Originally posted on Practically Historical:
Presidents long viewed as below average… or failures tend to be associated with significant historical events. Actions taken during these events can be overlooked due to hindsight; historians possess the benefit of knowing the paths actually travelled. Ineffective policy is easily tossed aside in historical assessments because hindsight provides the student of history with an alternate and possibly more effective course. Executive action is also overlooked in the context of significant history. Events that change the course of history are often analyzed with little thought afforded the actions of the President. Take these examples….
Herbert Hoover did nothing about the Great Depression… The Great Depression was a transformative historical event and Hoover’s attempts to stem the coming flood have been long overlooked. His policies did not prevent the deepening of the Depression, so they are discarded so historians can prepare students for the coming of the New Deal. …
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