; 1932 Election Speech Excerpts
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1932 Election Speech Excerpts

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									                                                    1932 Campaign Speech Excerpts –
                                                          Franklin D. Roosevelt
                                                    Address at Oglethorpe University - May 22, 1932
                                  The Great Depression became the main issue in the 1932 presidential race. Roosevelt’s main
                                  goal was to point out Hoover’s lack of success in dealing with the Great Depression and assure
                                  the American public that he would find an answer.

                                  The year 1928 does not seem far in the past, but since that time, as all of us are aware, the world
                                  about us has experienced significant changes. [Y]ou could expect to take your place in a society
well supplied with material things and could look forward to the not too distant time when you would be living in your own
homes, each (if you believed the politicians) with a two-car garage; and, without great effort, would be providing yourselves and
your families with all the necessities and amenities of life …

How sadly different is the picture which we see around us today! If only the mirage had vanished, we should not complain, for we
should all be better off. But with it have vanished, not only the easy gains of speculation, but much of the savings of thrifty and
prudent men and women, put by for their old age and for the education of their children. With these savings has gone, among
millions of our fellow citizens, that sense of security to which they have rightly felt they are entitled in a land abundantly endowed
with natural resources and with productive facilities to convert them into the necessities of life for all of our population….

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to
take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will
not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach…

                                     Roosevelt's Nomination Address - July 2, 1932
Roosevelt broke tradition and chose to accept the presidential nomination in person. He addressed this change as a method of
dealing with the Great depression. Once again, he wanted to assure Americans that none would be forgotten and that he had a
“New Deal.”

… And now one word about unemployment, and incidentally about agriculture. I have favored the use of certain types of public
works as a further emergency means of stimulating employment and the issuance of bonds to pay for such public works, but I have
pointed out that no economic end is served if we merely build without building for a necessary purpose… So as to spread the
points of all kinds as widely as possible, we must take definite steps to shorten the working day and the working week.

Let us use common sense and business sense. Just as one example, we know that a very hopeful and immediate means
of relief, both for the unemployed and for agriculture, will come from a wide plan of the converting of many millions
of acres of marginal and unused land into timberland through reforestation… In so doing, employment can be given to
a million men. That is the kind of public work that is self-sustaining …

Yes, I have a very definite program for providing employment by that means. I have done it, and I am doing it today in
the State of New York. I know that the Democratic Party can do it successfully in the Nation. That will put men to
work, and that is an example of the action that we are going to have.

I aim to do the same thing, and it can be done, for the small home-owner in our cities and villages. We can lighten his
burden and develop his purchasing power. Take away, my friends, that spectre of too high an interest rate. Take away
that spectre of the due date just a short time away. Save homes; save homes for thousands of self-respecting families,
and drive out that spectre of insecurity from our midst.

My program, of which I can only touch on these points, is based upon this simple moral principle: the welfare and the
soundness of a Nation depend first upon what the great mass of the people wish and need; and second, whether or not
they are getting it. . . What do the people of America want more than anything else? To my mind, they want two things:
work, with all the moral and spiritual values that go with it; and with work, a reasonable measure of security--security for
themselves and for their wives and children.

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves
prophets of a new order of competence and of courage. This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms. Give
me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people.
                 1932 Campaign Speech Excerpts –
                         Herbert Hoover
       Nomination Acceptance Speech - August 11, 1932
To win reelection in 1932, Hoover would have to convince voters that his policies were bringing
recovery. This would become a central theme in the election.

The last 3 years have been a time of unparalleled economic calamity… We might have done
nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private
business and to the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of
the Republic. We put that program in action.

The function of the Federal Government in these times is to use its reserve powers and its strength for the protection of citizens
and local governments by the support to our institutions against forces beyond their control. It is not the function of the
Government to relieve individuals of their responsibilities to their neighbors, or to relieve private institutions of their
responsibilities to the public, or the local government to the States, or the responsibilities of State governments to the Federal
Government. …

The solution of our many problems which arise from the shifting scene of national life is not to be found in haphazard
experimentation or by revolution. It must be through organic development of our national life under these ideals. It must secure
that cooperative action which brings initiative and strength outside of the Government.

Our emergency measures of the last 3 years form a definite strategy dominated in the background by these American principles
and ideals, forming a continuous campaign waged against the forces of destruction on an ever-widening and a constantly shifting
front. It was in accordance with these principles that, in aid to unemployment, we expend some $600 millions in Federal
construction of such public works... It is in accord with these principles and these purposes that we have made provision for $1,500
millions of loans to self-supporting works so that we may increase employment in productive labor.

It was in accord with these ideas that as the storm grew in intensity we created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation with a
capital of 2 billions more to uphold the credit structure of the Nation, and by thus raising the shield of Government credit we
prevented the wholesale failure of banks, of insurance companies, of building and loan associations, of farm mortgage
associations, and of railroads in all of which the public interest is paramount. This disaster has been averted through the saving of
more than 5,000 institutions and the knowledge that adequate assistance was available to tide others over the stress…

These programs, unparalleled in the history of depressions of any country and in any time, to care for distress, to provide
employment, to aid agriculture, to maintain the financial stability of the country, to safeguard the savings of the people, to protect
their homes, are not in the past tense--they are in action. I shall propose such other measures, public and private, as may be
necessary from time to time to meet the changing situations that may occur and to further speed our economic recovery. That
recovery may be slow, but we shall succeed…

I have insisted upon a balanced budget as the foundation of all public and private financial stability and of all public confidence. I
shall insist on the maintenance of that policy.

                “The Gigantic Forces of Depression are Today in Retreat”– October 22, 1932
My fellow citizens, the most important issue before the American people right now is to overcome this crisis. What our people
need is the restoration of their normal jobs, the recovery of agricultural prices and of business. They need help in the meantime to
tide them over until these things can be accomplished and that they may not go hungry nor lose their farms and their homes.

Now I wish to present to you the evidence that the measures and the policies of the Republican administration are winning this
major battle for recovery, and we are taking care of distress in the meantime. It can be demonstrated that the tide has turned and
that the gigantic forces of depression are today in retreat. Our measures and policies have demonstrated their effectiveness…
Recovery would have been faster but for four months of paralysis during the spring months while we were defeating proposals of
the Democratic House of Representatives.
http://www.lib.msu.edu/vincent/presidents/hoover.htm (audio of campaign speech)

http://www.historicalvoices.org/1930s/hoover.php (Hoover Speech excerpts)

http://www.historicalvoices.org/1930s/fdr.php (FDR audio form nomination)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc8CC5RhZkA&feature=related (Hoover)

								
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