President Hoover's Speech 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
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This focus on uniting “against aggression” surely alludes to the increasing threat of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin in Europe at the time. However, whereas stemming growing totalitarianism across the Atlantic may appear vital with the benefit of hindsight, it should be noted that the public appetite for liberal internationalism remained low until the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which prompted Congress to formally declare war on Japan. Even Franklin Roosevelt, the president credited with shaping United States’ role in the modern world, was reluctant to make foreign policy pronouncements during the 1932 campaign, believing that intervention overseas paled in significance to rectifying domestic woes. As such, when the incoming thirty-second president was invited to the White House to discuss war debts and disarmaments with the outgoing Hoover in 1933, Roosevelt was reported to be uncooperative, and privately scornful of the idea that meddling in foreign affairs would have any positive effect on the

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