Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940 Short Essay - Answer Key

William E. Leuchtenburg
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1. In "The Politics of Hard Times," why was the Republican party sure to lose the 1932 election?

According to "The Politics of Hard Times," the Republican party barely stood a chance in the 1932 election. The party's image of prosperity was suffering badly after the 1929 stock market crash. The economy was hemorrhaging jobs and productivity at a sickening rate. Leuchtenburg reports that the industrial side of the American economy had dropped from $949 million to just $74 million in the three years after Black Tuesday. A huge percentage of American citizens were homeless and starving, and Herbert Hoover, the Republican incumbent, seemed totally incapable of either doing anything about the situation or of showing any empathy for those enduring terribly difficult times. Leuchtenburg further states that the only way for the Republicans to win in that toxic political landscape would have been if the Democratic party had given in to internal divisions.

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