The Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Herbert
Hoover, which was a Republican. The election represented a dramatic shift in
the political alignment of the country. He promised that he would act swiftly
to face the “dark realities of the moment” and assured Americans that he would “wage
a war against the emergency” just as though “we were invaded by a foreign foe.”
Roosevelt addressed the problems of the depression by telling the American
people that, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American
people.” The New Deal Roosevelt promised began to take shape immediately after
his inauguration in March 9, 1933.
Herbert Hoover was the president at the time of the Great
Depression. According to Document 2, President Hoover thought that the Federal
government should only supplement state and local committees and not take full
responsibilities when Federal action is essential. As the Depression worsen,
Hoover failed to recognize how serious the situation was and the power the
Federal government had to address it. Hoover then tried to help the economy with
some programs. The first program was created by Herbert Hoover himself and it was
the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), and it was founded in January 22,
1932. The RFC provided financial support to state and local governments and
made loans to banks, mortgage associations, railroads, and other businesses. Next,
the second program was created by Herbert Hoover also, which was the Emergency
Relief and Construction Act (ERCA), created on January 22, 1932. The ERCA
provided funds to the RFC in order to make loans for relief to the states and additional
money for local, state, and federal public works projects. Lastly, the third program
was the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) in June 16, 1933. It separated investment and
commercial banking activities, and was created by two members of Congress.
There was then an American presidential election held on November 8, 1932.
On October 29, 1929, the most devastating stock market
crash in the history of the United States happened. This was the Stock Market
Crash of 1929, or also known as Black Tuesday. A stock market crash is a sudden
decline in stock prices across a serious and important cross-section of a stock
market. Unemployment, according to Document 1, increased drastically for the
next years after the Stock Market Crash, along with stock prices not having to
go anywhere but go up, thus there was some recovery during weeks. However,
prices continued to drop as the United States fell more into the Great Depression.
The Great Depression was a severe economic downturn in the United Stated and
worldwide. Not only were the American citizens struggling, but farmers were also
too. When the prices fell, they tried to produce even more to pay their debts,
taxes, and living expenses. They tried, but many farmers went bankrupt and lost
their farms. According to Document 1, wheat prices of theirs also decreased.
“Ahh, yes! The Roaring Twenties, a time of prosperity
with dramatic social and political change. Nothing could ever go wrong.” Well,
this was at least Americans thought, but little did they know what was going to
happen. Starting in 1919, the worst economic downturn in the history of the
industrialized world began. This time
happened right after a specific event not long after it happened.