How Far Was Roosevelt Himself Responsible For His Election Victory In 1932? Essay, Research Paper
The Wall Street Crash and depression which followed had crippled America, banks and business were closing every day and unemployment was soaring. People were angry since the Republican government did not provide a “safety net” for the unemployed and its “laisez faire” attitude did not provide a quick route out of the depression. The people were desperate and they saw the communist countries such as the USSR as prosperous nations; capitalism was seen to be failing. The World War One veterans marched on Washington to protest against how the government neglected them. President Hoover ordered the National Guard to fire upon them, films of government troops firing on their veterans were showed across the nation. This increased public frustration with Hoover. Roosevelt was a Democrat (adopting a social policy) and offered a “half way house” between capitalism and communism. His name was already recognised by the Americans (his distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt was president in 1901) and he had a good track record as governor of New York. Franklin’s policies to provide a “safety net” and to use the government’s resources to pull the country out of economic depression appealed to the people. His confidence and warm character made him popular with the American people and he employed modern election tactics such as visiting the people and using the media.Roosevelt made the New Deal. In this he capitalised on the ideological shift from capitalism to communism and offered the people what they wanted. Although the people were fed up with the Republican government and were looking for an alternative, Roosevelt worked very hard for his election victory in 1932. He was the right man at the right time but only because he understood the public opinion and capitalised upon it. If the Wall Street Crash and depression hadn’t happened then Roosevelt probably wouldn’t have been elected but he was only elected in 1932 because he successfully canvassed and acted on the opinions of the American people.