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Franklin Roosevelt 3 Essay Research Paper Franklin

Franklin Roosevelt 3 Essay, Research Paper

Franklin Roosevelt

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression,

Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people

regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous

action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, “the

only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Born in 1882 at Hyde Park, New York–now a national historic site–he attended

Harvard University and Columbia Law

School. On St. Patrick’s Day, 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt.

Following the example of his fifth cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he

greatly admired, Franklin D. Roosevelt

entered public service through politics, but as a Democrat. He won election to

the New York Senate in 1910. President Wilson

appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and he was the Democratic nominee

for Vice President in 1920.

In the summer of 1921, when he was 39, disaster hit-h-e was stricken with

poliomyelitis. Demonstrating indomitable courage,

he fought to regain the use of his legs, particularly through swimming. At the

1924 Democratic Convention he dramatically

appeared on crutches to nominate Alfred E. Smith as “the Happy Warrior.” In 1928

Roosevelt became Governor of New


He was elected President in November 1932, to the first of four terms. By March

there were 13,000,000 unemployed, and

almost every bank was closed. In his first “hundred days,” he proposed, and

Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring

recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in

danger of losing farms and homes, and reform,

especially through the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

By 1935 the Nation had achieved some measure of recovery, but businessmen and

bankers were turning more and more

against Roosevelt’s New Deal program. They feared his experiments, were appalled

because he had taken the Nation off the

gold standard and allowed deficits in the budget, and disliked the concessions

to labor. Roosevelt responded with a new

program of reform: Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls

over banks and public utilities, and an enormous

work relief program for the unemployed.

In 1936 he was re-elected by a top-heavy margin. Feeling he was armed with a

popular mandate, he sought legislation to

enlarge the Supreme Court, which had been invalidating key New Deal measures.

Roosevelt lost the Supreme Court battle, but

a revolution in constitutional law took place. Thereafter the Government could

legally regulate the economy.

Roosevelt had pledged the United States to the “good neighbor” policy,

transforming the Monroe Doctrine from a unilateral

American manifesto into arrangements for mutual action against aggressors. He

also sought through neutrality legislation to keep

the United States out of the war in Europe, yet at the same time to strengthen

nations threatened or attacked. When France fell

and England came under siege in 1940, he began to send Great Britain all

possible aid short of actual military involvement.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt directed

organization of the Nation’s manpower

and resources for global war.

Feeling that the future peace of the world would depend upon relations between

the United States and Russia, he devoted much

thought to the planning of a United Nations, in which, he hoped, international

difficulties could be settled.

As the war drew to a close, Roosevelt’s health deteriorated, and on April 12,

1945, while at Warm Springs, Georgia, he died

of a cerebral hemorrhage.