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"Rugged Individualism" refers back to a speech made by Republican president Herbert Hoover in 1928 as his closing speech. It refers to a belief that individuals can succeed with minimal governmental aide. It is generally considered a belief of the Republican party in the 1920's.

Later, it was used by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman in scorn of the disasters during Hoover's presidency.

The speech is as follows:

I intend... to discuss some of those more fundamental principles upon which I believe the government of the United States should be conducted.... During one hundred and fifty years we have builded up a form of self government and a social system which is peculiarly our own. It differs essentially from all others in the world. It is the American system.... It is founded upon the conception that only through ordered liberty, freedom and equal opportunity to the individual will his initiative and enterprise spur on the march of progress. And in our insistence upon equality of opportunity has our system advanced beyond all the world. During [World War I] we necessarily turned to the government to solve every difficult economic problem. The government having absorbed every energy of our people for war, there was no other solution. For the preservation of the state the Federal Government became a centralized despotism which undertook unprecedented responsibilities, assumed autocratic powers, and took over the business of citizens. To a large degree, we regimented our whole people temporally into a socialistic state. However justified in war time, if continued in peace-time it would destroy not only our American system but with it our progress and freedom as well. When the war closed, the most vital of issues both in our own country and around the world was whether government should continue their wartime ownership and operation of many [instruments] of production and distribution. We were challenged with a... choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines ­ doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. The acceptance of these ideas would have meant the destruction of self-government through centralization... [and] the undermining of the individual initiative and enterprise through which our people have grown to unparalleled greatness. The Republican Party [in the years after the war] resolutely turned its face away from these ideas and war practices.... When the Republican Party came into full power it went at once resolutely back to our fundamental conception of the state and the rights and responsibility of the individual. Thereby it restored confidence and hope in the American people, it freed and stimulated enterprise, it restored the government to a position as an umpire instead of a player in the economic game. For these reasons the American people have gone forward in progress.... There is [in this election]... submitted to the American people a question of fundamental principle. That is: shall we depart from the principles of our American political and economic system, upon which we have advanced beyond all the rest of the world.... I would like to state to you the effect that... [an interference] of government in business would have upon our system of self-government and our economic system. That effect would reach to the daily life of every man and woman. It would impair the very basis of liberty and freedom.... Let us first see the effect on self-government. When the Federal Government undertakes to go into commercial business it must at once set up the organization and administration of that business, and it immediately finds itself in a labyrinth.... Commercial business requires a concentration of responsibility. Our government to succeed in business would need to become in effect a despotism. There at once begins the destruction of self-government.... It is a false liberalism that interprets itself into the government operation of commercial business. Every step of bureaucratizing of the business of our country poisons the very roots of liberalism ­ that is political equality, free speech, free assembly, free press and equality of opportunity. It is not the road to more liberty, but to less liberty. Liberalism should not be striving to spread bureaucracy but striving to set bounds to it.... Liberalism is a force truly of the spirit, a force proceeding from the deep realization that economic freedom cannot be sacrificed if political freedom is to be preserved. [An expansion of the government's role in the business world] would cramp and cripple the mental and spiritual energies of our people. It would extinguish equality and opportunity. It would dry up the spirit of liberty and progress... For a hundred and fifty years liberalism has found its true spirit in the American system, not in the European systems. I do not wish to be misunderstood.... I am defining general policy.... I have already stated that where the government is engaged in public works for purposes of flood control, of navigation, of irrigation, of scientific research or national defense... it will at times necessarily produce power or commodities as a by-product. Nor do I wish to be misinterpreted as believing that the United States is a free-for-all and devil-take-the-hindmost. The very essence of equality of opportunity and of American individualism is that there shall be no domination by any group or [monopoly] in this republic.... It is no system of laissez faire.... I have witnessed not only at home but abroad the many failures of government in business. I have seen its tyrannies, its injustices, its destructions of self-government, its undermining of the very instincts which carry our people forward to progress. I have witnessed the lack of advance, the lowered standards of living, the depressed spirits of people working under such a system.... And what has been the result of the American system? Our country has become the land of opportunity to those born without inheritance, not merely because of the wealth of its resources and industry but because of this freedom of initiative and enterprise. Russia has Natural Resources equal to ours.... But she has not had the blessings of one hundred and fifty years of our form of government and our social system. By adherence to the principles of decentralized self-government, ordered liberty, equal opportunity, and freedom to the individual, our American experiment in human welfare has yielded a degree of well-being unparalleled in the world. It has come nearer to the abolition of poverty, to the abolition of fear of want, than humanity has ever reached before. Progress of the past seven years is proof of it.... The greatness of America has grown out of a political and social system and a method of [a lack of governmental] control of economic forces distinctly its own ­ our American system ­ which has carried this great experiment in human welfare farther than ever before in history.... And I again repeat that the departure from our American system... will jeopardize the very liberty and freedom of our people, and will destroy equality of opportunity not only to ourselves, but to our children... (

