Liberalism Vs Conservatism Essay, Research Paper
Liberalism is the attitude portrayed by those who are fairly satisfied with their way of life yet they believe they can improve it without betraying its ideals or wrecking its institutions. A liberal tries to adopt a balanced view of the social process and is usually known to choose change over stability, experiment over continuity, the future over the past. Basically, he turns to optimism when he deals with the issues of reform. Conservatism is committed to a discriminating defense of the social order against change and reform. A conservative knows that change is the rule of life among societies, but he insists that the past not be forgotten. He is the complete opposite of a liberal such as in he the fact that he can be pessismistic about the possibilities of reform, he chooses stability over change, continuity over experiment, and the past over the future. (Lesson 18) Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt both worked hard to bring the nation out of the great depression. They both instituted many programs and reforms to try and save that nation. Some historians even say that Hoover was the bridge to Roosevelt s new deal policy, however, these two men were very different in their ways of thinking and running the government.
Herbert Hoover believed that the economic depression could not be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. He believed that the best contribution of the government could make, would be to encourage voluntary cooperation. This method appealed to Hoover and he believed that this was how the government should get involved and do its part. Hoover created public works and construction agencies which provided people with employment and relief, however, as you can see, this relief was not direct. He didn t believe in direct federal government aid but in direct relief of unemployment. By providing people with jobs, he decreased the unemployment rates and people started to earn their own salaries. Hoover also looked to work with what was already present, reforming what was already present, than to actually change the entire system.
He says, I have sought to make two things clear: first that we can make savings by reorganization of existing departments, by eliminating functions, by abolishing many of those innumerable boards and those commissions to total many hundreds and thousands of dollars a year. Second, I hope that it will not be necessary to increase the present scale of taxes
By this he was trying to balance the budget, which at a time like this was not very possible. Roosevelt s beliefs were the complete opposite. In a sense, he was an extremist. He would do WHATEVER it took to get the country back on its feet again.
Roosevelt was willing to experiment and try new things. Change is what he wanted because he stated: Who is there in America who believes that we can run the risk of turning back our government to the old leadership which brought it to the brink of 1933? He wanted to overcome the depression, not let the country fall into the pit deeper than it already was. In order to do this, he had to run the country very differently than the past leaders because conservatism is what hurt the country in the first place. He says, The most serious threat to our institutions comes from those who refuse to face the need for change. The country was suffering as of NOW so things had to be done NOW . One third of the nation was poorly nourished and badly housed, men and women were laboring for long hours and inadequate pay, thousands of children were being induced for child labor, and more and more strikes were occurring because of the low pay and bad working conditions. All of these problems had to be cured and Roosevelt promised he would solve these problems. In order to do so, he had to expect change, experiment, and live and care of the future and present and not the past.
Never has a nation made greater strides in the safeguarding of democracy than we have made during the past three years. Wise and prudent men intelligent conservatives have long known that in a changing world worthy institutions can be conserved only by adjusting them to the changing time.