Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30th, 1882, the son of James Roosevelt and Sara Delano Roosevelt. His parents and private tutors provided all of Franklinas formative education. Roosevelt attended Groton, a prestigious preparatory school in Massachusetts between the years 1896-1900; he received a BA degree in history from Harvard University in only three years (1900-1903). Franklin next studied law at New Yorkas Columbia University. When he passed the bar examination in 1907 he left the school without taking a degree.
It wasnat until 1910 that he entered politics and was elected to the New York State Senate as a Democrat. aHe became the leader of a group of insurgent Democrats who prevented the Tammany candidate, William F. Sheehan, from being chosen for the U.S. Senate.a (Goldberg)
Roosevelt allied himself with Woodrow Wilson in election of 1912. Because of his efforts Woodrow Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he held that position from 1913 to 1920. In 1920 he ran as a vice presidential nominee with James M. Cox who lost overwhelmingly to Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.
The summer after while vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Roosevelt contracted apoliomyelitis (infantile paralysis).a(Watts) He never regained the use of his legs. aHe established a foundation at Warm Springs, Georgia to help other polio victims, and inspired, as well as directed, the March of Dimes program that eventually funded an effective vaccine.a (Goldberg)
In July 1932, Roosevelt was chosen by the Democratic Party as its presidential candidate to run against the Republican incumbent, Herbert C. Hoover. In November, Roosevelt was overwhelmingly elected President. He entered the White House at the worst of times, the economic structure of the country severely damaged. aFear and despair hung over the nation.a Rooseveltas inaugural speech had words of hope for the troubled country—aLet me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itselfa—a aThis Nation asks for action, and action now. We must act and act quickly.a And act quickly he did in what became known as the aHundred Days.a He and his administration rushed a series of anti-depression measures through congress; all of these changes to the American economy became called the aNew Deal.a Some of the major changes included Government agencies, most notably the Agricultural Administration and the Public Works Administration were setup to areorganize industry and agriculture under controls and to revive the economy by a vast expenditure of public funds.a
In 1936 Roosevelt was reelected in a landslide against his Republican opponent Alfred M. Landon, who won the electoral votes in only two states. In 1938 the international picture of the world was black, the Axis countries grew and all Roosevelt could do was speak out against aggression and greed. By 1940, after the fall of France and while Britain was being bombed by the Germans, Roosevelt increased the aid greatly to Britain. In the presidential election that year both Democratic and Republican parties supported giving Britain aid but opposed the entry into the war.
Rooseveltas acceptation into the 1940 election broke tradition, no other President had ever run for a third term and even Rooseveltas own Vice President criticized him. His third administration is basically the story of World War 2 and itas affect on
the United States of America. The first non-wartime draft came into effect by order of President Roosevelt in August 1941. On December 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The day after Franklin Roosevelt made one of the most memorable speeches of all time aYesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.a
In 1944, Roosevelt running for his fourth term had chose Harry S. Truman as his running mate and won over Thomas E. Dewey. Unfortunately he was unable to complete his term, on April 12th, 1945, a month before Germany surrendered to Allies; Franklin Delano Roosevelt died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Franklin Roosevelt was the greatest president to ever grace the White House because of his ability to take an idea and follow through with it. In entering the White House during the depression required a lot of courage, the country was in one of itas darkest eraas, the economy was nearly destroyed, he came with confidence that he could turn the country around. His inclusion of the aFireside Chatsa over the radio helped explain issues to the people. Even while the Supreme Court was declaring many of the New Deal measures invalid he kept his positive and aggressive personality.
Before the war had started, Roosevelt had recognized diplomatically the USSR in 1933. The main focus of his foreign policy in the earlier years of his office was the cultivation of ahemisphere solidarity.a (Collier) His policy toward Latin America, named the aGood Neighbora policy, included the signing of trade agreements with many countries improving our relations with the countries to the south. These trade agreements also increased our economy, which at the time was still in a state of downfall.
His involvement in World War II or lack thereof was widely criticized, many people thought he should of entered the war, and many thought he shouldnat have. I believe his decision not to enter the war until last possible second saved many Americanas lives. The starting up the Selective Service Act preemptively, even during a time of peace, was very intelligent because it guaranteed us to have a strong and well trained army incase there was a time that the American people didnat have a choice but to fight. I donat believe there could have been a better President for the time period.
Larsen, Rebecca. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Franklin Watts. 1991
Blatt, Miriam. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Garret Education. 1989
Freedman, Russel. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Clarion. 1990
Goldberg, R.T. The Making of Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1982
Collier, P. The Rooseveltas: An American Saga. 1994