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Overview Of The Life Of Franklin D Roosevelt History Essay

Franklin Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882. His mother had a hard labor and they both nearly died during this process (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 2008). Roosevelt married his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905. Five years after they got married he was elected to be on the New York senate. Roosevelt’s efforts were recognized in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, who appointed him to be assistant secretary of the navy. He made many contributions to the U.S which included but are not limited to repealing prohibition, New Deal Policy, and getting the United States through World War II.

In 1921 Roosevelt was diagnosed with Polio, which paralyzed him. Many people believe that having to go through this caused him to be more sympathetic toward other people. He seemed to understand the trials and tribulations others went through. Due to his diagnosis Roosevelt was confined mainly to a wheelchair but did not let this interfere with his goals of getting involved in politics. Instead he worked hard and in 1932 was elected as the 32 president of the United States.

In 1929 the stock market crashed leaving the country in a depression. In order to get the country out of this depression the banks needed to be stabilized. Roosevelt made this his first priority when becoming president. A fifth of the banks had already been forced to close and due to this close to many Americans lost their savings (Franklin Roosevelt). This caused Americans to be sketchy about banks and instead of trusting the banks with their money they were pulling it out and keeping it at their homes. In order to fix this problem Roosevelt issued a four day bank holiday. During these four days Roosevelt made it clear to congress that the people had to feel safe about putting their money into banks. In order to gain their trust there needed to be something that protected what money they had in bank accounts. On March 9th, 1933 Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act. This act made it so banks had to be inspected and determined financially able before they were allowed to reopen. During that same year Congress passed the 1933 Banking Act. This act gave the Federal Reserve Board more control over the banks and their investments. It also set up the FDIC, which at this time insured all deposits in banks up to $5000 (Franklin Roosevelt).

Roosevelt’s New Deal Program was put into place to pull the country out of depression, and provide jobs for people. As well as trying to do these things “the New Deal was also a process of building government institutions where non existed” (Hamilton, 1999, p. 54). The New Deal put a number of programs into effect including: Civil Works Administration, Social Security Act, Tennessee Valley Authority, Fair Labor Standards Act, and many more. Not only did Roosevelt try to help people get jobs but he also tried to help those who were unable to obtain a job by passing the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which provided money to those in need. In 1937 Roosevelt cut spending basically in half. Less than six months passed before the economy collapsed once again. In 1938 the economy did stabilize but it did not recover completely.

The great depression was coming slowly to an end and the economy was edging toward recovery when World War II began. Roosevelt pushed the good neighbor policy. This was basically another way to keep America neutral in other affairs. The President as well as the American people wanted to remain neutral in this war. Although they wanted neutrality at first it did not last long before America started finding ways around it to help the allies. Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1937, which allowed for trade to continue excluding ammunitions. Not long after that the Lend-Lease act was passed in March of 1941 (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 2008). The idea behind this was that supplies, ships, airplanes, and other items would be leased to other countries but then returned after the war. As the war crept on in August of 1941 met secretly with Winston Churchill, which the two agreed that Germany had to be stopped. With American tensions growing the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was the last straw. Roosevelt did not have to do much persuasion for Congress to declare war on Japan. Then only three days after the attack Germany declared war on the United States, which gave Roosevelt just what he wanted. He was then able to declare war on Germany, which allowed him to deal with them first.

During the war the allies met and talked regularly to plan and coordinate strategies. America’s resources were used greatly during the war, which was a strength for the allies. The WPB was created to allocate resources and organize factories. Roosevelt started the Manhattan Project, which “became the largest research and development effort in history” (Davidson, DeLay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff, 2008). In creating this project Roosevelt hoped to create an atomic bomb.

Unfortunately Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. His death came three weeks before Germany surrendered (Franklin Roosevelt). Franklin D. Roosevelt accomplished many things during his life time. He went to Harvard and passed his board exams. After getting married he became persistent to get involved in politics like his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt. He started off by becoming part of the New York Senate and then being appointed to secretary of the navy by President Wilson. While he was secretary of the navy he got all the naval plants and yards in order before WWI began. A few years after being diagnosed with polio Roosevelt was elected governor of New York. Even as governor he tried to help those in need. He put emergency relief commissions into place helped those who were unemployed and too old to work. Due to all the things he did as governor Roosevelt won a great majority in the presidential race of 1932. As president he put his New Deal into place to try to pull the country out of its economic depression. The New Deal started programs to try to lower the unemployment rate, build trust with the banks, offer social security to those who were too old to work, and established a 40 hour work week as well as many other things. Although Americans saw Roosevelt’s New Deal as a failure, it did help even though it was not as much as he would have liked. During WWII Roosevelt was strong war leader and was a big part in the creation of the atomic bomb, which was how the war came to an end. Due to Roosevelt’s death Harry Truman became the 33rd president.

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