Last Updated 28 Mar 2017

Roosevelt a Liberal and Hoover a Conservative

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Throughout the history of America conflicting beliefs of how the government should affect our lives has been categorized from either a Liberal or a conservative standpoint. A liberal is one who may be considered a radical, one who believes government has a role to play in our lives and moves towards the new age of humanity. Conservatives share a completely different set of beliefs, they believe in the old ways, a government which doesn't influence our lives, and side with the rights of states and the people.

According to these beliefs Hoover follows conservative beliefs more or less and Roosevelt follows a more liberal beliefs. These standpoints can be more defined by comparing them with radicals and influential figures of the age. President Hoover being who he was, was a conservative. Being raised in poverty and still achieving to gain the presidency instilled the idea in him that if he can overcome challenges and economic turmoil so should every other person in the country. Rugged Individualism, as this ideology was called, influenced Hoover against providing direct aid to the people in the Great Depression.

To keep the government out of the peoples lives he gave money to business’s and banks with the hope that money would trickle down to the people. As a part of this attempt he created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in attempt to create jobs for the common people. Providing aver half a billion dollars to indirectly help the poor. (Doc C). Later in his term however Hoover began taking a more liberal stance on important issues. Realizing his previous policies didn't help the people he began asking congress to help fun public work projects. (Doc. B).

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One of the largest of these projects was the Hoover Dam which provided many jobs to those in need. One of the final changes of heart that Hoover experienced was giving a helping hand to unions. By passing the Norris-La Guardia Anti-Injunction Act he succeeded in outlawing yellow dog contracts, and stopped the use of injunction on strikes and boycotts. These displays of authority during his term proves Hoover to be a developing man of both conservative and liberal beliefs. Roosevelt was a Liberal president, one that strived to bring change to our government, bringing it to terms with the modern era.

To bring us out of the depression Roosevelt pulled out as many new and crazy ideas as he could to try and bring our economy back to normal and benefit those in need. (doc. E) Within months of becoming president Roosevelt had already created a number of government based programs to support his three point plan to provide relief, recovery, and reform. In doing this Roosevelt proceeded in one of the most liberal actions of any president, passing the 21st amendment which canceled out another amendment. This amendment allowed for beer and wine to be sold so that the government could receive tax money.

The three point plan instilled by Roosevelt included much more then just the legalization of booze. A number of what became known as Alphabet Agencies arose to help ease the need to find jobs. Programs such as the CCC helped with forest protection, while FERA directed by Hopkins granted a few billion dollars to the states to be distributed as seen fit. Other agencies such as ADA or HOLC contributed in other ways to ease the economy. These tendencies prove Roosevelt to be a Liberal president, however he saw himself as a conservative, a savior of democracy in hard times.

It was because of his liberal actions that he was able to preserve conservative ways. (Doc. G) By these policies and beliefs it becomes valid point that Roosevelt is much more liberal then he is conservative. Many Influential people of the time and age can help define the outlook these two presidents and exactly where they stand. President Wilson was the embodiment of liberal thinking, bringing the nation into the first world war, making the government a part of every persons life. Coolidge was in contrast to Wilson an embodiment of conservative ideals refusing to give pity to the poor and taking part in their lives.

With these marks to judge by the standpoint of Roosevelt and Hoover become very apparent. While Roosevelt may claim to be conservative, he is in fact very liberal, although not nearly as much as Wilson. Hoover may seem to be a conservative, but when compared t Coolidge it becomes clear that he is almost borderline liberal. Whether a president claims to be a liberal or a conservative his true beliefs are hidden until the full extent and intentions of his policies and actions are taken into account. The characterizations that Herbert Hoover was a conservative, and that Franklin Roosevelt is a liberal are both very valid points.

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