan erected protectionist trade walls to keep out American products. In 1932, when several hundred veterans marched on Washington in protest of Hoover's refusal to provide bonuses to WWI veterans, the President ordered General Douglas MacArthur to peacefully relocate the protestors. In the riot that followed, the soldiers beat women and children, tear-gassed the marchers and brutally drove them accross the Potomac. This completely unneccesary and unconstitutional use of force sealed Hoover's fate in the public's mind. So, in the final analysis, what can be said of Herbert Hoover's handling of the Great Depression? I certainly am not going to give him the high marks that abichara1882 has, but I still think that he is poorly judged by history. Many of FDR's New Deal Programs were actually extensions of Hoover's actions. Perhaps had Hoover been a more imaginative leader, he could have realized that some government aid mixed with charity, while not ending the Depression, could've improved the lot of some Americans. Unfortunately, he was hated by the public for a Depression which he did not cause and of which he tried to stop. Had the Agricultural Marketing Act been signed in 1923 when it was proposed to President Coolidge, the fall in agricultural prices and the Depression would have been much less severe. Clearly, Hoover was much more open-minded than his predacessor. He was not an uncaring man, a man unmoved by human suffering. It's clear to us now that big government could not cure the Depression. Neither could Hoover's trickle down theory. Hoover had the right idea in encouraging charity with minimal government aid. He set out to do the right thing, but unfortunately, forces beyond his control led to the Great Depression, a depression of such severity that it is almost unimaginable, and I cannot imagine being in Hoover's shoes at such a time.

  (0 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
abichara (62)
07/14/2003
This may go against what most people think of Herbert Hoover, but I actually think that he was one of the greatest Presidents in crisis management. In fact, he entire career was built around crisis managment. He saved an entire city in China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. After the 1st World War, Hoover saved Europe from famine. After the 2nd World War, he did it again; this was critical in helping to stall the development of communist movements that threatened to engulf Western Europe at the time. Under President Truman's directive, Hoover helped to organize the modern Defense department within the President's cabinet. This created a more cohesive organizational structure that was needed for a modern country with a large defense establishment. He served ably as Secretary of Commerce in the 1920's. As President, he had the unfortunate luck of getting swept up under the flow of an international depression that he had nothing to do with him or his policies. Unfortunately, he reacted by raising tariffs which only caused other countries to raise protectionist barriers, thus worsening the depression. He saw the Depression as a problem within the world economic system that would have to be solved by getting the major industrial powers together to coordinate economic policies to form open and positive results. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to do this, since he had arranged a meeting like this to occur in Europe in early 1933, and he wasn't re-elected. His problems were not policy oriented but rather political. He did not market himself very well and the Democrats and Franklin Roosevelt did. Hoover didn't have a very dynamic political persona and the Great Engineer, the guy who could solve anything, who had great organizational ability, was powerless. He was swept under the tide of revolution; people wanted dramatic action to end the depression that caused bank runs throughout the country and a 25% unemployment rate among other things.

  (1 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
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