The New Deal | Pepperdine University | School of Public Policy

The New Deal

Franklin D. Roosevelt Speeches


FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT ADDRESS

PITTSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA

Nineteen hundred and thirty-one proved to be the worst year experienced in the depression up to that time.  For my distinguished opponent, 1931 was the year in which all his distinctive 1928 economic heresies seemed to come home to roost, all at the same time.

I emphasize this history because our opponents have now become almost frantic in their insistence that this entire sequence of events originated abroad.  I do not know where; they have never located "abroad,” but I think it is somewhere near Abyssinia.  They insist that no American policy was in the least to blame, and that to say otherwise is what they call "hideous misrepresentation.”  The "foreign cause” alibi is just like ascribing measles on our little boy to the spots on his chest, instead of to the contagious germ that he has picked up somewhere.

No, we need not look abroad for scapegoats.  We had ventured into the economic stratosphere—which is a long way up—on the wings of President Hoover's novel, radical and unorthodox economic theories of 1928, the complete collapse of which brought the real crash in 1931.