Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, accomplished many things during his three terms in office. Being the only president ever elected to more than two terms, it is easy to suppose that he was a well-rounded president. His leadership, success in getting programs passed, management of economic and domestic policy, foreign policy, and role as Chief Party Leader all contribute to an overall grade of an A for his presidency.
First off, as the symbol of the country and the presidency, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gets an A. He showed great character and leadership with his thirty “fireside chats” on the radio. With these, he was able to soothe the thirty five million people listening. It was successful too, in that, after his first in which he assured the safety of keeping money in a reopened bank, confidence was restored and the banks began to open up. His ability to master the press contributed strongly to his overall public opinion and showed he had good character. Also, in WWII conferences such as Casablanca and Teheran, Roosevelt represented the country well in his efforts with the Allies to stop Nazi Germany. His leadership of the country and his character are the reason that he was the only president ever to be elected to four consecutive terms as the leader of the country.
Particularly with the New Deal, FDR was rather successful as a policy and legislative leader. With the nation in the midst of the Great Depression, there was a lot of pressure on the president to take immediate action. Beginning with “the first hundred days,” Roosevelt shut down the banks and met with Congress. He was able to get 15 major bills approved regarding the economy in attempts to get it back on track. With such turmoil happening in the country, FDR was very efficient in getting bills passed by Congress, which is why he deserves an A. Though the actual success of each program may be questioned, his quick action and role as a policy and legislative leader was executed well. The same is true for when the United States became involved in WWII. This situation again demanded quick action and Roosevelt pulled through by passing various acts such as the Lend Lease Act and Neutrality Acts. Though again these may not have always had the best outcomes, his initiative and fair thinking are what gets him an A for this category.
FDR’s most noted domestic policies while in office were those of the New Deal. With a nation pressuring the president for change, Roosevelt developed a plan called the New Deal. The principal acts were done during his first hundred days, as mentioned earlier, in attempts to achieve his goals of relief, recovery, and reform. Regarding the economy, Congressed passed the Glass-Stegall Banking Act which established the FDIC, a very important act after the crises leading up to the Great Depression. By stopping the bank runs, he was able to steer the economy in the right direction, creating a corporation that is still used today. In addition, under his presidency, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established, giving jobs to young men while at the same time conserving both human and natural resources. With the young men being able to send the money back to their families, it was a way to decrease unemployment and boost the economy. Another important issue was his repeal of the Prohibition through the 21st amendment. This gave much needed revenue to the country and provided employment. Despite these successful acts of domestic policy, Roosevelt was not always so brilliant. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration, one of the New Deal agencies, increased unemployment, frustrated farmers, and was eventually deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. His intentions and theories to end overproduction were good, just not executed well. Another of Roosevelt’s reforms is Social Security. This is perhaps one of the most controversial of his policies. Some loved it and some...
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