Eleanor Roosevelt A Great American That Shaped America And Left Behind A Legacy For Others To Follow.

1249 words - 5 pages

Eleanor Roosevelt had unique qualities that allowed her to be an effective leader. Her actions and writing affected twentieth century American politics, society and economy. Eleanor is know as one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Her legacy is one that reflects ambitions and ideals worthy of all people.Eleanor Roosevelt typified the realization of the dreams of the female crusaders of the 20th Century , who threw off the restrictions of the Victorian age. Eleanor Roosevelt had a vision of a united world. For someone who never held elective office Eleanor Roosevelt wielded a great deal of power. The honesty with which she told us, of the long path she traveled to free herself from fear and prejudice and became an independent person has placed her in a special arena reserved for shapers of the human spirit.Eleanor the only daughter of an alcoholic father and a beautiful aloof mother was openly disappointed by Eleanor's lack of a pretty face. Eleanor was plagued by insecurity and shyness. An early marriage to her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Roosevelt, increased her insecurity and took away her one source of confidence, her work in a New York City settlement house. "For 10 years, I was always just getting over having a baby or about to have one," she later lamented, So my occupations were considered restricted." Women of this time were considered only to occupy themselves with family matters and not to worry themselves over politics.After 13 years of marriage and after having six children , Eleanor resumed her search for her identity. The discovery of love letters revealing that Franklin was involved with Lucy Mercer. "The bottom dropped out of my own particular world," she later said, "I faced myself my surroundings, my world, honestly for the first time." There was talk of divorce, but when Franklin promised never to see Lucy again, the marriage continued. For Eleanor a new path had opened , no longer would she define herself solely in terms of his wants and needs.Eleanor turned her energies to a variety of reformist organizations. Eleanor joined a circle of post suffrage feminist dedicated to establish a minimum wage law, legislation to protect workers and abolishment of child labor. In the process of activism she realized that she was good at public speaking and organizing social events. When Franklin became paralyzed by polio in 1921, her political activism became even more of a vital force. She became Franklins eyes and ears, traveling across the country gathering knowledge at the grass roots level, so Franklin could understand the people he governed.Together Eleanor and Franklin mobilized the American people to effect enduring changes in the political and social landscape of the nation. Eleanor shattered the ceremonial mold in which the mold of the First Lady had traditionally been fashioned, and reshaped it around her own skills and deep commitment to social reform. Eleanor gave a voice to people who did not...

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