Herbert Hoover on the Great Depression and also New Deal, 1931–1933

A Spotlight on a Primary Source by Herbert Hoover

The stock industry craburned on Thursday, October 24, 1929, much less than eight months into Herbert Hoover’s presidency. Most experts, consisting of Hoover, thought the crash was component of a passing recession. By July 1931, as soon as the President created this letter to a friend, Governor Louis Emmerson of Illinois, it had come to be clear that extreme speculation and also a global economic slowdvery own had plunged America right into the middle of a Great Depression. While Hoover wrote to Emmerchild that "considerable continuance of destitution over the winter" and possibly much longer was inescapable, he was trying to "obtain machinery of the country right into . . . action." Since the crash, Hoover had functioned ceaselessly trying to fix the economic climate. He started government agencies, encouraged labor harmony, sustained local assist for public functions, promoted cooperation between federal government and also service in order to stabilize prices, and struggled to balance the budgain. His job-related concentrated on instraight relief from individual states and also the private sector, as reflected in this letter’s focus on "support each state committee more effectively" and also volunteerism—"appeal for funds" from external the federal government.

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As the Depression became worse, however, calls grew for boosted federal intervention and also spfinishing. But Hoover refused to involve the federal government in forcing fixed prices, controlling businesses, or manipulating the worth of the money, all of which he felt were steps towards socialism. He was inclined to provide instraight assist to banks or local public works jobs, however he refused to use federal money for straight assist to citizens, believing the dole would certainly weaken public morale. Instead, he focused on volunteerism to raise money. Hoover’s enemies painted him as uncaring towards the common citizen, even though he was in reality a philanthropist and a gradual prior to coming to be president. Throughout his reelection project, Hoover tried to convince Americans that the measures they were calling for can seem to aid in the brief term, yet would certainly be ruinous in the long run. He asserted that he cared for prevalent Americans also a lot to destroy the country’s foundations with deficits and also socialist institutions. He was soundly defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.

Roosevelt promised Americans a "New Deal" once he took office, and also during his first "Hundred Days" as president, he signed a number of groundbreaking new regulations. Roosevelt’s aides later admitted that most New Deal agencies were very closely modeled on those that Hoover had actually attempted, yet Roosevelt’s plans differed in financing and also scope. New Deal bills sustained direct federal help, tightened government control over many markets, and eschewed volunteerism in favor of deficit spfinishing, all in the wishes of jump beginning both consumer confidence and the economy.

In a letter to a friend composed salso months after he left office, Hoover expressed his fears about the flurry of New Deal law. Hoover observed the country currently "going sour on the New Deal." He believed radvancement unpreventable "unless tright here is a halt" to the standard changes in federal government and also the deficit spfinishing. Roosevelt’s redevelops had led Americans to "actors off all moorings," and Hoover predicted that the USA would certainly veer dangerously "to the ‘left,’" followed by a reactivity bring about "some Amerihave the right to interpretation of Hitler or Mussolini." In 1934, after 2 years out of the public eye, Hoover made these very same thoughts public in an post titled "The Challenge to Liberty."

Hoover was correct when he predicted that the function of Amerihave the right to government would fundamentally readjust bereason of the New Deal.

A full tranmanuscript is accessible for Hoover’s letter to Louis Emmerboy.


Herbert Hoover to Louis L. Emmerson, July 10, 1931

July 10, 1931


Hon. Louis L. EmmersonGovernor of IllinoisSpringfield, Ill.

My dear Governor Emmerson:

No issue what innovation tright here might be in our economic case throughout the autumn, we shall unquestionably have significant continuance of destitution over the winter. I am wondering if it would not be advisable for us to acquire the machinery of the nation right into earlier action than last year in order that there might be provision for funds significantly made before the winter arrives.

Your company last winter was one of the the majority of admirable in the entirety country and also I had some assumed that if all organizations were to start their appeals for funds some time in October and run them over Thanksproviding we can make it even more or less a nationwide question and thereby support each state committee more effectively.

This, but, is simply thinking aloud on the basic situation and also I would favor your views.

I wish aget to expush my appreciation for the fine courtesies we got at the hands of Mrs. Emmerson and also yourself and also via type regards to you both, I am

Yours faithfully,Herbert Hoover


A fulltranscript is available for Hoover’s letter to Bruce Barton.


Herbert Hoover to Bruce Barton, October 3, 1933

October 3, 1933


My dear Barton:

I have actually compiled with your momentous wish. Your frifinish does not need to sfinish an exadjust. A cigarette smoking President receives sufficient pipes to last a life time. Likewise fishing tackle. It is the just endowment he gets, other than a troubled heart.

It appears useless to comment on the case. The nation is going sour on the New Deal, despite the heroic efforts of the Press. unmuch less tbelow is a halt, the genuine question will be that, having actually cast off all moorings, will we swing to the "right" or to the "left". I are afraid initially the "left" and also then once the great middle course (80% of America) realizes its ruin, it will drive into some Amerihave the right to interpretation of Hitler or Mussolini.

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There is no trouble finding a large occupation in The golden state doing nothing and conducting a detached observatory of national patterns.