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How did Herbert Hoover handle the Bonus Army?

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Quick Answer

When a group of World War I veterans called the Bonus Army protested at federal buildings in Washington, D.C. on July 28, 1932, President Hoover ordered them to be driven away, which resulted in violence. The United States Army troops met the protesters with brute force.

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Full Answer

In the midst of the Great Depression, veterans wanted an advance bonus, but Hoover would not support their cause. The "Bonus Expeditionary Force" was a group of veterans and their families who protested in Washington, D.C. for economic relief. Hoover told Secretary of War Patrick Hurley to remove them, and Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower drove the protesters away with tear gas and guns. MacArthur's troops even crossed the Anacostia River and set fire to one of the protesters' encampments, which was one of the "Hoovervilles." Hoover took the blame for the violence, and the incident weakened his chances of re-election.

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