*Herbert Hoover :D

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โˆ™ 2014-01-20 15:04:28
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Q: What is Rugged Individualism?
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Related questions

Who said rugged individualism?

herbert hoover in his rugged individualism speech in 1928

What does rugged individualism mean?

Individualism in social and economic affairs.

Conservative belief in rugged individualism sometimes means that there is no for the little guy?

Conservative belief in rugged individualism sometimes means that there is no for the little guy?

Who believed in rugged individualism?

Herbert Hoover

Who believed that rugged individualism was the answer to the depression?

Herbert Hoover

What did Hoover believe America was founded on?

"rugged individualism" and "self-reliance."

President whose rugged individualism failed him and nation?

Herbert Hoover

Who was best know for supporting the concept of rugged individualism?

Herbert Hoover

How did Hoover's belief in rugged individualism shape his policies during the Great Depression?

Hoover's belief in rugged individualism shaped his policies based on self government and equal opportunity with little charity.

What is the difference between rugged individualism versus looking out for the little guy?

They are both objectional.

How does The Grapes of Wrath reconcile American values of rugged individualism with collective strength?


What name was Herbert Hoover's indirect relief plan to get us out of the depression known as?

Rugged Individualism

Conservatives believe in the philosophy of rugged individualism while liberals want to look out for?

disadvantaged people.

Was rugged individualism a major effects of the Great Depression of the 1930's?

Rugged individualism was arguably already in place, but the Great Depression strengthened this trait in working-class Americans. Decades later, these folks were still pinching every last penny and asking for help from no one.

What was one of Herbert Hoover's famous speeches?

His most well known speeches were his inaugural address, and his "Rugged Individualism" speech.

The philosophy of rugged individualism versus looking out for the little guy means that conservatives and liberals differ in their view of the?

individual's rights and responsibilities.

Liberals today want to look out for the little guy while conservatives want to encourage?

Conservatives want to encourage rugged individualism.

What is so alluring about being associated with the common man?

being associated with the "common man" exemplifies the rugged spirit of American Individualism

People who are willing to struggle long and hard for something on the basis of their own personal beliefs resources or opinions typify the quality of what?

rugged individualism

Who was the leader who called for rugged individualism during the Great Depression?

Herbert Hoover I believe because he took no action toward the Great Depression.

What were some of Hoovers economic ideas?

He had the Stimulus Economics, the Trickle down Economics, and Rugged Individualism. The only actual good economic idea he had however, was the Hoover Dam.

What is the belief of individualism?

what is individualism

What is the opposite of individualism?

The opposite of individualism is collectivism.

How did the depression challenge the traditional belief of Hoover in rugged individualism?

The welfare system was created during the Great Depression. This system helps those families that are in need due to illness or high unemployment rates.

When was The Politics of Individualism created?

The Politics of Individualism was created in 1993.

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