Herbert Hoover Quotes (Author of American Individualism)
Hoover's Economic Policies
Herbert Hoover took office in with a display of optimism and the promise of a "New Day. Hoover reiterated his belief in the centrality of the individual in the American experience, the theme he had developed at some length in his book American Individualism. Hoover's cabinet choices were generally strong ones. Postmaster General Walter F. Brown proved valuable to Hoover as the President's chief connection to and adviser about the Republican Party.
President Hoover was unprepared for the scope of the depression crisis, and his limited response did not begin to help the millions of Americans in need. The steps he took were very much in keeping with his philosophy of limited government, a philosophy that many had shared with him until the upheavals of the Great Depression made it clear that a more direct government response was required. The steps Hoover did ultimately take were too little, too late. He created programs for putting people back to work and helping beleaguered local and state charities with aid. But the programs were small in scale and highly specific as to who could benefit, and they only touched a small percentage of those in need. As the situation worsened, the public grew increasingly unhappy with Hoover. He left office with one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in history.
Where are you on the Gilder Lehrman Institute timeline? Are you a teacher or a student? New content is added regularly to the website, including online exhibitions , videos , lesson plans, and issues of the online journal History Now, which features essays by leading scholars on major topics in American history. Most experts, including Hoover, thought the crash was part of a passing recession. By July , when the President wrote this letter to a friend, Governor Louis Emmerson of Illinois, it had become clear that excessive speculation and a worldwide economic slowdown had plunged America into the midst of a Great Depression. While Hoover wrote to Emmerson that "considerable continuance of destitution over the winter" and perhaps longer was unavoidable, he was trying to "get machinery of the country into. He founded government agencies, encouraged labor harmony, supported local aid for public works, fostered cooperation between government and business in order to stabilize prices, and struggled to balance the budget.
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Direct federal relief to the unemployed ran counter to President Herbert Hoover's strong beliefs about the limited role of government. As a result, he responded to the economic crisis with a goal of getting people back to work rather than directly granting relief. In October , he established the President's Emergency Committee for Employment later renamed the President's Organization for Unemployment Relief to coordinate the efforts of local welfare agencies. As the Great Depression worsened, however, charitable organizations were simply overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, and Hoover tried new ideas to stimulate the economy:. Despite Hoover's efforts to revitalize the economy, the public blamed him for the Great Depression — and the Republicans lost control of both Congress and the White House for almost two decades.