In the 1920s the American economy was headed towards an economic depression. The tariffs passed by the government and actions of proprietors had led to the downfall of the American economy. On October 29. 1929, the stock market crashed, officially signaling the beginning of the depression. During the period of the Great Depression, Herbert C. Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt were presidents. Both presidents had programs that were set to mollify the depression and to take the economy out of it. The actions they took and the goals they set, labeled them as either liberal or conservative. However the characterizations of these two are valid only to a certain extent because both took actions that showed they were both liberal and conservative. Neither President Hoover nor President Roosevelt can be strictly labeled as a conservative or a liberal because they were a little bit of both.
It is commonly thought that President Herbert Hoover is a conservative. He believed in less government participation in the people's daily life. In his candidate speech, he renounced liberalism because it set bounds to the liberties of the people. He felt a great need to take government out of peoples lives [Doc A]. This is shown with his "hands off policy" during the depression. He believed in the business cycle and that the country would pull its self out of the depression. He did not want to use government power in dealing with this. In his message to Congress Hoover stated that the, "economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement." Hoover believed that all the government can do is encouraged the people to do what is best for their community. The government's only contribution was giving aid through programs - like waterways, harbor, and flood control - however only for a temporary time [Doc B]. He strongly believed that if the government kept giving money to solve problems, organizations and businesses would cease to help their community thus problems would be solely dependent on the government money [Doc C].