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Differences between Hoover and FDR

Up to Chapter 3: The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover

Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Phillip Barron at July 27. 2011
How were Hoover and F.D.R. different in their personality and background? How do you think this contributed to their responses to the Great Depression?

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Colleen Caldwell at September 17. 2011
Hoover and F.D.R. had very different upbringings and personalities which developed both different world views and responses to the Great Depression. Surprisingly, the programs that they put into place were very similar in the end, despite the different ways they came to that end. Hoover, raised as a Quaker and orphaned at the age of nine, had a mostly rural upbringing in a variety of relatives' and friend's homes. He attended Stanford, a west coast college, and majored in geology. He spent most of his young adulthood traveling the world developing mining operations and eventually writing Principles of Mining (how does one underline titles in this blog?) that became the bible of progressive mining companies. He believed strongly in service, and felt that citizens should provide help for one another as volunteers with the government's guidance. Hoover certainly was considered more of a lifelong business person with a brilliant mathematical mind than a politician; although he was brilliant, he was quiet and generally a loner. When he became our President, he was very well-liked in our country as a humanitarian and business person, and he was elected when times seemed good, but that was quick to change. FDR, on the other hand, spent his early life in New York in the lap of luxury. He attended Harvard, an east coast institution, and attended Columbia Law School for two years. His Uncle Teddy, President Theodore Roosevelt, influenced FDR who was determined to be a politician, following the map to the presidency provided by his Uncle Teddy. FDR had a large personality and quickly became popular in the offices that he held: New York State Senator, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Governor of New York. Although FDR became paralyzed from the waist down from polio, he remained a politician, disguising the severity of his disability from the public. FDR was elected as our President during the Great Depression. While these two men had very different backgrounds, career paths, and particularly personalities, they ultimately followed the same path to steer our country out of the Great Depression. Most of the programs that FDR got credit for in the New Deal were started by Hoover! Fortunately our country had two brilliant Presidents at the time they were most sorely needed.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Marci Duff at October 08. 2011
Previously Phillip Barron wrote:
How were Hoover and F.D.R. different in their personality and background? How do you think this contributed to their responses to the Great Depression?
It's hard to imagine that two men could be more different than Hoover and Roosevelt in background, personality, and ideology. In addition to the points Colleen made, I would simply add that I was most struck by the differences in the level of the consistency of the two men. While Hoover, with few exceptions, tended to stay true to one ideological course, Roosevelt even went so far as to instruct his speechwriters to weave together two completely opposite positions into one. I know from reading other sources that those closest to Roosevelt were often unsure of what he would do next, since he was most influenced by the person who had spoken with him last. It made me wonder if Roosevelt himself had a clear idea of wht he believed.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Michelle Scarbrough at October 10. 2011
Both men were very different. Colleen has stated this quite well. Hoover’s background in business helped him to look at things from an economic perspective, the facts and figures pointed that the depression of 1921 looked worse, then the depression of 1930. Clinging to the gold standard and increasing taxes might turn our economy. His aversion for bureaucratic state and his fear of creating a welfare-dependent class desire for private plans and a vision of volunteers helping others kept him from publicly endorsed unemployment insurance. Hoovers proposals of 1931, the second program against the depression, set the groundwork for the New Deal, unfortunately too late to make a difference in his political career. His actions were not timely enough and he would spend many years in public service attempting to reclaim his public image. FDR had been a professional politician his whole life, friendly and optimistic. FDR had planned to wait and take advantage when “the Republicans had led us into a serious period if depression and unemployment,” the political opportunity for the Democratic party. He cut government spending, provided unemployment relief and old age insurance, and repealed Prohibition. He changed the standard for currency. He was the face of an optimistic attitude, in a period when people needed hope. I think FDR was more popular because he followed Hoover.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Denise Crane at October 10. 2011
Both men were very different. I think Colleen did a fabulous job comparing the two men and all their differences and Marci did a great job when she compared how different the ideology of the two men were, stating that Roosevelt "went so far as to instruct his speechwriters to weave together two completely opposite positions into one". How many politicians have requested that before? It was interesting / scary to read through this chapter and watch as the time unfolded and the country crashed and the men try their best to keep the best interests at hand.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Debra DeWitt at October 11. 2011
It is hard to come in on this discussion with anything new. I agree that Colleen did great job in the comparison of Hoover and FDR. It is sad that it is much later in history to see that Hoover was not credited for all that he tried to do to get the country back on track and out of the depression. This was very interesting information for me. I had to think of the times we are living in right now and wonder what history will say about Obama and the ones that will come after him.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Mike Fletcher at October 11. 2011
How were Hoover and F.D.R. different in their personality and background? How do you think this contributed to their responses to the Great Depression? I think the two men were quite different. Hoover was an intellictual. He had succeeded in business. He held only one political office, the presidency. Roosevelt on the other hand was a career politican. He had his wealth handed to him by his family. The record doesn't show that FDR was a highly educated or intellegent man. Hoover had strong opinions on how to run the country. Hoover seemed to govern by ideology, whereas I think FDR was a pleaser. He said whatever was necessary to make the ctowd he was addressing happy. Hoover made decesions that he tought were the best for the country even though he was blasted personally.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Stacy Richter at October 11. 2011
Herbert Hoover believed in the merits of hard work. He thought that citizens should not depend on government work programs. He didn’t relish federal relief programs. He didn’t feel that the federal budget should make payments for unemployment relief. He approved financial aid for industry but thought Americans could overcome the depression as he saw the United States as an independent country. But the Depression was not influenced by an isolated United States, as it was an outcome of international situations. Franklin D. Roosevelt was a professional politician. He proposed a New Deal offering opportunity, help, and hope for unemployed Americans. His ideals were based on people helping others through government and public service.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Jeremy Gagnon at October 12. 2011
The book says that Hoover was a person who thought very deliberately about everything he did, was hands on, was very knowledgeable, and when it came to the gold standard was very respectful of History. He was also very concerned about what others thought of him (this wasn't necessarily in contrast with Roosevelt) which put him in a very dour mood at the end of his presidency. Roosevelt was more dynamic, more politically minded, more amicable and more malleable. Even with all these personality differences what strikes me isn't the contrasts in their approaches to the Great Depression, but their similarities. In many cases both were willing to consider government, and more importantly, government used in unorthodox ways, as a solution to the problem. So in the end, much like every other part, what really distinguished FDR from Hoover was more.

Re: Differences between Hoover and FDR

Posted by Caleb Graham at October 15. 2011
Previously Phillip Barron wrote:
How were Hoover and F.D.R. different in their personality and background? How do you think this contributed to their responses to the Great Depression?
Hoover held strongly to his ideals, and struggled to make changes. F.D.R. didn't worry about ideals. He did what needed to be done. Hoover was limited in his reforms by his morality. His ideals told him that the gold standard was important, that domestic investment should be the solution, that voluntarism was the key, that a balanced budget was a must. F.D.R. felt that the government had a social duty to its people, regardless of any morality or integrity issues.
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