Herbert Hoover Rhetorical Analysis

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A Document Analysis of Herbert Hoover’s Speech at the Republican National Convention on August 11, 1932 Two months after securing the Republican Party’s nomination as presidential candidate in 1928, Herbert Hoover proclaimed that the United States was “nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land”. As absurd as such a declaration may appear now, at the time, such confidence was unexceptional. In the single presidential term of Hoover’s predecessor, Calvin Coolidge, the sale of consumer goods had rocketed, unemployment had fallen below two percent and the economy had grown at around seven percent per year. However, within just eleven months of entering the Oval Office, Hoover’s utopic vision of American society had become spectacularly detached from reality due to the most severe economic depression in the history of the Western world. While Hoover’s naivety would undoubtedly haunt him, Frederick Lewis Allen has noted that the thirty-first president’s “greatest mistake” was not a single policy failure but simply the act of winning the 1928 election. Indeed, with little effort having been made to regulate the economy throughout the early twentieth century, the Great Depression would have likely occurred regardless of the administration governing at the time. Nevertheless, Hoover’s inability to prevent the economic downturn does not reduce the importance of his 1932 re-election speech at the Republican National Convention as a

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