Mrs. Karyn Tash
Pre-DP Inquiry Skills
16 April 2014
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, was born in 1882 and attended both Harvard University and Columbia Law School (White House). Serving from March 1933-April 1945, FDR became America’s longest serving president (Miller Center). He entered office in the midst of the Great Depression, America’s major financial crisis. Everyone was investing in the stock market, and when it crashed, America came close to bankruptcy. The crash of the stock market left people without money, jobs, homes, food, and hope. The previous president, Herbert Hoover, made quite a mess out of the Depression. Hoover simply ignored the fact that the country was in depression because he did not know how to deal with it. Hoover left FDR with a big task of cleaning up the mess he left of America. FDR took the bull by the horns; he came up with many new policies through his plan called the “New Deal”, a series of economic and social reforms (Time). For the citizens of the United States he was easy relate to. He referenced to the people as “my friends” and acted as if he was talking directly to them. (History). Roosevelt also had a disability; he was paralyzed from the waist down due to Polio that he caught earlier in his lifetime. He tried not to show this to the people, as there are no pictures of him in a wheel chair. It may be argued that FDR’s policies hurt some of the business people, however; his policies got the country of depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an effective leader because he helped the United States recover from the Great Depression by relating to its citizens, had a different mindset while making policies, and by creating the “New Deal”.
To begin, Franklin Roosevelt was an easy president to relate to. Starting in March 1933 Roosevelt gave a series of speeches to the citizens of America through the radio (History). He discussed multiple topics such as the current World War and the Great Depression. These speeches were come to known as “fireside chats”. He referenced the listeners as “my friends”, as if he were having an actual conversation with them (History). The “fireside chats” gave the people of America hope and helped them get through the tough times upon them. They also helped contribute to his many elections and high popularity. Also, FDR was paralyzed from the waist down due to the polio disease. During this time, people with diseases were frowned upon and treated with ignorance (FDR Library). Disabled people were unemployed and were thrown into asylums because they were considered irrelevant. FDR felt that with his return to politics the people would consider him irrelevant and treat him with ignorance, it actually did the opposite. It made the people sympathize him more and made him more relatable to their lives. People began to view him as one of them rather than a political figure. Eleanor Roosevelt said that, "Franklin’s illness proved a blessing in...