– Life Essay, Research Paper
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lived from 1882 to 1945, was the 32nd President of United States (Electric Library). Roosevelt became the president in March 1933 at the depth of the Great Depression, was re-elected for an unprecedented three more terms, and died in office in April 1945. He died less than a month before the surrender of Germany in World War II (Electric Library). Despite an attack of poliomyelitis, which paralyzed his legs in 1921, he was a charismatic optimist whose confidence helped sustain the American people during the strain if economic crisis and World War (Britannica, Vol. 26, Page 998).
The legendary president was born on Jan 30, 1882, at the family estate in Hyde Park (White House Webpage). Young Franklin had a secure and idyllic childhood. Franklin s most lasting educational experience was at Groton School in Massachusetts (Electric Library). At Groton, Franklin revealed that he could adapt himself readily to different circumstances. Even when he went to Harvard, the experience was only relatively impressive (White House Webpage).
While at Harvard, Franklin fell in love with Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin once removed (White House Webpage). Eleanor and Franklin move easily among the upper classes in New York and Campobello. Eleanor, however, was often unhappy, because during much of her married life, she had to live near Franklin s widowed and domineering mother. During World War I, she was staggered to discover that Franklin was having an affair with her social secretary, a pretty young lady name Lucy Mercer. Despite these tensions, Eleanor remained a helpful mate throughout the 40 years of her marriage to Franklin (Britannica Vol. 26, Page 998).
The Democratic Organization in such a duchess country needed a candidate for the New York Senate in 1910 (White House Webpage). Party leader recognized that although Roosevelt had no political experience, he had assets as candidate, such as the wealth to finance the campaign, the best known political name in the United States, and his father had once been a Democrat. He showed great skills by making himself agreeable to votes and having willingness to listen to the advice of political veterans. Perhaps his greatest asset in the campaign was the Republican Party, which was badly split in 1910. For all the reasons, Roosevelt won impressively in the usually Republican district. Roosevelt made an immediate impact in the legislative session of 1911. His motives were idealistic. Reflecting TR s faith in progressivism and in honest government, he distrusted the bossism of Tammany Hall; which was New York City s powerful political machine. In 1912, Roosevelt defied Tammany again, this time by supporting Gov. Woodrow Wilson for the Democratic presidential nomination (This paragraph is citied mainly from The White House Webpage). Later on, he was re-elected to the state senate.
Josephus Daniels, Wilson s Secretary of Navy, had offered the successful young legislator a position as Assistant Secretary of Navy. As Assistant Secretary during 1913 to 1920, Franklin Roosevelt maintained support of many people who also honored TR. During this period, Roosevelt learned the wisdom of political compromise (Life; 1942).
The qualities of vitality and charm made him a popular choice for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1920. Running with James M. Cox, they are defeated decisively by the Republican candidates, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, in November. With the Republicans ahead in the game, Roosevelt had little choice but to return to his private life (Top + of paragraph from Britannica Vol. 26, Page 998). He formed a law firm in New York City and became Vice President of Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. His primary interests remained in the political field.
In 1928, Roosevelt helped Alfred Smith to obtain the presidential nomination (White House Webpage). In the mean time, Smith urgently needed a strong gubernatorial candidate for the democratic ticket in New York, therefore, pressuring Roosevelt into running. Roosevelt had successfully bridged the urban-rural gap in the Democratic Party and had beaten his opponent for office (EXEGY). In 1931, when the Depression was at its peak, Roosevelt became the first Governor to set up an effective state relief administration. He was re-elected in 1930 with 750,000 votes, the largest margin in state history.
While Roosevelt was governor of New York, the Great Depression tightened its grip on the country. Roosevelt has developed lots of new idea that led him to the presidential nomination. Most party leader applauded the Roosevelt-Garner ticket, which closed the heretofore-fatal gulf between the urban-Eastern and rural-Southern-western wings of the party (Paragraph from Britannica Vol. 26, Page 999).
During the Fall Campaign against President Hoover, Roosevelt suggested a few parts for The New Deal. He supported spending for relief and public works. He favored some plan, but he was indefinite to curb the agricultural overproduction that was depressing the farm prices. He spoke for conservation, public power, old-age pensions and unemployment insurance, as well as repeal of Prohibition and regulation of the stock exchange (EXEGY). For most Americans, including the vast majority of progressives, Roosevelt seemed the only visible alternative to Hoover, who many people blamed unfairly for the Depression.
In Chicago during 1932, Roosevelt, who was in the Democratic Party, had succeeded the appointment to become President. He campaigned energetically calling for government intervention in the economy to provide relief, recovery and reform (Electric Library). His activist approach and personal charm helped to defeat Hoover in November 1932 (Electric Library).
