Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born to James and Sara Roosevelt on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. His father was a prominent land owner and a businessman with a large amount of wealth. His mother came from a prosperous family and was known for her “aristocratic manner” and her independence. Franklin D. Roosevelt was his parents’ only child and they spoiled him very much. The Roosevelts lived in a large estate with many workers attending to the farm. Franklin D. Roosevelt was home school until he was a teenager. Once 14, his parents sent him to the Groton School.
The Groton School was a school for private education offered only to the sons of the most wealthiest and powerful in America. Roosevelt was not very athletic or popular; however he did try to become more athletic as he progresses in years at Groton. After graduating high school, Franklin decided to attend Harvard College in 1900 and graduated in 1903. While he was at Harvard, Franklin officially declared himself a Democrat. He also went on to attend Columbia Law School, although he was not that interested in studying law.
Roosevelt political life was constantly growing during its life time. Roosevelt political life all began in the state senate from Duchess County, New York. Although it was dominated by Republicans and Roosevelt being Democrat he won the race with nearly over a thousand of votes. In the state senate, Roosevelt was an advocate for the farmers in his region. In 1912, when re-elections were held, Roosevelt was re-elected to the state senate. He would later fashion a relationship with Louis Howe, who would be his chief political adviser in the near future.
In 1914, Roosevelt tried to win the Democratic nomination for a New York seat open in the U. S. Senate. Although he failed at the task, he did learn that any feuds he had he would have to mend if he wanted his political career to survive. Roosevelt than went on to become the governor of New York, but a snag occurred in his career due to the Great Depression. He believed in procreation and kept working to finding solutions while President Hoover was losing favor with the American people. Franklin Roosevelt was in a prime position now to run for the presidency.
Franklin Roosevelt ran against President Herbert Hoover for the presidency in 1932. Franklin Roosevelt won the election by a landslide in the popular and Electoral College votes. He ran again in 1936 against Alfred Landon and won once again. In the election of 1940, Roosevelt ran against Wendell L. Willkie who was a true Democrat at heart. In Roosevelt’s last bid for presidency in 1944 he ran against Republican nominated Thomas Dewey. He beat him with no competition with majority of popular and Electoral College votes.
Democrats also had a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This made his first term real easy to make changes to the government swiftly. His vice presidents were John Garner, Henry Wallace, and Harry Truman. He was elected to four terms which lasted from 1932-1945. Roosevelt had many domestic affairs task to complete while he was in office. His first challenge would be to rescue the country out of the worst depression in history. Many Americans lost their jobs, savings, and bank failures occurred in 1933. Roosevelt rescued the nation through his various New Deal policies.
The First New Deal took affect soon as Roosevelt became president in 1932. Congress and Roosevelt worked together diligently to pass bills that were suppose to end the economic trouble of America. The First New Deal stabilized America’s financial system, provided help to the citizens without jobs, and restarted the capitalist economy. In addition to fixing the economy, Roosevelt had another immediate task he had to solve which was stabilizing the nation’s banking system. On March 6, he declared a bank holiday which stopped people from withdrawing their money from the banks.
Roosevelt called Congress into an emergency session where they enacted on his banking proposal. The new act would allow the federal government to inspect and re-open banks that could be salvage and close the banks that were damaged. On March 12, Roosevelt went on the radio to speak to the citizens to inform them of his plan, encourage them to put their money back into the banks, and promise them that their money would be safe. Within a few weeks people were putting their money back into the bank and he had succeeded in gaining back America’s trust.
In the financial sector he established numerous laws that stockbrokers and investors had to comply by to reduce commercial banks from engaging in investment banking. The Securities Act required corporations to release accurate information about the stocks to investors. The Glass-Steagall Act insured the savings of citizens and prevented banks from using citizens’ money in investment banking. The Federal Housing Administration allowed for many Americans to buy homes or renovate their homes. Roosevelt had succeeded in reviving the nation’s economy.
Roosevelt dealt with foreign affairs during his presidency except most of his problems revolved around the Great Depression. Roosevelt believed the depression was a problem that America had created and didn’t want the help of any other county. By removing the United States from the international gold standard, he made the economy worse by trying to inflate the currency to give money to the poor farmers. Roosevelt however fixed his mistake and began to work with England and France to stabilize the international economic system.
In 1934, Roosevelt won the passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act which allowed the U. S. to grant most favored nation status to countries America traded with. In 1933, he also changed the relationship with the Soviet Union; Roosevelt established official ties between the two nations. Roosevelt wanted to improve relations and expand America trade opportunities with the Soviet Union. One of the best foreign policies was his “good neighbor” policy to the Latin American countries and other countries in the western hemisphere.
Roosevelt in foreign affairs did very well for the country and tried to keep the peace and fix the economic woes the nation was facing. Roosevelt appointed eight Justices, Hugo Black, Stanley Forman Reed, Felix Frankfurther, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, James F. Byrnes, Robert H. Jackson, and Wiley Blount Rutledge, to the Supreme Court. The Great War had its origin in Europe and was growing quickly; however the United States decided to remain neutral through the beginning of the war. Congress passed many bills to ensure that the U. S. didn’t become involved in the war.
On September 1, 1939 World War II had began. France, Britain, and soon the United States became allies and Japan, Germany, and Italy were allies. Roosevelt wanted to help his counterparts but his hands were tied with the Neutrality Act. Ties between the U. S. and Japan were becoming toxic due to the U. S. giving small aid to China. War came for the United Stated unexpectedly on December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor naval base. Congress declared war on Japan on December 8 and three days later Italy and Germany declared war on the United States. America finally had entered World War II.
America had many successful wins such as the liberation of Paris in 1944, commonly known as “D-Day. ” The Allies were closing in Germany and the war was coming to a close with the victory near for the Allies, but Roosevelt dies before he could see the victory. During his presidency, Roosevelt was married to his cousin Eleanor Anna Roosevelt. They married on March 17, 1905 and they had six children, but one died in its infancy. His son James joined the Marine, his other two sons, John and Franklin, joined the navy, and his third son joined the Air Force.
The First Lady did tasks such as support the New Deal Policies of the president and became an advocate for the civil rights. She traveled around to make sure that things were going as plan with her husband’s policies. Eleanor and Roosevelt had a political relationship more than a political relationship. Eleanor had found out about an affair Franklin was having with her secretary and offered him a divorce in the early years of their marriage. Although the two didn’t divorce due to political reasons, they never regained their intimacy back in their relationship.
As a result, Roosevelt continued to have affairs with various women. Unfortunately, President Roosevelt wasn’t able to finish his fourth term because he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. His Vice-President Harry Truman became president after his death on April 12, 1945. Roosevelt died n April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia. The legacy of President Roosevelt is by far one of the greatest. He was the only president to serve four terms and he accomplished more than all his predecessors in the White House.
He was able to recover the nation’s economy during the Great Depression and contribute to the U. S. victory in World War II. FDR is ranked as one of the nation’s greatest president. He connected with the American people and did everything in his power to ensure success came of the government. He set a new bar of expectation of the future generations of presidents. I personally rank President Roosevelt as one of the nation’s greatest president. He was able to pull the U. S. out of the Great Depression; something that previous presidents could not accomplish.
He also made policies that are still in effect today that help shape the finance of the U. S. which is important. I think every president can look at what President Roosevelt did and take something from his twelve years in office. He really cared for the American people and pushed for a good economy and keeping the peace. Work Citied Leuchtenburg, William E. , ed. American President:Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945). Millercenter. org. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. Roberts, Jeremy. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Learner Publications Company, 2003. Print.