The presidential election of 1932 manifested a confrontation between the conservatives and liberals. The election emphasized the critical differences between Republicans and Democrats concerning the federal government’s role in the economy. The 1932 presidential election candidates were the Republican Herbert Hoover, who was defeated by the Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Prior to the presidential election, the United States was under the Great Depression for three years and required immediate improvements. Therefore, the 1932 election was a turning point for the Americans who voted for president in November with the majority of votes for Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) over Republican Herbert Hoover.

As such, Roosevelt’s victory disclosed the time of federal expansion with his administration’s focus on assistance for the needy, economic recovery, and long-term reforms.

By the time of the election, the situation in the United States was critical since the American banks broke down, and unemployment reached its peak. Therefore, Americans were not able to afford rent and were obliged to move into slum areas, called Hoovervilles.

People gradually were becoming tired of Hoover’s non-interference in the economic policies and started searching for a better presidential candidate to improve the overall financial situation. Considering such a political environment, the 1932 election aimed at defining not only the political hopes for new leadership at the high point of the Depression but also the mood of the citizens.

Roosevelt’s approach implied the shape of the New Deal with the focus on the united work of Americans that could help the nation to overcome the economic crisis. It was a fundamentally opposite direction to Hoover’s paeans to American individualism in terms of the depression. FDR highlighted the expansive role of the federal government in reviving the economy, improving the suffering, and providing successful and rewarding lives for all the Americans.

The 1932 election was the first presidential election during the Great Depression that embodied a dramatic change in the political alignment of the country. In his final campaign speech, Hoover sought to show that the Americans had a clear choice in this election. As he stated, it was a contest between two philosophies of government.

Roosevelt, on the other hand, emphasized on the distress of the unemployed and mentioned that the Administration would try to undermine reason through fear. Besides the distinction in the opponents’ policies, the two candidates presented a sharp contrast in personal demeanor as well.

The 1932 presidential election results were as follows: Roosevelt received nearly 23 million votes (57.3 percent), and Hoover received almost 16 million votes (39.6 percent); the popular vote was 472 to 59. As such, the Americans elected considerable Democratic majorities to both houses of Congress.

The highlights of the 1932 presidential election in America include the following fact that within four months after the election and until Roosevelt’s inauguration, Hoover strived to Roosevelt’s cooperation in the suppression of the enhanced economic crisis. However, they both were not capable of finding common points of agreement, and, therefore, the economy continued to decline.

By the date of the inauguration on March 4, 1933, many banks were shut down, and industrial output fell to just 56 percent of its 1929 level. Furthermore, almost 13 million wage earners were unemployed, and farmers were in misery.

Roosevelt’s inaugural speech concerned the promised practical and decisive actions, as he conveyed his self-confidence to millions of Americans who were listening on radios across the country. To conclude with the president’s words, “This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and prosper, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”