Critical Engagement Question:
How did Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt differ in their understanding of the federal government’s power “to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty”?
Perhaps no two Presidents in American history had such radically different views about the constitutional powers of the federal government than Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hoover believed in a limited federal power whose chief purpose was to foster individual liberty and responsibility, while Roosevelt believed that the federal government had broad powers to promote the general welfare. Each President drew upon his views of federal power in his approaches to solving the problems posed by the Great Depression. In this lesson, students will examine the public speeches of each man to better understand their views of the primary purposes and powers of the federal government, a debate which continues today.
Read the attached reading and worksheet, As you read, you should be asking yourself which image of Americans—as rugged individuals or as forgotten men—was held by Hoover? By Roosevelt?
Complete the Hoover and Roosevelt worksheet attached below. Be sure to complete both portions of the worksheet.
Submit your Hoover and Roosevelt worksheet on the next page.