Learning objective – to be able to assess the American government’s policy in handling the Great Depression. I can explain and categorise most of the features of the US government’s economic policy between 1929 and 1932. Grade B I can explain and assess the performance of the US government and its handling of the Great Depression. Grade A I can describe some of the features of US economic policy between 1929 and 1932. Grade D
Starter – complete the famous quote from President Herbert Hoover about his government’s economic policy? Prosperity is ------------.
Starter – complete the famous quote from President Herbert Hoover about his government’s economic policy? Prosperity is just around the corner.
Who was President Herbert Hoover? US President between 1929 to 1933 and won the 1928 election by a landslide. US Secretary of Commerce between 1921 and 1928 – closely associated with the government’s economic policy. A Quaker who meant he was very caring. He was in charge of the relief fund for East Europeans in 1920 which saved millions of lives. Closely associated with Laissez Faire economics.
What did Hoover think caused the Great Depression? Falling world trade – but US trade needed protecting. Too much government intervention in other countries. Businessmen spending money they did not have.
What did Hoover do to tackle the Great Depression? Continued Laissez Faire policies and encouraged Rugged Individualism – the idea that an individual is responsible for their own lives without help from anyone else. Passed the Hawley-Smoot tariff in 1930 which increased import duties on foreign goods. Assisted farmers with the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1930 which enabled the government to lend farmers money.
What did Hoover do to tackle the Great Depression? Encouraged businesses to not to cut wages or production levels. Cut taxes by $130 million. Set up agencies to aimed to relieve unemployment such as the Organisation for Unemployment Relief and the Emergency Relief Act. Approved a $1.8 billion worth of public works projects, such as building roads.
What did Hoover do when his policies were not making an impact in 1932? Despite the federal government spending $500 million more per year on relief funds, unemployment was still rising – to almost 25% of the entire workforce in 1933. Hoover increased direct federal government intervention, such as the Reconstruction Finance Company, which gave loans to failing banks and businesses.
Why was the government’s failure to handle the Great Depression Hoover’s fault? Hoover was closely linked to the government’s economic policies that had caused the Depression. He stuck with them for too long. With Hoover supporting Rugged Individualism and blaming businesses, he was seen to do virtually nothing in 1930. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff made the situation worse and international trade slowed further. Encouraging ‘voluntaryism’ – supporting charities – he saw it that it was not the government’s job to help the poor.
Why was the government’s failure to handle the Great Depression not Hoover’s fault? It was a world problem not an American problem – you cannot blame just one person. Hoover cancelled all war debts to increased international trade. Direct federal government aid took place – a rarity. The US political system limited Hoover’s powers to deal with the Depression. Responsibility for helping the poor and unemployed lay with the state government. Congress did not want to raise taxes to help the poor.
Tasks Complete all the tasks from the worksheet. Extension task Design an election leaflet for Herbert Hoover for the 1932 Presidential Election. What would you include? What would you highlight? What would you leave out?
Plenary Choose three words from the word cloud which you think are the most important. How do they link to the lesson? How do they summarise your learning?