The Depression worsened in the months preceding Roosevelt’s inauguration, March 4, 1933. Factory closings, farm foreclosures, and bank failures increased, while unemployment soared. Roosevelt faced the greatest by undertaking immediate actions to initiate his New Deal. He did this by temporarily closing up the banks (Cited from lecture of Mr. Branch). Then he worked with a special session of Congress during the first “100 days” to pass recovery legislation which set up alphabet agencies such as AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) to support farm prices and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to employ young men. Other agencies assisted business and labor, insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized home and farm mortgage payments, and aided the unemployed. These measures revived confidence in the economy (Britannica Vol. 26, Page 999).
Another fuss of New Deal legislation followed in 1935 including the establishment of the Works Projects Administration (WPA) which provided jobs not only for laborers but also artists, writers, musicians, and authors (Electric Library). The Social Security Act provided unemployment compensation and a program of old-age and survivors’ benefits.
Roosevelt easily defeated Alfred M. Landon in 1936 and went on to defeat Wendell Willkie in 1940 and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944 (Electric Library). Therefore, he became the only American president to serve more than two terms.
After his overwhelming victory in 1936, Roosevelt took on the critics of the New Deal, namely, the Supreme Court which had declared various legislation unconstitutional, and members of his own party (Britannica Vol.26, Page 999).
By 1939 Roosevelt was concentrating increasingly on foreign affairs with the outbreak of war in Europe (EXEGY). New Deal reform legislation diminished, and the ills of the Depression would not fully abate until the nation mobilized for war (White House Webpage).
When Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939 (Britannica Vol. 12, Page 758), Roosevelt stated that, although the nation was neutral, he did not expect America to remain inactive in the face of Nazi aggression. Accordingly, he tried to make American aid available to Britain, France, and China and to obtain an amendment of the Neutrality Acts which brought about such assistance difficult (Electric Library). He also took measures to build up the armed forces in the face of isolationist opposition.
With the fall of France in 1940, the American mood and Roosevelt’s policy changed dramatically. Congress determined a draft for military service and Roosevelt signed a “lend-lease” bill in March 1941 to enable the nation to provide aid to nations at war with Germany and Italy (EXEGY).
The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, followed four days later by Germany’s and Italy’s declarations of war against the United States, brought the nation irrevocably into the war. Roosevelt became the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, a role he actively carried out. He worked with and through his military advisers, overriding them when necessary. He also took an active role in choosing the principal field commanders and in making decisions regarding wartime strategy (Entire paragraph cited from Electric Library).
He moved to create a “grand alliance” against the Axis powers through “The Declaration of the United Nations”, January 1, 1942, in which all nations fighting the Axis agreed not to make a separate peace and pledged themselves to a peace-keeping organization (now the United Nations) on victory (Britannica Vol. 12, Page 758).
Roosevelt gave priority to the Western European Front and had General George Marshall, Chief of Staff, plan a holding operation in the Pacific and organize an expeditionary force for an invasion of Europe. The D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches in France, June 6, 1944, were followed by the allied invasion of Germany six months later (Britannica Vol. 12, Page 759). By April 1945 victory in Europe was certain.
The unending stress and strain of the war literally wore Roosevelt out. By early 1944 a full medical examination disclosed serious heart and circulatory problems. Although his physicians placed him on a strict regime of diet and medication, the pressures of war and domestic politics weighed heavily on him. During a vacation at Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945 he suffered a massive stroke and 2 + hours later without regaining consciousness. He was 63 years old. His death came on the eve of complete military victory in Europe and within months of victory over Japan in the Pacific. President Roosevelt was buried in the Rose Garden of his estate at Hyde Park, New York (Entire paragraph cited from Electric Library ).
The reactions toward President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first of all, are that he had been a mighty, fitting, and enormously accepted president for more than 12 years. He had led the American population through the Great Depression, World War II, and had created innumerable opportunities for those who are jobless as well as homeless. From the information that has been reached out, a vast number of people conceive him as a astounding president, but from the information told by a senior citizen is that, history had shown the mistakes that Roosevelt had created. Even though President Franklin Roosevelt had really made some mistake during his presidency, such as not collaborating with the Jews in Europe and various other controversies such as the immigration to America, he was unbelievably marvelous to the wider majority of the population. What many people believe is that what he had done is moreover important for the American people, by virtue of the opportunities that he had fabricated and gave to the nation. For example, the The New Deal of 1935 had revived thousands of American lives from starving death. President Franklin also led the U.S. through World War II and constructed the United States to become the world power enabling it to compete with other foreign powers such as the Soviet Union. Over all, There is almost no doubt that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was among the finest President of the United States.