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Franklin D. Roosevelt: Transforming America Essay

1570 words - 7 pages

Along with many other accomplishes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the most transformative American political figure in the 20th century because he passed a record number of bills through congress in his “First 100 Days” program, he established social security, and he decreased unemployment rate by 23 percent (Find the Best). He lifted the United States’ economy out of quicksand, and established many programs that influence America every day.
Roosevelt grew up in New York and attended Harvard University. He later went to Columbia Law School, but dropped out after he passed his bar exam (History Central). He joined a New York law firm, and in 1910 he entered politics. He was elected Senator of New York as a Democrat and was reelected in 1912. He supported Woodrow Wilson’s campaign and after he was elected president, Wilson appointed Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. His popularity and success flourished in that role, which helped his nomination for vice president in 1920. Unfortunately for Roosevelt, Wilson’s hope for participating in the League of Nations was not as popular an idea for the citizens of the United States; Wilson and Roosevelt lost that election and took a step back in politics (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum).
In the summer of 1921, Roosevelt contracted Poliomyelitis, otherwise known as infantile paralysis. He never regained use of his legs, however he did start a foundation that later funded an effective vaccine. Roosevelt resumed his political career in 1930 and was elected governor of New York. In 1932, Roosevelt was nominated for presidency and in November he crushed Hoover by seven million votes (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum).
The Great Depression got worse following Roosevelt’s inauguration. Factories and Farms closed, and bank failures and unemployment rates increased. He immediately initiated the New Deal programs; his first step was closing the banks to stop people from withdrawing all of their money. He worked alongside Congress during the “first 100 days" to pass recovery legislation which set up alphabet agencies. These agencies helped support farm prices and employ young men, along with other additions to the economy. Some of the other agencies “assisted business and labor, insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized home and farm mortgage payments, and aided the unemployed” (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum).
Fifteen major laws were passed during Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office. The first bill made was the Emergency Banking act, which passed Congress unanimously. After that, Roosevelt created a bill that cut down government salaries, which was then followed by the repeal of prohibition. “For any other President, these victories would have been enough”, however Franklin D. Roosevelt was determined to make the most out of his presidency and to accomplish the maximum amount that he could (History Central). One of...

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