FDR and the Great Depression

The Great Depression beginning in 1929 was a time of hardship and suffering for many Americans. The people of the United States looked for leadership, sympathy, and someone help to get them through this time.Herbert Hoover, President at this time, offered little help to the people.
Hoover did not believe in direct relief because it would hurt self-esteem and pride. In the eyes of the public, he seemed unresponsive to their needs. He urged people to help each other and encouraged non-government actions by private organizations. Businesses agreed to sustain pay and production to avoid numerous strikes. Urging states to increase spending on public projects, he hoped to create jobs without being directly involved with spending the deficit. He created the President’s Organization on Unemployment Relief, which was designed to generate private donations for relief to the public. He had workers building the Hoover and Grand Coulee Dams that required more spending by the government. The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 created the Federal Farm Board. This organization supported crop prices by buying excesses and keeping them off the market. Eventually, it ran out of money.
In 1931, Hoover announced an extension on payments of WWI debts.The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was created and given 2 billion dollars to loan money to banks, insurance companies, railroads, and local/state governments. This system was supposed to give money to the top of the economic chain and allow it to spread to the rest of the country.Hoover passed the Hawley Smoot Tariff of 1930.This raised taxes on incoming foreign products, which decreased their money flow and flexibility to buy American products.Hoover’s background made him see a balanced budget as most important and deficit spending as wrong.He decreased spending and increased taxes.He encouraged people to spend money to spur the economy, but the taxes prevented them from doing so. …


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