Roosevelt a Liberal and Hoover a Conservative Essay

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Roosevelt a Liberal and Hoover a Conservative Thesis: Because the Great Depression quickly changed America's view of liberalism, Roosevelt can be considered a liberal and Hoover a conservative, despite occasionally supporting similar policies. Written for the Advanced Placement U.S. History Document Based Question from the A.P. test. Hoover The political shifts in American history during the last two centuries are often explained by Arthur Schlesinger's cyclical explanation of eras of public purpose followed by private interest. What is considered liberal versus what is considered conservative shifts in a similar pattern. While laissez-faire policies are considered liberal in the Roaring 20's, the onset of the Great Depression in…show more content…
This lack of complete dedication to private interest or public purpose is further displayed in Documents B and C where Hoover stresses the importance of the individual in ending the Depression while also assuring government support for job production if the situation required it. Hoover's speeches are remarkably similar to Roosevelt's speech in Document E. Here, even during the Depression, Roosevelt stressed the importance of balancing the budget unless unemployment required the government to spend money stimulating the economy. Instead of Hoover's desire to continue restricting government, Roosevelt wanted to balance the budget. The Depression created the need for government intervention and an unbalanced budget as shown in Document F. However, despite a few efforts by Hoover to create jobs, he still seemed much different than Roosevelt who insisted in 1936 that America must not go back to supporting Conservatives who protected private interest unjustly. (Document G) Hoover started creating jobs when the Depression caused Americans to demand public purpose reform, but the public still quickly characterized him as a conservative despite passing some, now considered, liberal legislation. At first Hoover stubbornly held to his belief that government could not and should not try to end the Depression as shown in Document B. In 1930, Hoover remained conservative. He rarely intervened in the economy and
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